You might be making these common SEO mistakes.
Search Engine Optimization, known in marketing circles as SEO, means writing, but not for people—SEO is about writing for computers. That’s an entirely different way of thinking, although some principles, like having a point, hold true. Take a look at these 5 Tips for Writing and SEO Optimization from CreativeOne.
1. Have a point.
High-quality relevant content is still the #1 driver of traffic to your website. If you don’t have some kind of important point to make, put down the keyboard, think about what you want to say, and come back to it. Knowing your business, and knowing what people will want to know about your business, puts you miles ahead of the competition. Great content will improve your authority. It will keep people coming back for the next installment. And it will increase the likelihood that people will share your content on social media.
One thing you can do is to identify phrases you think people might search for; you can try to work those organically into the story, blog post, or update. That can sometimes help search engines better connect people with the content they’re looking for—your content. However, don’t do overboard, because we’re telling you, you’re not writing for the computer first and foremost.
Which brings us to a very, very important point: Don’t write for the computer. The very best content—still, after all these years, we promise—is written for the person reading it. It’s not written for the computer first and foremost.
2. Be consistent.
You need to keep your site, if you have one, up to date. Some good writing is timeless, sure, but you also need to let your users—and the search engines—know that you’ve got new things to say. Don’t let your site stagnate. Keep it up-to-date, and take risks, writing boldly about different topics, expanding your circle of expertise one blog post at a time.
You want to keep your content focused on what you do—for example, on breakthrough creative for financial services organizations—but you want to make sure there’s enough new stuff that people keep clicking back for more.
Every page has a section inside the <HEAD> tag that tells search engines what the page is about. The most important information is the TITLE, usually created automatically if you’re using a Content Management System (CMS).
The DESCRIPTION in the metadata is also important—it’s like a shopwindow, where you’re displaying your merchandise, hoping people will come inside to browse. Once they’re in your “shop,” you can convert on the sale; however, if they walk by the shop window, you can’t reach them. Make sure your description lets people (and search engines) know exactly what they’ll be getting when they visit you.
Lastly, KEYWORDS are phrases or words people will type into a search engine to reach your page. Make sure you pay attention to these metadata tags.
4. Make your site a destination. Link to others.
In the early days of search engines, one of the breakthrough moments was this: engineers realized they didn’t have to rate all pages individually; they realized they could just look at which pages were linking to one another. That allowed them to rank pages more efficiently, because they surmised that a site with more links pointing to it would be saying something important. Today, the algorithms are more sophisticated, but this is still a piece of the puzzle.
The more people link to and share your site, the more search engines will flag it as important. That means see Rule #1 (Have A Point). Content is really the only way to make your site relevant. But you can also link to other sites, with the hope that you’ll improve their SEO, and improve yours at the same time. Let us explain.
If you link to another site, don’t just write “Click here.” That link, which will be indexed by a search engine bot—a web crawler—needs to have keywords in it. Instead, write something rich with keywords, like, “Check out this new article from CreativeOne on the DOL Fiduciary Rule,” and link to the keyword-rich text. That will help both your site and the site you’re linking to, making you both seem more important to the robots.
5. Text, text, text—even with images and videos.
When you’re putting together your blog or article, make sure you use ALT tags on your images and videos. We might not stop to think about this, but computers can’t see—they can really only read, and that means you need to include alternate descriptions for the visual pieces of your content. That will ensure that the computer can connect your content to people who can enjoy it, because they can see the graphics and watch the videos you’ve worked so hard on.
As a side note: alternative text matters, as well, for people who are sight or hearing impaired—accessibility apps can read them your description, or translate it into a format where they can enjoy it.
Follow these best practices, and reach out to CreativeOne today to learn more about how you can excel at digital marketing.
Call us at 800.992.2642.
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Related terms: Marketing