The art of SEO in your content
Producing ripping content for your brand is just half of the battle, the next step is getting people to read it.
And you can’t simply rely on social media to carry your articles into the waiting arms of potential consumers, as chances are they might not see it.
Recent analysis has revealed that the average half-life of a Facebook post is just 90 minutes, a number that plummets to just 24 in the Twitter-sphere.
Then there are the complex algorithms you have to compete with, but wrestling with social media is a blog for another day.
Instead, today we focus on search engine optimisation (SEO), and how to ensure your content jumps to the top of Google searches by your potential customers.
The art of weaving in the words users are likely to search for on the likes of Google, is an art-form that somewhat needs to be mastered in the content creation process. It’s tricky business, but once you get your head around the ins and outs, the payout is undeniable.
The most effective way to do your research is through the free Google Keyword Tool, which ties directly in with AdWords (note: you actually have to have an AdWords account and create a “dummy” campaign to access it first time around).
Most of the time, your work is designed to capture the average consumer that you want to bring to your digital shopfront, not academics.
So when the content is dealing with things like medical issues/products, technology or high finance, try and avoid the verbose terminology and think about what the average person may look for. Have the general public in mind, and not specialists or experts in the field.
For example, people are unlikely to search for ‘cardiovascular disease’, ‘arrhythmia’ or ‘coronary artery disease’. They are going to search using terms like ‘heart disease’ or ‘heart attack’. It is vital to ensure these words are included.
Always think like a consumer, and that means also thinking like a young person. It pays to check your keywords against modern vernacular and weaving some of the new lingo in there as well. While you may not find yourself using these phrases in everyday speech, it’s likely many others do.
To top it off, make sure you’re popping in these keywords in your primary and secondary headings within your content. If you’re not sure how to do this, and you’re using WordPress as your CMS, install the Yoast plugin (free) to streamline this process.
Ride the wave of trends
Fortunately, there is a little trick to Google. It is not conned by artificial attempts to make old content new again, and will not be tricked into thinking content is fresh just because you changed the publish date.
It will, however, seek out content to bump up the queue when a topic is trending. This is called Query Deserved Freshness (QDF), and it applies when a search suddenly becomes popular.
QDF will then send out its tentacles to find related fresh content to keep the stream of information current. By recognising what is trending online, and weaving that in where relevant, you can achieve great results in Google searches. See the pattern? Try writing on topics you know the public is craving right now because of ‘virality’—then, take advantage of it.