Content and SEO are partners in crime. They both need each other to succeed in meeting their business objectives. SEO requires good content to be really effective, while content producers need to use SEO to help with content planning and to ensure that the content they work hard on can be found by their target audience.
Here in our third and final part of our series on content marketing and SEO we give you the low-down on how SEO tactics can enhance and elevate your content.
1 You need great page titles:
Title tags, technically called title elements, define the title of a document. Title tags are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing.
Title elements have long been considered one of the most important on-page SEO elements (the most important being overall content), and appear in three key places: browsers, search engine results pages, and external websites.
The title element of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page's content. This element is critical to both user experience and search engine optimisation. It creates value in three specific areas: relevancy, browsing, and in the search engine results pages.
When you use keywords in the title tag, search engines will highlight them in the search results if a user has performed a query including those keywords. This gives the user greater visibility, and generally means you'll get a higher click-through rate.
- Include dates to target people searching for the latest content
- Write naturally and avoid repetition: remember page titles are seen by searchers as well as search engines
- Try to include the brand name on important pages, like the homepage, but it’s not so important on content & post pages.
2 Content must be meaningful, visual & distinctive:
The old SEO techniques of churning out content for the sake of putting target keywords on a page is dead. Google’s algorithm updates have forced SEOs to focus on quality rather than quantity, hence the increased focus on content marketing.
Quality content should be valuable to the user – it should be informative, useful and/or entertaining. The search engine bots will determine if the content meets this criteria by tracking user behaviour with the content – i.e how long someone spends on the page, what action they take after reading/viewing the content & whether the content actually answers the question typed into the search function, all these will help your content to rank organically higher.
- Create evergreen content (content that will continue to be relevant in search and refer traffic)
- Write content that answers frequent questions (check sites like Quora for what’s trending)
- Remember the more shares and links your content gets, the higher it should appear in the results, leading to more clicks and visits
3 Integrate SEO with PR
Historically the two disciplines have clashed over how best to gain better search engine placements and which approach works best. PRs have said earned media placements created by public relations are preferable, whereas SEO practitioners have advocated owned content creates the best search engine optimization. The truth is, in a dominant digital world, both disciplines need to work together.
Integrating the efforts of PR and SEO can vastly improve overall marketing efforts. The two disparate disciplines work better when they work in harmony. The two sides can learn from each other. PR pros can learn more about keywords, link-building and other SEO tactics. SEO can benefit from the PR strategies of relationship-building and producing quality content.
- Create aligned goals and share research
- Follow the same keyword strategy
- Train PR staff in SEO & analytics and vice versa
4 Ensure you have a rapid & secure webpage
Website ‘load-speed’ is the speed at which your website loads. A study by Yahoo found that up to 35 factors can impact website loading times. Many of these are related to the way a website is coded and requires a skilled developer to address them.
Page speed is often confused with "site speed," which is actually the page speed for a sample of page views on a site. Page speed can be described in either "page load time" (the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page) or "time to first byte" (how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the web server).
No matter how you measure it, a faster page speed is better. Many people have found that faster pages both rank and convert better.
- Avoid too many redirects
- Consider using reverse proxy & performance-enhancing tools, like Cloudflare
- Optimise image, to retain quality but reduce size