How to Optimize Your Content for Search
Did you know that there are five billion internet searches worldwide every day across Google and other search engines?
If consumers are relying that heavily on search for their news, information, and entertainment, then you need to be doing all you can to rise to the top with your content.
Paid search is certainly one way—but for a more organic approach to being found, here are five tips to help:
1. Create valuable content
Provide your audience with unique, well-written material or video that focuses on a primary keyword or phrase. Be careful not to stuff your content with keywords to manipulate your page rank―you could be penalized by search engines for doing so.
2. Construct a network of quality backlinks
This means having links to your own content included in other authoritative content (like well-known blogs or websites). Remember, it’s not the quantity of your backlinks that matters, it’s the quality. Poor quality links can hinder your chances of being found in search.
3. Refresh content regularly on your owned media channels
Your website, blog, and social channels are at your discretion―you control what content is published at what frequency. Don’t let it get stale! You can also provide fresh, current content in your online newsroom. By doing this regularly, you will see how relevant content rises organically in search engines.
4. Remember the link love!
If you give love by sharing links to other resources, then you will get the love back in the form of links to your content. Sharing resources to help others has become the norm and is a highly accepted practice.
5. Clearly present a call to action
If people find your content, you want to make sure that they know what to do next and understand the best way to connect and engage with you. What’s the next step? Register for a webinar, download a whitepaper, or ask sales for a product demo?
SEO and Press Releases
Are press releases part of your marketing and communications programs? If they are, it’s critical that they’re optimized for search.
Here are some dos and don’ts to bolster SEO with your press releases.
- Use short headlines (between 25-55 characters) that feature your most highly targeted keywords. And don’t forget to place your company name in the headline!
- Write an introductory sentence or paragraph that concisely summarizes the most important information your press release is going to convey.
- Use the “inverted pyramid” writing style―making sure the most important information comes first, with supporting details after.
- Write with short, declarative sentences that state the main point(s) as concisely and simply as possible.
- If you’re quoting someone within the company, take this opportunity to link back to his or her blog or LinkedIn Influencer page.
- Use compelling, relevant images in your release that are at least 60 by 90 pixels in size.
- Look to embed video into your press releases, so that your content can be easily shared through new channels.
- Embed Google Maps into the release if you’re a national or franchised business with physical locations.
- Consider the reach and optimization of the wire service you’re using to issue your release.
- Stuff as many keywords as possible into your release at the expense of clarity or brevity.
- Spend your energy trying to rank for generic, extremely popular keywords (e.g., “technology”).
- Use superlatives like “one of a kind” or “groundbreaking.”
- Include more than one or two “filler” words in your headline that you aren’t trying to rank for, including conjunctions. Any word that wouldn’t be capitalized in a headline is a “filler” word.
Just as it takes time and effort to create great content, you also need to dedicate the proper resources and time to mapping out your optimization strategy.
These tips are just a starting point for creating content that’s optimized for search. Optimization is no easy feat, and it won’t happen overnight—so be vigilant and patient!