We have already established that search engine optimization has become an essential part of any marketing strategy and that we must consider the criteria used by search engines in addition to (potential) customers' wishes.
By now, you already know that using the right keywords and making sure your content is widely shared across the web are the most important factors in search engine rakings. However, despite their important, they are not enough. It is simply not enough to use numerous keywords and create a vast amount of content. You must take it a step further - the content on your website must be optimized in response to what customers might search for and their intent. At the same time, you must also consider the way search engines work so you can create a credible website that we talked about in our previous blog post on SEO.
To help you optimize your website as much as possible, here are 7 steps that can guide you as you redesign your content strategy or create a new one:
Number of words per page. A text should have enough words to cover a topic and at the same time hold the reader's attention until they finish the piece. The ideal number of words is not strictly defined, as it depends on the site (depending on the topic and the site we are visiting).
Title. Create catchy titles for you websites that will attract more readers and improve your clickthrough rate. It is recommended that the title length does not exceed 70 characters. It should also include long-tail keywords, which are more specific than regular keywords. For example, "socks" is a popular keyword for which many companies are competing, making it difficult to reach a top position on the search results page. On the other hand, keywords, such as "yellow polka dot socks", are less common but are targeting buyers who want these specific socks.
Meta description. This is a short description of a page (e.g. a blog post) that the search engine displays under the main title of your website. This one- or two-sentence description plays an important role and can be just the thing to convince the reader to click through to your website, even if it is not the first search result. The meta description as the page summary is also read by search engines, so make sure to include one or two keywords. The length should be kept around 155 to 160 characters and should never exceed 250 characters. We recommend that you avoid using the same words in your title, meta description, and URL address.
Headings or H tags. Headings are used to organize content and are classified by their importance (eg. from H1 to H6). Search engines usually understand H1 to be the most important heading, so use it to tag either the title of a web page or a blog post. Avoid using more than one H1 heading per page. Instead, use H2 and H3 tags to organize the text into different sections and improve readability. You can configure/set heading look and feel in the content management system template.
Alt text. Search engines cannot see what is in an image, so you must help them. The alt text is a text description of an image that helps the search engine "read" it. By adding short sentences as image descriptions, you can gain a significant advantage when it comes to search results. If a certain image does not display correctly on your site, readers will still know what the image contains. Another plus is that these descriptions make it easier to use screen-reading tools.
Links. No website is an island and links are the founding principle of the web. When it comes to search engine optimization, links help us improve the credibility of a page and direct readers (and search engines) to other pages dedicated to a similar topic. Add links to useful external sources (recommended for blogs), which you intend to publish. Here, using generic phrases such as “Click here” or “Learn more” are not very effective. It is better to use more descriptive text for your links. For example: "Take a look at this video showing the benefits of this solution."
Topic clusters. They are becoming an increasingly important aspect of search engine optimization. HubSpot made them easy to use in their search optimization tools, as it uses the structure of a mind map that you create yourself to help search engines understand what is the essence of your website and how well you covered a certain topic.
If you are using HubSpot's CMS, the good news is that the tool applies all the seven steps in a marketer-friendly way, empowering you to follow most of these steps when creating your content.
Follow Best SEO practices for a great search engine ranking
Follow the steps below to improve your optimization quickly and effectively. However, do not expect that these steps are the only thing that will put your website to the number one position overnight. They should be just a part of your SEO strategy. You can reach a top ranking among search results by following best SEO practices, so make sure you take a comprehensive approach to optimization and make it a (mandatory) part of your content marketing strategy.