Lately I’ve been finding the best Google results on the second page, maybe even the third. It makes me wonder what I’m missing. And it tells me a couple things. First, the companies creating good content are not necessarily creating searchable content. Second, companies that know how to get better SEO (search engine optimization) are not necessarily producing good content.
It really doesn’t matter how great your content is if no one can find it. For your content to be truly effective, you need both great content marketing and great SEO.
Creating searchable content
You want to capture the audience that is searching for keywords in your industry. To do that and get better SEO, you need to use the keywords people are using to search. Which means, you need to know what those words are.
Start with a list of possible keywords. What do you want to be known for? What industries do you service? What are your core services?
Start with informed guesses of what specific language you think people are using to find you, maybe five or six words or phrases. If you’re not sure what these could be, look to your social media sites to find out how users are referring to your product and services. If you’re using Google Analytics, take a look at what words people are using to get to your website.
When you have your list, do some research to determine how popular those keywords are. There are a number of different tools to check your keywords on, like Google Adwords , YouTube keyword tool, Scribe, Wordtracker. Ideally, you want keywords that are highly searched and have low competition for other companies trying to be ranked for them.
Once you start researching, you’ll find other words and phrases that might work for you as well. Test those words.
Get better SEO
Now, lets talk about how search engines like Google work. When you do a Google search, you aren’t actually searching the web, you’re searching Google’s index of the web. To index the web, Google uses spiders, bots and crawlers to search pages and pull them up based on how they relate to the relevancy of the keyword you are searching for. Get indexed in the right places you need to be
- Using the trending keywords
- Using headings and subheadings rich with keywords
- Using keywords in the URL of web pages
- Using quality links
If you’re trying to get found on social media, use hashtags with keywords on Twitter and Google+. And pretty soon, you might even be able to use hashtags on Facebook.
You want your content to be search friendly, but you also want it to be reader friendly. Don’t just cram a bunch of keywords into headings and behind hashtags and call it a day. Integrate the keywords into your content in a natural way. Keywords are part of your SEO strategy AND your content marketing plan.
You know what searchers are searching for, you know how you can offer it to them, now go out and make friends by creating relevant content that shows up on the first page of search results. Trust me, this makes everyone happy.