Today’s requirement to continually create online content that your customers and prospects will find valuable, informative or worthy of sharing is no picnic.
So once you’ve invested all of the effort and resources to create great content, you need to do all that you can to ensure that it will get found. Fortunately, Search Engine Optimization | SEO is no longer black-box voodoo that only geeks know how to address on a website.
Two parts of SEO that will get your content found.
What you need to know is that SEO is divided into two primary categories:
- | On-Page SEO
- | Off-Page SEO
On-page SEO refers to how well your website’s content is presented to search engines. This can often be improved by paying attention to two things. First, the very specific needs of the search engines. And second, following best-practices to ensure that your SEO techniques align with what your prospects will actually be searching for.
Off-page SEO refers to your site’s overall “authority” on the web which is determined by how other websites recognize your site. In this post, I’ll be focusing on “On-page” SEO issues and how you can address them without fear of getting lost in too many details.
Without SEO, Content Marketing falls short.
If you’ve embraced Content Marketing, or if you’re only experimenting with it to see if it has value, getting comfortable with SEO is no longer optional.
Why? If you’re supplying education, insights, and tools for researching, choosing and using your products or services, the expensive assets you’re creating aren’t worth much if your prospects can’t find them by using a query in a search engine.
So before you get too far into producing the next great infographic, video, blog post or ebook, to further your business objectives, consider all of the things that you’ll have to do right to get your content found. This On-Page SEO Checklist provides a guide for what to focus on.
icon-check-circle | Every page title you create needs to use target keywords
icon-check-circle | The URL of the page must include the target keywords
icon-check-circle | Every page title tag should be unique
icon-check-circle | The H1 tag (only 1 per page) should contain your target keyword
icon-check-circle | Each page or post should contain less than 6 external domain links
icon-check-circle | Subheads or H2 tags in every page should contain target keywords
icon-check-circle | Site pages should contain emphasized text that uses you target keywords
icon-check-circle | Pages + posts should contain subheads—H2 + H3 tags—to help readers understand content quickly
icon-check-circle | Pages + posts should include a META description incorporating target keywords
icon-check-circle | Each page should contain a single META description tag
icon-check-circle | The META description tag should be shorter than 156 characters
icon-check-circle | The page URL should be shorter than 160 characters
icon-check-circle | The page title should be shorter than 65 characters
icon-check-circle | Every page or post should have a unique META description tag
What else you need to know to get your content found.
In addition to this On-Page SEO Checklist, there are a few more details to be aware of that can improve the opportunity for your audience to find your content when they search for it on the web.
As one of the most important on-page SEO factors, page titles are the text you see at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page. These titles are also presented or “read” by search engines.
Metadata is the text seen as the description of a site in Google search. These words attract a searcher’s attention and help the searcher to quickly grasp whether the page content is relevant to them. For this reason, including keywords in your meta description can draw visitors in.
Text that appears larger or more prominent than the other text on a page is classified as a heading. Text within a heading is more likely to be read by search engines as keywords than the text in the rest of the page.
For this reason, it is good to include keywords in your headings whenever possible. H1 tags give the text more weight as keywords than H2 tags and H3 tags which have more weight than regular text used in the body or main content area of a post or page.
Images on a web page not only enhance a user’s experience, but they also make content interesting and attractive. However, when using images, it’s important to remember that search engines can’t “read” images. They only read or recognize text.
Content management systems | CMS, such as WordPress, make it easy to add images to a web page. They also make it easy to add text to the image with the “ALT-text” attribute. This HTML attribute enables search engines to recognize and replace the image with the associated text that you provide.
Search engine rankings favor sites that are registered for a longer period of time. This indicates a visible commitment by the domain owner and reduces the potential of the site being considered as spam. It’s a good idea to extend ownership of your domain with your domain registrar (like GoDaddy or Network Solutions) for as long as you can afford to do so.
MOZ Rank is a general measure of how much authority your site has. It has become the industry standard for determining the popularity of a specific web page. MOZ Rank factors in both On-page and Off-page SEO attributes. And on the MOZ Rank scale of 1-100, the higher your number, the more authoritative and credible your site is.
Google Crawl Date
Google’s secret sauce and proprietary technology activate an automated program that methodically goes through every page on the Internet to creates an index of the content on the site.
When Google crawls your site, it updates the information related to it such as your keywords and other SEO factors. Your goal should be to have Google crawl your site as frequently as possible. And the single most effective way to make that happen is to regularly produce fresh content and publish it on your website.
Is your content getting found?
Are you using these best-practices and techniques to improve your search results ranking and get your content found? Share what’s working for you or where there’s room for improvement.