SEO Best Practices For Content Marketing

Include 1 Primary Keyword and 2-3 Secondary Keywords on Each Page The foundation for strong SEO is still about utilizing effective keywords in the right places – that hasn’t changed much. Each page of your website should focus on one primary keyword or phrase, as well as two or three secondary keywords placed organically within your content flow. Include the Primary Keyword in Your Title Tag (i.e. In our shampoo example up above, you’ll notice that Head & Shoulders leads their title tag with a focus keyword, followed by their brand name. Include Primary Keyword and 2-3 Target Keywords in the Description Tag Think of your description tag like a sales pitch for that page. Of course, there’s not much you can do for your homepage, but do your best to include at least your primary keyword in the URL of each of your blog post pages. In turn, those sites (and others) may return the favor and link to you as your link juice builds. You’ll improve your search ranking and reputation. As your efforts pay off and your site ranks higher, you’ll attract more of the right readers who will share and link to your content – which will further improve your rankings. Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

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Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, delivered a rather apt interpretation of the current state of content marketing, saying, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

However, it’s harder than ever for brands to reach consumers. There’s a lot of noise and marketers are clawing tooth and nail for attention from their target audiences. It’s simply not enough to create compelling content – you must be noticed. And Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to increase your discoverability.

To succeed in the modern age of marketing, you must develop a content marketing strategy that incorporates SEO.

Content and SEO go hand in hand, and for good reason: Content quality and links back are the two most important factors, out of more than 250, in Google’s super-secret algorithm that determines search result rankings. By using SEO best practices, your blog posts, infographics, white papers, and webinars will be ranked at the very top of search engines. This will lead to more people finding and sharing your content – which will further ensure that your brand is highly ranked.

A June 2015 study found that 89% of marketers worldwide experienced success with SEO in the areas of search rankings, traffic improvement, and leads.

Given that rate, it’s not surprising that most businesses are employing content marketing: 89% of B2B organizations, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

If you’re interested in optimizing your existing content and driving new readers to your website, here are some actionable tips you can use to improve your content’s reach. While search algorithms are always changing, these best practices have been time-tested and proven to lay a strong foundation for SEO.

Include 1 Primary Keyword and 2-3 Secondary Keywords on Each Page

The foundation for strong SEO is still about utilizing effective keywords in the right places – that hasn’t changed much. Each page of your website should focus on one primary keyword or phrase, as well as two or three secondary keywords placed organically within your content flow.

EXAMPLE:
A page promoting a shampoo for dry scalp:

  • Primary Keyword: “shampoo”
  • Secondary Keyword(s): “best shampoo for dry scalp” “dandruff shampoo”

Selecting appropriate keywords requires channeling the mindset of your consumers. Ask yourself, “What terms will users type into a search query to reach my page?” There are a number of keyword research tools, including SEMRush and Google AdWords Keyword Planner, to help find the right keywords.

Include the Primary Keyword in Your Title Tag (i.e. Your Page Title)

Meta tags provide a crucial first impression to search engine crawlers and can determine whether or not a user clicks on your search listing. There are many different types of meta tags hidden within the HTML of your website and, if you’re using common website builders like WordPress, Wix, or Weebly, the good news is you’ll never have to play around with the actual code. It’s quite easy to access and update the many meta tags, but you’ll want to begin with the most important meta tag: the title tag, which is essentially your page title. The title tag lives at the top of your search listing, often becoming the first thing a user reads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. For that reason, you should include the primary keyword as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible.

SEO_title_tag.png

Limit Your Title Tag to 70 Characters

Title tags need to fit within a defined space. You don’t want your title trailing off into a “…” or else it could leave out pertinent information about your landing page. A general rule is to limit your title tag to 70 characters – or half the length of a Tweet, if that’s easier to remember. In our shampoo example up above, you’ll notice that Head & Shoulders leads their title tag with a focus keyword, followed by their brand name.

Include Primary Keyword and 2-3 Target Keywords in the Description Tag

Think of your description tag like a sales pitch for that page. It’s your opportunity to provide the best summary of your content, in an attention-grabbing, concise manner, while also utilizing appropriate keywords.

Like before, keyword density is critical. If you infuse too many keywords, your description…

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