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6 Ways Any Brand Can Improve SEO
By: Michael Packard
Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy and Rise Above Your Competition
The keywords people use to search are always changing, so while you may have ranked well for certain terms a few months ago, you may need to improve SEO throughout your site to ensure you continue to get found online.
Improving your search engine optimization is about more than just producing new content. Establishing keyword targets and taking technical elements into consideration is key as well.
You can make incremental improvements in content, keyword strategy, and technical health on an ongoing basis throughout your entire website, optimizing your existing content to improve its ranking.
Top Considerations to Improve SEO
A solid content marketing strategy is important for any brand, but it takes purposeful SEO implementation to really hit a home run.
Even if you’re diligently writing and publishing content, you’re likely handing top search results to your competition if SEO isn’t part of your strategy. And if it’s not, don’t worry! SEO implementation does take some dedicated work, and many companies face time and bandwidth challenges not just with implementation, but with knowing where to begin. That’s where a digital marketing agency can provide some significant help.
SEO is a natural next step after the creation of any digital content, whether it be on your website, blog, or resource library. We would argue that an SEO strategy should even come before content development as keyword volume and targets can and should influence what kind of pages you develop and the content you’re using to populate those pages. It plays a huge factor in driving traffic to your content and helping deliver on the performance metrics you’re after, like lead generation and conversions.
Simple Tactics to Improve SEO and Boost Your Content Marketing Strategy
It’s important to note that simply being a digital marketing agency doesn’t automatically mean SEO fluency. At Fishnet, we diligently keep up with any changes to Google’s ranking criteria, and we leverage SEO tools that provide deeper insights into SEO strategy.
There are a few critical steps that will jump-start any SEO implementation. These include:
- identifying what keywords your website pages are currently ranking for
- conducting keyword research to identify new keywords to implement onto your website pages
- tracking the competition to see what keywords they’re using (and how they’re using them)
- identifying new content opportunities to improve SEO
- increasing backlinks to your content
- consistently measuring, rinsing, and repeating (arguably the most important step as it ensures continued search performance)
With those baseline steps in mind, here are 6 easy ways to up your SEO game.
1. Take stock of your website’s current performance.
Like anything, it’s important to know where you are before you can know where you need to go. Conduct an SEO audit of your website to see how much traffic you’re getting and to which pages, and where those users are coming from. Google’s algorithm changes so often, so you should constantly monitor where your keywords are ranking to be sure you’re continuing to show up on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). If you notice an improvement, congratulate yourself on an SEO job well done. If a decline, you need to get back to work on optimizing.
2. Conduct keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases you should be using, and uncover new keywords to add to your content.
Your strategy to improve SEO is rooted in keywords, and when you know which keywords will be most effective in driving traffic to a specific piece of content (whether it be a webpage or a blog post), you can optimize everything you produce.
There are a few tools you can use that provide keyword analyses, such as Google’s Adwords platform. For the purposes of this example, we’re going to use our favorite SEO tool, SEMrush.
Let’s say, for example, your business provides health care coverage for individuals and corporations. You may pepper your website with the keyword “health care provider”; but keyword research uncovers different ideas.
The most commonly searched queries are featured in the left column, while the “volume” column shows how often they are searched in a month. The “KD” (keyword density) column displays the percentage difficulty to rank for that keyword against your competitors. The ideal combination is a highly-searched keyword with low difficulty.
3. Analyze your competitors’ activity – which keywords are driving traffic to their content?
The keyword difficulty percentage is important for amplifying your search performance, but you can go a step further and view the keywords your competition is using and the level of traffic those keywords are generating. There are a variety of tools you can use for this exercise including Moz and Spyfu. These will also show you what *type* of content is ranking for a given keyword so you can reverse-engineer the minimum amount/quality of content you need to produce to beat them at their own game.
4. Discover topics for your blog that you know your audience will want to read.
We’ve all found ourselves staring at the computer screen, knowing we have to write a blog post but blanking on a good topic. You can use keywords to come up with a topic, which not only gives you a writing idea, but you’ll know it’s something your audience is already searching for online.
SEMrush offers an excellent topic research tool that shows what your audiences are searching for. Simply type in your idea, and the tool spits out numerous topics to choose from with associated metrics.
To use the health insurance company example again, if you were to enter the keyword “health insurance coverage”, you’ll get a host of common, related search queries to fuel your content ideas. Here’s a sample content search using the SEMrush topic research tool:
You’ll want to choose topics with higher search volume as those are the most commonly searched.
It has never been easier to come up with content ideas, and the bonus is that they’re all proven to be highly-searched topics.
5. Increase backlinks to your content
A backlink strategy is an important part of any marketer’s overall content marketing strategy. Part of this effort includes gaining unique insight into where your competitors are getting their backlinks.
Once you’ve identified the websites that are linking to your competitor’s sites, you can incorporate those or similar sites into your own content strategy through tactics like guest blogging or offering your content as a resource for their website. You’ll be seeing more inbound traffic in no time, and you’ll be able to improve SEO results, as well as backlink activity – all of which are key factors of Google’s algorithm.
6. Measure, rinse, repeat
To improve SEO is not a one-and-done effort. It takes ongoing measurement in terms of monthly reporting, analysis, and insights to understand how Google receives initial optimizations. No one site performs the same in terms of organic success as there are key elements behind the scenes, including technical elements like site speed, broken links, and schema, that have a major impact on rankings although they aren’t visible to the naked eye.
For these reasons, it’s critical to work with an expert on an ongoing basis who has their attention fully devoted to SEO – one who can help inform and drive your content strategy to improve KPIs over time.
Creating or boosting your SEO strategy doesn’t have to be a daunting task – with a digital marketing agency that knows its way around SEO, it’s easy to make the necessary improvements and begin reaping the rewards.
Want help with your SEO efforts? Contact us to get pricing on an SEO audit and recommendations for improving your content marketing strategy.
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