By Joe Dysart
12 Ways to Make Content With High SEO
If you spend just a bit of time making sure you’re using the right keywords, the best web design and the proper image tags, your excellent content will appear even higher in search-engine returns.
With most leading businesses devoting more time to content marketing these days—the publishing of articles, videos, images and more to reinforce brand image—it’s more important than ever to ensure that content is optimized for search engines.
Scores of articles have surfaced lately emphasizing the fact that unearthing substantial, quality content on the web has become the number-one goal of the Google search engine—perhaps to the detriment of traditional search-engine optimization (SEO). But the fact remains that if you spend just a bit of time making sure you’re using the right keywords, the best web design and the proper image tags, your excellent content will appear even higher in search-engine returns. And you’ll be giving your company a decided advantage.
“In most industries, you’ll find that your competitors are not that smart,” said Jason McDonald, Ph.D., author of SEO Fitness Workbook 2016. “Most industries are not as competitive in SEO as youwould think.”
So much has been written about SEO that it can seem daunting for the beginner and even for some who have tried their hand at it here and there. But with the following tools, you’ll be able to get a complete handle on how to optimize your website as well as how to track new developments in SEO.
SEO Fitness Workbook 2016 by Jason McDonald, Ph.D.: This book gives you a complete grounding in SEO fundamentals. Written in engaging, everyday English and virtually devoid of jargon, it will help you put together a full game plan for optimizing your site. Essentially, SEO Fitness Workbook 2016 is stop one for getting serious about SEO, since everything you do to optimize your site will make sense once you’ve read this book.
Google SEO Starter Guide (http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf): Given that Google is the biggest game in town in the world of search engines, it only makes sense to read this guide and follow its recommendations. It’s brief (32 PDF pages), well-illustrated and crystal clear. Other, similar overall guides include Search Engine Land’s Guide to SEO (www.searchengineland.com/guide/seo) and SEO for Wordpress (www.yoast.com/wordpress-seo).
Google CEO Sundar Pichai is the man most businesses are looking to please when it comes to SEO.
Google Search Console (www.support.google.com/webmasters/answer/4559176?hl=en): This is another must-use tool for businesses serious about optimizing their websites. It enables you to directly submit content on your site that you want Google to monitor—and eliminate other content you don’t want showing up on the search engine. It will also track which keywords and phrases are working for you, show you which websites are linking to yours and monitor your website’s performance on mobile devices. It will also give you guidance on how to create a sitemap that will make it easier for Google to track your website. “Google rewards websites that make its job easier,” said McDonald. Bing Webmaster Tools (www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster) helps you in the same way when it comes to your performance on Bing.
Keyword Brainstormers: If you’d like a little inspiration and guidance for coming up with the optimum keywords for your content, Google’s Keyword Planner (https://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner) will serve as your trusty guide. Similar keyword helpers include Keyword Spy (www.keywordspy.com), which will help you uncover keywords and phrases that are working for your competitors, and Related Keywords (www.pagerank.net/related-keywords), a tool that will help you identify keywords related to your primary keywords.
Page Tag Optimizers: While “page tags” sounds a bit technical, they’re simply the tools that web designers use to label various elements of a web page. There’s a tag used to title your page, a tag to title each image you use, a tag to boldface words you consider to be most important on your page and so on. You can use tools such as SEOCentro Meta Tag Analyzer (www.seocentro.com/tools/search-engines/metatag-analyzer.html) to ensure that you’re optimizing your use of tags. Similar tools include Side-by-Side SEO Comparison Tool (www.internetmarketingninjas.com/seo-tools/seo-compare) and Keyword Density Checker (www.webconfs.com/keyword-density-checker.php).
Link Builders: Good links to your website from other, authoritative websites have always been critical for high search-engine returns. So investing time securing links from such websites will pay off in the long term. OpenLinkprofiler (www.openlinkprofiler.org) helps you do this more effectively, as do Buzzsumo (www.buzzsumo.com) and Moz Open Site Explorer (www.moz.com/researchtools/ose).
Local SEO Tools: If the location of your business plays a role in your profits, you’ll want to spend time ensuring that your website is optimized for local search. Google’s Local Adwords Preview Tool (https://adwords.google.com/apt/anon/AdPreview) will help you do that and can be used for free. Similar tools include Moz Local (www.moz.com/local) and Local Stampede (www.localstampede.com/citation-building-strategies-list).
Content Creation Helpers: There’s a reason why so many journalists refer to the next day’s paper as “feeding the beast.” Once you’re in the content-creation business, you’ll find that the hunger for ever more content at your website and other web properties is insatiable. Fortunately, news aggregators such as Feedly (https://feedly.com/i/my) will help pull together stories for you each day based on a specific search word or phrase. And Google Email Alerts (www.google.com/alerts) will do the same thing via email.
Headline Analyzers: If headlines for your stories and posts are challenging, you can get some help from CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer (www.coschedule.com/headline-analyzer). Simply type in your headline and CoSchedule will instantly grade it based on how common your headline words are, how emotional the wording is and how powerful the headline is overall. Bring up your grade by trying alternatives based on the suggestions CoSchedule makes about your first choice.
Free Press Release Distribution: Regularly posting press releases to the web that link back to your website should ultimately help boost your search-engine rankings. PRLog (www.prlog.org) will help you distribute those press releases free. “Press releases have natural SEO benefits, including natural links from multiple and high-quality outside sources and opportunities for keyword linking,” said Aidan Griffin, a senior account executive at public-relations firm Ketner Group (www.ketnergroup.com).
SEO Plugin for Wordpress (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo): This is a free, incredibly valuable tool for anyone managing a Wordpress website. The Yoast plugin embeds an SEO dashboard in every unpublished page you create, instantly analyzing each and every word for you and making clear recommendations on how you can tune up your page to get the best shot at the search engines. For an extremely easy-to-follow guide on how to get started using Yoast, check out the Beginner’s Guide to Using Yoast Wordpress SEO Plugin (www.shivarweb.com/3902/beginners-guide-using-yoast-wordpress-seo).
Ongoing Study: An unendingly metamorphosing animal, SEO must be continuously studied to yield the best results. Some of the best sources on new info in SEO include Search Engine Watch (www.searchenginewatch.com); Search Engine Land (www.searchengineland.com); Search Engine Roundtable (www.seroundtable.com); and Search Engine Journal (www.searchenginejournal.com).