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Don’t bother doing content marketing if you aren’t going to optimize for SEO. This is the only way your content will actually get found by the people who are looking for it.
Let’s say you believe in content marketing. You study it, experiment with it, and love it. Your website is full of free, helpful content that you publish several times a week. You give them your best advice, the most useful tips, and your heart and soul. Your content answers user questions. It fills online content holes and touches on several key niches.
And…it doesn’t quite make the splash you were hoping for. You help a handful of people a lot but don’t have the impact you think your content deserves. Which is a shame because you legitimately want to help people.
This is good. You are coming from a good place, which is half the battle with content marketing.
What your content marketing strategy is missing is SEO. SEO makes sure your content shows up to people who need it when they search on Google and Bing and other search engines.
Here’s our 5 steps to content marketing SEO for beginners.
It’s not enough for your articles or blog posts to just be good anymore. At least not if you want people to find them. You have to write them with good quality, interesting material, and SEO friendly. That means you need to think about things like keywords and metadata.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into their search bar when looking for your material.
For this article, people might search for:
You can cultivate your keyword list through your own Google/Bing searches as well as tools like Google Trends. Once you have your list, you want to work them into your article as naturally as possible and maintain high quality content. I suggest crafting your list of SEO keywords before writing your article to achieve a more natural integration. Otherwise, your article might seem unnatural. Don’t sacrifice quality for SEO.
You will want to integrate your keywords into your article, as well as specify them in the “behind the scenes” of the blog. If you are working with WordPress or a similar platform, you can usually write down the keywords in the same editing dashboard. Our WordPress blog uses a plugin called “Yoast SEO”. If you don’t have these capabilities, then you can enter the keywords into the code of the article.
The metadata is more information that goes “behind the scenes”. The first main metadata component is the “meta description”. This can also be called the “snippet”. This is a short description should be around 130-150 characters long (Google changes this number periodically). It should include as many of your principle keywords as possible.
This snippet doesn’t need to be quite as readable as your article, though should still make sense. People do read snippets in search results pages to get an idea about the article, though it is used mainly for search engines to identify if your article really answers the question that the user is asking.
The snippet for this article is:
“Content marketing SEO for beginners. Article SEO is simple with these 5 steps. Metadata, keywords, and URL optimization will improve your blog SEO.”
Here our keywords are “content marketing SEO”, “SEO for beginners”, “article SEO”, “metadata”, “keywords”, “URL optimization”, and “blog SEO”. The meta description length is 147 which is inside our window. The meta description both describes the article accurately for the reader and tells Google what the article is about.
The second main metadata component is the “meta title”. This is an alternative title that Google or Bing reads. It is the title that shows up in the search results page. Why would this title be different than the actual title of your article? Maybe you want a flashy, bold, or clever title…but one that doesn’t really describe what the article is about? Then you would want a meta title that does describe the article, with keywords, so that people can still find your article when searching for your topic. Your Meta Title length should be 50-60 characters.
Our Meta Title is: “Content Marketing SEO For Beginners In 5 Easy Steps”
In this case, our Meta Title is the same as our principle title, though, depending on your blog platform, it doesn’t have to be. It is 52 characters long, includes one of our principle keywords and is also reader friendly.
The last component that you can easily optimize for SEO for your content marketing is the URL. Optimal URL length is 40-60 characters, includes one or two keywords, and is readable and easily understandable. Avoid lots of random characters and separate words with dashes.
Note that your URL can also be called the “slug” to refer to this specific part.
Our URL after the company and blog domain is:
Our slug is 35 characters long, but doesn’t need to be longer because it already includes a keyword and accurately describes the article.
The last easy SEO optimization you can do is with links. You want to include links in your article so that people can learn more about specific topics. This makes your article more user friendly. If you direct links towards more of your own articles, then you are also keeping people within your own loop and encouraging them to consume more of your content. You want to avoid readers leaving your content to read more content somewhere else.
When linking to other articles within your current article, embed the links within keywords that relate to those other articles. The goal is to have enough content that you achieve the “wikipedia effect”. This means that you can answer all of your readers’ questions with more of your own content through easy embedded links.
You can see the links we have embedded in this article and how they all direct to other articles we have written.
We are briefly explaining 5 different steps beginners can take to improve their article and blog SEO. However, we want to make sure you understand how complicated SEO really is. Each of these steps take a lot of research, thought, and experimentation.
SEO is not something you optimize once and let go. It is something that you have to constantly tweak, change, and experiment with. You don’t achieve a good Google ranking once and forget about it. It is a battle that you constantly fight. You go back and back and back. You can do it yourself. Or you can pay experts to do it. A lot of people go with the experts because it becomes such a pain.
But SEO is worth it. The SEO benefits are clear. You need to show up to your readers.
It is possible to make progress on your own. Follow these 5 steps periodically with your content. Follow up with Google Analytics. Rinse, wash, and repeat. And you will see progress. You just have to keep at it!
Pixel506 is a digital marketing, user experience, and software development company that specializes in combining these three crucial components into digital solutions that improve, elevate, and grow your company. We’re all about finding the right solution that will bring your company the most value.
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