There are over 200 factors to consider when optimizing your web pages for search. Since you can’t focus on them all, it is important to have a reliable few to do the job for you.
The following is a list of six underrated content based search engine optimization tactics that aren’t very hard to implement. If you are a seasoned SEO specialist, this list will probably serve as a reminder of tactics that you’re maybe ignoring, and if you are a newbie, this list is a great place to start. If you are a content marketer, you will find these tactics doable and right up your alley.
Google understands language and isn’t limited to reading strings. For instance, when you use synonyms and variations of keywords in your content, the search engine recognizes the relevance and boosts your search ranking.
The synonyms need not be strictly grammatical as Google may identify and reward contextual synonyms as well. One way of identifying synonyms that rank is by using the “~phrase” format. Simply type in the long-tail keyword in place of the word “phrase” in the aforementioned format and run a Google search. You should be able to find synonymous keywords (phrases) that you can use to boost search rankings.
You can also use synonymous hashtags on Twitter to improve your social specific search.
“Dwell time” is an important search ranking metric. It represents the time your audience spends on your web pages. By sharing relevant and high-quality content, you can keep your audience engaged on your pages for longer intervals of time, boosting your search rankings.
Write long-form content – On average, a Google first page result has about 1890 words. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every long-form post will rank. You will have to ensure that the post also has value.
Social media engagement also has a role to play in search rankings. You can curate content to consistently engage your social media audience. A good social media content management tool can help.
Most blogs have a linear architecture – the older the posts become, the deeper they get buried and less powerful they become in terms of search signals. You need to move to older pages to find content, and Google will have to do the same.
To keep your top posts close to the surface, you can update and republish them. Doing this also helps you reinforce the page with fresh content and more mentions of your target keyword.
HubSpot implements this tactic often, and they have seen excellent results.
Linking out to external content may not have a significant impact on search rankings, contradictory to what most people believe. However, it may help you get your content shared – which in turn can affect your search ranking.
Referring to influencer content can also have other benefits – it can help you deliver more value to your audience and initiate relationships with people in your niche.
You can consciously weave in links to high authority websites and influencers as you write and let them know that they have been included once your content is published. You can also @mention them on social sites and earn your content more visibility.
Experts are still uncertain about how important keywords are in meta descriptions. Most experts advocate including keywords to avoid being penalized by search engines.
There are three major meta-data elements you need to focus on – the meta-data title, description, and keywords. WordPress offers a plug-in that lets you optimize meta-data for blog posts. For web pages, you can view metadata in your page source window.
Including keywords in the title and description is considered a good practice. You also need to be mindful of the optimal character count for the title and description.
Video is a super-viable content format at present, and most marketers are investing in creating video content. However, search engines can’t decipher video content yet. While tags are helpful, you can probably earn more traction by transcribing your video content for seo.
The same goes for audio content. Twitter chats can also be collated on a blog post for SEO benefits.
Moz does a great job of transcribing their ‘Whiteboard Fridays’. They not only capture the dialogues but also include useful links and references which are great for SEO.
There are several search ranking tactics that you can implement with barely any effort on a daily basis. This post is the perfect place to begin.
Jessica Davis represents Godot Media, a leading content firm. Her areas of interest include social media and content marketing.