Clients ask us often about our best SEO tips, and about whether they should hire a dedicated SEO consultant to manage this prong of their marketing. They get solicited by such folks regularly, and start to wonder if they’re doing enough to optimize their search engine rankings. So, we wanted to spend some time breaking down this topic for you.
- First, allow us to give you peace of mind. SEO is a multidimensional, complex beast and absolutely requires expertise. But if you work with an agency like StringCan, you already have SEO experts at your beck and call.
- Second, many SEO consultants will want you to pay a monthly fee and work primarily on link building. There’s no need for this and, in fact, such a strategy on its own is short-sighted and incomplete.
Instead of going this route, we recommend building a comprehensive content strategy to get the most bang for your buck. This should include creating content for your onsite blog, as well as for third-party guest blogs (which others share and link back to you). To that end, here are our top content-focused tips for SEO in 2021 to help you get optimized – and found.
Engagement is the name of the game in marketing currently, and it makes sense. The more you can truly engross people in your content and captivate them on your website, the longer they’ll stay and the more likely they are to convert. And, engagement is especially crucial in SEO. Google’s algorithms are constantly changing, but visitor engagement continues to become a bigger and bigger factor (check out this post from HubSpot that dives deeper into this). With this in mind, here are a few simple things you can do to boost engagement with your content:
- Prioritize mobile-first indexing, and make sure your content is optimized for mobile (Google now considers your mobile site version to be your main one).
- Check your site speed and content loading speeds, on desktop and mobile (here’s a post we wrote that covers this and other basic SEO best practices; it’s an older post, but all the information is still applicable today).
- Include relevant, compelling calls-to-action (CTA) in – or positioned by – all content on your website. This encourages your visitor to take action and spend more time on your site, all of which helps engagement metrics.
In addition to engagement efforts, here are some changes you can make that specifically cater to Google’s algorithms and improve SEO as well:
- Include three links in every blog post (ideally to the home page, a targeted internal page and a cross-reference to another blog)
- Add images (and/or video). At the bare minimum, put one image into each post, but two or three is even better (and video ups the ante all the more).
- Use targeted keywords in key places. Aim for a mix of single words, as well as short and long phrases, and don’t overcrowd your content with them. Three of four keywords per piece (that you can work in naturally) are more than enough. Make sure you put these in the headline, subhead or as a link to another targeted page (see first bullet above).
Quality, Quantity & Readability
As we mentioned in the intro to this post, a content program is the best bet to elevating your search rankings. Securing guest posts on other sites (third-party content) is a whole separate beast we can’t cover adequately in this article, but here are some SEO tips for the content on your own blog (first-party content):
- Use a conversational writing style, smaller paragraphs, and bullet points to keep it readable.
- Write about topics that your readers will find valuable.
- Aim for a minimum of 500 words for each post, and try to post twice a month at minimum (weekly is better).
- Review your content periodically. If certain pages are ranked low, rewrite them and republish them. Also see which pages rank high, and try to figure out why so you can emulate them more often.
SEO is very important for your inbound marketing efforts, and getting found by the right customers. While it’s certainly a complicated practice, you can implement the changes outlined here for big results. If you need help, turn to your marketing agency. Or, call us!