Written by guest Amanda Tessier, a former SEO Specialist and current digital marketer.
There seems to be a prevailing assumption that marketing is magic and SEO is the wand that casts a spell to make your marketing extra effective.
While it’s far from fairy dust, SEO does give you some tactical methods to creating better content and finding your audience more effectively. We’ll just show you how best to use it, no spells needed.
What is SEO, really?
Search engine optimization focuses on making a website search-engine friendly so Google and Bing know when to show it in search results. Then, when someone enters a keyword related to your website, the search engines know to list it.
But search engines don’t always know which website would be best. They crawl millions of sites in the hopes of presenting the most relevant content to you, the user, so that you’ll continue to use their service. To give you content that you’ll most likely enjoy means ranking sites in order of their relevance. This is based on a variety of factors – time spent on page, social shares, and many others you can find here.
This is where your content plays a big role – you can publish pieces that better reflect a variety of search queries than your main website. You probably already published some great work, so here are 3 steps to make it perform even better.
Research What People Are Asking
Is it better to write about tech pr or technology pr? Just let Google tell you. Keyword Planner – which is free to all – will tell you the average monthly search volume (MSV) and give you keyword ideas.
To find a variety of questions that people are asking, insert your question into Answer the Public. Available in multiple countries, this tool gives you dozens of queries related to your term. Then take questions that are relevant to your website and find out how popular they are with Keyword Planner.
Headlines Should Be More Than Clever
By formatting the articles to answer questions, provide step-by-step instruction, or simply elaborating on a popular topic, you can grow an audience. If you format that query as an H1 in your header, the search engines will know exactly what your page is about.
Now that Google and Bing are improving their semantic understanding, you have the opportunity to rank in their Answer Box. This is the little blurb that appears above search results with a preview of instructions. For the best opportunity to appear here, format the question in the header as H1, then put the steps as subtitles with H2. Most blogging and content platforms will have preset formats for the font sizes of those headers.
If you need some help writing titles, Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer will rank them and tell you which one is best.
Make Social, Social
Now that social networks are a major distributor of content, search engines include it when measuring your content’s relevance. This is true both when social media drives referral traffic to your content, as well as readers share your work on their networks.
Social encompasses more than just Facebook and Twitter – industry-specific communities such as Quibb, for technology professionals, and Inbound.org, for marketing professionals – can drive highly relevant traffic. The more activity your content sees on these channels, the more relevant search engines consider it.
PS: Have you noticed that the marketing icon in Pardot is a wand? Even they think there’s some magic in marketing.