There are millions of pieces of content on the internet, and a search engine’s ultimate goal is to match a user’s search term to a relevant piece from that selection of content. The likes of Google’s or Bing’s algorithms select the best results for a user’s search, based on keywords and what’s contained within each piece, and places them at the top of a search page, fulfilling their mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful for everyone.
But how can you get your content to the top? Here, in part one of our three-part guide to boosting your content’s visibility using SEO, we will help unveil some simple and easy tactics you can use.
But let’s start with the basics. SEO has two strands to it:
First is the technical side: it’s data driven, it includes a lot of reporting and a dedicated SEO person to work with the developers to get technical aspects done such as updating the XML Sitemap or looking at the URL Structure.
The second is feeding the content: SEO should underpin everything that’s being created on a website. You should be continually thinking about ‘how can I match a user’s search term to my content?’ Below we’ll give you some ideas how.
4 SEO steps to boosting your content and making it accessible to your audience:
- Define goals: The SEO goals should always align with the business goals and the reasons why you have a digital presence. If you’re online because you want to improve awareness of your brand and become a thought leader in your field, your SEO goal will be about how to increase traffic to your blog. If, say, you’re an online retailer, and your aim is to sell more products, your SEO strategy will be about driving traffic to various ecommerce stages etc.
- Audit: It’s always good to do an audit of your keyword ranking, page load time, as well as technical errors. There are many free tools out there that can help you, but one we like is called Screaming Frog. All you have to do is type in your domain name and it will tell you a list of meta descriptions that maybe too long/too short, and it will look for 404 errors too. An alternative is Google’s free webmaster tools.
- Create an action plan: From here you can create a plan which will marry the SEO needs with those of the content team and developers. This plan is about making sure the three disciplines (content/technical/SEO) are all on the same page, using the same lingo, and aware of the keywords you’ve selected. If everyone is using SEO-friendly language it will automatically boost your site’s organic visibility.
- Track the performance: As ever, tracking what you’re doing and achieving is important not only for reporting to the C-suite, but for keeping the editorial content on the right track too. There are loads of tools, for different size organisations, that can be used such as Conductor Searchlight, BrightEdge, Moz, or SEMRush (to name a few). The one you choose will depend on your game plan and how often you want to check your results (i.e. daily/weekly/monthly etc.)
But be warned, SEO is a long game and not a quick fix! You’ll need to be patient. Any tweaks you make today may take six to 12 months to come into fruition.