Content Marketing & SEO – Approach and Considerations
Recently we published the first of a 3-part series of articles on what you might expect from content marketing agencies and the context of their work.
In this second article, we discuss the approaches agencies use for SEO and content marketing and you can learn how to implement effective techniques to market your own site.
Search Engine Love
Every once in a while we need to give our search engines a bit of love to make sure they haven’t forgotten about us! This is what us nerds call Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and it basically covers everything you can do to help your website rank well in various search engines i.e. appear at or near the top of the page when someone searches a relevant product or service.
The good news is – it’s not rocket science!
There’s lots of SEO techniques you can implement on your site to improve your sites rankings and you should view it as an ongoing project. Here’s our 5 tips for search engine optimisation that can see you move quickly up the rankings.
On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO
Before we get started……
You might hear people talking about ‘On-Page SEO’ and ‘Off-Page SEO’ and wonder what the heck they are talking about…..
On-Page SEO is the process you go thorough to optimise each page on your website to help it rank better in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It is a mixture of content on the pages and some technical SEO work.
Off-Page SEO is a little different and it’s about giving signals to search engines that your website is full of useful information. Link building (links to your site from other quality sites) and social media marketing are two common ways of doing some Off-Page SEO.
In this article, we are going to focus on On-Page SEO.
1. Keyword Research
Keyword research is your starting point. You’ll need to take your time and plan your keywords properly. There’s a number of tools you can use to do keyword research, the one most frequently used is Google Keyword Planner.
This tool is used to find keywords that are best suited to your business and website. It gives you an idea of the search traffic (number of searches) around each term. Picking terms with good levels of traffic and ones that are not overly competitive is a good starting point (Google gives you an indication on the level of competition).
Another tool we love to use is the Moz Keyword Explorer. The Keyword Explorer is a powerful tool and shows info such as search volume, difficulty, opportunity and potential along with other suggested terms that might be useful.
We’ve got some more details on keyword research over here
A website with poor content is really going to struggle to gain any traction in search engines and a site with great content can fly up the rankings. Throw a little bit of SEO in with some strong content and you’ll be well on your way to the top!
Producing good quality content is a skill in itself – but there are a few tips we can give you to get your started:
- Original Content – You need to produce original content – don’t directly copy articles, book, news stories etc. Besides the fact that it’s probably illegal unless you have an agency agreement or similar, copied content doesn’t help your rankings. Of course it’s ok to have a look at what’s out there but you need to make it fresh and new.
- What if I wrote it myself? Clients sometimes ask us is it ok to use the same content they have already written and posted on another site. The short answer is- from an SEO perspective – it won’t help as this content is viewed as duplicate content. However if its important content from a sales support and marketing perspective, of course it can be published; technically sometimes we publish duplicate content as images.
- Video – if you are adding a video, add some text to describe the video or use the script and publish it
- Make it Useful – Make sure the content is adding value to your site and don’t just publish it for the sake of it.
Creating links in your website is an important part of good SEO. When creating blog posts you can include links in your text – did you see what I just did there?! Link deep into your site if possible to relevant content – this helps your page rank.
Having external links is also a good idea – link out to good reputable websites where possible.
So why do we create links? Google searches the engine by crawling it – basically moving around from site to site and page to page by following the links. The links encourage visits and each visit is an opportunity for your ranking to improve.
Linking helps because it:
- Let’s search engines know about your other pages.
- Highlights important pages.
- Increases users time on your site.
Interested in learning more about how search works? Take a look though Google’s short guide.
4. SEO and Meta Tagging
This is a process which involves going into the content management system on your site and inputting data that tells google what each page is about. Adding SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions to your sites pages is an important part of your SEO work. You can use your keywords in your SEO Title to help both search engines and people know what your page is about.
Yoast also analyses your content and gives you little prompts on how to improve your SEO page rating e.g. it gives notifications like
Make sure your text is formatted properly with headings (H1, H2, H3). Try and use your keywords in the headings where possible but make sure it makes sense to use them. A mistake we often see is that people try to cram their keywords into the pages. This is known as ‘Keyword Stuffing’ and something which the search engines aren’t very fond of! You are better off trying to make content that reads well and that the user will find interesting and useful.
One last thing to look out for is adding tags to your images. Tagging your images helps to improve your page SEO score. Add alt text that include your keywords.
5. Speed & Mobile
Two areas that are becoming more important in SEO are site speed and mobile.
Google invests a large amount of resources in making the internet faster and tries and force website owners to use the latest development techniques to improve their sites speeds. One way they do this is by adding speed as a factor for website ranking. Sites are likely to be penalised and suffer in ranking if they are slow.
There’s a few things you can do to improve site speed:
- Optimise Images
- Use a CDN
- Improve Hosting
Why not test your site and see how it stands up?!
Another area that has a big impact on your search engine rankings is your sites mobile friendliness. Mobile search traffic is growing bigger each month and have recognised this by adding mobile friendliness as a ranking factor.
Give this test a whirl and see how Google rates your site for mobile friendliness!
Search Engine Optimisation Checklist
- Complete your keyword research
- Consider levels of Search Traffic
- Consider Competitiveness
- Original – no duplicate
- Suggested minimum of 300 words per page (ideally more)
- Make it compelling
- Do your research
- Good internal links
- External links to quality sites
- Complete your SEO Titles (50 – 60 characters with spaces)
- Complete Meta Description (150 – 160 characters with spaces)
- Tag images with descriptions
- Use formatting (H1, H2 H3), with key terms in headings
- Avoid keyword stuffing
Speed and Mobile
- Follow latest design techniques
- Optimise images
- Run speed tests
- Run mobile tests