So, you have spent hours on the perfect blog post for your website content. It’s so wonderful that you are certain you will see an astronomical spike in people visiting your website. After a few days, you prepare to see that number shoot up when you look at the analytics. Then you click onto the page and your heart sinks. Your traffic didn’t budge. What went wrong?
Long-tail Keyword Research for Website Content
Your website content has a much better chance of ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPS) in a space that is less competitive. Find a topic you know your visitors care about and envision them searching for. Optimise your blog post for a long-tail version of this keyword. Three to four words are better than short queries. Learning about what your users care about can be done in many ways. From surveys to other forms of market research, the efforts will help you to learn what your visitors are looking for.
Keyword research is essential for finding our what people look for and their intent, as well as search trend data. Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Another great first step is to analyse the internal search terms on your site. This will show you what your current users are looking for.
Don’t forget to conduct some competitor research. Who has already covered similar topics? How well did they cover them? Is their content outdated? It may be worth talking with your customer service or sales teams to find any common issues they may have and write something to answer this query.
Headline and Metadata
Ensure that your long-tail keywords and related phrases appear throughout your content to indicate that your article addresses the topic. This included titles and sub-headings. A key thing to optimise on the page is the meta title. This is what appears in SERPs. The standard format for this is Primary Keyword, Secondary Keyword, then Brand Name for most pages.
For your most important landing pages, however, it’s worth getting creative and speaking to the user by using emotive storytelling language. When changing meta titles, it is worth measuring the impact on where your page ranks to make sure there is no negative impact from removing the keywords.
Similarly, meta descriptions are the descriptive snippets seen in SERPs. Meta titles and descriptions should be around 55 characters and 155 characters. It is important to ensure your metadata reflects the content and message of your blog post so that the value is clear. You can experiment with things such as brackets and numbers in your page to see how it affects the percentage of people who click on your article via SERPs.
Begin the post with a short and snappy introduction to ensure it is interesting. This is arguably the most important part of your content as it’s where readers will decide if it’s worth continuing. Personal anecdotes and good literary techniques keep your content engaging. Be sure to capture their imagination as making use of emotional persuasion can be extremely effective.
When it comes to word count, longer content seems to rank better. This doesn’t, however, mean that content should be long for the sake of it. If your content is informative and useful to the reader and cannot be condensed, then the longer-form content can work, but up to 1,000 words are fine. Experimenting with different lengths of content is great for seeing what does and doesn’t work for your readers. We do, however, suggest a minimum of 300 words for the best SEO.
Some content can’t be improved by visuals. If relevant, it makes content far more engaging for the reader and indicates to search engine spiders that your content is rich and varied. It is important to make sure that visuals are not just overly happy stock images. Use imagery that demonstrates the point you wish to make.
Alt text is also essential as it follows accessibility regulations. These allow users with screen readers to be able to access your content. What’s more. It gives search engines more of an indication of what is on that page. If relevant, it can be another place for your long-tail keywords.
Structuring your online data informs search engines on what is on that page. Schema markup is a semantic vocabulary, communicating meaning to search engine bots. This allows them to display data more accurately. Words within your article now have context. A great thing about schema markup is that it allows search engine crawlers to display information intelligently. This improves how content appears in SERPS. Schema means your pages are more eye-catching in SERPs. This will improve your click-through rate and increase traffic.
Publishing articles on a regular basis show that you are engaged with your industry. It also indicates that your website is always up to date. A great place to start is by drawing up a content calendar. Depending on the type of blog post, it can be smart for you to keep old articles updated with accurate content if relevant to that particular topic.
It is important to state within the body of the text that the article is updated. Doing so ensures that users can be aware of how recent the article is as this may affect how they interpret the information. You will find more people following a blog post about SEO from 2017 than you would a similar article from 2012. Why? Because SEO is a fast-paced industry. An article from 2012 would contain very little relevant information today.
While this is not the be all and end all to increase the ranking of your blog posts, sticking to these principles will lead to search engines favouring your website over others. Be sure to track and test the changes that you are making in order to attribute to any spikes in ranking to a particular SEO implementation to prioritise for next time.
Talk to Search and More
Of course, having a professional copywriting team to ensure these steps are followed can make building traffic a low easier. At Search and More, this is something we offer on a weekly basis as part of our pick ‘n’ mix service. To find out more about what we can do to help your business grow online, get in touch!