Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about getting people to see your content online. But if you’re doing it wrong – even though your content is amazing – it can be frustrating given the time, effort and resources it takes to plan and write on a consistent basis.  Search engines love content, but they’ll love it (and you) more if you follow SEO copywriting guidelines.

How does SEO work?

Google and other search engines use algorithms and data to rank results based on how relevant they think they are to your search. Targeted SEO helps search engines see your content as relevant or not, and rank it higher based on that, so your blog or article might appear in the top 50 results instead of the bottom billion.  

5 SEO Marketing Strategies for Higher-Ranking Content

1. Make your Topic and Title Specific. If you search Google for “marketing,” you’ll get 2,440,000,000 results. Instead of such a broad keyword, choose one that’s narrow and specific, like “How to Market Your Small Business with Nextdoor.” The more particular your topic is, the less likely it is to get lost in millions of search results and the more likely it is to rank.

2. Research Relevant Questions. Once you pick a topic, use a SEO Tool to find related questions people are asking online. If you type in “marketing small businesses,” for example, you’ll get 322 related questions, like “How can digital marketing help small businesses during a pandemic?”

Related questions tell you what people are searching for online. Use these as ideas and inspiration for article topics and subtopics. That way, people have a better chance of finding your content to get the information they’re looking for.

3. Research and Update Keywords. This article by Andy Crestodina gives you a Step-by-Step Guide on How to Research for Keywords. You’ll find SemRush there and other top tools to check out. What’s most important is that you choose keywords based on their relevance to your business, their search volume (how often people search them), and competition for the keywords. Ideal keywords have high relevance, high search volume, and low competition.

Google Trends is also an excellent tool to use to improve your SEO marketing. In this article from Entrepreneur.com, Nick Chernets outlines, 7 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEO. It’s definitely worth a read.

As you’re writing, remember to sprinkle keywords throughout your content and include primary keyword(s) in the title, subtitles, and first paragraph of your article. Use them early on to maximize your SEO.

4. Get Higher Ranking with Backlinks. Another strategy to improve ranking is to persuade websites to link to your content. Search engines consider the number of backlinks you have when they rank content; the more backlinks your content has and especially to authoritative sites, the more likely it will rank higher.

To get websites to link to your content, create content that websites will want to link to. Write articles and blogs that are detailed, relevant, and have valuable information that people want to know. Write blogs that are better than blogs people are already linking to – and as always, create and promote a strong brand.

You can also reach out to businesses in your industry that aren’t competitors and ask them to link to your content (or update an older link from another source). Give them a reason why it benefits you both and start a conversation. Since you’re already writing, pitch being a guest blogger, which helps gain backlinks, too. A good rule of thumb is to be polite but not a pest in your outreach.   

5. Make your website user friendly and mobile friendly. Google ranks pages higher if they are user-friendly and mobile-friendly, so design content for both desktop and mobile devices. It’s also important that your website and blog are visually appealing and easy to read. Add pictures and subheadings to avoid reader’s being overwhelmed.  No one likes a solid block of text, that just prompts visitors to leave; (and sadly, they may never return).

Lastly, optimize your website’s speed. Google considers page speed as part of their ranking. Viewers have short attention spans and they’ll leave if they have to wait for your site to load for more than a couple seconds.

There’s no one secret to copywriting for SEO or marketing your business. The best course of action is always to study, practice, and see what works. You can DIY or get marketing help; it depends on how fast you want results. You can’t be perfect at everything.

For more SEO tips, check out my Fast Marketing Minute podcast, 3 Ways to Improve SEO Visibility without Fixing Your Website.

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