Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for any online content, as you want to maintain a high search engine ranking. After all, 75% of users never look past the first page of search results. Keywords, outbound links, meta descriptions— they are all essential, yet they can stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t know how to integrate them effectively.
As the amount content continues to increase online, and content fatigue spreads, you need to use everything in your arsenal to incorporate SEO without readers being able to tell that you’re incorporating SEO.
Why is SEO Important?
SEO is a crucial part of your business, as online searches are the number one driver of traffic to websites, over 300% more than social media. Maybe you’d rather just pay to have your company’s site appear at the top of a search engine? Stick to SEO and organic clicks, as 80% of search engine users rarely or never click on sponsored search results.
Should You Write Specifically For SEO?
Writers and content creators often focus too much on pleasing search engines. They sacrifice quality writing in hopes of gaining that coveted first page. The problem with this is that there won’t be any retention. Your audience will bolt the minute they see that their needs are not being met.
Show your readers why they want to read your posts with personality and engaging writing. Keywords are important, but, as Google, which holds nearly 68% of the search engine market, continually changes its algorithm, the number of times you use a keyword becomes less important than the quality of the content that surrounds it.
How Can You Incorporate SEO Naturally?
Write Useful Content That Solves a Problem – Research a problem that people are having in relation to your subject—and solve it. Solutions are one of the most sought-after types of content on the internet. Not only will offering solutions attract readers and possibly backlinks, but it will also raise your authority points as an expert.
Any kind of call-to-action or sales pitch you want to include should focus on how it helps your audience. Your readers will appreciate that you are focused on them, which makes them more likely to share your content. And, as we all know, the value of social shares is exponential in both organic traffic and SEO.
Don’t Forget the Meta Description – The meta description is a brief summary of your content and shows up under your link in search engines. It won’t necessarily help you with your ranking, but it can encourage people to click your link, in turn increasing your traffic.
The key to a meta description is making sure you have a concise and succinct summary around your focus keyword. This is a crucial element that many ignore, as they feel it’s not a primary focus as it doesn’t directly impact search engine rankings. Ignoring this is an example of catering more to search engines than your target audience, as discussed above.
Link to Experts for Authority Ranking – There is great value in linking to other experts on your topic. Readers will appreciate the referral to other content that will help them, and search engines will see your quality outbound link to a high-ranking expert as adding quality to the content.
Linking to experts also sets the stage for having more guest post opportunities, as you are showing your ability to provide stellar content, as well as a respect for their place in your industry. Guest posting not only gives you more chances to put out quality content, but it also results in high-quality backlinks. Your search engine ranking and traffic will both increase. It’s a win-win.
As you begin incorporating these ideas into your content, it will slowly become second nature. Search engines are ever evolving in how they parse and display online content, so your ability to seamlessly incorporate SEO matters now more than ever.