Great web content is useful only if it’s easy to find.
It doesn’t matter how much great website content you have if it’s hard for users to find it. And while making minor adjustments can be tedious and – depending on how much content your website has – time consuming, there are a few specific writing strategies that will help improve your website’s ranking, encourage users to stay longer on your site and increase your website traffic.
The goal is to write content for search engines. That starts with understanding your site visitors and writing content that appeals to them. But you don’t have to be a search optimization expert to see results; little tweaks to page headlines, keywords and links will help you write more engaging content that ranks higher and drives visits.
1. Write headlines that people will want to click.
Let’s start with what users see first in search results: headlines. The headlines showing up in search engines are controlled by your web pages’ “meta title” field in the HTML code – or in the “SEO Title” field if you use an SEO plugin on WordPress.
Is your title engaging? Is it easy to read? Does it answer a question someone might be searching for?
Optimize your content by placing important words in the title.
Words at the beginning of a page title should correlate closely to your page content and context. But make sure your title is attractive to searchers. If you can work keywords into an engaging title, you’re killing two birds with one stone.
For example, take this headline: “Business B2B: The ultimate guide to selling to businesses.” The “Business B2B” part of the title would act as the keyword, and everything after the colon would encourage users to click on the link and function as additional long tail keyword search material – e.g., “guide for selling b2b services to businesses.”
But don’t stuff the title with keywords.
Most SEO content beginners will stuff the page title with keywords. Although it’s true that a major part of getting content to rank well on search engines is including relevant search terms in the headline, you need to keep your audience in mind and understand that getting ranked is just step one. You need to get clicks, too. And content that gets clicks will naturally rise to the top.
2. Target lower-competition keywords.
Another way to improve your website content and search rankings is to target lower-competition keywords. Going after less-competitive keywords gives you a chance to write web content that’s relevant to your audience that’s also easier to rank for.
Write web content that targets longer search terms.
Long tail keywords are often low competition because there may be only a handful of searches each month. But this niche search audience is much easier to write for and you’ll be able to have higher engagement.
Once your site has had time to build its reputation, you can go after more competitive keywords. This strategy is particularly helpful for small businesses because it’s easy for higher-ranked sites and pages to overshadow your content.
Identify valuable keywords using Google Webmaster Tools.
You can use Google’s Webmaster Tools to see which keywords are bringing up your site in the search results. Just click on the “search analytics” tab on the dashboard, and filter data by search queries for pages or pieces of content you’re interested in.
3. Adding more content increases search visits.
If you’re still concerned your website isn’t generating enough traffic or backlinks after incorporating those changes, just add more quality, unique content. It will help reinforce the keywords your existing web content is targeting, and you may increase the number of long tail keyword terms your site ranks for.
Add more content to existing pages.
You know how selling to existing customers is often easier that selling to new onews? Expanding on your existing web pages works similarly. You’ve already written them, they’re already indexed and they might have links already
Focus on making them more useful and eye-catching to visitors; add images, frequently asked questions and more copy so there’s a higher chance of snagging long tail keyword search queries.
Add new pages to your website.
You can also add entirely new pages that get indexed by Google and lead to more visits. An easy place to start is adding additional products or services to your site, or breaking existing products and services into new, more detailed sub-pages.
After readers are enticed by one of your titles and head to your site, the goal is to keep them there. One way to do that is by properly structuring internal links. It’s important users want – or need – to look at multiple pieces of content on your site, and there are a couple of ways to draw them in.
First, link users to a newer piece of content or one that includes updated information if they’re viewing an old one, and visa versa if it would provide them with essential background information. Also, try and lead users from content that has high ratings and generated a lot of traffic to pieces of content that’s not had as much exposure.
As for different links that go to the same piece of content, using the same text is a no-no; try to mix it up and throw in some unique keyword phrases. Also keep in mind that even if internal linking doesn’t improve your site’s rankings, it will provide users with a better experience, which will make it more likely for them to subscribe and share your content with others.
Building natural links by getting users to share your content should remain the number one goal, as it will significantly increase your site’s exposure on the web and increase your traffic. Contribute to the rate at which your content’s shared by sharing it yourself more than once – especially if it’s been updated. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn.
Also, do some research and find out the best times to post content on different social media platforms, and use multimedia content if you’re not already. Users value images, videos, graphics and audio just as much – if not more – than text.