5 Quick Tips about SEO Content for 2017

For many people writing and publishing content to their blogs and other sites, focusing on SEO (search engine optimization) is an important goal. They want to be found on Google and other search engines and they want their content to be on Page One. Unfortunately, many of those same people go way overboard and feel that SEO and SEO only is the best way to move forward, and literally “pad” their copy with SEO elements they think will give them the edge needed to rank high on the SERPS—the search engine results pages. As you may know, Google is constantly changing its algorithms and it is really difficult for the average person to keep up. To help you achieve real SEO success this year, I’ve outlined the 5 top tips for including SEO in your content, even if you are not an SEO expert.

1. You have to work HARD to get “noticed.” Many people try to take the easy way out and constantly check what Google is looking for as it constantly indexes sites.

  • When is the first date that your domain or webpage was discovered by Google? The older the indexed age, the better. Yes, that means that if you are “new,” getting found will be harder, but that means you have to keep updating your site.
  • Does your site have a lot of diverse quality links coming back to it? Both the links and the original site that sent the link need to be of good quality, not junk.
  • Does your site have plenty of high-quality content? Do you publish new content regularly? Google will not highly rank content that is thin on information and lacking value for the reader, nor will it rank content that is too short, devoid of relevant keywords, or content that doesn’t engage the readers for a good amount of time.

2. Your content must favor quality over quantity. Even though it is highly recommended that you publish regularly, it is even more important that what you publish is high quality, not just any ol’ thing so that there is something on your site. Google does notice people who try to scam the system by using quick tactics such as article spinning, link-generating software, or content that is too heavy in irrelevant keywords or SEO elements. Just.Don’t.Do.It. Take the time to write and publish content that is valuable, engaging, original, and not filled with ads, affiliate links, or pressure to buy products.

3. Content, Content, Content The content you write must be compelling, add value to the reader, answer a question or solve an issue, be well-written, and your publishing schedule must be regular. You will not get good SERP rankings with sub-par content. The more valuable your content is to the reader, the more it is naturally shared by others, and a good amount of sharing certainly helps your rankings.

  • Written content is still the most published copy, but there are also opportunities to publish videos, infographics, and other forms of content besides just text. A diverse group of content keeps things interesting for your readers, keeps them coming back for more, and keeps your SERP ranking high.
  • Content marketing is also very important. “If you build it, they will come…” is not a good marketing strategy. Again, we’re talking about working hard here. Once you have published your content, you have to make sure people know it’s there and encourage them to read it, comment on it, share it, and link back to it. Whew!

4. Size Matters. Google is looking for content that adds value and is informative, and the best way to ensure that is to write copy that is between 1,000 and 2,000 words. Each blog post and article you write should be very valuable to your reader, and unless it is just a quick notice-type post, you really need at least 1,000 to have substantial and targeted information. Your content not only has to be long, but it also has to be of good quality. We cannot emphasize that enough. This is where keywords are important, they help you to stay focused on your chosen topic.

  • Being a great writer takes a lot of skill and practice. Being a great SEO writer takes even more skill, patience, and experience.
  • Most professional copywriters have studied and practiced their craft for many years. Being a skilled writer and SEO specialist takes more than someone who received “A’s” in English class in high school or college.
  • Writing 1,000 to 2,000+ word blog posts and articles takes time, research, skill, and experience. Could you become proficient at writing content that will rank your site high with Google. I’m sure you could. But it will take time.

5. Get Mobile and Stay Mobile. Today more people access the Internet from their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) than from their desktop or laptop computers, and now Google is more focused on mobile searches with its algorithms.

  • It is imperative that your site is mobile-first and mobile-friendly. You must ensure that you content loads quickly and navigates easily on all types of mobile devices.
  • It is very simple to test out your site yourself: just pull up your site on your mobile device and see what happens. Is your experience a good one? If not, you will have to make the necessary changes.
  • Google is so focused on mobile accessibility that it has launched the “Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project that additionally ranks content on its mobile-friendliness. The AMP project developers have a vision that helps publishers to create mobile-optimized content for their sites. There are specific published guidelines that must be met for your content to be awarded the “AMP” tag. You can find the guidelines here.

Are you having challenges or do you have concerns about making your content SEO relevant? Is there something more you need to learn to ensure you are high in the SERPS? Let us know in the comments.

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Offer a Solution with a Company White Paper

White papers. We’ve heard about them, but do we really know what they are and how they fit into your marketing mix?

A white paper is an in-depth authoritative and persuasive document that focuses on one topic and presents a problem and provides a solution. A white paper is not a direct pitch for your product or service; instead a white paper uses facts and evidence to show how your product or service offers a solution to a problem or challenge faced by your customers or clients. A white paper is positioned as a problem-solving guide and is usually made available via an email campaign, allowing your company to capture leads for future appointments or sales.

A white paper is different from a blog post or an eBook, each of which can be researched and written in a few hours to a few weeks, a well-written white paper is more like an academic paper that includes a solid body of research and fully documented references. A white paper shows expertise in the chosen topic, is written in a very serious tone, and are meant to help you and your company build credibility and trust with the readers, most of whom are further into the buying cycle.

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When you hire a professional copywriter to produce a white paper for you and your company, the copywriter should first consult with you to find out your goals for your white paper and the preliminary information that will be required to write the copy for your white paper. Your copywriter will also work with a professional graphic designer to ensure standardized components for your white paper such as page layout, images, fonts, and colors.

  • Your white paper will be a minimum of six pages in length, and usually between 20-30 pages long. Included in the page count will be the illustrations, charts, and references.
  • The final draft of your white paper will also include a table of contents, a short executive summary, an introduction, a chapter that outlines the problem faced by your customers or clients, a chapter that defines one or more relevant solutions, a chapter that highlights a company that used the recommended solution to get results, and a conclusion.
  • Your final white paper will be 8.5X11 in a portrait layout PDF that can easily be downloaded from an email or printed and mailed or presented in hardcopy.

You should expect the generation of a white paper to take at least a month from initial consultation to final draft. Your next step will then be to design an email and social media marketing campaign to give your white paper the greatest exposure.

A white paper is an important element of your overall marketing strategy. The professional team at Writing It Right For You looks forward to working with you to write a white paper for you and your company. Contact us here.

Why You Need Calls-to-Action

If you are writing blog posts, emails, articles, direct mail pieces, or any other kind of lead generation document for your marketing efforts, you need to add a call-to-action to everything you publish.

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What is a call-to-action (CTA)? A CTA is used in marketing to instruct the audience to make an immediate response to an imperative statement. By inserting a clear and direct action message within and at the end of your copy, you will your reader a reason to click through to your landing page or website; as well as an action that can be measured. Depending on your goals for your marketing activities, here are four types of CTAs:

Download: for more information: to entice your readers to leave their name and email address, your CTA will encourage them to exchange their information for a valuable piece of knowledge such as a how-to guide, an infographic, features and benefits flier, etc. Your goal here is to collect the names and email addresses to build your distribution list for future marketing activities.

Subscribe: whether your blog is a part of your website or your blog *is* your website, you should have a “subscribe” button in several different places around your blog and your website. A subscribe now CTA usually has the working of a “FOMO” or “fear of missing out”. By encouraging people to subscribe to your blog, your readers won’t have to be afraid of missing a post.

Share Now: this CTA can be in the form of a button, a pop up, or just the words highlighted to request that your readers share your social media message, article, or blog post with their networks.

Learn More: you’ve given your readers some information that should lead them to want more, and your CTA should encourage them to get in touch with you via a contact page, email, phone call, etc.

You should write each CTA with a strong leading command verb that states exactly what you want to the reader to do: “download”, “subscribe”, “find out how”…and so on.

You will be able to measure the results of your CTAs based on the actual responses acted on by your readers for each type.

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Why You Need An Editorial Calendar

If you are in charge of the content marketing for a client or for your own business, you need a way to track all those posts, articles, tweets, and other types of copy. Developing and using an editorial calendar will help you to plan your  publishing strategy and to ensure that you have all the key information you’ll need when it’s time to write, such as SEO, demographic targets, and so on. The most important reason to use an editorial calendar is that it will help you to keep your content marketing efforts consistent, relevant, and trackable.

editorial calendar

Depending on your needs, you can write your editorial calendar in a paper notebook or planner, in your online calendar, in a spreadsheet, or in a proprietary program approved by your company. Whichever method you use, it will be helpful to have two editorial calendars: 1) a master at-a-glance calendar to plan the content marketing for a determined time period (quarterly, annually, etc.), and separate calendars for specific posting activities, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, events, and so on. Next, you’ll want separate calendars or lists for planning and scheduling different types of content, such as eBooks, white papers, case studies, blog posts, and newsletters.

Use your master editorial calendar to track key dates that may be relevant to the type of content you produce and when you will schedule that content for publication, and includes a brief overview of all the content planned by content type.
 Supporting your master editorial calendar are the spreadsheets, mind maps, outlines, or other list types that include the more specific information about the different content types, such as post date, keywords, categories, call to action, title, status, etc.
 Last, you will also find it helpful to have a place to track other components for future use: existing content that can be repurposed, ideas for new content, quotes, references, links, etc. Personally, I use Evernote, based on a content management system developed by Michael Hyatt.

Developing and using an editorial calendar as part of your marketing strategy will go a long way towards helping you to maintain a continuous flow of valuable content, which in turn will attract your ideal customers and convert them into new clients and sales.

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