Optimized content marketing is the key to successful online promotion. A winning content optimization strategy starts with good on-page SEO, which lays a foundation for off-page promotion. Here are five tips for effective on-page optimization:
Read on to learn how to put each of these principles into practice to boost your on-page SEO performance.
Optimized content marketing starts with relevant, quality content that is unique to your site. Google’s SEO starter guide advises that making your content compelling and useful for your audience will influence your optimization more than any other factor.
In the past, internet marketers often attempted to write content for search engines by stuffing keywords into posts in order to influence ranking results. But in recent years, Google has increasingly used artificial intelligence to improve its ability to interpret natural language and detect unnatural patterns. Search engines now consider context as well as keywords, making keyword stuffing a futile effort prone to backfire.
In addition to appeasing search engine algorithms, making content relevant increases your likelihood of getting clicks from human search engine users and likes and shares on social media. If you want great search engine results, write for human audiences, and not just search engines.
In order to make your content relevant for human audiences, base your content on good keyword research and market research. Study other pages that are ranking high on your target keyword. Take note of what other questions and search topics are suggested in the results on that search term. Use other resources to collect data, such as market research reports and surveys. Use these pieces of information to determine what the intent of your target audience is when searching on a given keyword phrase.
You can then craft content that addresses your audience’s intent and needs. When creating content, review which topics are covered in competing content and how long competing pieces are. In order to win a top ranking, you will need to create something of comparable length which addresses the same issues but with a fresh slant or additional information. Offer your audience something beyond what they can get from other results on the same keyword search.
While relevance for human readers outweighs keywords for impact on your SEO results, the keyword you use still play an important role. Selecting the right keywords helps tell both human readers and search engines what your content is about. Where you place your keywords and how often you use them also influences your results.
Each page of content should focus on one primary target keyword phrase. Don’t use the same primary keyword for multiple pages, or your pages will end up competing against each other in search engine results. However, it’s okay to use other keyword phrases as secondary keywords on a page. Just make sure they fit in a natural way.
Use your primary keyword between three and five times per 1,000 words of text. Don’t use it excessively or you will run the risk of keyword stuffing. Include your primary phrase in strategic spots such as your title, headings, and the first paragraph.
Internal links serve several important functions for optimized content marketing. They encourage visitors on one page to click on other pages on your website, boosting the ranking of these pages and spreading link equity (link juice) around your site. They help visitors navigate your site, making your content more compelling. They also define the navigational structure of your site, helping search engines identify which of your pages are most important in your content hierarchy and how different pages relate to each other.
Your internal links should be relevant and natural just like your content in general. Use links that point readers towards supplementary information relevant to what they’re reading. Use relevant keywords in anchor text, but don’t artificially stuff the same keyword phrase into every link pointing towards a page. Insert a reasonable number of internal links, but don’t overdo it. Include an internal link in the first paragraph of your piece in order to encourage clicking, since many visitors won’t scroll down past the first paragraph. Many readers also skim down to the bottom paragraph, so your last paragraph is another good place to include an internal link.
One special type of internal link which can help your on-page SEO is calls to action (CTAs). A call to action promotes internal clicks by explicitly inviting your visitor to take an action guiding them to a specific page. This makes CTAs more likely to generate clicks than other internal links that don’t contain explicit instructions.
Normally, a call to action appears at the end of a post and invites the reader to take an action that represents a practical application of the content you’ve been presenting. However, you can also include CTAs in other parts of a post when appropriate. Repeating a call to action at strategic spots in a piece can reinforce it.
The appropriate language for your CTA depends on the nature of your content. Some content may logically suggest that the reader should take some buying action, which can be conveyed through words such as “get” or “buy”. In the case of a free trial offer, phrases such as “try” or “sign up” can be used. In other cases, it may be more strategic to suggest some action short of buying which can serve as a preliminary step towards a purchase, such as “learn”.
Following these steps to optimize your on-page content will lay a foundation for the successful off-page promotion of your website. A complete content strategy also depends on strategic keyword research, technical optimization and backlinking. SimpleTiger specializes in helping B2B SaaS companies develop customized SEO strategies that scale up traffic from your target audience. Use our short online form to schedule a discovery call and talk to our team about how we can help you optimize your content and increase your SEO results.