When you are pulling out all the stops to get your business off the ground with the online community, you probably already know that there are two essential factors at play: well-written content and search engine optimization (SEO). They form an interdependent relationship that you need to understand if you are to succeed. Great writing without high rankings on the search engines will languish unappreciated in Google’s backwater. By the same token, potential customers who see a cryptic and confusing page, even if it is extremely highly ranked, will quickly lose interest and click elsewhere. There are too many fish in the sea to allow yourself to have either bad SEO strategies or poorly written content. Below, find five techniques that will enable you to create copy that customers want to read and that search engines will want to rank highly.
1. Create and Use a Calendar
When you are involved in e-commerce, planning is as important as breathing. A calendar is an indispensable tool that will help you lay out your upcoming writing projects for the next few months to a year. When everything is right in front of you, it is easier to see scheduling conflicts, identify periods when you need to find additional work and maintain publishing consistency. It’s also a great place to craft catchy, descriptive headlines that describe your work. Many of these can ultimately become SEO keywords.
2. Make Outlines
Your high school English teachers had it right: Outlines are a writer’s best friend. They help you save time by providing an organized format for your thoughts and the progression of your ideas. Whether you’re writing a blog post or an in-depth article, outlining it will enable you to make your content more readable and SEO-friendly. Your outline should include the following: a headline conducive to SEO, a hierarchy of subheadings loaded with keywords and the main ideas that you plan to put into your piece of writing.
3. Remember Your Audience
Although there is no doubt you want your content to be SEO-friendly, you are not writing for robots, computers and rankings; you are writing for the human beings who might, if all goes well, eventually become your customers. Write your articles with your readers in mind, adding SEO keywords later where it makes sense.
4. Use Keywords to Your Advantage
Of course, it should go without saying at this point that using keywords is crucial, but it goes beyond that. Take relevance, prominence and density into consideration. Make sure that you have included your main keyword in your heading and at least one subheading. Place it close to the beginning of the piece, and incorporate it into the natural flow of the rest of the document. Keep keyword density at a safe level, not too much or too little. As much as possible, you should strive for your piece to flow so clearly and naturally that the reader does not even recognize the intentional presence of keywords.
5. Add Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so liven up your content with images. Customers find it far easier to engage with a site that has eye-catching pictures and graphics. Just be sure they are of good quality. Well-optimized images can score you points with the search engines and help your rankings to rise. For best optimization results, make sure your file is as small as possible. Also, include your main keyword in the file name, and don’t forget to include alt text.
Considering all of the online and brick-and-mortar competition you are contending with in your area, it is incumbent on you to use any and all available strategies to stay one step ahead. Search engine optimization is an invaluable tool that will allow you to propel your business to the front of the line, making it one of the first local offerings that potential customers see. Marry a polished SEO strategy to gorgeously clear and precise content, and your business has an even better chance of succeeding.