In the past, stuffing some key terms on a page was sometimes enough to get your page ranking on the search engines. In fact, the things we consider bad practice now, from stuffing keywords to packing in low quality links, could be highly effective in the late 1990s and early 00s. Today, things are different. Ranking algorithms have become more sophisticated, so more thought and application is required in order to gain page 1 rankings.
If you want to know how to take your digital content to the next level, read on. Here are some top tips to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Quality over quantity
One of the major differences between the early days of SEO and what we see now is quality. The search engines of 2022 are extremely advanced. Where once it was advantageous to unnaturally repeat all keywords we wanted to rank for in exact format in a page content, Google now focuses much more on the quality and relevance of content.
Gone are the repetitive, easily-spotted keywords, hidden content and other SPAM practices. Instead, content should be thoughtfully created in order to provide answers and solutions for those asking the search engine questions.
It’s this need for relevant, high-quality information that saw the introduction of Google’s 2018 Medic – or E-A-T – Update. A core algorithm update, this was a major event in the world of digital that had an impact on so called “Your Money or Your Life” sectors in particular.
Expert SEO teams know the importance of the principles of EAT as a ranking factor and can weave this, along with other high-ranking quality indicators, into onsite content. Getting experts to help with your onsite content can go a long way to meeting your SEO goals.
Target the right keywords
We’ve already touched on keywords, but now is the time to take a closer look. The importance of getting the right terms for the page you’re focusing on is still important (although stuffing them into content without thought is not). Considering the content on a page and the key terms that are likely to bring people to that page has been at the heart of basic SEO since the beginning. The only difference is that it’s a more thoughtful process.
Before you start writing, think about what you’re trying to convey. What are you selling? A product? An answer to a common question? What terms are likely to be needed in order to get people seeing and reading the page?
You can use keyword tools to see the phrases around the topic you’re covering. These show the search volumes for each word. From there, you can create a list of terms that you want to use, and these can help guide the topics you cover in your content.
Both internal and external links are important ranking factors. These build your digital reputation and allow you to reference other relevant information.
Internal links are an opportunity to show the reader what other services or products you offer on our website. External links show that you know the authoritative bodies or organisations that are relevant to your work. For instance, if your website is related to medical services, external links to NHS Resolution might be beneficial for you, as you are showing you have authority in your sector.
Like keywords, plan carefully where you place links. They must be relevant, trusted and pointing to the right page. Its also to ensure they are kept up to date.
Know your audience
According to Philip Kotler, the American marketing author, consultant, and professor, there is only one winning strategy: “It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market.”
Whether you’re writing a short product description or a 3,000-word landing page, having a clear idea who will be reading your content gives your content purpose. Without this idea of who you’re speaking to, you won’t reach the goals that you’re trying to achieve.
So, who are you speaking to? You could hire a research company to find out who your existing audience is or use analytics tools to get a picture of your customer base. Also, look at your competition. Who are your competitors attracting? This could help you steer your content to appeal to customers that the competition isn’t reaching.
Once you have this information, you can write content that informs the audience you’re writing for.
Draft your content
Once you’ve written your content, take a step back and re-read it. Get someone else to read through it too. The first draft is likely to need amending. Perhaps keywords will be moved around, or paragraphs restructured.
Treat that first attempt as a jumping-off point. From there, you can see where there’s room for another link or an additional piece of information that will enhance search performance.
Include Clear CTAs
You’ve put the effort into writing the perfect page, but without the right call to action (CTA) your efforts can be for nothing. You want to lead the reader into the next step, such as buying your product or signing up for more information. If you don’t have clear CTAs in place, users may ultimately leave your site without interacting further and you may not see the result you’re hoping for.
Make your CTA stand out and word it in a way that makes the reader want to act. ‘Sign Up Now’ or ‘Buy Now’ written in bold or a different colour instructs the reader and guides them to where you want them to go.
Nielsen and Taboola’s ‘Moment of Next’ is a 2019 whitepaper that looks at our diminishing attention span. It revealed that our Moment of Next tends to happen between 20 and 30 seconds of engagement. So, if you add an eye-catching CTA early on in the content and again further down, you’re likely to lead the reader to the next stage before they lose interest.
If you have your sights set on reinvigorating your content, it’s worth taking the time to follow these tips. Take your time to understand what you’re writing and include key ranking factors to attract the reader.
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