Thanks to our digitally connected world, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard plenty about SEO – search engine optimization for short. SEO is an interesting, complex beast that always grows and changes thanks to constantly-morphing search engine algorithms. To put it quite simply, search engine optimization is the long-haul process of creating relevant content, properly labeling your individual web pages, and building internal and external links to your website among other things.
The problem is that one month Google is rewarding original content and authorship; the next, they are prioritizing site speed and mobile responsive design. For the average business owner, it’s difficult to know what to do and when. A lot of small business owners understand content is king, but get lost in the weeds trying to develop it. We understand your frustration – the goal posts are always moving and there’s a whole laundry list of terms you need to know. Below are a couple easy content rules to follow that ensure strong rankings on search engines while retaining your sanity along the way…
Humans First, Search Engines Second
The number one golden rule to follow when writing content (whether it is your homepage, product pages, or blog) is simple: write copy for humans first, search engines second. Here’s your chance to catch a potential customer’s eye, engaging them with valuable information, while speaking directly to what they care about. Yes, you’ll want to put your primary keyword somewhere in the title, as well as in your intro and conclusion. Keywords themselves should flow smoothly with the rest of the content, like they’re not even there. If you sound stuffed, robotic, and awkward, there’s a strong possibility that you will turn off large amounts of people that end up on your site.
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See how boring that is? Sure I jammed the “marketing” keyword in there three times, which looks relevant to search engines, but the diction is dry and syntax is robotic…it just reads poorly to the human eye. Far too much content on the internet is written with the goal of ranking on search engines as the sole priority. It happens so often that Google penalizes sites in the results pages that employ “black-hat” SEO tactics like keyword stuffing (as seen above), duplicate content, and even scraped content.
Depth Of Content That Matters
Rule 2: write something people care about, and make it long enough to count. You are the business owner that knows your operation intimately – you know your customers, their needs, their struggles, their triumphs, their failures. Use this information to create content that speaks to the pain points and “A-ha” moments that every customer in your vertical goes through. You can go on and on about your services, existing clientele or company news, but you have to consistently ask yourself – is this content going to engage and benefit my customers at the end of the day?
Another concept central to developing rich copy is word count. 500 or more words is the sweet spot for blogs, posts, and articles that drive decent search engine ranking results. Google and other search engines want to see sites that are authorities on the subject matter – they do so by checking the length and depth of your content across your website. Further research shows that long-format content (around 2,000 words) also does incredibly well for search purposes – things like white papers, case studies, and technical writing can really help your SEO. Avoid producing thin content (under 300 words) that doesn’t provide any value to the end user regardless of how many keywords and links you use.
Tell A Story
To be honest, a lot of people miss the forest for the trees when discussing content from an SEO angle. You can implement “best practices” for keyword density, word count, and link building, but if you fail to tell your story, you might as well just post the wonderful prose achieved by smashing your face on the keyboard for 5 minutes straight. Running with the two points above, SEO content isn’t just about writing utility content that solves a site traffic problem – your content has to physically and emotionally engage, excite, and push readers to take action.
Brand storytelling is nothing new…but if you use it as an SEO strategy, you can make a large impact on your target audience. At the end of the day, your end users are human, and humans love a good story. It is critical to create content that connects with your audience, going beyond the utility or functionality of your products or services. Telling your brand story through sound content is a way to meet your end user halfway; it gives them the ability to create a bond with the deeper “how” and “why” of your business.
In conclusion, good content for SEO purposes employs the persuasion and psychology that should be part your brand. If you are able to publish content for human eyes that positions your company as an authority while giving people a reason to connect with a story, you will generate more engaged traffic and change your bottom line slowly but surely.
Still puzzled on where to start with your SEO content strategy? Give the brand and content experts a call at Digital Vitamin – you’ll be happy you did.
About Digital Vitamin
Digital Vitamin is a creative branding and marketing firm based in Los Angeles, California. Whether it is brand vision, digital platforms, performance marketing and advertising, or social media management, we know how to grow your brand in a hyper-connected world. Sick of the same old song and dance in your marketing? Get in touch with us today and find out how we can supercharge your business.