Many people understand that they need useful content on their website to support the goals of their business, but how do you go about making sure it is optimized for the search engines? The purpose is to make your content’s message clear so the search engines don’t pass over your content and display your competitor’s content instead.
Not to worry, it is actually simple to write optimized content for your small business website. It doesn’t need to sound awkward or artificial either. Knowing what great content is and how to accurately highlight or optimize that content is the key. Read on and learn how to optimize your website’s info pages, your blog posts and product descriptions.
The algorithm of Google’s search engine has evolved to look at over 200 unique signals to determine what to return for a person’s search result and how to rank those results. That said, the foundation of how search engines still operate is based on content.
What makes excellent content? First and foremost, you want to only use unique content. Never copy content from another online source. No matter what your business service or product is you must write your own unique content. Offer something of value in order to stand out. You want to be the subject matter expert.
Write for what you want to be found for. Each main page of your website should be dedicated to a few related keywords. Decide what search phrase(s) you want a page of your website to show up in the search result pages (SERPs). These search phrases are your keywords. Type your target keyword into Google’s search box and see what comes up. For example, if you type “business management consulting” you will see who ranks above you. Look to the highest websites that rank. Look at the content on those pages. To be competitive, you need to write as much content as those pages that rank above you. See what they are writing and write it better.
Harness the Power of the Title
The title of a web page is a strong signal to what the content on that page is about. Therefore it is essential to get your target keyword(s) included in the title because that’s what people are looking for. When people do a search on Google, they see a page of results, the title is displayed as a bold blue link. You want people to click on it so the title should be informative and draw the person in to click on your web page. Google only displays roughly 67 characters of your title so be short and concise.
Always Use Headlines
When formatting a web page, Headers and subheaders should be noted as Header 1 (H1) Header 2 (H2) and so forth and so on. This is an opportunity to incorporate your keywords or close variations of your keywords to further support your target keywords. The headers should read like a book’s table of contents. The main goal is to make it clear what your content is about. Someone should be able to look at your web page for a 5 second scan and be able to know what that page is about with little to no question.
For info pages, write 400 words at a minimum. Do not go overboard with sticking your keyword in every single sentence. The search engines are savvy to keyword stuffing and do not like it. Write with a natural style that incorporates the target keywords and variations of those keywords. The search engines have gotten much better at determining context. There is no certain amount of times that a keyword needs to be in the body copy, it just needs to be clear that the text is supportive to the keyword.
Better Product Descriptions
For a large portion of the products sold on the web there is a boilerplate product description available to use. Do not use this boilerplate copy. You must write unique descriptive content. This is key. Everyone diligently copy/pastes this boilerplate copy to their product descriptions and effectively signals Google that they are not worthy of ranking on top.
You must go above and beyond. Write content for different cycles of the buying process. Make your site an authoritative resource for information on all aspects of your product, then when people research they are more likely to buy from you since you have all the answers.
Top Quality Blog Posts
Blogs are great vehicles to add fresh content to your website. Search engines notice this and like it. It also keeps your readers engaged and offers opportunity for people to link to your blog posts. Search engines derive rank from links almost as much as the content itself, so you want to write articles that you think people would want to share with their friends and link to. Again, the title is important, make it interesting.
If it makes sense, link your article to other authoritative website’s resources that help your reader. This sends a signal to the search engines that relates your site to the site you link to, this sets you in a nice relevant ‘neighborhood’ and reinforces what your content is about. Link to other blog posts on your site for reference, or link to a product on your site.
What should I write about?
If you are stumped, go to the News section for Google and type in a search that’s relevant to your topic. There you will find breaking news to the minute. You will be able to inform your readership with your own spin on the subject at hand. Composing a Top 10 Best List works too, for example the title to a post could read “Top 10 Mistakes Business Managers Make” or “Top 5 Ways to Increase the Number of Patients at Your Practice.” Look to your competition, see what they blog about and do your own version, only better.
When you have finished a blog post share it through social media. If your article is really informative or entertaining it will be liked, shared and linked to more often. If you are not active on Twitter, Google + and Facebook then jump in and join the conversation. Try to write articles that are engaging enough to get comments on your blog post. If you have someone comment, then reply as soon as possible. This too is a signal to the search engines that determine if a web page deserves rank.
It takes time to establish a strong web presence but you will succeed knowing that excellent optimized content is the foundation for great rank in the SERPs. If your content is outstanding it will earn social shares and links that act like votes of confidence which will help boost your rank.
Rich Coffman works at BKMedia Group, a website development and SEO company in Colorado. He also writes for Accelerate My Practice (AMP), a dental practice management agency. AMP provides ongoing dental practice consulting and seminars for dentists throughout the United States. Rich works with these dentists improving their online visibility and dental practice marketing. Image courtesy SEOPlanter