An online article, blog, or for that matter, any type of content seems to be as useless as a dead fish if it fails to get noticed by its target audience. As a content writer, when you publish anything on the web, your primary focus is to ensure the visibility of your work.
While there are several time-tested methods and strategies to do this, the fundamental approach to increasing your content’s visibility is ‘Content Optimization’. This term, essentially, refers to making your content search engine-friendly for the search engine bot and the readers.
Content Optimization is the art of writing in a way that will allow you to reach your target audience as broadly and deeply as possible.
To help you optimize your content, we have compiled some beneficial tips to help you understand the importance and use of SEO tactics.
The term ‘SEO Writing’ covers the entire process of planning, creating, and optimizing your content to rank high in search engines. In other words, SEO Writing is the combination of producing high-quality content and optimizing it for the search engines.
The SEO process consists of several steps under the categories:
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO, and
- Off-Page SEO
Since content SEO is a part of On-Page SEO, we will discuss the On-Page SEO process, highlighting content SEO’s role.
Confusing SEO Writing with Content Marketing is a pretty common phenomenon. Generally speaking, SEO involves:
- Making a website more user-friendly.
- Using relevant keywords.
- Optimizing metadata.
- Building high-quality links for higher webpage ranking.
On the other hand, content marketing involves publishing valuable content across your website, blog, and various social media accounts to attract readers and ultimately drive interest in the products and services you are offering.
If we delve further into it, there’s an overlap between the two:
- To achieve more of your content marketing goals, make sure to optimize your content for search engines as it helps it rank better.
- To improve your website’s authority, publish quality content that increases its SEO power.
Best Practices for SEO Writing
Please find below the list of some of the best SEO practices that will help you achieve your SEO writing goals:
- Find the right topic.
- Research the best keywords
- Manage keyword density
- Use keywords naturally and strategically.
- Optimize your headlines
- Incorporate locally relevant phrases
- Add images and optimize them.
- Use Multimedia in your content.
- Get your Internal linking right.
- Link to credible external pages
- Optimize the length of your posts
- Write compelling meta descriptions.
- Write comprehensive or long-form content.
- Optimize for mobile
- Include relevant keywords in the URL
- Don’t forget to include a CTA (Call To Action)
As defined in technical terms, a meta description is an HTML(Hypertext Markup Language) tag that will help you describe the content of your web page. On the SERP, this description will show up below the title and URL of your page.
These meta descriptions appear with your title and URL on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and therefore, they have the power to help or hurt your CTRs (click-through rates). According to research, having keywords in the body of the meta descriptions enables the search engines to increase your rankings.
It is always a good practice to craft SEO-friendly meta descriptions. Your page title is your headline, the meta description is your tagline, and the address URL in your search results. Since a meta description is like a representation for a web page, ensure that you fill it with active language to make people click on your result.
However, Google doesn’t always show your meta description in the search results. According to Google, they will often replace your meta description with a snippet of content from your page.
Best Practices for using Meta Descriptions
- Create unique descriptions for every page on your website
- Offer a compelling reason to the readers to visit the webpage.
- Write a description of about 1-2 sentences (140-160 characters) long.
- Include your target keyword in the Meta Descriptions
- Target an emotion to connect to the readers
- Add a call to action to persuade the readers to open the link.
- Make the descriptions meaningful and descriptive.
- Double-check these using a SERP view generator tool available online
- Avoid using multiple Meta Descriptions for a single page.
- Check the health of your Meta descriptions by using online tools like Semrush Site Audit and SEO Site Checkup.
- Include the Current Year (or Month) in the descriptions if your content is something that needs to be super up-to-date.
Google often talks about the criticality of using simple and SEO-friendly URLs. But how do you do that?
URLs are essentially considered inconsequential addresses to web pages. However, it is vital to structure your URLs for SEO properly. While they may seem less important than your content title and heading elements, URLs are a powerful tool for achieving SEO goals.
It is generally believed that if someone links to your site with the URL, Google will consider the keywords in the URL as anchor text, which helps that site rank better in SERPs. That kind of link is popularly called a naked link.
Best Practices for using SEO-friendly URLs
- Include a keyword in the URL of the page for which you want to rank.
- Keep your URLs short: Because long URLs confuse Google and other search engines.
- Standardize your URLs in Lowercase: Because that’s what users expect, and it is easier to read than all caps
- Use Hyphens, Not Underscores as word separators: Because underscores cannot be seen when the URL is published as a bare link.
- Use Accurate Keywords in the URL Structure: The highest traffic keyword isn’t always what the pages in the category talk about.
- Avoid Using Superfluous Words in URL Structure
- Ensure your URLs are future-proof
- Use subfolders to provide hierarchy: Subfolders help give a sense of hierarchy and valuable extra information.
- Preferably use HTTP or HTTPS as part of your URL because HTTPS secured sites have a ranking advantage.
- Avoid keyword repetition
- Don’t Use Blog Post Titles in the URL as this tends to create longer URLs than you need, making changing your content MUCH harder.
- Use subdomains only if you need to
- Choose a generic top-level domain (gTLD) such as .com
Optimize the Images on your Webpages
Images tend to make your content more accessible and engaging to users, and they’re equally important for SEO. First of all, they provide crucial contextual information to search engines. Secondly, optimized images aid in speeding up page loading, which increases user engagement and search engine rankings.
Image optimization is the basic process of creating high-quality images in the best possible and reader-friendly format, size, and resolution. It involves accurately labelling the inserted images so that the search engine crawlers can read them and easily understand the page context.
If you reduce the size of these images without compromising on quality, page load times improve, thereby enhancing the experience of website visitors.
Optimized images typically require less storage space on your server. Due to this, site backups get completed faster than usual.
Best Practices for Image Optimization
- Scale down the size of the image file without losing too much quality.
- Choose the proper file format. Ideally, you should use JPEG or JPG for lots of color and PNG for simple images.
- Choose the correct compression rate: Experiment with your file types and compression rates to see what works best for each image. Some image-editing tools, like Adobe Photoshop, have a “save for the web” option that automatically minimizes the file size while optimizing image quality.
- Test optimization for speed: After you’ve optimized the images, make sure to use one of the following tools to test your site’s speed:
- Optimize image file names: Before uploading any image on your web page, name the file with relevant and descriptive keywords to effectively use the SEO.
- Include the target keywords at the beginning of the article/blog and separate these with hyphens. Avoid using underscores because search engines don’t recognize these and won’t “see” the words individually.
- Use alternative tags: Search engines struggle to index your image content accurately without alternative text. When images aren’t loading properly because of a technical or network glitch, search engines can still read the alternative text to help the page ranking. A well-defined alternate tag provides context and helps visually impaired users, too.
- Optimize the image title: If the title of your image does not explain the contents of the image, try to rename it with the appropriate keywords in the same way as file names.
- Include image captions: These are the words directly beneath images and may not impact SEO much. However, unlike file names and alt text, captions are visible on a website page, adding to the user experience.
- Use unique images: Stock photos do not help your search rankings much as other websites often use the same images. It is always better to upload amazing and unique photos whenever possible.
- Ensure that your text complements the images: If your text doesn’t include enough information to explain an image, add more relevant text to describe the image more appropriately.
- Add structured image data: Adding structured data to your web pages helps the search engines display your images as rich results on SERPs.
- Add images to your sitemap: Google usually asks the website owners to provide a sitemap to crawl your pages efficiently and add them to its index. Also, they allow you to include images in your sitemap or create a separate image sitemap for your content.
- Use schema for products and recipes
- Try using lazy loading: Lazy loading is a technique that can increase the loading speed of your website by making your website postpone the loading of the images that appear on the lower pages of your content. Visitors won’t have to wait to see any content while their browser loads everything on the entire webpage. Instead, they can start accessing the most critical page contents and be rest assured that the rest of it will load by the time they reach there.
Your content must be linked adequately and strategically to get indexed and appear high on the search results.
All search engines, including Google, crawl through the web pages to look for fresh content. Google bots follow links and sitemaps to discover the new content published on your website.
It makes it easy for the search engines to find newly published content on the internet if they’re Your content needs to be linked adequately and strategically inked somewhere on the web or mentioned in an XML file.
Website owners often overlook the concept of internal linking as there is a misconception that only links from another website matter when ranking.
Internal linking helps the search engines in determining the structure of your website. Further, it provides a hierarchy for your website by giving more link value to your site’s essential pages and content.
The homepages of most websites contain Categories or Top Pages to provide the visitors with a user-friendly website navigation experience. It also helps Google effectively determine the hierarchy of the pages.
If you wish to be at the top of your SEO game, you must master the practice of internal linking.
Internal links are the links on a website that direct the users to other pages within the same domain. These are different from external links, which link to the related pages on other domains.
By using internal linking, you can connect the content on your website and help users navigate it with ease. Internal linking enables users and search engines to find content faster.
A page having no links to it is called an Orphan Page. As these pages are challenging to find, users can’t access these without knowing the direct URLs.
If your website contains an Orphan Page, search engine crawlers can’t crawl it as it is not linked to any other website pages.
This means an orphan page rarely gets indexed by search engines. Therefore, you must link your content or a new web page on your website by using category pages, tags, sitemap, and menus for internal link building.
Best Practices for Internal Linking
- Link from authority pages to pages that almost rank
- Place contextual links within page copy.
- Use internal linking to reduce page depth (link deep)
- Use hubs and spokes to boost rankings.
- Use descriptive anchor text in internal links.
- Update older pages with internal links to new posts
- Don’t use too many internal links.
- Reclaim link juice by fixing broken internal links
- Use dofollow links 99.99% of the time.
Semantic SEO is writing content as search engines optimize around the related keywords. In another way, semantic SEO writing produces content around a group of keywords, not just for one keyword. Semantic SEO helps search engines understand the page entirely and identify the user’s search intent.
Best Practices for Semantic SEO
- Post Topic-Relevant content: If you want to rank higher for a particular keyword, then do an in-depth article for that specific keyword, covering all the topics related to that keyword.
- Plan and Outline Subheadings of the Topic
- Cover ‘People Also Ask’ questions from the search results
- Target different keywords on the same page
- Write long content for blogs to cover many headings related to a topic.
- Use LSI keywords as these help Google to better understand your topic.
Rich snippets are the next version of a regular search snippet that usually includes graphical elements like images, review stars, and other common visual enhancements.
A regular search snippet consists of the following elements:
A rich snippet may include one or several of the below-mentioned elements:
- Price information
- Product Images
- Product Reviews
- Website name
- Website icon
Prepare your website for rich snippets to make it search engine friendly. This will increase the chances of ranking your website for voice search and other Google features like Google Assistant and Google Maps that rely on schemas and structured data.
Best Practices for Using Rich Snippets
- Pick a Rich Snippet Type: Identify the type of Rich Snippet you want to get and use Structured Markup to get that type of Rich Snippet in the SERPs. The most common types of Rich Snippets are reviews, recipes, music, product markup, organization, top stories, videos, and events.
- An understanding of the basics of Structured Data: Structured Data helps search engines understand your content in a better manner.
- Implement Structured Data With Schema
- Test your snippets with a Structured Data Test Tool
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. LSI keywords are linked to the primary keyword that you are targeting. Using these keywords on your website will give you a very positive result concerning google ranking.
LSIs are conceptually related terms that are closely tied to your target keyword. These allow the Search Engines to understand your content and your search intent, and its relationship to a specific keyword.
Only the focus keyword mattered the most in the early days of SEO. Google and other Search Engines are used to figure out the page topics based on the repetition of words.
Because of that, one could easily manipulate a page’s ranking on the Search Engine by stuffing it with keywords. Sites could increase the SERP rank of their web pages by simply cluttering them with even unrelated keywords.
But now, Search Engines have become smart, and they frequently change their search algorithm.
But working on LSI keywords will never disappoint you. LSI keywords make Search Engines aware that a particular piece of content is not just another shallow attempt at grabbing its attention.
LSI keywords make it easy for a search engine to figure out how natural a piece of content is.
Best practices for using LSI keywords
- For generating LSI Keywords:
- Use LSI Keywords Throughout Your Article
- Include your LSI terms:
- In your title tag
- In image alt text
- As an H2 or H3 subheader
- In your H1
- In the content itself
- Use Google Image Tags: pop your keyword into Google Images, and Google will hook you up with many related terms above the image results.
A featured snippet is at the top of a search inquiry on the Google search engine. Based on the search inquiry, Google looks for websites with the best answer and features them at the top of the page by highlighting them inside a box.
Being presented as a Google featured snippet is extremely valuable for driving organic search traffic to your website. However, you can’t pick and choose when your website gets featured in actual.
Do you wish to optimize your content to be the chosen snippet on a given keyword or search phrase?
Best Practices for using Featured Snippets
- Identify Competitors’ Featured Snippets
- Gather the Keywords for Each FS-Owned Content
- Understand Searcher Intent
- Identify the phrases that already have a high ranking
- Ensure that one article answers many similar and related questions
- Make sure to use attractive images
- Update and re-upload the photos (WordPress)
You may think that achieving good results online is difficult, but it becomes even more so when you don’t realize the close relationship between SEO and content marketing.
Using on-page optimization techniques with various forms of biblical blogging can help produce quality blog posts which search engines understand while catching your audience’s attention – ultimately benefiting your business for many more years to come!
SEO can be a tricky game, but with the right tools, you’ll soon find yourself on top of Google search engine rankings. That’s why we suggest incorporating these best practices into your content strategy as they are effective and a fast-track to reaching your goals!
Boost traffic from organic visits, resulting in higher ranking positions within search engines. For high-quality content optimization and content writing services like websites, blogs, articles, product descriptions, and more, you may reach out to the team of experts at LexiConn.