As we assist clients with content creation for webpages and longform content like blog articles, we have identified a list of key considerations for search engine optimization (SEO). Listed below are 6 of our top tips for SEO.
Keywords are King!
Pages should be produced with key messages and users in mind (of course!), but we have to think more in terms of ‘what will help web searches successfully land on this page?’ Our best combination leans in the direction of keyword-rich content that doesn’t appear to be ‘over-optimized.’ There’s also a sweet spot for how ‘dense’ of content we produce, which acts as a natural limiter against what can be considered ‘keyword stuffing.’ Alternate and related phrases help provide a good mix, both for Google-friendliness and reader-friendliness.
Note: The same goes for page titles and descriptions, which show in Google search results as well and factor into how your pages are ranked. Keyword-heavy, yes, but with readability and calls to action in mind also.
Don’t Step on Toes
Think of pages and keywords as a map, where each phrase claims a position on certain areas of the site. Our general recommendation is to work in pairs: [keyword phrase + page]. This way, each page has its own distinct position, with each page focused on one thing – a certain phrase.
Secondary and related phrases are ok, too – but generally speaking, a page should be hyper-focused on a certain topic, declaring to the world as to why certain phrases should land users there.
Links Links Links
Search engines not only count on-page content and metadata (title, description, etc.) as important to ranking, but equally important are hyperlinks. Links to pages are factored in several ways: The text that’s included in the link, the text that surrounds the link, the number of links that point to the page, and more. Links from within the site to other pages we consider internal, and links from outside the site are external. The idea is compounding, too – the more links to external sites that point to your website (domain authority), the better. Think big, prominent sites – links from those sites are gold, especially if the links contain relevant keywords in them and around them.
Real Estate (Prime is at the Top!)
As we develop keyword-rich content, we have to consider ‘displacement theory,’ i.e., is content bumping down other content or taking its place? On-page titles (H1 tags, headers, subheaders) are golden opportunities for keywords, as content that appears towards the top of the page is weighed more heavily vs. content that Google may consider ‘buried’ at the bottom. This also makes the case for making straightforward, keyword-rich, value statements immediately on the page. In short, get to the point soon! But also include some heavy keyword usage while you’re at it.
Clean and Consistent
Page URLs, meta titles, on-page titles and content should all be as consistent as possible for users, while also being descriptive. Page URLs like Quell.com are a great example, containing multiple-keywords-separated-by-dashes for subpages. This helps not only search engines in determining word-for-word what’s important on the page, but they’re also much easier for users to see at a glance the contents of a page. Much more trustworthy, too than a bunch of non-readable ‘code!’ It’s important that once you establish standard practices within your site that you stick to them. Savvy users nowadays are looking at things like URLs, not just your on-page content and overall aesthetics. So we have to make sure EVERYTHING is in tip-top shape!
Longform Content Helps ‘Fill in the Blanks’
Longform content refers to non-standard product or solutions pages, generally in the form of blog posts and other article-style pages, where users understand that the content isn’t meant to be read and acted upon quickly. Longer content pages are great for thought leadership as well, but they really shine in their ability to target specific keyword phrases and sometimes very specific questions. For example, ‘How to get better gas mileage in commercial trucks.’ Longform content also helps in ‘link building.’ The keyword-heavy page can further boost other, standard webpages by including related keywords in its on-page content and in the links themselves.
By no means is this list exhaustive, but it is meant to help remind and guide our team and our clients about the numerous options to improve SEO as we continue to produce search engine-friendly content.
Let us know if you have any questions or would like The Quell Group to perform an SEO audit of your site via our SEO contact page.