If you’re in the business of content marketing, then one the main goals is to use content to draw more visitors to your site. Now, social media is obviously a good way to do this, particularly if you’re starting out. What you should always be thinking about as well, however, is Search Engine Optimization.

For, if you can make certain that your page ranks well in some of the keywords that are important to your industry, you’ll be able to get a constant stream of traffic coming to your website without you having to pay a cent for any of them. Now, obviously that’s a fantastic position to be in.

The only problem is that ‘ranking well’ in this case means appearing very high up in the search results. After all,research finds that the first position gets 33% of the attention, while the first page gets 95% of the clicks. And as you don’t want to be competing for scraps, that means you have to get yourself in there. How do you do that?

Start with the right keywords

The first step is to make certain you’re actually pursuing the right keywords in your industry. This means doing some research, in something like Google Adwords.

Alternatively, start by looking at what your competition is trying to rank for. Note that if you pursue this strategy, don’t try to rank for the exact same words, however, particularly if your competition is already established. Instead, think about ranking for slight variations thereof in which they don’t rank quite as highly.

Also, consider choosing long tail keywords when your first starting out. These are longer phrases (known as long-tailed keywords) that delve into your topic more precisely. Why choose these? Two reasons:

  • First off, though there is less traffic, the competition isn’t as fierce either, meaning you’ll be in a better position to rank well. And that means you’ll need to do less work to get the lion’s share.
  • Secondly, when people are typing longer queries into search engines, they generally already know what they’re looking for. This means that a far higher percentage of those visitors will ultimately convert – which is really what you’re after.

Use Latent Semantic Indexing

In the past, it used to be the case that if you put the keyword into a piece of text many times, you’d be more likely to rank well. Then Google realised that people hated reading the same phrase over and over again. And so they developed a system where their algorithm has started to come to understand semantics.

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What this means is that as long as you write texts that is semantically related (walnuts and peanuts, knitting and wool, toys and Lego) then their algorithm will pick up on that and decide that your text is actually relevant.

Therefore, don’t keyword stuff. This will actually get you penalised by Google (as well as your visitors who will think you’re a simpleton who can’t write well). Instead, use Latent Semantic Indexing, create more naturally flowing text and still appear as relevant according to the Google algorithm.

Longer texts are better texts

At least, according to Google they are, as longer texts are more likely to actually contain the information that people are looking for and therefore are likely to be more authoritative. For this reason, skip the 500-word blurbs of yesteryear, and instead focus on in-depth texts that actually get to the heart of matters and explore the ins and outs of an issue (basically anywhere around 1500 you’re starting to look good).

If you do this, then all things being equal, you’ll outrank the shorter pages. And that is obviously what you’re after.