Search engine optimization is going to look waaaay different in 2018.
We’re forging into the future, and that means search has to change to keep up with technology and user habits/needs.
But what do “they” (the Big G) want? And, where is technology going – and how does that tie in to the search algorithm?
For starters, more people want to ask their virtual, voice-enabled home assistants questions – and get good answers. In addition, more people want to use the internet on their smartphone versus a desktop.
Just look at the market share for mobile vs. desktop five years ago, and then compare it to today.
In 2013, mobile was barely making a blip:
But look at where those numbers fell in 2017:
Mobile is now edging out desktop, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.
That means big things for SEO.
So, what’s going to (really) happen?
Let’s dive into the biggest SEO trends for this year.
We’ll conjure up a good idea of what it all means for your online presence.
5 Impactful Content & SEO Trends to Watch for in 2018
1. Mobile-First Indexing Is Happening
In 2016, mobile surpassed desktop browsing as the most popular method.
More and more people are turning to mobile for their browsing needs, whether they’re on-the-go or at home.
Plus, 80% of people who use the internet also own smartphones.
Google is working to accommodate this shift and will soon roll out their mobile-first index.
This means that the search engine will prioritize mobile content in its rankings.
“Soon” is a relative term, however. According to a Search Engine Land report, right now that means sometime in 2018, but it could get pushed back.
Google has also promised not to spring the roll-out of mobile-first on unsuspecting site owners. Instead, they have pledged to be “proactive” about talking to webmasters as it happens. Gary Illyes even told people not to “freak out” at the SMX Advanced conference in June 2017.
Bottom line: If you’re sitting pretty with a website that has a responsive design, you have no worries. If you still only have a desktop-friendly site, now is the time to make some upgrades.
Here’s what that looks like across devices, via W3Schools:
2. Context Will Matter More Than Ever for Content
If your content isn’t contextually relevant to the topic you’re writing about, forget it.
Forget about ranking, let alone ranking well in 2018.
As Google gets smarter, repeating keywords in your content matters less and less for SEO.
Google is no longer a toddler in terms of tech. It’s now a wise-ass teenager who knows way more than you think.
Hence, SEO for content going forward is all about context. It’s about relevance. It’s about diving deep into a topic and leading your readers far beneath the surface information.
According to experts who contributed to SEMrush’s #semrushchat, content may be THE most important ranking factor today.
Not just any content, though – “relevant, well-structured content”:
Of course, this is nothing new.
However, you can expect to see this continue to grow in importance in the months ahead.
The need for high-quality content for outstanding SEO is going nowhere.
3. Voice Search Optimization Will (Continue to Be) a Big Deal
Voice search technology is getting better all the time.
And, as it gets better and easier to use, more people are flocking to nab their own virtual assistants like Alexa on Amazon devices, Siri on Apple devices, or Cortana on Microsoft devices.
According to a recent study from eMarketer, the number of Americans using voice search jumped up by 128.9% from 2016 to 2017.
By 2019, 39.3 million millennials are expected to adopt this technology and use voice search, according to the same study.
It’s easy to see why voice search optimization will continue to grow in importance for SEO. It’s gotta keep up with the lightning-fast speed at which users are glomming onto voice-enabled technology.
4. Sites Will Be Jostling for Spots in Featured Snippets
According to The Next Web, snippets are the new #1 position on Google.
These snippets appear at the top of search results and give searchers instant answers.
For instance, what if I need to know how far away the moon is from earth? Observe:
Before I can even scroll to the number one search result from NASA, Google hands me the answer in the featured snippet.
Needless to say, it’s prime real estate. Sites that manage to get featured don’t even have to rank #1 to be on top.
Instead, Google pulls text from your content to provide the answer and links to your page – above the number one search result.
Plus, voice search results are mainly pulled from featured snippets. If you can get your content featured here, you could really go places.
Because voice search is getting bigger, expect featured snippet spots to get pretty competitive, too.
5. Lazy Guest-Blogging = Not Cool with Google
If you’re guest-blogging with no other intention than link-building, you’re doing it wrong – and Google will punish you.
Google recently pointed out that this behavior is basically in violation of their guidelines. Specifically, it falls under the shady link schemes umbrella.
Search Engine Land has speculated that this announcement signals a warning for webmasters. They say it’s likely that an algorithm update may be coming that targets “manipulative guest posting.”
To avoid a hit on your rankings in 2018, review guest blogging mistakes to avoid and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons: to provide value to users, and to help you grow your list with quality leads.
The Main 2018 SEO Trend? Search Engines Are Getting Smarter
I think you’ll see one overarching trend for 2018 and SEO: Search is getting smarter, better, and more intuitive.
Of course, we can never stay static for long. We can’t get too comfortable. If we don’t change along with the changing times, we’ll get left behind.
Look forward to these trends this year, and be prepared. Your rankings and site visibility will be better off, and, quite frankly, you’ll sleep better at night.
And if you need great SEO writers, remember, your friendly team at EW is always here for you. Contact us today to talk about your content needs.
Have you ever conducted an SEO audit for your website? If not, you should! However, if you’ve never done one before, you might be wondering how to get started… If you’re in that boat, there’s no need to worry! That’s exactly what we talked about in this week’s #ContentWritingChat.
And as always, our participants had some amazing advice to share. If you’re ready to turn your website into one that Google loves, keep reading for the valuable tips!
#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Conduct an SEO Audit for Your Website with Lexie Kimball of Netvantage Marketing
Our guest host this week was Lexie Kimball of Netvantage Marketing. Lexie is their account manager and she really knows her stuff when it comes to SEO! As a frequent #ContentWritingChat participant, it was great having her step into a guest hosting role.
Q1: Share the basic process you go through for an on-site SEO audit.
If you’ve never conducted an SEO audit before, you’ll need to know where to begin. To help you out, our chat participants shared some essential steps the process includes. Here’s what you need to know:
Lexie’s first step in conducting an SEO audit is keyword research. As she mentioned, the chosen keyword for a piece of content goes in page titles, meta descriptions, and body copy. The team at Netvantage also does a technical audit of the website to locate any red flags.
Michael, also from the Netvantage team, knows that chatting with your client first is a must. It’s important to understand their business and needs. He then suggestions moving on to keyword research, on-site recommendations, and implementation of changes.
Mallie starts by Googling the site, using analytics to identify keywords, and then she looks at specific pages.
Sarah and the team at ThinkSEM start by running the site through Screaming Frog before moving forward with other key steps.
SEMrush is a go-to tool for Sarah! She takes the tool’s suggestions into consideration.
It’s also important to have an understanding of your goals/your client’s goals and who the target audience is. From there, you can create an effective plan.
For Julia, she feels talking to the client is the first step. This allows you to outline solid KPIs you’re judging content by when auditing. From there, she also likes to use Screaming Frog to grab all site links.
Q2: Where do you start with keyword research?
When it comes time to conduct keyword research, where do you begin? Check out this great advice from Tuesday’s chat:
To get started with keyword research, Lexie knows it’s important to talk to the client before beginning. Because the client has plenty of knowledge on their business, they’re able to provide some great suggestions for keywords. She also suggests looking at competitors to see which keywords they’re using and ranking for.
A consultation with the client is a must for Sarah! Sarah and her teammates use that opportunity to question the client on their ideal audience, products, and services.
Michael knows it’s helpful to ask the client to provide a list of keywords that are high priority. After all, they likely have a good idea of which ones are best for their business.
For Ray, it all starts with interviewing the client. Then, he moves onto tools like Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner.
Dennis knows it’s important to define which keywords you want your site to rank for. You can then record your current ranking for each one and watch it grow.
Mallie relies on Google AdWords and Google Analytics to get started.
Abbey, another Netvantage team member, also agrees that asking your clients for keyword suggestions is a great way to begin. From there, she likes to look at queries in Google Search Console.
Adam’s advice is to review popular forms and sites where customers are spending their time online. It’s a great way to see what they’re talking about and to determine the right keywords and topics to use.
Cheval recommends checking out Twitter chats for content topics. This can help a lot when it comes to your keyword research.
Q3: What tools do you use for keyword research?
Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools at our disposal that can help with keyword research. If you’re looking for some great ones to use, check out these suggestions:
Lexie said the Netvantage team turns to Google’s Keyword Planner first. They also rely on SEMrush and Grep Words.
Michael said the multiplier function in Google’s Keyword Planner is a huge help for finding the right keyword for your content.
Even the Flying Cork team says Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to get started.
Sarah provided a list of amazing tools that are worth checking out! As she said, there’s no shortage of tools so you have plenty of options to find the ones that work best for you.
Google’s tools and the Moz Keyword Explorer are great options!
The team at Base Creative also love Google’s Keyword Planner and the Moz Keyword Explorer.
SEO PowerSuit and Google’s Keyword Planner are go-to tools for Kyle.
Julia’s favorite tools for conducting an SEO audit include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Mangools.
Don’t forget you’ll need a place to keep all of your data organized! An Excel spreadsheet is a great way to do that.
Q4: Once you have your keywords, how do you decide where they go and where they’re used?
You’ve got your keywords… Now what? You need to figure out how they’ll be used. Here’s some helpful advice to get you started:
Lexie said they typically select two or three keywords per page. As she also pointed out, they need to go on the most relevant page.
Those keywords are then used in a few essential places. Keywords should be used in the page title, meta description, and throughout the body copy.
Sarah said the client conversation is an opportunity to lay out a sitemap of pages and sections. You can then get chosen keywords to fit into that structure.
Julia’s advice is to focus on one long-tail, high-opportunity keyword per long-form post. She suggests using synonymous keywords.
Kyle knows that long-tail keywords are where it’s at! He makes sure they’re integrated into titles and content of blog posts.
Dennis suggests finding long-tail variants of your keyword and then writing authoritative and comprehensive blog posts on the topic.
As Abbey said, make sure keywords are placed on the most relevant pages. And of course, no keyword stuffing! Keywords should always be used in a natural way.
Q5: Do you create the content the keywords go in on the website?
Are you the one who creates the content that includes your chosen keywords? Or does someone else have this task? Check out what some of our chat participants said:
Lexie said the team at Netvantage will work off existing content if possible.
On the flip side, sometimes they add a paragraph or two to what’s already on the site. This helps increase content length. In some cases, they’ll recommend new pages for the website when doing the SEO audit. The Netvantage team will then create the content for those pages.
Here are Express Writers, Julia writes a lot of the keyword-focused content on our site. We also have a team of 40 writers that help out!
For Sarah, she isn’t the one doing the content writing. There are other team members at ThinkSEM that step into that role.
As for this Sarah, she’s definitely creating the content!
The Sandbox team creates new content, but they also rework the existing content for maximum results.
Jade also writes the keyword-focused content, as working directly with the clients is very important.
When doing an SEO audit, sometimes you’re lucky to create the content and other times you have to optimize what’s already been published. It just depends on the client!
Q6: What technical aspects do you look at for a website when doing an audit?
Don’t forget that it’s not just about the website’s content. There’s a technical side of things to check on as well. Here’s what else you need to look for:
As Lexie said, Google definitely puts an emphasis on speed these days. The Netvantage team uses Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom for this.
She also said they use Google Analytics as another tool. This allows you to check Average Page Load Time and Average Page Download Time.
You can’t forget to also check for canonical errors when conducting an SEO audit.
Abbey seconds that by encouraged you to check for canonical errors on a website, as well as site speed. Make sure you’re also looking at whether or not it’s mobile-friendly and if there’s duplicate content.
As Michael said, you’ll want to check for sitemap errors and others. They’ll need to be fixed!
Dennis knows that page speed and mobile-friendliness are two important factors to consider these days.
Jade relies on Google’s Speed Page Insights to test page speed. Google also has a test to check and see if your site is mobile-friendly.
Debi knows there’s no shortage of technical aspects to look at. She provided a great list of things to review.
Q7: What metrics do you look at to evaluate a website?
Which metrics are important to keep an eye on when evaluating a website? These are some of the top ones to watch:
The Netvantage tame uses Majestic to with a few key metrics during an SEO audit. They look at the number of linking domains to the root domain, as well as citation flow and trust flow of the homepage of the website.
Moz Open Site Explorer allows you to check domain authority and homepage authority.
As Lexie said, looking at domain authority helps determine if the site has bad links that need to be disavowed.
Michael suggests looking at URLs submitted vs URLs indexed.
Dennis recommends tracking metrics from organic search.
Julia shared the seven KPIs she always focuses on. Check it out!
Q8: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest SEO changes?
When changes occur, how do you stay updated? These are great resources to check out:
Lexie’s go-to sources are worth checking out.
These are some more great suggestions from the Netvantage team.
Ray follows some SEO blogs, but he also watches expert YouTube channels to stay updated.
Cheval turns to SEMrush for their blog content, but he also learns a lot from Twitter chats.
As Jade said, you just might learn a think or two from joining #ContentWritingChat!
Natasha suggests a wide array of ideas such as blogs, forums, social media, seminars, and more.
Ready to join the fun? #ContentWritingChat takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to join in!
As online content creators, there’s no denying that SEO is essential. It’s not enough to just write amazing content for your blog, but you have to optimize it as well if you want search engines (and potential readers) to discover it. To help you step up your skills and create content for SEO, you’ll want to dive into the recap of our latest #ContentWritingChat where we talked all about it!
#ContentWritingChat Recap: Curating Consistent Content for SEO
Our guest host for this week’s chat was Danielle Tate of Elegant Entrepreneur. Danielle is a CEO, best-selling author, and a speaker.
Q1: When it comes to publishing content consistently, where do you find inspiration to write?
There’s no denying that sometimes it can be hard to come up with fresh ideas for your content. In order to keep those creative juices flowing, you need to seek a little inspiration. We asked our chat participants where they find inspiration for their writing and here’s what some of them had to say:
For Danielle, she likes to look for news hooks that correlate to the topics she wants to write about. She also turns to customer questions, as they can make great blog content. This is a good reason to pay close attention to feedback your audience gives you and make note of any commonly asked questions.
It looks like Danielle isn’t the only one turning to customers to find content ideas. The team over at Netvantage Marketing uses this strategy as well.
Kristi does the same. She finds out what questions customers are asking and what they’re talking about. This will lead you in the right direction when it comes to potential topic ideas.
Brittany knows it’s a great idea to look at the trends in her industry. This gives you an idea of what’s hot at the moment and provides you with an opportunity to write about it. She suggests looking at trends and listening for challenges others are facing and then having a good brainstorming session.
For Tony, he enjoys reading different articles for inspiration. There’s always something new to read, whether it’s something within your industry or not. You can always draw inspiration from what others are saying.
Cheval gets inspiration from Twitter chats. Chats are very informative and they provide you with the opportunity to connect with others and hear their questions. It can be a great place to find your next blog post idea.
Jeremy finds writing inspiration from a variety of sources. He gets ideas from things he hears others talking about, what he sees in nature while he’s out on a run, and from great photos and videos.
Q2: What advice do you have for writers maintaining a blog long-term?
One thing that many on the outside looking in don’t realize is that blogging is actually hard work. You take on many roles as a blogger and it can sometimes feel overwhelming. So, how do you manage all of those tasks for the long haul? Check out this advice:
Danielle says you shouldn’t be afraid to wide your scope of topic when it comes to the content you cover. If your audience would be interested and it’s still relevant overall, there’s no reason you can’t experiment with something new.
No matter what you choose to write about, it should be something that you genuinely enjoy. If you aren’t passionate about your chosen topic, writing will quickly become a chore.
Make sure you’re running tests to see what’s working for you and what’s not. This allows you to see what you should do more of and what needs to change.
As Jeff said, you need to keep it consistent. If you’re going to start blogging, you need to develop a schedule and stick to it.
To make sure you’re staying consistent, develop a content strategy and keep an editorial calendar. This will keep you on track when it comes to publishing.
Brittany agrees that a plan and an editorial calendar are two essential elements of your blogging success.
Varun says there should be consistency in the quality of the content you produce, you should allow formats to evolve, and you need to keep an eye on trends in your niche. He also suggests focusing on community building. This will help you build a relationship with your audience.
Gabriela’s advice is to define your blog’s purpose and align it with your passions. Having that passion for what you’re doing will ensure you’re consistent and committed to your blog.
Q3: Do you have a specific formula for creating posts on your blog?
Writing a blog post requires quite a bit of work, as there are many stages of content creation. Developing a formula to follow will help make the process easier. Check out the formulas our chat participants follow:
For Danielle, she follows this formula: catchy title, captivating image, five paragraphs with two links, a GIF, and a call to action.
Simple, but effective! For Sarah, she comes up with an idea, jots down notes or an outline, then performs any necessary research. Once that’s done, she begins to write, proofread, and ultimately publish her content.
Don’t be afraid to write that ugly first draft! Brittany follows Ann Handley’s method by getting a first draft out, letting it rest for a while, then coming back to rewrite and optimize.
An outline can pave the way to a fantastic piece of content.
Great advice from Gabriela! She suggests creating based on a balance of what is proven to be of interest versus what she feels should be addressed.
Tony likes to be ahead of schedule when it comes to content creation. He has an editorial calendar that allows him to plan and then create content in advance.
For Leah, she likes to keep seasonality in mind. This ensures you’re timely with the content you share and you can be sure it’ll appeal to your audience in that moment. Figure out what people are searching online and add those topics to your editorial calendar.
The number one formula we should all remember? Provide value to your readers.
Q4: What does SEO mean to you as a content writer?
To switch gears into the SEO focus of this week’s chat, we asked our participants to share what it means to them as content writers. Here’s what they had to say about SEO:
For Danielle, SEO mentions intentionally weaving keywords her audience is searching for into her content. She knows this is essential if she wants the right people to discover the content she creates.
There’s no denying that SEO is important, but it’s equally as important to give your audience what they want to read.
Creating content for SEO means you need to write in a way that appeals to your human readers and search engines like Google.
Lex says SEO clarifies who the audience is, what they need, and how to talk to them.
This is a great answer from Jeff!
For Sara, SEO gives her focus as a creator.
Great way to look at it! SEO is something you have to deal with in order to let your content shine.
Q5: How do you determine the keywords you use within your posts?
When creating content for SEO, you need to determine the right keywords to use for the content you create. How do you go about that? Here are some helpful tips:
Danielle starts by analyzing which keywords are performing the best and then framing her titles and topics to include them.
Create a list of potential keywords you can analyze, but make sure you go with something that your ideal audience will actually be searching for. Think about how they talk and how they would word their searches.
Choose a topic, then research keywords people are searching for that relate back to your topic. Once you have that ideal keyword, use it naturally throughout your copy.
Elizabeth starts by choosing a topic, conducting keyword research, and then writing while naturally sprinkling in her keyword. She says to pick keywords that have high volume so you know people are searching for what you’re writing about.
Jeremy’s go-to strategy includes using Google Analytics, watching trending words and topics on platforms, and ultimately creating cross-platform appeal with his content.
Great answer from Jeff that we should all keep in mind when creating content for SEO.
Q6: What are your favorite lesser-known SEO tips you can share?
By now, we all know the basics of SEO. However, there’s always something else we can learn, so we asked everyone to share their favorite SEO tips that most people don’t seem to know about. Here’s what they had to say:
Danielle says to include links to previous posts you wrote on a topic. This will boost your keyword relevance and ranking. This technique is called siloing. If you aren’t already doing this, it’s time to get started. You can go through the blog posts in your archives and begin interlinking related posts right now.
Utilize the strategy of link building. You can guest post on other websites and include links back to posts you’ve written and published on your own blog. This helps to build quality backlinks to your blog and sends more traffic your way.
Don’t forget to add alt tags to the images in your blog posts. This tells search engines what your images are of and it’ll help them show up in search results.
That’s a winning formula right there!
Q7: How does SEO impact your content marketing strategy overall?
Wondering what role SEO plays in a content marketing strategy? Check out these responses straight from Tuesday’s chat:
For Danielle, SEO is the framework that decides what topics, articles, and social media posts are prioritized in a content schedule.
As Ray said, SEO and content marketing combined provides you with feedback for where to steer your content ship.
Sarah says it requires her to focus on the larger picture. There’s no reason to post for the sake of posting. Everything should serve a purpose and be strategic.
As Louise mentioned, content is useless without a measurable goal. You need to know what you want to accomplish and track the results you receive.
Zala said it helps you understand the focus for your content. It also shows you how to make it valuable, relevant, serachable, and useful.
Plan ahead and be aware of trends and changes in SEO algorithms. You need to be on top of those changes to ensure you’re doing the right things when it comes to creating content for SEO.
Q8: What are your favorite tools and resources for SEO? Tag them!
The great thing is, there are plenty of tools and resources that will help you create content for SEO these days. Here are just some suggestions that will help you out:
Danielle’s go-to tools include SEMrush, Market Samurai, and Meet Edgar.
Jeff relies on the following: Moz, Google Analytics, our #ContentWritingChat, and Content Marketing Institute. All great sources of information!
Leah relies on Pinterest and Yoast.
BuzzSumo is definitely a fantastic tool for creating content for SEO.
Lex uses Google and Moz for research, Yoast for the technical side of things, and Trello for organizing her content.
This is great list! You’ll want to check these out if you haven’t already.
Join us every Tuesday at 10 AM CST for #ContentWritingChat! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated on topics and guests.
Did you miss our #ContentWritingChat this week? If you did, you missed a great chat! However, there’s no need to feel left out because we have a round-up of some of the tweets from Tuesday’s chat. Get caught up on our session and learn more about SEO and great content!
#ContentWritingChat May 10 2016 Recap: How to Kill it in SEO Rankings with Great Content
Q1: What are the basics of SEO every online writer should know?
Many people are intimidated by SEO, but it doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to start with the basics! Here are some things every online writer needs to know when it comes to optimizing content:
Great answers from Jenn! She says you need to know how to research, but you should also keep an eye on your competitors. In what areas are they beating you? How can you improve? Use that to your advantage!
One thing you absolutely need to know: How to research keywords. If you want to optimize your posts, you need to make sure you’re choosing the best keywords for your content. And yes, those long-tail keywords are your friend!
Ryan said you need to know which keywords to focus on, how to use heading tags, and how to include meta descriptions. More importantly, you need to make sure your content and the chosen keywords are relevant. Are you adding value to your audience?
Tim said you should be able to prioritize between topics/terms and figure out their potential value. He recommends using tools like SEMrush and Moz.
Amel brings up a great point when it comes to placement of keywords. The days of keyword stuffing are long gone, my friends. (It was never cool anyway!) You should work your keywords into your content in a way that sounds natural, not spammy.
Q2: How can you gain better rankings in Google’s search results through good content?
Optimizing your posts for search engines is about more than just keywords, meta descriptions, etc. You always need to focus on providing good content first and foremost. Google loves good content and so do your readers!
Eliza knows how important it is to keep your audience in mind when creating. What do your readers want to see? How can you help them and add value? Your analytics are a great place to see which posts get the most traffic, which keywords your audience is searching, and more. Create more of what they want!
Jenn’s advice: Be consistent and be strategic about your keywords.
Ryan said to focus on one main keyword and make sure you create engaging content. That’s sure to get noticed by the search engines and your audience!
Monica said to make sure the content you’re writing is relevant to your business. That’s key! You want to stay on topic.
As Tim said, authoritative content helps Google see your content as being useful. Respond to the needs of your audience by writing amazing posts.
A friendly reminder from these three chatters: If you create good, valuable content, your audience will want to share it! Focus on providing quality content every single time.
Q3: What are some don’ts to avoid when it comes to SEO?
There are some things you should avoid when it comes to SEO, otherwise you risk being penalized by Google and turning off your readers.
Debi and Varun are spot-on with their answers! Write for humans, not search engines. Providing great content for your readers should always be your number one priority.
It seems many people from Tuesday’s chat agreed: NO KEYWORD STUFFING!
And don’t try to hide those keywords at the bottom of your posts either. Google sees all.
Don’t try to use irrelevant keywords to increase your rankings either.
Sarah said to ditch the tactics that used to rank content 5+ years ago. Things change and you need to keep up with the latest SEO tips. She also said not to buy links or do any kind of keyword stuffing. These things are not okay!
Badal said to make sure it sounds natural. That’s key!
We agree that would be pretty annoying, Brittany!
Q4: How do you choose the right keywords to use in your content?
Choosing the right keywords is essential if you want your content to rank higher in search results. Here are some tips to help you select the right ones:
Varun recommended using tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to find your best keywords.
Odds are, your audience is already using the exact keywords you should incorporate into your content. One great way to find out is by checking your analytics. Which keywords are people searching to find your website? Which keywords are they using when searching keywords while on your site?
Great advice from Jenn!
Ryan suggested focusing on keywords with a high search volume, but low competition.
Q5: What are your tips for choosing optimized topics to write on for your audience?
How can you figure out which topics are the best for your audience? Check out these tips:
Sarah suggested figuring out what has already resonated with your audience. Which posts of yours are they sharing and linking to? Which posts are getting them to convert?
Jenn had the same idea as Sarah. Take a look at your previous content and see what you’ve had success with. A quick look into your analytics will reveal what your most popular posts are in terms of traffic.
Debi said to take a look at the search queries to see what people are searching. Use that information to create content your audience will love.
A great tip from David: engage with your audience! When you take the time to talk to your audience and get to know them, you can better understand their needs. What are their problems and how can you help through your content?
Alberto also mentioned the importance of getting to know your audience to determine their needs, wants, and pains.
Another great tip is to answer your audience’s questions with your content. Are you often getting asked the same questions? Address them in a blog post. Keep an eye on the questions they ask through your comments section, emails, and social media.
Some other places to look for post ideas, courtesy of Monica: trending topics, chats on forums, and customer service reports.
As Amalia said, social media is a great place to communicate and connect with your audience.
Always keep an eye on the topics your audience is enjoying and responding to. Create more of the same kind of content for the best results.
Anna said to add your knowledge and expertise to trending topics. That can definitely be a winning combination!
Sabjan likes to use BuzzSumo to monitor content from competitors and to get new ideas.
Shannon said to write with your audience in mind. Make sure you are always adding value.
Remember that it never hurts to ask! Brittany asks her audience what they want to see more of on her blog, then she delivers it.
“Bad content that’s easy to find is still bad content.” Well said, Jim! Providing value should always be your top priority.
Q6: What are your favorite SEO tools to use?
There are a ton of SEO tools available on the web today. If you’re looking for some new ones to try out, take a look at these:
It sounds like Sarah has tried a lot of SEO tools! Google’s Keyword Planner, Moz, and more!
Brittany is a fan of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. We are too, Brittany! It’s so easy to use.
Alberto is also a fan of Yoast!
Jenn relies on AdWords and Google Analytics to tackle her SEO.
Amel uses tools like SEMrush, Similar Web, and BuzzSumo.
There’s even more love for Google’s Keyword Planner and their Analytics. Another one to check out is Positionly.
Jesse’s favorite tools help him perform research and optimize his content.
Amalia likes SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Moz Keyword Difficulty.
Badal uses Google Suggest and the Keyword Planner, plus BuzzSumo.
Q7: Can social media help build SEO?
Social media is a great way to build SEO. Just take a look at these tweets from Tuesday’s chat:
As Sarah said, if your audience likes your content, Google will too.
Engagement and sharing are becoming very important these days, so make sure you’re providing great content on your social media channels.
Jesse knows a great social media presence is a key way to send more traffic back to your website.
Amalia suggested using social media as a way to build natural connections with your audience. Make sure you’re taking the time to engage with others and have conversations with them.
Very true, Ryan!
Jim is exactly right with his answer. Social media is one of the best ways to get your content discovered today.
Kelly knows you can’t just wait for your content to be seen. You have to share it across social media for the best results.
With tweets appearing in search results, a great social media presence has become even more essential.
Q8: Do you follow and SEO experts? Who are your favorites?
You can become an SEO superstar yourself if you take the time to learn! Check out some of these experts you can learn from:
Wow! There were some amazing suggestions for SEO experts to follow. Check out those listed above if you want to learn even more about SEO!
And don’t forget those Twitter chats! They’re a great place to learn, right? 😉
We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing.
On week three of the great content roundup, I wanted to specifically pull out links that talk about content and SEO in 2015. I’ve been seeing some great stuff on the Internet circulating around this hot topic and wanted to share my favorites from this week.
As you know from my past posts, I strongly believe that content IS SEO. Therefore, this will revolve around content marketing and everything SEO related. There are some great articles here, so enjoy, and feel free to share or leave a comment!
To end the discussion, here’s a great infographic from WebProfits on content strategy: