“How To Optimize Website Content The Right Way!” by Marshall Adler
First off, “SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the simple act of refining your keywords, content strategy and link building efforts to show Google and other engines that you’re the most relevant answer (website) to show up for a query.
That’s probably the best definition I’ve ever created for “What is SEO?” Wow!
Anyway, I wrote this article because A) it’s been more than a week since I’ve published anything, been slammed with new clients and projects from the last two articles and B) because there’s a lot of argument around the idea of ‘search engine optimized content’.
There’s also a lot of myths being passed around on the Internet between 98%-style SEO and marketing firms and their clients which make up the majority of business owners who may be working with someone to increase traffic and online conversions.
This is for all of you who are “listening” to what your marketing people are exclaiming to you is the ‘right way’ to optimize your on-page website content and for those of you who have websites and aren’t working with anyone and want to know what we think about the subject of “optimized content”, this will be a great read also.
So, how to optimize website content? First I want to give some facts and then discuss the latest myths and controversy and then I want to give you my blueprint for how to write the content the way we do to get Google’s attention and command top rankings.
So let’s dive in…
Were you aware that web traffic is what drives content marketing?
It’s like “duh!”. You publish content on a blog or website and you do it daily and weekly because you believe you’re going to receive quality and hopefully targeted web traffic.
If you didn’t receive web traffic or that wasn’t your goal then you’re a wasteful writer, in the sense of marketing online. I know many writers who write just to write but this article is not for those people, it’s for people who want to optimize their website content to attract more visitors and ultimately make more sales.
Web traffic is the largest portion of content marketing success! Believe it or not 2/3 of B2B marketers say that “content fuels their marketing”.
For the longest time, I didn’t care about content. I was focused on just coding alone to rank websites and then Panda updates began rolling out and I realized that if I wanted to play the “page one ranking” game I would need to get good at publishing optimized content.
Believe it not, if you have content that is well-written (and I know I suck at my grammar and typeface and spelling and whatever else you naysayers come up with) that answers questions and is optimized for your buyers, 57% of your site visitors are willing to complete the sales process without even talking to a sales rep. Content sells on auto.
According to Brafton, “Google says that ‘optimized’ content is key to top rankings!”
If you truly want to become an expert in writing optimized content that gets found quickly by searchers on Google, Yahoo and Bing you’ll need to become an expert in Panda guidelines. That’s the gatekeeper.
From my own knowledge bank, Panda is the algorithm guideline that looks into factors specifically that include how expertly the content is written, the quality of the source and the author, if it’s original and not a duplicate and is authoritative, complete and well-researched.
How many times have you been to a website where the person talks all about themselves and they say things like, “We’re the best in the industry and we have the best customer service.” Hold on a second, what year is this? Is it 2017 right?
Good customer service is expected in nearly all industries in today’s marketplace.
I’m so sick and tired of hearing people say that what makes them different is their customer service. That’s just baloney. Either it’s a standard you live up to or you say it all the time to reiterate an expectation that people have over you in your business.
Now, many of you have heard me over time bash blogging. I don’t think blogging is bad at all. It’s just time-consuming and at the end of the day if you’re a blogger and publishing content all the time or even just consistently every month you are doing so in hopes of driving traffic. Otherwise, you are a loner and I can’t image sitting there doing blog posts all day for no reason.
Optimized blogs are super powerful right now. Did you know, 8 out of 10 Internet users are reading blogs and social media which account for 23% of the total time spent online? If you have newsworthy and entertainment-value-added material, blog it up!!
One of the biggest myths that I’ve heard from web developers and other online marketing ‘consultants’ is that “Keyword Density” is no longer a ranking factor.
That’s BS! Where does Google say that? See I don’t care about other websites and what they publish as being the ‘correct’ way to do things online. I care about the Source so if Google hasn’t published anything on their forums saying that Keyword Density is no longer used then guess what? It’s still active and present in your rankings.
So how do you calculate keyword density when writing optimized content?
Easy, after you write your article, web page or blog post, go back through using CTRL + F and find all the keyword strings you used. Say for example you are targeting the phrase “blogging is fun” and you get to the end of writing and you’ve written 500 words and used this keyword phrase 10 times. You simply divide 10/500 then multiply by 100 and that gives you the Density % of your article.
An easy standard to live by is making sure your content always has at least a 2.5% KD.
There’s a lot of BS in the Internet Marketing world and a lot of people are spreading the lies of bad marketers who believe they know enough of the algorithm to make sense of how to get page one placements and drive quality traffic.
For example, one of the myths I often hear is that Google no longer uses the “keywords tag” to rank websites. Really? I’ve been successfully using it in all my SEO for 8 years and continually I get top rankings for the terms I put in there.
Remember, if Google doesn’t publish it, it’s not true and in this case, while there is a lot of dispute and debate about whether it’s valid toward your rankings, I believe it still works because of the success I have achieved in such a short time frame.
For example, I used Meta Keywords on a web page for my Stepdad whose an architect in Sunnyvale CA. I did a simple content page for him, perfectly optimized head to toe for the primary term: “residential architects Sunnyvale CA”
I published it two days ago and submitted it to Google and today it’s page one at the bottom I believe. It’s that easy. I don’t understand how people really believe this crap that the Meta Keywords tag is no longer used. It is used; at least on all my websites.
Get like me and you might become a Top Influencer in your space also.
Another myth I hear is that “you can still rank page one with just images and videos and less content is good because a lot of content creates clutter and looks messy.”. Huh?
Are you puffing that mighty seed? Riding the white dragon? Blowing in the glass tube?
The Google robot can’t see your images. It can only read text and ALT tags. Sure images on a web page are great but without optimized content in the image ALT tag you’re basically dead in the water and you’re missing out on receiving the best placement for your web page because optimized content includes optimized images.
And less is more? Maybe I can see how Photographers think like this. They want to showcase their work and not bog people down with hundreds of words. And while I respect the aesthetically-minded individuals who think “less is more” in general, in online marketing and especially in ranking page one, the more ‘in-depth content’ you have the better. For example, this website has so much in-depth content that it drives nearly 10,000 visitors a month and has a real low bounce rate.
The final myth I want to bring up is “Content isn’t everything.” You’re right it isn’t.
There are thousands of ways to promote your business, products, and services but if you intent to get top rankings for top keywords and generate business online on autopilot, you need content because without it you‘re missing out on 57% of users who will happily take action and buy without ever having to talk to you.
I love automatic sales. What about you?
Okay, so I’ve given you a lot of dribbles so far… now let’s talk about how to write optimized website content the right way and this is how I do it:
- Write great headers – Aside from body content, the most important piece of content for SEO campaign is your header or headline. It should be H1 and should be bolded and centered on the top of every page and preferably should be the first letter of each word is capitalized and it should be a statement or question that uses your keywords.
- Stay away from stuffing – Stuffing is a dangerous practice where you put a bunch of keywords into a block of text hoping Google will rank you for those terms. It doesn’t work that way. Each piece of content 500 words or less should be optimized for one primary keyword phrase and up to (2) variations.
- Optimize your keywords for many channels – Keywords are obviously important to your website but they are also important for social media and email. To optimize your website content for multi-channel visibility you need to be consistent in your keywords across all the platforms you use. For example, if your primary term is: “lose weight fast in 30 days” then you would make sure that’s apparent on your web page, blog post, video description, press release, make sure it’s plastered all over your Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter profiles as well. Staying consistent also means writing good meta tags, being unique and including citations. Google loves when you reference relevant authorities in your industry. Shows that you’re all apart of one big network or category.
- Write good meta content – Thаt littlе bit called уоur meta description might bе mоrе important thаn уоu realize. Think оf thеm аѕ уоur organic PPC copy; whаt users will ѕее if уоur content ranks high enough. 2-3 sentence iѕ аll уоu nееd there, аnd bе ѕurе tо include уоur mаin keyword. Treat уоur title tags likе a 4-8-word advertisement fоr bеѕt results.
- Bе unique – All оf thе content уоu create ѕhоuld bе unique, ѕо you’ll wаnt tо strike a balance bеtwееn curated content аnd original content. Thiѕ iѕ оnе оf thе bеѕt wауѕ tо optimize уоur site fоr SEO.
- Include citations – Find аnd mention industry leaders thrоughоut уоur content tо back uр уоur content. Google cares аbоut уоur sources аnd tо rank wеll you’ll wаnt tо link tо industry leaders. Moz’s MozBar саn hеlр уоu make ѕurе you’re uѕing good sites; thе DA (Domain Authority) score ѕhоuld ideally bе 50 оr more. However, thе DA metric isn’t set in stone, ѕо uѕе it with judgment. Additionally, in web content, you’ll wаnt tо link strategically thrоughоut уоur оwn text back tо thе mоѕt important pages оf уоur site.
- Hаvе high word counts – Did уоu knоw thаt word count саn play аn important раrt оf SEO ranking? Tо рrоvidе thе mоѕt vаluе fоr уоur audience аnd rank аѕ wеll аѕ роѕѕiblе in SERPs, write long-form content bеtwееn 300-2,000 words. Seek tо address еvеrу question thаt соuld bе raised оn уоur topic.
- Make ѕurе аll оf уоur content iѕ well- Sounds simple, but it’s crucial. Content thаt iѕ filled with typos, misspellings, poor-quality links, оr tоо mаnу keywords will harm уоur SEO ranking аnd drive readers away. (Thank god I’m not trying to rank these articles that I write. 🙂 Proofread еvеrуthing (or hire a proofreader).
- Earn great links – In addition, tо uѕing good links in уоur content, you’ll wаnt tо earn high-quality links frоm thе оutѕidе аѕ well. Thе bеѕt wау tо dо thiѕ iѕ tо create аnd publish uѕеful content thаt includes уоur keyword terms аnd draws social shares. Ovеr time, thе links will come.
- Post оftеn аnd consistently – Content iѕ thе #1 ranking factor fоr SEO аnd whеn уоu post often, уоur content gеtѕ shared more, viewed more, linked tо mоrе аnd helps уоu earn bеttеr rankings. Fоr bеѕt results, post tо уоur vаriоuѕ channels ѕеvеrаl timеѕ a week аnd nеvеr lеt a blog sit unattended fоr long.
Now, if you read that last step and thought “Crap he’s telling me to post all the time and do blogging and social media and promote the cross-platform and it’s just too much and I just don’t have that kind of time. I just want to be #1 and beat out the competition and make more money on autopilot from my site.” The answer? Sky High Media!
At my company, we optimize and rank websites page one in 90-days or less for Local campaigns and 180-days or less for National. You get to choose your keywords.
Once you know where the money is and can pinpoint which keywords will drive traffic and produce the most ROI, you’ve won half the battle. The rest is your content and how well you promote it afterward to drive traffic that converts.