Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential part of content marketing. Without it, search engines will not pick up your content – and people won’t find it. Although the world of SEO is constantly changing, here are 10 easy things even complete technophobes can do to improve their SEO.
1. Alt Tags
When you add an image into your posts, what do you do afterwards? Leave it? Review whether it fits in with the rest of the text? Maybe even add in a caption.
What you need to do is change the image title and the “ALT” tags.
As you can see, this is easy enough to do – but it makes a large difference. When search engines such as Google crawl your site, they’re reading its code. Adding ALT text to your images helps the search engines to understand what your image is of, as well as what it adds to the content. (Bonus points: it allows your images to be found in image searches too!)
Often overlooked in favour of manual formatting, the heading function serves more purpose than just making your blog look pretty.
Headings are labelled numerically, from 1 to 6, and are how search engine’s spiders (the robots that crawl your site) will view the hierachy of your content. This is particularly helpful is you’re covering a lot of topics in one post, or writing one incredibly dense blog post.
An example of how to use headings:
<h1> A Content Marketers Guide To The Perfect Blog Post </h1> – This is your main heading – the title of your post. Think of headings as umbrellas; everything in this post is related to the first heading, so under the umbrella.
<h2> Blog Post Content </h2> – Header 2 ( <h2> ) is the next most important heading; this will tell the search engine what the next block of content is about. Everything in this block, until you reach the next <h2> is under this heading’s umbrella.
<h3> Headings </h3> – You can go all the way down from H1 to H6, depending on how in depth you want to structure your posts. In this example, we’ve used H3 to break down the topics covered in each H2 umbrella.
<h3> Use Of Images </h3>
<h4> Free Programs We Recommend For Images </h4> – As with before, H4 is lower than H3. This means that a search engine would read this sub-heading as of the use of images thread.
<h3> Sentence Structure and Reading Easibility </h3>
Not only do headings improve the user experience by making your content easier to read, they enhance your SEO.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential for good search engine optimisation. There are many free keyword tools that you can use (such as Google’s keyword planner), but finding doing keyword research allows you to target specific words.
4. Share Posts On Social Media
People that like content, or find it useful, often share it. This means that search engines see shared content as valuable. Having content that has been shared across social media acts as a little boost for your page ranking.
5. Optimise Site Speed
A less obvious factor for search engine optimisation is actually site speed. Search engines will favour your site if it loads faster.
6. Mobile Pages (AMP)
With the rise of the smartphone, a lot of searches are taking place on mobiles. Google especially places weight on websites that have AMP pages available. These pages are specifically designed to load quickly and accesibly on mobile phones.
7. Word Count
Although the very minimum word count that is recommended to get listed on most search engines is 300 words, longer posts tend to do better. In fact, posts with around 1,500-2,000 words are the best performing type of content.
8. Outbound Links
Including high quality outbound links is another great and easy tip for both search engine optimisation and users. Outbound links to reputable websites add value to your content, which both search engines and users love.
However, inbound links are just as important. Having other high quality sites linking to yours shows search engines that you’re trustworthy and reliable – which in turn leads to you getting higher page rankings.
10. Be Aware Of Algorithm Updates
Google especially is a large one for this. Sometimes, your site will be doing amazingly and then one day your views will just . . . drop. Is this an error in your analytics dashboard? No. The algorithm for page-ranking and how search engines will essentially “rate” your site is always changing. Be aware of this updates so that you can make the necessary changes and improvements.