Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most crucial parts of content marketing. There are numerous algorithms that search engines use to rank website content on their results pages. It’s a good idea to use a checklist to ensure that you tick the right boxes when it comes to content and SEO.
Highly-ranked content always has the same attributes; it’s high quality, easy-to-find, contains relevant keywords, optimised for search engines, trustworthy and useful to the audience. Sharing content on social platforms also helps when it comes to amplifying results and obtaining better rankings.
SEO is one of many things that content marketers need to consider when creating content and running websites. Use this SEO checklist to make sure that you’ve covered the bases and completed the steps before publishing your content.
Topic identification and keyword research
Make sure that your topics of discussion are relevant and useful to your audience. This is the first step in driving organic traffic. You also need to spend some time doing keyword research to find out what your users are searching for and how to feature on their results pages.
- Identify two to three keywords that summarise your topic
- Schedule seasonal topics into your editorial calendar (such as New Year’s content)
- Perform a Google search of your keywords to see what competitors appear in the search results
- Identify short- and long-tail keywords variations to narrow your target
- Identify the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the topic and address these in your content
Search purpose and content format
Walk in your audience’s shoes and identify what format of content they’ll prefer, what angle to take, and what’s the reasoning behind the search.
- Perform a Google search to see what formats of content rank highly (are search results mainly product pages or long-form articles etc.?)
- Is there a Google Answer box (for voice-activated searches)?
- Does the search results page include videos, images, maps or infographics?
These checkboxes will ensure that your content is optimised for search engines. Remember, quality content always beats the number of articles on your website. Focus on creating the best content possible, backed up by good research and good meta tags.
- Make sure your content is well-written, informative and useful
- Include unique perspectives and valuable statistics in your content
- Does your title tag contain the primary keyword(s)?
- Does your meta description include primary and secondary keywords?
- Have you used H1s, H2s (headlines) etc. to structure your article?
- Do your images contain alt text tags with relevant keywords?
- Is the content length appropriate for the topic and for the users’ needs?
- Have you included anchor text that links to other content on your website?
- Have you identified other content on your site that can be linked back to the new article?
- Has your content got the correct calls-to-action?
Being able to share your content is an important step in generating backlinks, shares and better rankings. Search engines will know that people have found your content helpful by how many shares it can generate.
- Have you utilised all relevant organic distribution channels (email, social media, press releases and partnerships)?
- Is your content easy to share directly from your website?
- Have you addressed all paid methods of promotion?
- Have you set up a Google AdWords account to pay for certain keyword rankings?
- Have you boosted the content on Facebook and Instagram?
- Have you got a native advertising campaign with partner websites that can help push your content?
- Have you retargeted your audience to move them further along the conversion funnel?
Use this checklist to make the most of your SEO and to boost your content reach to a wider audience. Your search engine rankings will increase and your conversion rate should improve if you successfully optimise your content.
The digital world and SEO algorithms continually change, but that shouldn’t affect your rankings if your content is well-written, easy to find and helpful to your audience. These are the three major points of high-ranking content.
If you wish to partner with someone who knows how to apply the best practices to achieve your online goals, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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