Did you know that the #1 search result on Google gets 33% of search traffic? And that all search engine results from page 1 resulted in 92% of all traffic, with traffic then dropping off by 95% for page 2?
So what does this mean for your business. Well, to get to the top of the search engine results pages (#SERPs), well-written, engaging content isn't all you need. You'll also need to focus on writing SEO-driven, keyword-focused content that attracts not only website traffic, but the right kind of traffic. Here's 5 Pretty Vicious essentials for creating SEO-friendly blog posts to drive engagement.
1) PICK HIGHLY-EFFECTIVE KEYWORDS
Users search Google over 40,000 times a second. Which means If you want to cut through search result clutter and outrank your competitors, you'll need to research and then select the specific keywords and phrases your potential customers are searching so they can find your content and website.
You can use #googletrends can also give you a feel for what keywords are popular or go by whats trending on the social platforms your target audience frequents to determine which keywords are best and the exact phrases they use. You should regularly monitor popular industry terms and topics.
If however, you’re ever running low on keyword ideas, #SEMRush will let you enter a competitor and see the keywords they’re ranking for, their position in search results, traffic received for that keyword and other key metrics.
However, sometimes the obvious keywords aren’t always the best as searchers tend to use very specific “long-tail” keywords, keyword phrases and questions when they’re looking for something. Long-tail keywords comprise up to 70% of all search traffic and can unlock the door to successful SEO. Competition for shorter, more general keywords, s high so you often have a better chance of ranking in the top results for long-tail keywords.
Do your research and build a list of what you think are the most valuable, relevant keywords. You can then check them in a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, Keyword Tool .
Depending on your business or market (or budget or bandwidth for SEO efforts), ranking high for short tail keywords may still be important but optimising for a set of long-tail keywords that rank high in search should also be considered as they high in search volume and low in competition. Over time trends will shift, terminology changes or your product/service line change so you should regularly conduct keyword research to ensure you’re still focusing on the right keywords for your target audience and not missing out on vital ranking opportunities.
2) NATURALLY INTEGRATE KEYWORDS THROUGHOUT
Once you have your list of highly effective keywords you need to write your blog posts integrating them throughout. Using your researched keywords can even help you decide on a topic that will entice and engage your target audience. Your primary keyword should appear in these key places:
Headings and subheadings
URL if possible
Image alt text (search engines can’t read images)
Throughout the content
Whilst incorporating keywords remember to focus on engaging readers with a natural writing style that takes their needs and interests into account.
3) LINK TO INFLUENCERS
Don’t be afraid to link to other content such as articles or blogs. Content sharing is Holy Grail of many #contentmarketing, #socialmedia and #onlinemarketing strategies. Don't believe us, see our previous post - why the best brands Pretty Viciously share content.
Compelling stats help you build a concrete argument or opinion that will get your readers thinking (especially when they stats are from trustworthy sites).
4) CREATE SCANNABLE, LONGER POSTS
Even though we're in an age of short attention spans search engines actually prefer longer, in-depth blog posts. The more content on the page, the more content search engines have to figure out what your blog is about and you then have a greater chance of the post appearing in the top search engine results. SerpIQ found that the 10th position pages have 400 fewer words than 1st position pages. Longer posts will rank more easily for your target keyword.
5) DON'T FORGET INTERNAL LINKS
Linking to other pages or posts on your website (like we did above) helps search engines crawl your website and create a more accurate sitemap. It also helps your audience discover more of your content so they can get to know you as a trustworthy, credible source of information. Internal links to other valuable content will keep users on your site longer, reducing bounce rate and increasing your potential for a conversion (and really this is what it’s all about?).
OPTIMISING YOUR BLOGS
Get in touch or live chat with us to discuss what your strategies are for optimising your blogs for SEO? Did we miss any? Share with us in the comments below.
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Until next time...