Visual design might reign supreme when creating websites and apps because it impacts usability and functionality.
Yet, words are still the best way to build trust, deliver concepts and drive action. But making those words appealing and optimized for search engines to improve rankings is a challenge every content marketer faces. According to Copyblogger, SEO is the most misunderstood topic online.*
So where do we start? With two words – Content Strategy. The right content strategy creates a great user experience.
Here are some guidelines to follow:
Content should be user-centric:
Your target audience comes first, long before search algorithms. The best place to start is by understanding your target audience. Then, talk your readers’ language by creating interesting, compelling, useful and visually appealing content that targets specific keywords. This will increase your content’s relevance and improve its ranking in Google. Ideally, you should put your keyword in your headline. The content following the headline should address keyword intent. And keep paragraphs short. Nobody likes to be faced with a sea of type.
Use long tail keywords:
These three- or four-word phrases are very specific to what you are selling. They’re the phrases that consumers are more likely to use when they’re closer to making a purchase. These specific phrases also rank better than generic single or double word keywords.
Write great headlines:
Don’t expect high click-through numbers if you have a mediocre headline. Your headline should attract people’s attention, get them to click and read more. According to ConversionXL, headlines with numbers are always winners.** This might not always be possible, but it’s something to consider.
Don’t overlook meta descriptions:
These take time to write and directly affect traffic to a web page. When people search for keywords that are relevant to your page, Google uses the meta description on your page. Good meta descriptions take time to write and should be 150 to 160 characters and include target keywords. For mobile, keep it to 113 characters.
Focus on keyword frequency:
How many times do your keywords appear on the page? Don’t go keyword frequency crazy, though. The folks at Google pay attention to keyword stuffing and will penalize you. It’s still a factor in ranking. Plus, overdoing keywords will turn off your readers.
Remember, make your content easy to read. Don’t overwhelm your audience, or pack every thought into one paragraph. Well-planned content will work wonders for your writing’s effectiveness. This will create a better user experience.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. What works best for you and your content?