SEO rules are complicated and ever-changing, but the basics are straightforward: there can be no SEO without creating great SEO-friendly content first.
Here’s how to do just that:
You can’t implement SEO techniques if you don’t create content that can engage the audience first. Through content, you should establish yourself as the expert on the subject of interest for your target market. Not all content you upload on your website needs to be strictly around one niche, but don’t go too far: keep the topics industry-related.
Punchy, evocative headlines are what get people to click. Even if your content ranks high, if the headline doesn’t grab attention, people won’t click on it. The same principles apply to meta descriptions. As headlines and meta descriptions are what potential readers see first, they should be grabbing, provide a clear picture of the content, and contain strategic keywords.
This brings us to the next step. Everyone knows that well-placed keywords are necessary for the content to rank high. But the way and form you incorporate keywords in the content matters. Readers will see right through and leave if the keyword placement is unnatural.
Moreover, if you overstaff your text, Google will likely see it as an attempt to “hack the algorithm” and penalize you accordingly. Pay attention to search queries and try using long-tail keywords (keywords that contain 3+ words) for more authentic content.
Natural links can significantly boost your ranking. “Natural” is the keyword here.
Google is smart, and you will get caught if you try to boost your ranking by artificially buying spammy links or mass backlinking. Don’t panic! Linking to your website and specific content pieces on that website is OK, as long as you don’t overdo it. Keep it to 3-4 links per text, and try to include an outbound link every once in a while. Links should fit the content and not overwhelm the text.
Properly structured content retains more readers. No matter how great your content is, if it’s not easy on the eyes, most readers will opt out before they finish reading the first sentence.
Keep to short paragraphs and use proper tag hierarchy (H1 for the main title, H2 for in-text headings, H3 for subheadings). This back-end organization can also help with search engines, even though it’s primarily aimed at reader retention.
Another way to up visual attractiveness is to add proper imagery. For example, adding not only a top banner but a few pics in the text itself can significantly help with visual palatability. At the same time, adding proper meta descriptions to the images can help with SEO.
Make sure your readers know the author of the text you wrote and where they can find similar content.
Implementing Google Authorship can be very useful for the first step (it’s quickly done through a Google+ account). After implementation, your content will pop up with text snippets in search engines, your photo, along with the title. This tends to increase click through rates for the content and serves as a personal promotion tactic.
For the second part, keep your content in one place, preferably your blog or website, under your domain name. Wherever you promote your content, the original should be on your website, and you should share/embed it from there.
While we’re on the topic of sharing – social media can be an indispensable tool for propelling your content up in the rankings.
Not only share the content through your social media but make sure it’s shareable by readers. For example, add short descriptions and call-to-action. In other words, don’t feel shy about asking your readers to “comment and share” your content.