Create Great Content but Don’t Make These 4 SEO Mistakes
Four Common SEO Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Do you consistently create great content? If yes then this is wonderful. Do you optimize your content for search? If no then you are going to miss out on valuable, sustainable traffic.
In this post, I’m going to cover four important ways to optimize for SEO and exposure every piece of content you create.
1. Choose a Keyword Phrase to Optimize Every Piece of Content You Create
Solid keyword research is fundamental even with all the advances by the search engines to move more towards semantic search. You should do keyword research for every aspect of your online marketing, including your content, will play a vital role in your SEO and traffic success.
Choose a keyword phrase for each item of content you create and optimize every content item you create. The message here is to choose at least one main keyword phrase and optimize your content piece for that phrase.
Taking into consideration the semantic search capabilities of the search engines you should consider a few related keyword phrases too. During the process of researching keyword phrases, you may find multiple phrases that all have search value. Mesh these phrases into your content piece.
For example, you may think that online marketing is the perfect keyword phrase for your piece of content. You do some research using the Google Adwords Keyword tool and find that content marketing is also a very relevant phrase for your piece and has excellent search volume as well
You can now optimize the piece for both online marketing and content marketing.
2. Rename your content files to something meaningful
The search engines love depth and variety of content. You fully realize this and create a variety of items that add depth and variety to your content. If you do this you may be creating images, downloadable documents, MP3 audio, presentations or video for your blog or website.
You want to optimize all of these additional items. Give the search engines all the clues and hints that you can to make them fully understand what your content is about.
Images: Create file names and alt text for each image that relates to the content and the keyword phrase you are optimizing for.
PDFs: If you make a downloadable file define a file name and use the properties fields to set up this document well for search. Remember, if people cannot find it then it is not useful to anyone search and not valuable to you either.
Here is an example:
Let’s say I create an eBook guide on Content Marketing for Small Businesses.
Case 1: I name the PDF file eBook-1.pdf
Case 2: I name the PDF file The Complete Guide to Content Marketing for Small Business.
Case 2 is clearly the wining file name. It helps the eBook to be found in search and also helps the page it is available on to be found in search. Moreover, it helps the nice human who downloads it to classify it and find it after it has been downloaded. Proper file naming helps everyone!
Audio and Video Files: Again, use file names that will help the item to be found. You can also create video thumbnail images to attract a visitor to your video or audio content and you can now optimize these images for search to help the audio and video content to be found.
3. Always fill out the Title, Description, and Keyword Fields
Most website and blogging platforms have fields that should be filled out to help the content to be found in search. This is a basic item that I often see overlooked. To fill out these fields properly is crucial to ensure that people can find your content on the Internet.
If you create a video for YouTube you can also fill out title and description fields.
The goal when you’re filling out these fields for your content’s title, description, and keywords or tags is to make sure each field contains your main keyword phrase.
For fields like keywords or tags, place your main keyword phrase first, followed by any related, relevant, or similar keyword phrases you discovered during your keyword research.
Some sites might have the option to do a title and description for the readers, and a separate title and description specifically for SEO. Make sure you fill out these fields with your main and related keyword phrases.
4. Promote your Content with Keyword Optimization in Mind
Optimizing your content for keywords doesn’t stop after you have published the content on your site or blog. Your keywords focus needs to continue throughout the promotion of your content as well.
Note the following:
Include your main keyword phrase (and a few related ones if possible) in social shares of your content.
Do some hashtag research to see if there are popular hashtags that relate strongly to your keyword phrases and use these hashtags in your updates. I use ritetag to conduct this research.
Below is a display of the hashtag research for the hashtag “contentmarketing”. As you can see there may be some that are relevant that are good and others that are even better!
Repurpose your content and submit it to other relevant networks. That way, your content has the potential to be discovered in different forms – blog posts, podcasts, presentations, videos, etc. Link those new pieces of content back to the original when possible.
Find other blog posts and articles that mention your main or related keyword phrases. If those keyword phrases are not linked to anything else, contact the owner of the content to see if you can get your content linked to that keyword phrase. This is an excellent activity as it can also help to form relationships and opportunities for collaboration.
Find people who rank on social networks for your main or related keyword phrases. Contact them to see if you can get them to share your content with their audience. This can work well if you are not a competitor and again helps relationship building and collaboration.
To Sum Up
Here are four items that you should be taking care of for all your content pieces. You need to help your content to be found in search and to gain more exposure. Enhance the value of your content by
- Optimizing for an important keyword phrase (or two)
- Use names for your content files that relate well to the phrase you have defined.
- Always cover the essentials (title, description, keyword tags).
- Promote your content with SEO in mind.
Be willing to experiment and to use new tools to optimize your content for exposure. Use the various social media marketing platforms to drive people to your center of content – your website or blog.