Context, quality, and keywords are all equally important in your inbound marketing efforts. Without the proper keywords, your content won’t be seen by the right potential customers, and your efforts go nowhere. Once you’ve done the proper research and developed a strategy, you’ll need to place these terms into your landing pages, blogs, eBooks, and whitepapers. But exactly where and how often can sometimes be tricky. A properly optimized piece of content should have a mix of short- and long-tail keyword phrases placed in the following areas:
Content. This one is obvious. Whatever keyword phrases you’re going after should be in the body of your work. But don’t over do it! Search engines like Google don’t need you to repeat yourself over and over to know what you’re writing about. Some marketers get excited when they find their perfect terms and write articles that incorporate that keyword a dozen or more times to try for high keyword density. It doesn’t work long-term, however, and search engines penalize this as “keyword stuffing”. Not only is this not valuable for long-term ranking, it’s extremely off-putting for real viewers. Instead, focus each piece of content around one or two keywords.
Don’t feel the need to say the phrase in its exact words either. Let synonyms, variations, and so on come up naturally. If your targeted keyword is “ commercial real estate loan”, try incorporating “real estate loans for commercial properties” or “ commercial property loans”. Remember: write for your users, not for search engines, and your page views will skyrocket.
Title. Be sure to incorporate your keyword into the title of your piece as well. The page title is an important place because the contents of the <title> tag usually get displayed in the search engine result page (SERP), including on Google’s. If your title doesn’t show people you are answering their question, they won’t click to open the page.
Anchor Text. Anchor text is the clickable link in your content, leading to either another page on your website (internal link) or to another website (external link). Search engines pay particular attention to these links in gauging what your content is about, so be sure to link your keywords and not generic text.
Alt Tags. A blog or eBook designed for reader engagement will include at least one picture or graph. Search engine crawlers cannot read these images, so you will need to add ALT text to them. This is how algorithms will place your picture in Google Images.
URL. Once your piece is optimized in the content, title, anchor text, and with ALT tags added to the images, it is time to post it live. You aren’t quite done yet! Be sure when choosing the URL for your page, you include the keyword there as well. This should be natural since your title already reflects the keyword as well.
Meta Description. Google does not actually include the meta description in its algorithm to base your page’s ranking on. However, a meta description is displayed on the SERP so adding your keywords here goes a long way toward increasing your click through rate.
No matter what type of content marketing you do, keywords matter. Potential customers won’t just stumble onto your site, the primary way they will find your website is by searching on a search engine like Google. If you don’t have the right keywords, you won’t rank well for anything related to your website, and people won’t find you. But by using these simple techniques, your content marketing will be seen by an untold number of visitors.
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