SEO stands for “search engine optimisation”. Essentially, the idea behind it is that there are steps you need to take to get your blog to rank high in search engines. SEO optimisation for creatives does not have to be complicated.
If you’re taking the time to write content, you obviously want to be found. So besides the people who regularly subscribe to you and find you through social media, a great way to get people to read your blog is for them to find you through search engines – which is why “What is SEO?” matters so much.
SEO is basically taking reasonable steps to ensure Google and its ilk favour the content on your website when people search for topics that you mention.
It can get as complicated as you want, but really if you follow some basic guidelines, such as using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress websites and heeding the tips provided, you’ll see results.
What you need to have rank is high-quality content (such as blog posts and pages on your website that discuss topics in-depth) and you should have a decent idea of which keywords to target with that content; in other words, which specific topics you should be exploring in your content.
For example, if you’re a health coach who focuses on treating issues with the gut, you’ll want to explore subjects under that umbrella — and your keywords should include phrases and terms that your clients use as opposed to jargon.
So when you share recipes, you should include something about the gut in the title and throughout that piece of content, e.g. “Morning smoothie recipe to debloat and calm your gut” instead of “delicious morning smoothie recipe with raspberries”.
If your clients complain of indigestion or ‘stomach cramps after lunch’, go ahead and use that in a blog post like “Do you have stomach cramps after lunch? Here’s how to treat indigestion”.
Then follow the advice from Yoast SEO to optimize the text before you hit publish. This alone can go a long way and the positive effects can last for years and years. This is basic content marketing, with a big SEO overlap.
Focus on the content that will bring value to your clients and thereby help them trust you.
Start with keyword research
Even though individual keywords themselves are no longer enough to form the foundation of your content, everything begins with good keyword research.
Resist researching single keywords, and instead move towards exploring your keyword themes.
Use natural language and variations. During your keyword research process, it’s helpful to identify other common ways searchers refer to your topic and include these in your content when appropriate.
Don’t overthink keywords when it comes to content.
Think in terms of ideas and topics. Write what people actually want to read. The trick is to pick a topic, write a few articles around it, and move on to the next sibling article. If you play your publishing schedule correctly, you can end up with organic and relevant traffic.
Buzzsumo, for example, can provide insight into what content has gathered decent traction: pick out popular pieces that could be updated or improved on.
- Use tools like UberSuggest, Answer the Public and a little bit of brainstorming to come up with some keywords
- You can also check UberSuggest to see the level of traffic and competition
- Pick the main keyword you’ll and supporting keywords if needed (synonyms and related words, I recommend picking 2 or 3)
SEO optimisation through engaging content
Probably planning each page on the website and the content as a whole so that it walks people from wherever they first land, all the way to them signing up for your mailing list or booking a call with you (whichever your priority is).
Each page and post on your site should have a main call-to-action and help get each website visitor to that final point so that you can subsequently sell them via your emails or a phone consult. Remember, most people aren’t going to buy right away: you’ve got to build the know-like-trust factor with them first!
Headers, paragraphs, lists, and tables all provide structure to content so that search engines understand your topic targeting. For example, adding your keywords to headings helps your post in the rankings.
It is shown that 30% of Google’s search results contain a featured snippet according to a recent study undertaken by Stone Temple. In addition, Stone Temple’s study revealed that featured snippets significantly impact the CTR’s of traditional organic search results below them. Make sure you take time to really optimise the snippets for your SEO.
Mobile and back-links
Originally announced in 2016, Google has been rolling out its mobile-first index. This essentially means that Google will rank mobile versions of content over non-mobile content. This is the time to head to Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool to make sure your site is ticking all the boxes for mobile users.
Another trick is to make the most lof link-backs through off-page SEO. Off-Page SEO is just a fancy way to say links. (Sometimes we call them backlinks, but it’s really the same thing.) Google looks at each link on the web as a weighted vote. If you link to something, in Google’s eyes you’re saying, “This is worth checking out.” The more legit you are the more weight your vote carries.
The power of social
Social media sharing does impact your final ranking.
But like social media shares, this rank will degrade over time, depending on how the platform continues to present your post to an audience. If you’re doing current events reporting for your business, trust that it will have a limited shelf life.
Evergreen content is not time-based, but Google will still try to find the most relevant and recently posted combination to present to users.
“Content is anything that adds value to the reader”s life.” – Avinash Kaushik
SEO truly does not have to be complicated, yet it’s an invaluable tool to get more of your content seen online. It’s an organic tool to drive people back to your content again and again.
When it comes to new content, identify your existing content that has gathered great results, and make it better. Find a way to repurpose effective content.
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My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.