In the age of the internet, good search engine optimisation (SEO) practices are paramount to success. Stepping into the world of SEO can be daunting. However, a few practical tips can get you started and help you achieve your digital marketing goals.
1. Include relevant keywords in your content
SEO keywords help search engines understand what your website is about, therefore, directing the right people to your page. While ranking highly in organic search results is important, you also need to make sure your page appears to people who are actually seeking the services or content you provide. Choosing relevant keywords that best represent your business is crucial to establishing an accurate identity with search engines.
You should include the most applicable words and phrases throughout your website: in the headers, page titles, content, and anywhere else they naturally fit. Search engines will penalise you for overusing—or stuffing—keywords, so you should aim for organic integration. Natural usage also makes your content more readable, and readability should always be your primary goal when writing.
Apps, which I’ll discuss later, can help you identify the best keywords to use. However, you should employ common sense when deciding which suggestions are relevant to your site.
If you operate in a specific location, mentioning the name of your town or city will get you seen by local eyes. For example, I could state here that I’m a Hervey Bay freelance writer, as I do on other parts of my site, and search engines will quickly begin to understand who, where, and what I am.
You should also aim for a mix of short and long-tail keywords. Short-tail usually means one or two words, such as freelance writer, whereas long-tail involves longer phrases, such as hire a freelance writer on the Fraser Coast. You’ll want to aim for the things people are likely to be typing when searching for businesses such as yours.
In short, you should Identify relevant keywords and sprinkle them throughout your content. That way, search engines can generate an accurate picture of your site’s identity.
2. Use blog posts to draw traffic to your site
While blog posts are ideal places to sprinkle SEO keywords, they’re also an excellent way to bring people to your site. If you can consistently produce relevant, informative content, you can attract people who aren’t even interested in your services, which isn’t a bad thing. Search engines recognise when sites are useful and rank them accordingly. An active blog and consistent traffic are good indicators of a thriving website and will help boost your ranking.
Additionally, you can use posts to showcase your expertise and build consumer confidence. Clients want to know they’re hiring a professional, and a blog is an excellent way to offer knowledge, advice, and to discuss the things you’re passionate about.
Blogging for SEO purposes requires planning and structure. Each post should have a primary intent to inform, with additional goals taking later priority. Moreover, consistency is the key to success, so you should plan ahead and try to produce content on a strict schedule. For example, I post a new blog entry every Wednesday. If I didn’t make that commitment, I’d decide that other tasks are more important, delay or neglect posting, and ultimately fail to maintain a consistent output.
To get the best results in blogging or any other endeavour, you must set clear, achievable goals and consistently meet them.
3. Aim for backlinks
A good way to give your site more authority in the eyes of search engines is to have other pages link to you. You can do some of this yourself by adding your website to your social media accounts. But to create truly effective backlinks, you need authoritative pages directing people to yours.
If you have a relationship with any relevant websites or businesses, now would be the time to discuss backlinking. You can even return the favour.
Also, guest posting on other pages relevant to your industry can help get your website out there and, if your content is engaging, drive people to your site. Writing, however, isn’t everyone’s specialty, and many businesses find other creative ways to get seen.
For me, I’m a staff writer at MakeUseOf.com, which means every article I write earns a backlink and boosts my own website’s standing.
4. Use SEO tools
Choosing the right tools for the job can make SEO easier and more effective. Options include keyword generators, analytics software, plugins, and more. I won’t go into details or mention any specific flavours, but having at least one app that helps with keyword identification and another that provides feedback on performance is beneficial.
5. Hire a professional writer
I couldn’t end this post without a bit of cheeky self-promotion. Well, I could have, but I never let a good opportunity go to waste.
In all seriousness, SEO and content creation require dedication. If running a business occupies most of your time, you may not have room in your schedule for writing blog posts and crafting engaging content. Furthermore, chances are you’re not a trained writer and although most of us can string a sentence or two together, not everyone is an accomplished wordsmith.
Effective SEO and digital marketing require commitment and expertise. If you’d prefer to have a professional freelance writer handle the hard stuff, get in touch with me to discuss how I can help.