By Steve Lazuka, Zerys for Agencies
So you thought all you had to do was produce quality content and you’d get found by your target audience? Sorry, but it’s not that simple. To optimize your content marketing results, you need to make sure the material you publish is found by users, shared with others and indexed by search engines.
By being mindful of technicalities and repurposing your information for use across multiple channels, you can make use of these 5 strategies to optimize the results of your content marketing efforts.
Your website architecture is important for delivering favorable results. Get your site designer to aim for the flattest possible design, which reduces the number of clicks from your home page to the deepest link. Much like the principle of a flat organizational structure, flat site architecture has no more than three levels of sub-pages leading down from the home page.
Then there’s the page title tag, considered to be the single most important element of on-page SEO on a site. It’s the first place search engine algorithms “look” for information, and provides the copy that appears in the search results under the name of the site.
The tag needs to fit specific parameters, including providing a concise description of the content in 70 words or less, with the primary keyword located as near to the beginning of the sentence as possible.
It’s one thing to have great content, but it has to be disseminated to work. Distribute your content by:
- Adding social media sharing buttons to every page of your content to make it easy for users to share with their networks, and spend time responding to conversations on your social pages.
- Posting keyword-rich backlinks in relevant business directories.
- Repurposing your information for use in other ways, such as for access on mobile devices or as press releases published through a wire service.
- Building an email marketing database and sending links to your latest content out through regular eNewsletters.
You can also join groups on LinkedIn and engage in discussions on issues relevant to your business, and judiciously include links to your site where they’re appropriate.
While recent changes to search engine algorithms have reduced the requirement for high-density, “keyword-stuffed” articles, keywords remain the primary source of indexing by Google and other engines. The secret to making them work is to use research to choose relevant, unbranded keywords that have a high search frequency, and then use them effectively in your on-page and offsite SEO.
The best way to use keywords is to identify one primary and one or two secondary keywords. Include the primary keyword once in the title, once in the first 100 words and once or twice in the rest of the body copy, and the secondary keywords at least once in the text.
Also, use the primary keyword in the file name of any images you include in the content, and list all the keywords used in the piece as tags when you publish.
Mobile is expected to really take off in 2013 and become one of the most frequently used methods of accessing online information. According to mobile industry news from Digby.com, mobile is even changing the way people shop in retail stores. Customers who check in can access special in-store deals using their smart phones, and of course, the majority will have already researched online what they want on their way to the store. So make sure your content is optimized for all devices, if you don’t want it to be overlooked by the millions surfing on their mobiles while sitting on public transport or elsewhere.
Once again, the value of content lies in its ability to be shared and spread. The more your information is shared, the higher your rankings will be in search results, and the higher you appear in search the more it will be shared. Referrals from social networking sites and directories are great, but referrals from other “good” websites and blogs are even better. No, we don’t mean spamming other blogs with comments containing your URLs, but a legitimate way to do this is to post intelligent and useful commentary on related sites and include links to relevant information in your comment or signature. It’s a fine line, but it works.
You’ve turned out great content; now use every channel and medium you can to optimize it and make sure it gets found by your target audience. Then let them take over and handle the sharing!
Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms. Follow Steve @SteveLazuka.
Zerys is a powerful content project management tool and writer marketplace that makes it simple to manage any content project from start (strategy planning) to finish (auto-publishing). Zerys for Agencies is a custom, private-labeled solution that allows agencies to manage all their clients’ content projects from one, simple dashboard. Zerys was founded in 2008, and is now used by thousands of businesses and hundreds of marketing agencies.
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