Not so long ago, content had to have the right keywords, in the right places, in the right amounts, to earn a top spot in search rankings.
Thanks to Google algorithm updates that have gotten smarter about weeding out pages overstuffed with keywords and links, there’s more to the story these days. We still need liberally searched keywords, but we also need social. We also need copy that targets certain demographics, holds readers’ attention and motivates them to share, link and bookmark.
In addition to creating a compelling story, and a motivating call to action, here are a few things you can do on the back end to raise your content a few notches on the SEO totem pole.
Google Analytics offers a wealth of data and insights to help you create content that brings in more traffic, generates more leads, and builds customer retention. The ‘Traffic Sources’ option lets you view top referring search terms. If you’re working on an email blast to announce a new product or a series of blogs that relate to a particular service, incorporate these search terms within your content.
Combine Traffic Sources with demographic data to boost lead generation. Google Analytics will give you age, gender, browsing preferences (desktop or mobile), location, and behavior information, such as what visitors viewed and shared. Consider this data when creating landing pages and/or sales copy targeted to a specific audience.
Average Time on Page will tell you which webpages hold a customer’s attention the longest. If a particular blog post topped the list, could you write a follow-up or cover similar topics? Also consider what the customer might want to see next to move them to the next phase of the buying cycle.
In addition to Google’s Keyword Planner, check out the Site Search feature. It will let you see every query entered from the Google search box on your company’s website. It’s a keyword bonus! Use this search data to determine where gaps lie in your content, and then fill them.
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Regardless of the topic, but especially if it’s a common one, make your article more informative, more researched, more comprehensive, and/or more entertaining than the rest. Find a new angle. Uncover a new fact. In short, make your content so great that people will want to link to it and share.
I’m sure you already know how to build an audience for your content by publishing liberally on social media. That audience will add “long-term, high-value search engine rankings,” which grows your audience in a targeted way, according to Copyblogger. Social media brings more exposure to your content, which leads to natural links, shares, likes, retweets, and other hints of relevance. Smart Google picks up on these hints and rewards accordingly.
If you’ve developed an awesome white paper on the latest widget advancements, give it a landing page optimized for SEO. Incorporate the most relevant keywords and phrases. When customers bookmark the page, especially on a social site such as StumbleUpon, that page can generate long-term traffic. Plus, you get the bonus of email addresses for follow-up.
With a little bit of behind-the-scenes research, you can create compelling, naturally readable content that catches the eye of customers and search engines alike.
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