You probably already know that page ranking is vital to the success of a website. Search engine users are always looking for rapid results, so reaching the top of the first page of Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo is essential. The path to achieving this superior ranking is often misunderstood, though.
Creating content that ranks highly is about more than just stuffing keywords into a blog post and waiting for the hits to roll in. You'll need to strike the perfect balance between appealing to Google's algorithms – which contribute heavily to a website's page ranking – and user desires, which play a much more significant role in SEO than many realize.
Let's review ten steps you can take right now to optimize your blog posts. By following these guidelines, your content is more likely to attract the audience it deserves.
Before considering how your content will rank, work on your website. Complete a full audit of your site, from both a logistical and content standpoint, ensuring it runs smoothly. Check page loading speeds, general performance, and hunt down and remove dead links.
You should complete this process periodically – ideally every six months, annually at a minimum. No matter how unique your content and copy may be, it will not rank if other factors beneath the hood are not working in your favor.
When search engines are ranking content, they look for relevance. Search engines are businesses like any other. The product they offer is accurate, helpful information. Google is successful because it works tirelessly to pair search terms with their ideal results.
If you want your content to rank highly, ensure it is as relevant as possible to your audience and what they are looking for. If you are writing a blog about tourism in New York, keep the entire article on-point. Resist the urge to venture off-topic and on to tangents, such as similar landmarks in London, Paris, or Rome.
We have mentioned Google a few times in this guide, mainly because it is undeniably the king of the hill when it comes to search engines. This means, infuriating though it may be, you will need to appeal to Google's algorithms.
Algorithms are automated systems that Google uses to determine page ranking. At the time of this writing, Google has two primary algorithms in place that your content must please.
While you should keep these algorithms in mind, you do not need to strive too hard to impress them. For one thing, Google updates them regularly, and trying to guess what the conglomerate will do from one day to the next is akin to madness. Perhaps more importantly, you need to concentrate on impressing humans – not machines.
OK, we've ignored the elephant in the room long enough. The first step to using keywords is learning which are most appropriate for your content. Consider using keyword locating software to identify the best terms for your niche and industry. Such tools will also reveal which keywords your competitors use, potentially inspiring you to approach things differently.
Once you have identified your keywords, you can begin distributing them around your copy. The optimum keyword density is open for debate, but experts believe 1 – 2% is ideal. Try to avoid exceeding this where possible. If Google suspects you are deliberately keyword stuffing at the expense of quality content, your page ranking will be penalized.
This sounds obvious, but it still merits attention. Google may not conduct a complete spelling and grammar check on your content, but it will pick up on substandard copy. If your website is littered with typos and poor formatting, do not expect it to rank highly.
In addition, be mindful of what Google considers 'thin content’. That means plagiarized, irrelevant, repetitive, keyword-stuffed… basically, material that offers no significant value to the reader.
Instead, focus on creating content that unlocks new knowledge or perspectives. Not only is this type of content more valuable for readers, but Google will naturally reward novel information as well.
If you're lucky, you'll have evergreen content that remains as relevant for weeks, months, and even years after you post it as it was when you originally wrote it. However, even if this is the case, consider updating, refreshing, and editing your content regularly.
When a user makes a Google search, the results reveal when the blog (or associated content) was posted. Many people will be deterred if that date is from over two years ago. They will fear that the information is no longer relevant or that the link is dead. You can help ease their minds by regularly updating your blog posts and site.
We're going to keep this one simple. If you want to rank highly on a search engine – especially Google – your website must be mobile-friendly. With more people now browsing the web from smartphones and tablets than desktop computers, websites that lack functionality on a smaller screen are often buried in the rankings.
If you can attract backlinks from high authority sites, your reputation with Google will skyrocket. That essentially means building a relationship with websites that boast a domain authority score of 70 or higher.
This is often easier said than done. The most straightforward approach is finding broken links on these high authority sites and pitching existing content from your website to fill this void. This way, everybody wins. The master article no longer links to a non-existent source, and your website benefits from the association.
Another method is to pitch your blog or article idea to a high-authority site. Even if no payment is offered in exchange for this work, if you are credited as the author and include a link to your website, the impact will be sizable. You could also create a unique infographic, offering its use free of charge in exchange for full credit. We do not condone "working for exposure," but this is a little different!
Another quick tip is to avoid simply packing your website with lengthy text articles. Alternate between text and visuals – we're talking standard, static images, videos, or infographics. Any of these can be a great way to slip additional SEO keywords and backlinks into your content, all while enhancing the user experience.
Finally, align your website with any social media business pages to bolster your page ranking. For a start, users sharing your content will attract like-minded patrons to your site. More traffic means a greater ranking – Google will acknowledge that you provide content that users want to see.
Even more importantly, social media sharing makes it likelier that high-authority sites will discover your web presence. If you can start to attract backlinks from these locations, your own reputation with Google will soar.
In this guide, we’ve tried to demystify the process of SEO optimization. However, if it still seems like a daunting task, you may consider outsourcing your content marketing. Creative.onl says, "Hiring a content marketing expert is key to better content and results… a content marketing agency should deliver several fold on the investment you make in their services."
There you go: ten tips that can improve the way you write and create content on your website. Your priority should always be to provide value to your readers, which means staying focused and avoiding excessive self-promotion. If you’re able to do that, you’ll rank better on search engines as well as appeal to a broader audience interested in what you have to offer.
Want to level up your blog? Check out our full guide on how to write a blog post fast!
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