There are 4.54 billion pages of content on the Internet.
With the competition that high, it’s essential to understand how search engines work. You need to know how to best position your messaging and content so that people see it.
But how do you even begin a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? The idea of SEO can feel overwhelming and complicated. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s the ultimate SEO checklist for content creation.
Types of SEO
Sometimes people can have an incomplete idea of what SEO is.
Some see it as only link building, while others may see it as optimizing the content on your website. Or you only see it as a technical task for your website developer to undertake.
All these ideas are correct, and all are essential to seeing lasting results from an SEO strategy.
These are the three main types of SEO:
Technical SEO. It’s about the building and editing your website’s architecture to favor search engines.
Off-page SEO. Having websites, articles, and pages (that aren’t your own) that link back to you.
On-page SEO. Optimizing the content on your website for Google crawlers.
As you might of guesses, on and off page SEO are the types of SEO involved with content creation.
Off-page SEO creates a “backlink portfolio.” Like any portfolio, it’s a representation of your authority in a topic.
The quality, relevance, and rank of the sites that link to your website. Will have an impact on your website’s ranking and authority to Google.
On-page SEO is essential to letting Google know what your site is about. The interpretation of content on your website by Google is how your website gets indexed.
The more new content you produce, the more your site will be crawled and ranked. This is why many SEO and marketing companies suggest blogs.
When it comes to building an SEO content strategy, you’ll want to start with On-page SEO.
Choose Topics and Keywords
The first step to a focused content strategy is choosing a list of essential topics. You’ll want to choose five to 10 words.
If you’re a law office, some of your topics might be “DUI”, “divorce”, “immigration” or “workplace injury.” A great way to narrow down your topics as a business is to focus on the services or products you offer.
Once you’ve established your list of topics, you’ll want to go to Google Ads Keyword Planner. compile a list of keywords.
You’ll simply input one topic at a time into the “keyword ideas” space.
You’ll see a list of related keywords and keyword phrases ranked by average monthly searches and competition.
You don’t always want to choose the keyword phrases that have the highest search volume and highest competition.
If you’re starting out, you’ll want to choose keywords with medium to low competition. But mix-it-up.
When choosing keywords you’ll want to hone in on your audience. What you want to rank for and what your audience is searching for might be different.
Create a list of about 5 – 10 keywords per topic. Choose a primary keyword or keyword phrase per topic.
The rest of the keywords and keyword phrases on your list will be secondary keywords.
The SEO Optimization Checklist For Content
You can optimize existing content and set SEO rules for producing new content.
You’ll want to choose one or two primary keywords to focus the content on. Then use this keyword in the introduction, heading, and conclusion of your article.
You’ll also want to include it in the article title tag, meta description, and URL. It’s important to not use the primary keyword more than about four times.
Search engines see this as “keyword stuffing.” Keyword stuffing was a way many companies attempted to manipulate Google search engines.
They would pile as many keywords as they could onto a page.
But Google has advanced significantly since then. It looks for tactics like this as red flags that a site is spammy.
As you’ll want other sites to link to your site, your content should be linking to other relevant sites too. These are inbound links.
You’ll want to include about two links per 1000 words. Only link to sites that are relevant to your business and will boost your authority.
If you’re a pest control company with a blog post about cockroaches. Link to a science journal about a cockroach behavioral study or an article in National Geographic about the species.
Internal linking will help increase traffic too. Internal linking is linking to other pages or posts on your website.
You’ll want to include two links per 1000 words. If you’re a carpet cleaning company writing a blog post about different types of stains. Link to another blog post all about pet stains or your services page.
Keep your word count at about 500 words at least. But the longer the better.
Google also knocks sites that have duplicate content. So make sure that you’re not creating pages and blogs that are on too like each other.
Create A Link Building Plan
Once you’ve solidified your on-page SEO plan. You’ll be ready to create an off-page strategy.
The primary goal is to get links to your website on high ranking websites that are relevant to your business.
Make sure you’re sharing your content across social media networks.
Include a link, relevant hashtags and tag influencers (when appropriate). It will also up to the chances of people sharing your content and using it as a resource in another article.
Approach blogs, local and industry media for guest posts. View yourself as an expert. Think about how your expertise could be beneficial to your audience.
If you’re a roofing company, write a blog post about how to take care of your roof in the winter for a local or home care blog. Look for sites that are already writing about a topic. Then offer yourself as a writer and content provider for free, as long as you can include your desired links.
Press releases are another great way to generate backlinks. First, you can distribute press releases across high-traffic newswires. Then include links in the press releases.
Distribute press releases to bloggers and members of the media for article ideas. Did your company reach a landmark in sales and expansion? Send it to the local newspaper. If they’re interested, request an online article with a link to your site.
If you’ve been working in plumbing repair for 20 years, offer yourself as a source for article ideas and quotes. In exchange for a link to your website.
Be sure to not overstep your boundaries. Don’t demand anything.
Conquering The SEO Game With A Simple SEO Checklist
This simple SEO checklist will set you on the path to improved search rankings.
But understand that this takes time and consistency to see results. Commit to at least six months. Understand that significant changes in your rankings might not happen for a year.
Have more questions about SEO? Or still, need help implementing an SEO strategy for your business? Give us a call!