site presence & seo

#ContentWritingChat Recap: “Back to School” with Your Site Presence & SEO: 101 Refresher

This time of year, a lot of people are heading back to school. They’re stocking up on supplies, getting textbooks, and preparing for another semester of classes. However, even if you’re not heading back to school, it doesn’t mean you can’t do a little learning!

For this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we decided to go “back to school” by talking about the basics of building your site presence and mastering SEO. This was another one of our community chats, where our participants are the stars of the show. And they certainly had some great advice to share!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: “Back to School” with Your Site Presence & SEO: 101 Refresher

If you’re ready for a refresher course on site presence and SEO, you’re in the right place! Grab a pen and paper to take some notes and let’s dive right in!

Q1: Explain the importance of SEO and how it integrates into your online marketing.

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share why they feel SEO is important. What did they have to say about it? Here are a few responses from the chat:

As Jason said, SEO helps people find and see you online. The keywords you target in your content are just one of the ways you can boost your visibility in search rankings.

Lexie mentioned that SEO is a huge part of everything they do over at Netvantage Marketing. They conduct keyword research before creating anything. Then, that keyword is used in the page title, body copy, etc.

When done right, SEO helps your brand become searchable and more visible on search engines. This is why you want to conduct keyword research and choose the right keywords for each piece of content you publish.

As Elizabeth pointed out, Google can’t send people to your site if they don’t know you exist.

Brittany made a great point! You can’t build something and expect it to be successful. You can’t just publish a piece of content and expect people to find it. You have to put in the effort to optimize your content for search engines like Google.

Q2: What are the basic SEO steps every blogger needs to take when publishing new content?

To get started with SEO, we need to have the basics covered. So, which steps should you always keep in mind when you’re publishing a new piece of content? Here’s some advice:

As Julia said, it starts with knowing your audience. Without knowing your audience and understanding their needs, you can’t create content they’re interested in. You’ll want to follow that up with keyword research to choose the right long-tail keywords for your content.

Lexie also knows that keyword research is an essential beginning. The keyword you choose for a piece of content will be used in the page title, meta description, and throughout the body copy. However, as she pointed out, you should always incorporate the keyword in a way that’s natural.

Choosing the right keywords goes back to paying attention to your audience. Your content should address their pain points and the questions they’re asking.

Brittany said you want to go for the keywords people are searching for. The right keywords are going to help you rank higher in search results.

Tony shared a helpful infographic with some tips that are important to keep in mind!

Q3: How can you make sure you’re speaking to the right audience in your search optimized content?

Another priority is to make sure you’re reaching the right audience with the content you’re publishing on your website. After all, you don’t want to risk attracting all the wrong people to your site. Here’s how to make sure you reach the right people:

Audience and keyword research is essential here. As Jason said, you need to know who you want to reach and then research the terms and phrases they’re searching. This will help you write the content that targets your ideal audience.

Having a reader persona is essential. You want to know who you’re trying to reach and create content that answers their questions and addresses pain points.

As Julia mentioned, Google looks at content like a human does. You’ll want to write with your human reader in mind if you want to succeed.

Lexie said you should communicate with your audience, not at them.

Jeff is a fan of actually talking to his audience. You can strike up a conversation with your ideal readers to really get to know them and their needs.

A little research is going to teach you everything you need to know about your audience!

Q4: Name a few top mistakes you see repeatedly in SEO content.

There are quite a few mistakes that people frequently make in their SEO content. And if you don’t know what they are, you won’t be able to avoid them! These are things you’ll want to avoid on your own website:

As Lexie pointed out, keyword stuffing is still an issue today. She also mentioned it’s a mistake to not use your keywords in headings.

Mallie also feels keyword stuffing is huge NO.

Andrew feels using visible clusters of keywords can actually cheapen your content. You don’t want to go overboard when incorporating keywords into your content. It needs to be done naturally.

Choosing the wrong keywords is also a big mistake. If you aren’t targeting the correct keywords, you won’t successfully reach your audience.

One thing that a lot of people still forget about is their meta description. Don’t forget to take an extra few seconds to type up a meta description for your blog posts.

Mistakes Zala has noticed are not optimizing for the right keywords and local search, poorly written content, and failing to check analytics to see what actually converts.

One huge mistake that Julia sees is people putting out crappy, worthless content. That’s not serving a purpose for anyone. You need to focus on adding value with everything you publish.

Q5: Are there any tools you rely on when it comes to creating SEO content?

There are plenty of tools out there that can help you with SEO, but how do you know which ones you should use? Here’s a list of suggestions:

Jeff is a big fan of Moz.

Lexie turns to a variety of tools, including SEMrush and Answer the Public.

For Mallie, the Yoast plugin for WordPress is a must!

Sabjan is also a fan of Yoast.

Julia shared a list of her favorites with us, which includes BuzzSumo and Quora. Both can be used to find out what your audience is talking about.

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer can help you craft amazing, clickable headlines for your content.

For Cheval, Twitter chats are a go-to. You can learn a lot from others through chats.

Don’t forget that you should never stop learning. Jade reads various blogs and watches what some of the experts in the field do.

Q6: How can you tell if you’re achieving your desired SEO goals?

So, how do you know if you’re actually achieving the goals you set out to reach? Here’s what you need to know:

Andrew knows the first step is actually setting quantifiable, trackable goals. Without clear goals in mind, you won’t know what you’re working towards.

Jeff suggests watching how your rankings change. Is your domain authority changing? How many backlinks are you generating? These are all factors you may want to watch.

Marijana recommends using Google Analytics and Moz. You can track any changes, as well as the terms you’re ranking for.

Another thing to keep an eye on is how people are finding your site. What keywords are they searching to discover your content? This is important information to keep in mind.

Q7: What steps will you take to give your site a refresher in the months ahead?

Now that we’ve talked about giving your site a refresher and SEO basics, we wanted to know how our chat participants could improve their own sites. Here’s what they had to say:

Brittany is working on a content audit, as well as reviewing her content strategy. She’s even taking Julia’s course!

Even Julia is updating older posts from the Express Writers archives!

Jennifer is currently working on updating her older posts for SEO.

Mallie plans to update her blog post images with alt text.

Read, discover, and learn. Remember that you should always learn and find ways to improve your skills.

Q8: What are your favorite resources for learning more about SEO and growing your website? Tag them!

These resources are a must for our community! Check them out:

Neil Patel, Moz, Search Engine Journal, SEMrush, and HubSpot are bookmark-worthy resources! They’re great for learning about your site presence & SEO.

Julia shared a great list of suggestions, including Content Marketing Institute and Kissmetrics.

These are resources that are worth checking out!

Mallie is also a big fan of Moz’s content!

Join us for #ContentWritingChat every Tuesday from 10-11 AM Central Time! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss anything!
#Contentwritingchat

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