When you write for your audience, you want to do more than entertain with engaging prose and inform with thorough research. You also want your content to appear higher on the search engines than similar material. That’s where SEO comes in.
Search Engine Optimization, also commonly known as SEO, is the practice of crafting webpages with your content’s search index in mind. The webpages can include your blogs, funnels, and other activities.
In general, your SEO, particularly with Google, is determined by several main factors. These include:
You should also keep in mind that, as the internet evolves and changes, these rankings will shift. The algorithms to determine relevance are also shifting, and Google is increasingly relying on additional methods to determine search rankings. These include:
Beyond this, you will also want to take the following into account as you write top-notch content with SEO in mind:
Remember, most good content writing does not call attention to itself with meandering sentences and academic-sounding language. It simply fulfills its role of providing valuable information and keeping readers engaged to the end.
Fortunately, doing just this does not have to be a challenge. Keep your paragraphs short. While there is no hard and fast rule for the exact number of sentences that makes a paragraph, you should aim to keep yours under five at the very most.
Also, remember to write in active voice rather than passive voice. Not only is active voice more readable, it also tends to use fewer words, which in turns gets your point across much more quickly.
As a refresher, active voice looks like this: “The website lagged during the big sale.”
Passive voice, on the other hand, reads like this: “the website was slowed down by eager shoppers during the big sale.”
Ever read an article that offered a really good statistic and want to look it up for yourself, only to realize that you couldn’t find a source for that stat to jumpstart your research? Do not let your readers suffer the same! Boost your authority and SEO by providing hyperlinks to excellent sources. Good sources include nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and academic websites. Avoid linking to direct competitors and personal blogs.
One of the most important parts of SEO is keyword optimization, also known as keyword research. Keyword research is exactly what it sounds like: you must research and understand the terms that your target audience is most likely to search and then strategize how you can use these terms in your content in ways that are engaging, creative, and natural sounding.
Remember, the goal of SEO is to understand which of these terms will net the most traffic and then incorporate it into your page. Ideally, you want to have the term repeated throughout your page, but not in a way that makes it obvious. For example, in this section, the word ‘SEO’ is referenced multiple times. Importantly, it’s repeated in the title and major headers of the content.
It’s also a good idea to include the relevant search term within the first few sentences of your page, as these will be shown as a preview of the content in the search engine results.
Remember this is simply a basic overview of tips to optimize your content for SEO.
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