SEO is one of the most complex, ever-changing areas of online marketing, so it’s no surprise many marketers are looking for help. There’s an abundance of good content out there with SEO tips and tricks to try, but every article or blog post you read tells you to do something different.
SEO has become more about building authority in certain subjects than trying to rank for specific keywords; people don’t want answers they want answers to questions .
So here are 15 content marketing tips that can positively impact your search rankings without taking huge risks or breaking the bank:
1. Don’t Rank for Branded Terms
Rank for topics relevant to your business instead! For example, if your business sells running shoes, don’t waste effort trying to rank for “Nike” or “Asics” branded terms. Instead, write an article about how to choose running shoes that ranks well in Search engines for your target keywords
2. Know the Rules of Link Building
There are many theories on what Google might consider a link-building spam technique, but there are no definitive answers. The safest route is to build links naturally, i.e., it’s ok to contact colleagues and business partners informally asking them if they have or know of anyone who has a blog or runs one, asking if they’d be interested in writing a guest post for you — offering something in return will help you get more responses! Developing high quality resources and tools will also earn you natural links; think infographics, calculators and interactive tools.
3. Optimize Your Images
Your images might not be as optimized as you think! Use a tool like JPEGmini to compress your images without sacrificing quality, setting the file size to around 70kb or less. Be sure to use keywords in your image filenames and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword rich description of the photo.
4. Publish Lengthy Content
The average word count for a page that ranks in the top 10 results for any given keyword is 2,000 words according to serpIQ. That’s a lot of words, but it doesn’t mean you need to write,000-word blog posts every time. Try breaking up your content into shorter, more easily consumable chunks. For example, write a 500-word post with three short lists (50 words each), or a 1,000-word post with five 200-word sub-sections.
5. Choose Your Keywords Wisely
Not all keywords are created equal! Do some research to find keywords that have high search volumes but low competition. If you’re a small business, target long-tail keywords (3 or more words) instead of head terms, as they’ll be less competitive and easier to rank for.
6. Research the Competition
Before you start writing, take some time to do some competitor research. Find what topics they’re ranking for, what type of content they’re publishing and how much effort they’re putting into their SEO. This information will help you develop a content plan that not only targets your ideal audience but also beats out the competition.
7. Leverage Social Shares
One of the most important factors in determining a piece of content’s ranking potential is the number of social shares it receives. Share your best content across your social media channels and ask your followers to share it with their networks as well. If you don’t have a lot of followers, consider using a tool like BuzzSumo to find popular content in your industry and reach out to the authors asking if they’d be interested in sharing yours as well.
8. Publish Regularly
As with anything, publishing consistently will improve your chances of ranking. You might not get immediate results, but Google monitors how often a piece of content is visited and shared; if it gets hits and shares immediately after being indexed, that signals to Google that people value the page highly and should be shown in search results.
9. Outsource Content Needs
Working on SEO can be time-consuming and tedious. Hire an inexpensive virtual assistant (or team) to help with tasks like keyword research, submitting posts to directories and social media/link outreach. If you need more hands-on assistance, use sites like Odesk or Elance to hire freelancers by the hour for specific tasks such as link building or video creation.
10. Get Visual
Adding visuals to your content can help it stand out in a sea of text. Infographics, videos and SlideShares are all great ways to break up the monotony of a blog post and capture your audience’s attention. They also tend to get shared more often than text-only content.
11. Optimize Your Posts for Social Media
When you’re finished writing a blog post, be sure to optimize it for social media sharing. This includes adding social media sharing buttons (preferably with counts), embedding tweets and Facebook posts on the page and adding relevant hashtags. You can also use a tool like ClickToTweet to create shareable tweetables from within your content.
12. Syndicate Your Content
Syndicating your content on other websites can help you reach a wider audience and increase traffic back to your site. There are a number of ways to do this, including publishing guest posts on other sites, submitting articles to directories, or setting up a blogroll on your site. Just be sure to link back to the original post (or home page) so that readers can find the rest of your content.
13. Leverage Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit can drive a lot of traffic to your content if it’s done correctly. When submitting links to these sites, make sure you use engaging titles and descriptions that will make people want to click through. You can also add a link to the blog post below the article, mentioning that you “posted this article at [your blog]” to help get more exposure.
14. Write Guest Posts
Write guest posts for other blogs in your niche and include links back to your site. This is a great way to add content to your site without having to create it from scratch while also building relationships with potential clients or partners. How to publish a Wikipedia page from sandbox you can also do an interview post where you write a blog post about an influencer in your industry and ask them questions related to their business, which you then publish on your own site, adding a link back in your bio – just be sure they don’t see what you’re writing before posting!
15. Optimize Images/Videos
Optimizing images and videos for search can help drive traffic to your site. Include descriptive file names, alt tags and descriptions – they can all be optimized for SEO purposes. For video, make sure you include your target keyword in the title and description of the page where it’s uploaded.
Content marketing is a great way to build trust with potential clients and brand advocates . By producing high quality content that provides value to your audience, you’ll begin to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field which will drastically improve people’s opinions of you and your business. Engage with other industry professionals on social media platforms like Twitter by participating in trending hashtags related to your niche, linking back to those who share or retweet about it.