Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial part of your e-marketing strategy. Why is SEO important? In our overview of online marketing: E-Marketing is Evolving we explained that SEO affects your ranking with search engines like Google. The higher your ranking, the more prominent you’ll be on search engine result pages (SERP). This helps people find you, and the closer to the top of the search results you appear, the more significance you have. The perception is that links or companies that appear higher in the results are more relevant to the searcher’s needs. Not to mention that “75% of users never scroll passed the first page of search results!” If you think that’s bad, check out more SEO statistics here.
Although there are many factors that go into your SEO ranking, today we are going to focus on what to consider when writing for SEO. Google is currently using an algorithm entitled Hummingbird to search the web and “read” your content. But what is Google looking for when it “reads” your content?
Well-written body content contains:
- Keywords, key terms, and key phrases
- Heading titles
- Questions asked and answered
- Targeted writing for your audience
Keywords, Key Terms, and Key Phrases
It is important to saturate your content in keywords because of keyword searches. However, the incorporation of key terms into your writing has to be done with finesse. No one wants to read something that is obviously littered with key phrases and seems to only be written for search engines. The challenge is learning how to write inside a box, but make it seem as if you’re outside the box.
Make your title interesting, but also try to incorporate one or more keywords. Your title should also be a part of the URL of that page. This gives you two places for natural keyword placement. Also break your content up by using titles. Not only does this point out sections for search engine spiders crawling across your page, it is easier for your reader (the human one). Unfortunately we now live in a world of scanners instead of readers. Headlines and titles help the reader hone in on what they really want to read.
Ask and Answer Questions
Why would you bother asking questions in your content? Like it or not, we are starting to move away from keyword-only searches. Do you find yourself typing in full questions to Google? This is a new feature of the Hummingbird algorithm. If your content has the same question being asked in the search – and it includes an answer – Google will pick it up faster. Currently for Chrome users, Google has a “new information card feature — which displays answers to questions posed directly in the sidebar of the results page — to steal away traffic that would otherwise arrive from search clickthroughs.”
Write for Your Audience
Considering your audience should be a no brainer. If you conceptualize how your target market is searching in your industry then you’ll be able to write based on what terms or questions they are using. If you have already included their search within your content, the higher the chance you’ll show up sooner in the results.
By incorporating SEO into your internet marketing strategy not only will you start to see more traffic (which will help with ROI), but it’s also a great way to save on expenses. Optimized content will help raise you up on results pages without spending any money on Adwords. Oh – and by the way – if you haven’t already checked out the SEO statistics page, paid ads are ignored by 70-80% of users.
So, at the risk of being cliché: don’t you want to get more bang for your buck?