This is a guest post by Georgiana Ghiciuc. Georgiana is lead content strategist for Beaglecat, an inbound marketing agency with clients in Austria, Germany and the US.
SEO can be life changing, when you know the rules of the game.
Over the past few years, most publishers have been exposed to the idea that, unless you follow a number of SEO guidelines, Google won’t index you, people won’t read your work and you will endure eternal oblivion.
As with everything, SEO rules should be taken with a pinch of salt. Here are some basic tips to help you rank better.
1. Keyword research isn’t just for (content) marketers.
That’s right, you don’t necessarily have to be actively selling, to perform a little old-fashioned keyword research. Done correctly, it can give you an insight into what your potential audience prefers. Are you looking to write an article about the latest trends in crime fiction? Taking a look at Google AdWords keyword planner. Even simply browsing through the first results that Google returns when looking for “writing crime fiction” can be very useful if you want to rank highly.
2. Technicalities do matter
- the meta-description (should contain your keyword and be no longer than 150 characters)
- your focus keyword (never use it more than 5 times in 1000 words)
- your SEO title, including your targeted keyword (no longer than 55 characters, otherwise search engines will truncate it)
- your URL (make sure no punctuation marks are included and that words are separated by hyphens)
3. A picture is worth 1000 words
Never forget to keyword-optimize your image, both the title and alt-tag. Just like all of the other SEO guidelines, it will increase your chances of being found on Google. Remember to quote the source too, Google doesn’t favour using photos which haven’t been approved for use.
4. Keep titles relevant both in meaning and in form
This means that you need to cascade headers and sub headers in a way that will help Google understand the structure of your article. As a matter of course, your title will be a H1 header, your subtitle an H2 and all subsequent divisions should be written in H3-H4 headers. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to miss keyword-optimizing your title and subtitle.
5. Links, links, links
Both internal and external. The former refers to some of your previous articles, whereas the latter conveys the substance of your copy. The more researched it is, the more it should link to external, reliable websites. It’s another way for Google to know that your article can be trusted.