Writing top-quality content is an absolute must if your brand and your business are to succeed. Of course, there is a lot more that goes into writing content than just writing content! It takes research to come up with topics and after you have come up with the ideas, you need to study so that your credible resources support your topic. After you have written and shared, you need to optimize your content so that it gives you a high ranking in the search engines. All that is so that other people can find you when they search.
Getting other people to notice what you are doing and buy into it
If you don’t post top-quality content and it is not optimized effectively for the search engines, it won’t get you anywhere. It is that simple. The writing may seem easier than the optimizing. However, there are some easy adjustments that you can make to the search engine optimization (SEO) part of it, which will hopefully bring you fantastic results.
Start with the writing
If your content writing (whether you write the content yourself or you have someone else do it for you) is not top quality, it won’t take you very far. That is the number 1 requirement. If your content contains errors, is inaccurate, or is just not expressed well is that the reader will become distracted by all of those obstacles and he or she will not be able to pay attention to what you are trying to say. You need to make sure that your content doesn’t contain any obstacles of any kind. When it comes to the search engines, it is important that your content is recognized as good quality. It seems like a stretch that the search engines are sophisticated enough understand the difference between good writing and bad. However, there are ways that the search engines can accomplish this.
- Analyzing behavior: The truth is that the search engines have the ability to intuitively understand certain human behaviors. For example, the search engines understand bounce rates and the amount of time that readers spend on any given page. A lot can be deduced from that. The bounce rate is the amount (or percentage) of people who arrive on a given page but then quickly abandon that page without any additional interaction. The other factor that the search engine focuses on here is how long a person actually spends on a given page. All of that is calculable for the search engines.
- Compliance with SEO guidelines: The fact is that following the guidelines is very important. If you don’t follow the guidelines, the search engines will know and it will not be good for you. On the other hand, if you comply with the guidelines, you will be found easily by others and the search bots will be able to index your website. That way, your target audience members will find you easily and quickly. You certainly don’t want to end up being punished because you didn’t follow the rules.
- Paying attention to reviews: The truth is that people review your content. It is not correct to assume that only machines are doing the work. The search engines rely on those humans to give human reviews. When you are writing content, it is essential that you write it in a way that you feel will be valuable and educational to others.
Next, optimize your content
It isn’t enough to merely write the content well. You also need to optimize that content so that you are able to acquire real results. You need to think like a search engine. If you are able to do that, the results that you achieve will most likely be really good. When it comes to your content, you will want to consider the following elements:
- A compelling headline with a strategically places keyword or key phrase
- Paragraph headlines with effective keywords or key phrases
- A link between the article title and the teaser (opening) paragraph
- Titles and subtitles with appropriate heading levels
- A meta-tag with the most important keyword or key phrase
- Include graphic images: It is an established fact that your content must be well written. However, it is important to consider that there are many people who are visual. That means that they react very positively to images. Graphic images will go a long way to enhancing your written content. If up to this point, your content only contains words, and your traffic is light, it is really time to consider adding a graphic element. You may be surprised at the positive results that you achieve.
- Use effective backlinks: Links are important for your content and they will always be important. A backlink is one of the few ways that your target audience members can interact with you. It is all about the relationship that you are able to establish. Of course, it goes without saying that your links need to be reliable. They need to function well so that the other person arrives at the right place when he or she clicks on your link.
- Make sure that your content contains a social element: You will definitely want to include social buttons in your content so that other people can interact (with you and with each other) and share your valuable content. Social media is one of the essential elements of your business’ foundation. Always remember to include the social element in whatever you are doing.
- Give people the opportunity to start a discussion: A comments section is extremely important. You want to give other people the opportunity to share their thoughts and their opinions. Very interesting ideas and progress have come from lively discussions. Of course, you must also be prepared for the potential for some negative comments as well. They are just as important (if not more important) for your growth as positive comments.
- Make sure that you have a strategically placed call-to-action (CTA): Not only is a CTA critical to your brand’s success but where you place that CTA (or multiple CTAs) is just as important. You want to place your compelling CTA in a place where it will do the most good and be seen the most easily. If you do it properly, your CTA should bring you more traffic and generate more buzz about your brand.
The marriage of top-quality content and effective SEO is a very important one. Having one without the other is not nearly as effective as the two together. Your content needs to be valuable to others and your optimization efforts allow you to get noticed so that other people have the opportunity to appreciate and benefit from what you can do for them. Writing great content without effectively optimizing it is like building a casino in the desert. It is amazing but nobody knows about it. SEO should never be an afterthought. It is a necessity, not a luxury.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).