• Learn SEO

SEO & Content Marketing: Top 10 Tips and Strategies

  • Nikola Gemeš
  • 7 min read
SEO & Content Marketing: Top 10 Tips and Strategies

Intro

Whether you run a small business or a Fortune 500 company, SEO impacts us all. But I like to see that as a blessing. Since SEO determines how easily your customers can find you, I’ve always thought of it as an equalizer.

A rare few of us can compete with the marketing campaigns of giants like Procter & Gamble and Nike. However, even a startup with a modest budget can appear among the first results of search engines. How? By optimizing their content.

Here are the top 10 SEO tactics every content manager and business owner can apply.

On-page SEO goes much beyond using your keyword a few times on your front page. Although primary keywords are important, to rank in Google today you also need to add synonyms and other keywords related to your content.

The reason behind this is the new Google Hummingbird algorithm that allows Google to scan pages beyond simple keywords. Instead, Hummingbird tries to understand the topic of your page, just like a human reader would.

So how can you optimize the content with Hummingbird out and about?

By including variations of your keyword in your content. Finding related keywords is fairly simple.

  1. Search for your target keyword in Google
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results
  3. This is where you find Related searches
  4. Add a few of these terms to your content.

Use keywords related to your content (Image Source:)

Alternatively, you can use a dedicated keyword finder tool that helps you find related keywords with a localization option.

2. Put keywords in the right places

If you’re reading this, they must’ve already told you to add keywords to pages that you want to rank. But where you’ll use your keywords is just as important as how many times you use them.

In other words, you want to make sure that your keyword pops up at least once in your page’s title tag and in the first 100 words of your page content.

For example, I have a page that is optimized for the keyword “SEO proposal”.

Here’s how I added that exact term in those key places:

Put keywords in the right places

And here:

Put keywords in the right places

3. Keep users on your site longer

One thing you want to avoid is users pogosticking around your pages.

But what on Earth is pogosticking?

Pogosticking is when a Google user clicks to enter your site and then “pogosticks” back to the search results to find a better source that actually helps.

The problem is that Google doesn’t “approve” pogosticking. When someone pogosticks, it sends a strong message to Google. Something along the lines of “This user didn’t like this page”.

And if users aren’t happy with your page, Google kills your ranking.

So how can you keep users on your site longer without them pogosticking?

First, you want to use lots of bullets and subheadings.

When your content is easy to digest, people will spend more time on your site. There’s a whole study by Nielsen about how people read web content in the F-shaped pattern.

It turns out that bullets and subheadings make your content much easier to read.

Here’s proof.

Apart from these you also want to include different forms of multimedia such as:

See how this was easy to read? Remember, your end goal is to get conversions and not just page views and organic traffic. The longer someone stays on your website, the higher the chances of a new demo, trial signup or a call on your business phone system.

4. Include “What is X?” definitions

This is easily one of the most overlooked SEO tips. The idea is that when users are searching for a high-level term such as “metadata management” they are usually looking for a definition.

And you’ve probably noticed so far that results on the first page of Google for definition terms are most likely to answer the question “What is X?”

For example, if you search for “metadata management” 2 of the top 3 results answer the question: “What is metadata management?”:

Include “What is X?” definitions

This way, if you are aiming for a definition keyword, make sure at least some of your content is dedicated to answering the question “What is X?”.

Imagine a world where website owners link back to you every time they use your chart, video, or infographic.

But we’re still far from that utopia.

But there is still something we can do. Most people are actually happy to link to you if you ask them nicely.

If you plan to publish a lot of visual content, make sure you spend some time on this activity. Before you know it, you’ll have bagfuls of backlinks.

So how does this work?

  1. First, find a visual asset on your site. Let’s say it’s an infographic.
  2. Right-click ad “copy image address”
  3. Paste the filename into Google “Search by image”
  4. And there it is — a complete list of websites that use your image

Now you need to find pages that use your image for their purposes but give no links to you. This might take some time as you need to check them manually one by one. No shortcuts for this one.

As you are picking them out, send each a friendly email asking them to add a link to the original image source, which is you.

Then you can use the Backlink Monitor, to see if they have linked — or stopped linking — to your site.

Get backlinks from your visuals

You can even go one step further and use the Backlink Checker to check out what backlink your competitors use

6. Optimize your graphics

Adding captivating graphics or images is important, especially if they capture the essence of a topic. However, you must also account for the search engines and ensure your graphics are optimized.

Here are a few tips:

  • Accessibility: Make sure to include descriptive alt text for each image. This will make your site more accessible to screen readers and also create opportunities to include more supporting keywords. You don’t want to embed essential text elements in your images unless there’s another way to access them.
  • Context: Give context for your images by placing them next to relevant textual content on your page. It’s always best to place the most important image near the top of the page.
  • Formatting and size: Use the image file type and size that works best for your visitors. If an image is too large, it could slow down your page. If the file is not supported, the image won’t load at all.
  • Links: Add descriptive names and logical URL strings for all your images. This helps a lot to optimize for organic search, while also making it easier for others to share your graphics on their sites. Remember those visual backlinks?
  • Test for mobile: Keep in mind to test your pages for mobile devices too. Users are more likely to search for Google images from mobile than on desktop. And when they get to open the page behind the image, they better see it well optimized for mobile viewing.

7. Prospect for guest post opportunities

A few days earlier, a fellow content specialist told me that guest posting is so 2018. He may be right, but there’s a good reason why guest posting has stuck around for so long — because it works.

However, not any site will work. You need to find those that bring in a lot of relevant traffic.

First, you need to find a blogger in your niche who guest posts a lot. Take their headshot — you can find it next to the short bio at the end of an article or even better on their LinkedIn profile.

Use it in Google’s reverse image search and you’ll get every site where they’ve guest posted.

You can use the same technique to find interview opportunities, including podcasts. Podcasts are probably even more underrated link-building strategy than “What is X?” definitions. It’s much easier to get on a podcast than asking for, writing, editing, and publishing a guest post. The result is pretty much the same, you get a backlink just as with a guest post.

But how to find relevant podcasts in your niche?

Pretty much the same way as you found guest posts — using Google reverse image search.

8. Check for “suggested” keywords

We’ve seen how you can use related keywords from Google search results. You also probably know that you can use Google Suggest to find long-tail keywords.

The thing is you can use the same process with other search engines.

Take Wikipedia for example:

Check for “suggested” keywords (Image Source:)

Or YouTube:

YouTube

Or even Bing:

Bing

9. Remove page elements that load slowly

Page load time doesn’t just impact user experience, who then tend to pogostick and earn you penalties from Google. It also impacts your SEO.

The Web Audit is a tool that scores your desktop and mobile page speed on a scale from zero to 100. If your page loads too slowly, there are probably page elements you can remove to cut the loading time.

This tool can scan all your pages at once for issues while providing urgency indicators and actionable insights. This is a great help because it lets you address larger issues and bump up your site ranking sooner.

Fast loading times and seamless user experience are also important when optimizing web-based business proposals. For the best conversion rates, the proposal forms must provide the same UX on both desktop and mobile devices.

10. Remove zombie pages

Zombie pages are those pages on your website that don’t bring any traffic. They just sit there.

When you delete these, you can get higher rankings and more Google traffic.

There’s a famous case of one e-commerce site that got a 31% increase in search engine traffic once they curated 11k product pages!

So how does this work?

To put it simply, Google doesn’t care about ranking sites that are overblown with weak, low-quality content.

They actually said that they’d rather you have one strong page instead of many weaker pages.

Remove zombie pages

Clear out these zombies and see how your rankings grow. How? By using the Rank Tracker to get global, national, and local ranking updates on desktop or mobile.

Wrapping up

If you want to attract visitors and generate leads, you need SEO. Even for experts, making the most out of SEO tactics and strategies is a constant learning process, as the rules and best practices are constantly changing. If you’re not sure where to start, use Ranktracker’s Web Audit tool to evaluate your site’s health and prioritize the most urgent steps.

Try Ranktracker for FREE