If search engines can't see you, how will your user?
Search engines exist to discover, understand and organize content on the internet in order to provide users with the most relevant results. You need to be visible to search engines because if you cannot be found, there is no way you will ever show up in the search engine results page (SERPs). And in order to be discovered, you need to do a whole lot of research to optimize your efforts.
User needs and behaviour
First, you must understand your user needs and behaviours. How do your users search for the type of content you are offering? Take note of the trends while you conduct keyword research.
The more robust market research you can conduct prior to launching new content with your audience the better. What problem are you solving for your user? Will they find your content useful and relevant? You may not nail it the first time but remember that you learn through trial and error.
Once you have a better understanding of your user's search behaviour you should optimize your content in an effort to reach your user. Having SEO best practices like keyword density and headline optimization in your back pocket is key in generating SEO-friendly content right the first time. You will also want to focus on on-page technical SEO elements and clearly define your goals and objectives to keep your efforts focused.
Using a 3rd party SEO tool can give you a lot of information about your site's performance. You can measure, monitor and evaluate the onsite and off-site aspects of your website's level of search engine optimization. You can often use the same tools for managing your social media accounts, which is convenient for keeping your data in one place as you navigate your content strategy.
While each SEO tool offers something slightly different than the other, you can generally find out the following information:
- URL and keyword analysis to review your page optimization score
- On-page factors that are helping or hurting your your page
- Receive step-by-step recommendations on how to fix issues and improve the performance of your page
- Keyword research
- Link research
- Manage campaigns
- Compare your site to competitors
- Check the rank of your site & pages
- Perform on-demand site crawls
Once you have content that is seemingly search friendly, you can move forward with publishing and promoting your content. You should also strategically link your content internally so that the structure of your blog is more robust and your audience has a more pleasant experience navigating your site.
Clearly defined measurement
Upon publishing content, you want to ensure you have clear measurements in place based on your defined strategy, goals and objectives of your business.
Some ways you can measure your content are through social engagement (shares), focusing on top-performing content, analyzing performing keywords and observing user behaviour trends. Among many more, these elements will give you clear insight into what is working well and what may not land with your audience. From here, you can tailor your future content to reach your audience more effectively.
Bridge the gap between you and your audience
Providing clear, concise and actionable content to your audience enables you to build trust, authority and credibility as a brand. Not only do you want it to be engaging, it’s key that it’s measurable.
Here are some useful resources on SEO & content strategy to help guide you:
- Moz Pro: Technical SEO - The Beginners Guide to SEO
- Search Engine Journal: Your essential Guide to Internal Content Linking
- C&D: The Essential Elements of User-Friendly Content