Creating relevant content for your audience on a daily basis can be exhausting. Striking the perfect balance between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and your own ideas and messages only adds to the pressure. It is no longer enough to write relevant things and have people read them. Studies have shown that 93 percent percent of online content interaction starts with search engines and their result pages.
You need to consider the ground rules of SERP requirements set by Google in order to appear in the relevant search engine queries. But how can you do that without sacrificing what makes your brand and products so unique on the market? Let’s take a look at several ways you can optimize your content and still make a profit.
Before we dive into it, let’s take a look at why you should care about SEO in the first place. Many believe SEO represents “a necessary evil” on the internet. Recent surveys show content marketing and SEO cost 62 percent less than traditional marketing but generate up to three times more traffic.
There is no denying SEO slows down the creation process for many types of online content. However, there is a good reason as to why this system is in place—briefly, “to create order”. Some of the most important benefits of optimizing your content for search engines include:
Now, onto the how portion of striking a balance between content topics and SEO strategy.
SEO optimization by itself doesn’t necessarily mean “good” SEO optimization. SEMrush is a sophisticated tool worth considering. SEMrush is able to identify your content’s optimization bottlenecks and give you actionable data on how to proceed.
First, SEMrush offers users an easy way to assess their current status with an SEO audit. Additionally, this comprehensive cloud-based software lets you gauge your current SEO with different tools that examine both on-site SEO, as well as your off-site SEO efforts. In addition to examining your site, SEMrush allows you to perform a competitive situational analysis, reviewing your competitors’ websites, allowing you to discover what they’re doing right and also learn from their mistakes.
One of the safest ways to make sure your initial idea comes across correctly is to simply think about SEO from the start. This will lower your need for additional editing or rewrites once your content is ready for publishing.
Your competition can provide much more insight than it appears at first glance. The truth is that no website or company is solitary in the products and services it offers.
What separates seemingly indistinguishable products is the brand name and companies behind them. Use this as an opportunity to take a peek at your competition’s online content. Learn from their successes and mistakes in order to better your own content creation strategy.
It can be a good idea to monitor your competition for high-volume driving content. That way, you will be able to take inspiration from their success and avoid any content that might not be worth pursuing. Some of the monitoring tools you can use include:
Google Alerts – Starting off small, we have Google Alerts. This tool can efficiently deliver “alerts” whenever a custom keyword or phrase is published. It’s a great way to monitor your industry’s trends and whoever ends up posting said content. You might even discover competition you were unaware of beforehand.
SEMrush – We’ve mentioned SEMrush in regards to SEO optimization. However, the tool can also be used to monitor content performance and get actionable analytics as a result. SEMrush can be as comprehensive and useful as you let it, despite its original form as a SEO tool.
Infini Graph – Many businesses use social media as their go-to platforms for content marketing. A tool such as Infini Graph can help you easily spot and track any trending content in your industry. You can learn a lot from Infini Graph’s plethora of statistical analysis, which can stem from the initial keywords and phrases you choose.
Monitor Backlinks – This self-explanatory platform allows you to easily detect and follow your competition’s backlinks. You can receive the backlinks and their proprietary analysis data straight in your inbox. This will allow you to extrapolate which content performed better than others, allowing you to further build your SEO and content marketing strategies.
This is a great way to learn which SEO strategies work and don’t work, since you are not the one testing them. You can also get numerous content ideas from your industry competitors and outsmart them by doing something new, different and exciting.
The simplest way to abide by SEO rules and stay true to your brand name and mission is to use keywords in your titles. Ideating new topics, content and titles for future content marketing strategy is easy once you come to grips with keyword platforms such as Adwords.
The secret, however, is to learn how to write effective titles with those keywords in mind. For example, if your keyword is “illustrative packaging design”, it can be quite challenging to come up with interesting and relevant titles.
The same principle applies if you decide to translate or localize your content, which adds an extra layer of challenge to your content creation. In that respect, online translation services can help you craft more appealing and approachable content for different languages.
The mistake most content creators make when formulating new content is trying to optimize it as they create it. For example, if you wrote a single paragraph of text, you shouldn’t go back and optimize it immediately. You don’t know how long your content will be, how comprehensive your multimedia might end up or how many links you will have.
Implementing schema markups in your site’s content can ensure even more exposure. Search engines often misinterpret certain data due to a lack of coded information. This is where additional data such as schema markups come into play. Followed by basic SEO information (listed below), this code can effectively “explain” what your content means to a search engine.
Google Search Console is another neat tool you should pay attention to as a content manager. Simply put, the tool allows for control over your URLs’ search ranking through dedicated optimization options. Continued monitoring and development of your pages is also a possibility with Google Search Console, giving you full control over the performance of your content.
The result is a much higher overall ranking of your content marketing even though you didn’t build it with technical SEO in mind at first. Some of the most important SEO additions to your already created content should be:
Your content should always be cohesive and have a definitive beginning and an ending with takeaways. To that end, technical SEO can and should be applied after your content is finished. Use relevant keywords in titles and subheadings, but leave the rest of the formatting and optimization for later.
Reaching out to your audience might seem like a desperate move at first. However, depending on your industry and topics, the audience might be the best source of feedback you can find. Recent data show that 93 percent of businesses use some form of content marketing online. The leftover minority often gets overshadowed by more content-rich competitors. Create short surveys with small incentives for submission, and ask your audience for content help.
What would they like to see more of, and what should you steer away from? Do they like your current content creation pace or would they prefer you change something? They might also be willing to collaborate with you or recommend an influencer who will help you out. SEO often goes far beyond technical optimization, and your audience can and will provide the feedback you need.
Compromise isn’t something content creators like to talk about when it comes to content marketing strategies. However, it is important to stay realistic and objective about the goals and possibilities of your client’s content.
For example, you don’t have to go full-SEO on your content if the client doesn’t want keyword stuffing or outbound links. In that case, be prepared to invest into traditional online advertising since the SEO won’t be as useful to you as the content itself.
High quality content can exist without much in terms of SEO but, in the end, the exposure needs to come from somewhere. Creating a blog or social media page for your client might be the remedy you need when it comes to compromising on your content marketing plans.
Something will always have to give when it comes to SEO and content optimization. The ability to know which side to tip toward comes down to the content creator’s experience in niche and current industry trends.
According to data, 94 percent of people who follow content providers eventually make a purchase through their website. Keep a close eye on relevant topics, actionable keywords and your audience’s areas of interest if you want to succeed in writing high quality content.
Elisa Abbott’s passion lies in creative writing. She completed a degree in Computer Science and writes about ways to apply machine learning to deal with complex issues. Insights on education, helpful tools and valuable university experiences—she has you covered.