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content marketing seo

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Marketing SEO

This week, we had our monthly community chat for #ContentWritingChat!

There was a lot of great information shared during the busy hour over on Twitter. And we’re recapping it all for you!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Content Marketing SEO

We conducted a poll a while back to see which topics our participants were interested in. One of the topics that came out on top was Content Marketing SEO, so we made it the choice for this week.

Q1: How do content marketing and SEO work together? And why is it important to utilize both?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share how content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand and why both are important for content creators. Here are a few responses:

Jason knows that if you spend more time on one or the other, your content is going to suffer. It’s important to implement both content marketing and SEO if you want to see major results online.

As Sarah said, they work together to improve each other.

Good content isn’t worth much if it isn’t optimized for your audience to find it. Keep that in mind!

Julia said you can’t have high-ROI without a firm strategy and knowledge on how to use both.

You need great content and you need people to actually discover it. That’s why content marketing SEO is so crucial these days.

Q2: What are some tips to help you create content that truly resonates with your audience?

No matter what, it’s so important that your audience enjoys your content. To create content they’ll want to read and share, here’s what you need to know:

As Lexie said, it’s important to get to know your audience first. They will guide you when it comes to creating content they enjoy.

Once you know who your audience is, you can create with them in mind. Write about the topics they’re discussing to attract attention.

Cheval knows that listening to your audience is so important if you want to create amazing content.

Amanda also said listening is crucial. You can see what your audience responds to, what they comment on, what they talk about, and so much more. That can help guide the direction of your content.

When you pay attention to your audience, the answers will follow. Don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy to best suit them and their needs.

Debi knows it’s important to share content that showcases your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Sarah suggests looking at your analytics. You can see what is grabbing their attention and earning conversions. Do more of what’s working to maximize your results.

If you’re feeling stuck for ideas, ask them! Danielle suggested surveying your audience to see what appeals to them. After all, they’re the best source to ask.

Make sure you’re answering questions people are asking. You want to deliver on an actual need that’s related to your business.

What is your target audience already talking about? Andrea suggests using tools like Quora or BuzzSumo to see what their conversations are centered around. This will give you a great starting point for your next piece of content.

Don’t forget to also check out industry trends. It can be very beneficial to talk about the hot topics of the moment.

Jason made a great point about putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. Figure out their pain points and what kind of information they’d like to have. Then, all you have to do is create it!

Q3: Does consistency matter to SEO when it comes to how often you post on your blog? If so, how often do you write new content?

Does it really matter how often you blog? Is there a magic number of posts you should be publishing each week? Check out this advice:

Julia knows that consistency is huge. You don’t want to drastically cut back on the amount of content you’re producing because your rankings can suffer as a result. However, you also shouldn’t publish somethings that’s rushed or low quality. You need both quality and consistency in order to succeed.

Sarah also knows how important quality is. No one wants to read fluff content. They want something that’s truly going to provide value.

Publishing regularly is great, but it’s only worthwhile if you’re publishing something that’s high-quality.

As Amanda pointed out, no one really wants to follow a blogger who isn’t consistent. Create a schedule that’s actually manageable for you and stick with it. That way, your audience will always know when to expect a new post.

Q4: What is one SEO tip more people should know and implement in their content creation?

Is there an SEO tip you wish more people would use? Our chat participants shared some great advice! Check it out:

More people need to learn how to effective conduct keyword research for their content.

Lexie’s advice is to tastefully use keywords within your content. You don’t want to fill your posts with keywords in a way that’s unnatural. It’ll turn off your readers.

Once you have your chosen keyword, you need to sprinkle it in a few key places throughout your blog post. Use it in the URL, image alt tags, the post title, meta description, etc.

A great headline makes all the difference! Include your focus keyword and make sure it’s something that intrigues people enough to click.

Sarah said you need to link to your new content somewhere else on your site. Internal linking is a big deal for SEO!

Don’t forget to give your images a description by adding alt text. It helps to make your images searchable.

You can also use an SEO plugin to help. Yoast is a great one for this if you’re on WordPress.

Q5: How has SEO changed over the years? Is there a tactic you used to use, but have ditched in recent times?

There are a number of old SEO tactics that are no longer acceptable to use. You’ll want to make sure you stay clear of them! Here are a few our chat participants have ditched:

Ranking blank pages and keyword stuffing are things of the past in the world of content marketing SEO.

Julia said the focus should be on your reader and the quality of your content.

Keyword stuffing, doorway pages, and cloaking… These won’t fly anymore.

Lexie said link building has changed in recent times. It’s important to get quality backlinks from reputable sites, as opposed to getting them from any old site.

It will surely be interesting how things change as the world of video and voice search continues to expand.

Make sure you’re always staying updated with the changes Google makes to their algorithm.

Q6: How do you know if your content is performing well? Are there certain metrics you like to track?

Once you’ve published a piece of content, it’s important to track how it’s performing. Metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on include:

What’s your end goal for your content? As Amanda knows, that’s what really matters because it’ll help you choose the right metrics to focus on. You might be looking for sales, comments, email subscribers, or something else.

Is your audience responding to the content? You want to know that what you’ve created is actually resonating with them.

Are you attracting attention from the right audience? It’s not doing you any good if you’re attracting all the wrong people.

Average time on site, click-through rates, and heat maps are just a few things you may want to watch.

You might even want to check out behavior flow charts to see how visitors move through your site.

Website traffic and email responses are just a couple metrics Devin likes to track.

Bounce rate, shares, comments, and more! These are all things any content creator may be on the lookout for.

Julia suggests tracking things like time on site, chats started for those running live chats, sales inquiries, and conversions.

Q7: Do you have any tools you rely on to create amazing, search engine-optimize content?

There are plenty of tools you can use to help with content marketing SEO. Which ones are the favorites among our chat participants? Check out these suggestions:

Lexie has a few essential tools in her arsenal, which includes Answer the Public.

You can’t go wrong with Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, and your brain power.

Yoast is a must-have for anyone on WordPress!

Yoast, Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Google Trends are tools Sabjan relies on.

Aisha is also a fan of Yoast, but she also likes to use Grammar Girl.

Debi knows that Google’s tools are essential for any content creator.

Anne also uses Yoast, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Analytics.

Quora, BuzzSumo, and Ahrefs, are also great tools to try out.

To make a splash with your headlines, use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. Danielle also like Hemingway app.

Q8: Which resources do you turn to in order to learn more about content marketing and SEO?

To expand your knowledge on the latest with content marketing and SEO, check out these resources:

Lexie has a few resources she loves, which includes Neil Patel, Search Engine Journal, and even us!

Cheval turns to SEMrush, Search Engine Journal, and Rebekah Radice for all the latest in content marketing SEO.

Moz is another go-to resource.

Danielle loves to read content from HubSpot.

A few of Carla’s favorites include Content Marketing Institute and Medium.

Don’t forget to use social media to see what others are talking about online.

And in case you need another reason to join our next chat, Devin said one of his top resources is our very own #ContentWritingChat.

Twitter chats, blogs, and Google searches are all great, but sometimes it helps to just have a conversation with people in your industry.

Join us for the next #ContentWritingChat! The fun happens every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time over on Twitter! You can follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

SEO audit

#ContentWritingChat Recap: How to Conduct an SEO Audit with Lexie Kimball of Netvantage Marketing

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!

julias free facebook group cta

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

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Making Content Marketing & SEO Work for Your Brand with Gini Dietrich

By now, you probably know how important content marketing and SEO are for your online brand. But do you really know how to implement them? In this #ContentWritingChat, we discussed this topic and received some really great advice from our chat participants. Keep reading to learn more!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Making Content Marketing & SEO Work for Your Brand with Gini Dietrich

Our guest host this week was Gini Dietrich. Gini is the CEO of Arment Dietrich. She’s also an author and a speaker. In this week’s chat, she shared some valuable tips you’ll want to use for your own brand.

Q1: Content marketers today have to know SEO. Do you have a process you recommend to combine both?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share their tips for combining both content marketing and SEO. Here are some of the responses we received:

Gini’s process includes the following: defining keywords where you can compete, creating headlines, developing an editorial calendar, publishing content, earning high-value links, and tracking results.

Julia says it all starts with knowing your keywords. She loves to use SEMrush for this. Then, she writes an optimized headline and begins creating her content.

For Emma, her process starts by identifying keywords with Google’s Keyword Planner and other research. She knows it’s important to figure out what your audience is looking for.

Mallie recommends using Yoast, which is a powerful WordPress plugin. It’ll give you an understanding of the basics of SEO.

Make sure you always write with your audience in mind. You need to create content that will appeal to your human readers.

As Sarah said, your end goal is always to get the right content in front of the right people.

Kristin agrees that you need a strategy in order to get your content in front of the right people.

Q2: So, are you saying we need to create content for robots first?

The big question here is… Who do we focus on when creating content? Do we focus on the human reader or the robots running the search engines? Here’s what our chat participants had to say:

Gini doesn’t feel robots should be your primary focus. Instead, she recommends keeping a list of questions your customers and prospective customers ask. You can then do keyword research and create content based on those commonly asked questions so you can better address your audience’s needs.

Andrea is right. Google is getting a lot smarter and they do pick up on it when you create great content for your human audience.

Gaby’s advice is to focus on providing quality, valuable content for your audience first and foremost.

Kristin focuses on writing for her audience and makes SEO tweaks afterwards.

In the end, your audience is who really cares about the content you create. Always keep them in mind.

Q3: The Google Keyword Planner only gives ranges for non-advertisers. How can we get more specifics?

Our chat participants had some great advice for getting more specific information when it comes to keyword research. Here’s what they had to say:

Gini likes using the Moz keyword planner, which is a favorite for many content creators.

Sarah suggests looking towards some other tools for help. She recommends Moz, SEMrush, and keywordtool.io.

SEMrush and Majestic SEO are also two popular tools.

Louise turns to platforms like BuzzSumo and Reddit for finding relevant topics and keywords that people are talking about.

Sarah has found Answer the Public to be a great tool to help you find ideas for your content.

Grep Words is another tool you can consider using for your keyword research.

Social listening is another great way to tune into what your audience wants and needs.

Gaby’s advice is to monitor your market, industry, audience, brand, and your analytics.

Q4: Can you define domain authority and explain why it’s important to content marketers?

Wondering what domain authority is and whether or not it’s important for you? Check out these responses from the chat:

Gini says domain authority gives a metric at the top of the funnel. It gives you the opportunity to find high-value sites for media relations and publicity.

If you want to learn more, check out the link Kristin shared.

Julia said domain authority is a metric created by Moz. She suggests paying attention when researching keyword opportunities.

As Sarah said, it correlates with rankings and performance in search engines.

Q5: How do you recommend we pitch contributed content, if we’re not PR pros?

If you need some tips for pitching contributed content, just check out this advice:

Gini feels pitching is all about relationships. You can start building a relationship with a publication by sharing their content first. You can also comment on their content and talk to them on Twitter. Once you’ve built up that relationship, you can move forward with your pitch.

Kristen’s advice is to know who you’re pitching inside and out. It’s the best way to ensure you’re a good fit.

Andrea suggests building relationships with publications and authors. When you do, you stand a better chance at getting a yes from them when you pitch content.

Devin also agrees with building a relationship with the site and editor you’re wanting to pitch to. It also helps to have examples of work you’ve already published.

Mike suggests building a relationship first as well. Ask to contribute a piece when the time is right.

Mallie’s advice is to personalize the pitches you send. You want to showcase the value you can provide through a contribution you’d like to submit.

Ditch the mass emails when pitching. Be personal and genuine when contacting someone about a contribution.

Shannon said it’s all about fining the right contact person, showing value, and filling a need.

Q6: What if someone had a topic that has very low search volume? How do you handle that?

What should you do if your topic doesn’t have the highest search volume? Here’s some helpful advice:

As Devin said, it’s ultimately going to depend on your niche. Not every niche will have the same size, search volume, etc. And Gini agrees. Low search volume can be beneficial in a niche industry.

Julia knows it’s not worth trashing a topic simply because it has low search volume. Check out the graphic she shared with tips on how to validate your content topic.

What really matters is that the content is well-written and it’s created for a specific audience.

As Sarah pointed out, those searchers are still in need of content, even if it is a small amount.

While search volume is valuable, Mallie knows that engagement is key as well.

Q7: Can we use LinkedIn Pulse and Medium to help increase our domain authority?

Are platforms like LinkedIn Pulse and Medium worthwhile? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say about the subject:

Gini feels it won’t boost your domain authority, but it will build your readership and send traffic back to your site.

Julia says yes. She suggests including posts on LinkedIn Pulse and Medium in your monthly content plan. You can use it as an opportunity to link to related content on your site.

Zala agrees that these platforms can be great for cross-linking and generating traffic to your website.

While it might not help you increase domain authority, it can help you get more traffic.

It’s also worthwhile to determine if your audience is actually spending time on these platforms. If they are, it’ll be worthwhile for you to share content there.

Q8: Can you give us a list of all the tools you recommend for this type of work?

If you’re in need of some new tools to try out, we’ve got you covered! Check out these suggestions from the chat:

Gini suggests having a list of questions from your customers and prospects, a keyword planner, a mind mapping tool, and an editorial calendar. She also recommends having some patience, elbow grease, and the ability to build relationships with others.

A creative mind and a strong work ethic are certainly important.

Louise says you should have a strategy, but always keep it flexible.

Yoast, BrightEdge, and Google Docs are essential for Mallie.

Julia relies on SEMrush, Mangools, KWFinder, BuzzSumo, and Airtable.

Andrea’s go-to tools include BuzzSumo, Feedly, and Hashtagify.

Recap of Recommended Tools:

  • SEMrush
  • Moz
  • keywordtool.io
  • Answer the Public
  • Mangools
  • BrightEdge
  • Hashtagify
  • Grep Words
  • Majestic SEO
  • BuzzSumo
  • Reddit

Be sure to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat, which happens every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time. (We’ll skip July 4, though! Happy Independence Day to all our chatters!) Follow us @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest updates!
#Contentwritingchat

internal linking

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Internal Linking & Its Importance in SEO with Sarah Danks

The latest #ContentWritingChat was all about SEO as we talked about the importance of internal linking. In this chat, some amazing tips were shared regarding this tactic and how you can use it in building your own website’s online presence. If you’re ready to learn more about it, keep reading for the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Internal Linking & Its Importance in SEO with Sarah Danks

Our guest host this week was Sarah Danks from ThinkSEM. She’s their Digital Strategist and is no stranger to a great Twitter chat. In fact, if you’re a regular participant you’ve likely noticed Sarah in our chat before, as she typically joins us every week. It was great having a regular participant step into the guest hosting role and she shared some fantastic advice with all of us.

Q1: Why are internal links important?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share why they felt internal linking was an important part of SEO. Here’s what a few of our participants said:

As Sarah pointed out, the web is all about connections. Internal linking allows you to to connect pieces of relevant content to one another. You’re able to show the relationship between pages on your own website, which is a great way to keep them on your site longer.

Julia’s response is really a helpful way to think of internal linking. It helps to move traffic from room to room onsite. This basically means it keeps people from moving from page to page once they’ve first landed on your site. It’s key if you want to keep someone digging into the depths of your archives.

Jeff knows that building up those internal links is a good way to increase your authority with your audience. And who wouldn’t want that?!

Kristen also mentioned it’s a way to show you’re a credible and reliable source and builds your authority.

By providing internal links, it also makes it easier for your readers to find more relevant content. As Jeremy pointed out, people will go elsewhere to find what they’re looking for if you don’t give it to them. So, if you have more content you know they’d enjoy, link to it!

Elizabeth feels internal linking helps guide your audience through your site and leads them to other valuable, actionable content. Keep that in mind when adding links to content so you can be sure you’re sending them somewhere worthwhile.

Q2: How do internal links affect overall site structure?

Now that you know the importance of internal linking, you should also know how it’s going to affect the overall structure of your website. Here are a few responses we received in Tuesday’s chat:

As Sarah pointed out, a well-linked site is easy to navigate. This is great for visitors to your site because you want everything to be accessible. There’s nothing worse than a site that makes it difficult to find what you’re looking for.

Also, if you’re lacking when it comes to links, it makes it harder for readers to find related content. It can also make it more difficult to get them to convert.

Jason said internal linking offers flow and stability. Instead of forcing your reader to figure out what to do next or where to go, you can direct them to additional content. Don’t leave it up to them, otherwise there’s a greater chance they’ll leave your site.

This is another important thing to consider! Linking helps create a hierarchy of your content. Through those links, a reader can flow from broad content to more specific content that’s still relevant.

Jeff knows internal linking is going to help customers easily find the relevant information they’re looking for while on your site. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that by directing them to the next page you think they’d be interested in.

Think of it like a roadmap, as Sarah said. Lead your readers where you want them to go next.

Julia, our CEO, has even written a guide on internal links that will help you out. Be sure to read it!

Q3: Who do you please first: search engines or users?

We all know that it’s important to optimize our content for search engines, but is that really where we need to direct our attention first? Or should we primarily be focusing on our users? Check out these responses from the chat:

Sarah said it’s all about catering to your users first and the search engines second. When you focus on them, you’re playing by Google’s rules and delivering valuable content. That’s important!

Make your users happy and you make the search engines happy as well!

The search engine algorithm changes from time to time. One way you can’t go wrong is to focus on your user first and foremost. This ensures you’re creating the content they’ll love.

Debi knows it’s all about the user experience when it comes down to it.

Julia is all about focusing on the real human who is going to be engaging with her content.

People before bots!

Ashley brought up a great point about how users need to be able to find your content in order to read it. Her advice is to optimize for SEO, but create for your user.

As Andrew pointed out, it’s just like the old chicken versus the egg debate. He said it’s important to optimize your content for competitiveness, but user engagement is essential as well.

Q4: Does the anchor text of links matter?

When it comes to actually creating a link, does the text you add the hyperlink to matter in the end? If you’ve been wondering about this, we have an answer for you. Check out these responses:

Sarah knows anchor text should be descriptive, but you also need to avoid anything spammy. That’s not cool! There’s no need to link an incredibly long sentence either. You can link just the key point so people know what they’re clicking for.

Anchor text certainly matters. Readers don’t want to see a link that says, “Click here,” or anything else of the sort if it doesn’t state where they’re going. They want details so they know what they’re clicking on.

With relevant anchor text, you make your link more valuable to both readers and Google. That’s key to any internal linking strategy.

Elizabeth’s advice is to use descriptive anchor text to let users and the search engines know where it leads.

Ray knows it’s not just important for SEO, but also for accessibility. Everything needs to be user-friendly for your reader.

And of course, make sure you avoid any kind of click bait.

In the end, if you wouldn’t click on a link, your readers probably won’t either.

Q5: Are there any links you should include on every page?

We asked everyone to chime in with their thoughts on including certain links on every page. Here’s what some of them had to say:

As Sarah said, every website has a purpose. Make the purpose of your site know through the use of a CTA (call to action) that leads people to your end goal. And of course, having a good navigation on your website is important in helping people find what they want.

Liliana also agrees having a link to your CTA is always important.

For Jeff, he likes to include links to a contact page. This makes it easy for a reader to get in touch with you and encourages them to do so.

Navigation links are a crucial element of every successful website.

Don’t forget to add a link to your homepage on every page of your site. This gives people an easy way to get back there after they’ve clicked off.

Q6: Is there such a thing as too many or too few links in page copy?

When it comes to your internal linking strategy, is it possible to have too many or too few links? Here’s some advice to consider:

As Sarah said, both are absolutely possible. You don’t want to overdo it by providing too many links, which can look spammy. However, there are downsides to too few links as well.

Tony’s advice is to only link to content when it’s relevant to do so.

To second that, don’t have links just to have links. Make sure they’re adding value to your user in some way.

Shannon knows too many links can be a turn-off for your readers, so it’s best you find a balance.

The key is to make sure you don’t overwhelm them, but that you also don’t leave them hanging. If you have more they’d be interested in, link to it.

Q7: What’s the easiest way to incorporate new internal links to your website?

Now that you know all about internal linking, it’s time to start using this strategy yourself. How do you begin? Check out this advice from the chat:

If you add a new blog post, make sure you link to it. You can link newer posts to older ones and older ones to newer ones. It really is that simple to get started!

Julia suggests doing the same. Whenever you create new content, take the time to add links to relevant content from your archives.

Ray’s advice is to review the major pages and pots on your website first. Then, start determining what can be linked to other pages appropriately.

Shannon suggests listing content in the biographies for employees and contributors.

Q8: Give some examples of internal linking done incorrectly.

What are some examples of internal linking gone wrong? Here’s what you need to avoid:

Don’t use the same link too many times, avoid using non-descriptive text such as “here” for anchor text, and don’t get spammy with CTAs.

Not using valuable anchor text, linking to the same page multiple times, and overdoing it on the links are all things to avoid.

Jeremy said to avoid using too many links, otherwise it can look like the footnotes of a law review article. Your readers probably don’t want that!

No one wants to come across a dead link, so make sure all links work before hitting publish.

And remember, don’t like just for the sake of linking. It should add value and serve a purpose.

Ready to join the fun for yourself? #ContentWritingChat takes place every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time over on Twitter! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

#Contentwritingchat

content for seo

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Curating Consistent Content for SEO with Danielle Tate

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.

#Contentwritingchat

#ContentWritingChat, Caleb McElveen, practical SEO advice

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Practical SEO Advice for the Online Creator with Caleb McElveen

Are you ready to catch up on this week’s #ContentWritingChat? We’ve prepared an awesome recap with some of the tweets from Tuesday’s chat, so get ready to dive in!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Practical SEO Advice for the Online Creator with Caleb McElveen


Our guest host this week was Caleb McElveen. Caleb is and SEO and content marketing specialist. He’s also a co-host on the digital marketing podcast, Search Talk Live.

Q1: What are the basics of SEO every content creator should know?

SEO doesn’t have to be hard to figure out! In fact, if you’re just getting started with optimizing your content, these basic tips are great to know:

Caleb said it’s important to know how to correctly optimize title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and more. All of these things impact the performance of your content, so it’s helpful to know the best ways to optimize them in order to maximize your results.

He also recommends understanding user intent when creating content because it can also impact your SEO strategy.

Sarah knows keywords are essential to SEO! She recommends figuring out how your audience is using and searching for keywords, which will help you choose the right ones for your content. You’ll also want to sprinkle those keywords throughout your content in heading tags, meta description, and more.

Jason also agrees understanding keywords is very important! He recommends finding the popular and relevant keywords that will help your audience find your content.

Kristen is right on with her answer! She said that SEO and readability should work together. You should never sacrifice readability for the sake of trying to rank higher. Providing great content for your audience should always be priority number one.

One big SEO don’t? Keyword stuffing! It’s not cool to overdo it on the keywords because Google doesn’t like it and neither do your readers. We’ll have some more SEO mistakes coming up in the next question!

Q2: What are the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to SEO?

There are some common SEO mistakes people make when creating their online content. It’s important to know what they are so you can avoid them! Here are a few mistakes you don’t want to make:

Caleb knows many people make mistakes when it comes to keywords. In some cases, people fail to use the keyword correctly or don’t even have one. Make sure you’re using your focus keyword in titles and throughout your content without going overboard. Keyword stuffing is a big no-no!

He also said not to forget about optimizing the images you share. They’re searchable as well and you want to make sure you take that extra step to optimize them.

As Jason said, using keywords that aren’t used as often won’t help you see results. You need to do your research to find the right keywords for your content.

Ignoring SEO is a huge mistake! If you want your content to be seen, you need to learn about the best SEO practices and start putting them to use with your own online content.

Remember that SEO is important, but there’s so much more to you content than just the optimization process. You have to start with a piece of quality content that shows personality and tells a story in order to really attract people.

Never stop learning. SEO changes and it’s important to stay updated on all the latest information. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know everything about SEO. Make sure you’re actively learning about the best practices and implementing them.

Q3: What steps can you take to get your content on the first page of search results?

As an online content creator, one of your dreams is probably to rank on the first page of Google’s search results. It sounds like a dream, right? The good news is, it’s totally possible to make this happen! Here’s what you need to know:

Caleb’s advice is to research what’s already ranking on the first page. Study what they did right and what they did wrong so you can create your own plan to do it better. There’s nothing wrong with getting a little inspiration from your competitors!

He then suggests creating content that provides value to your audience. Answer their questions and provide them with the amazing content they’re looking for. It’s a sure-fire way to keep them coming back for more, too.

Kristi knows everything needs to work together if you want to see major results. She said to make sure relevant keywords are included in your content, tags, headlines, and images.

Research the best keywords. Optimize the body of your content. Get valuable links. All three of these tips will help you rank higher in search results.

Don’t forget to provide a great experience overall for the visitors to your website. It should be user-friendly and you need to make sure you’re writing good content.

Our CEO, Julia, recommends optimizing your website for speed, user experience, and Google. The next step is to add relevant, long-form content that’s useful to your audience. Utilize long-tail keywords in your content to increase discoverability!

Q4: How does social media factor into SEO?

Social media certainly plays a role in SEO. If you’re wondering how, here’s what some of the participants in Tuesday’s chat had to say:

Caleb said social media amplifies your content and increases your opportunity to earn links, which is great for SEO.

Kristen said social media extends the life and discoverability of your content.

Lex knows social media is great for pushing out content to get more visitors to your site. It’s also helpful for learning what your audience needs from you. Take the time to listen to them and create more of what they want.

Leah said social media adds the element of hashtag SEO. Hashtags are great for helping people find your content.

Q5: Share some of your best SEO practices.

What are the best SEO practices you should implement in your online content? Here’s the scoop:

Caleb recommends researching your competition. He tries to determine why their content performs well and how he can create content that outperforms it. Caleb also knows it’s important to understand user intent. You want to know how they’re searching because that impacts your content.

Get the whole team involved with SEO! Keep everyone informed on what you’re working on and allow them to voice their thoughts and opinions. Working together as a team will yield the best results.

Brandie suggests conducting research and talking to people. She also said it’s important to set up Google Analytics and regularly check to see which keywords are working and which ones aren’t.

A regular review of SEO, your strategy, and the goals of your clients is a must!

Do your research and think like a reader! Get into the mind of your reader to figure out what they’re searching, which keywords they’re using, and more. This will help you reach them.

Liliana said to set clear content goals, optimize your content, and make sure you keep everything fresh and relevant.

Q6: What would you say to someone who argues SEO isn’t important? How would you convince them otherwise?

Believe it or not, there are still plenty of naysayers out there when it comes to SEO. Many content creators still don’t understand the value it can provide and therefore don’t take it seriously. If someone says SEO isn’t important, remember this:

Caleb said SEO communicates to search engines and users what your page, business, or content is all about. Taking the time to optimize your posts will help search engines recognize you in their results.

You do want people to see your content, right? If so, you need to optimize your content to rank higher in search engine results.

Content is king. Distribution is queen. SEO is the lasting legacy. Great way to put it, Liliana!

If you want to prove the value of SEO to someone who doesn’t understand, come prepared with facts! Brandie recommends backing up your argument with facts and data that prove SEO is a must.

It’s all about those numbers! Stats will provide good, solid proof that SEO works.

Alberto suggests showing some reports that include traffic, conversion rate, and more.

Leah’s advice is to use an A/B split test to show the results.

That’s a lot of searches! You don’t want to miss out on that action, do you?

It’s safe to say that without SEO, it’s hard to put yourself on the digital map. Zala knows getting your content to rank is a must.

Q7: What tools do you use to help with SEO?

There are a ton of great tools out there that can help you become an SEO master. If you’re looking for some new ones to test out, check out these suggestions:

Caleb has three go-to tools he uses for optimizing content. Have you tried any of them?

He also said it’s important to familiarize yourself with Google Analytics and Search Console. It’s important to be able to interpret the data these give you.

Matt relies on Screaming Frog, Google Analytics, Moz, and BuzzSumo.

The Yoast plugin is definitely a must for anyone on WordPress. Getting that green light on a blog post is just so satisfying, isn’t it?

Great list, Sarah! These are essential.

Debi’s list of tool recommendations is pretty impressive! There are a lot to try out here if you haven’t already.

Zachary uses Google Trends to see which keywords are trending at any given moment. He’s also a fan of the Yoast plugin.

Debbie often turns to her network to learn more about SEO. Seeking advice from your peers is a great way to get SEO help. Which brings us to our final question…

Q8: Which influencers do you turn to for the latest in SEO news?

There are plenty of influencers who share great content regarding the latest in SEO. Check out these sources for the best information:

This is certainly an awesome line-up from Caleb! He also shared a great tip about reading something on SEO every day. It’s important to stay updated on the latest news. You can never been too educated on a topic.

These are all great sources!

Great round-up from Sabjan!

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

write podcast E17 Mark Traphagen

The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO

In this week’s episode, I had the privilege of sitting down with Mark Traphagen. He and I have “talked online” for a considerably long time, including hanging out back on Blab.im when it used to be the new coolest kid on the block.

Mark is the Senior Director of Marketing at Stone Temple Consulting – he got started in SEO “by inventing it!” (Just kidding, his next ingenious remark is that he isn’t the Al Gore of SEO.)

In today’s awesome podcast, I talk to Traphagen about his story and beginnings in SEO, and how he turned something he stumbled into to become one of the foremost content creators, marketers and digital experts in the industry today! It’s a story you won’t want to miss. Then, we dial it up to chat all things storytelling, SEO, and even selling online (“never push your product. Work to be at the forefront of your buyer’s minds”).

Ideal for anyone who wants to overhaul their SEO, publicize their brand, and rank better online, this far-reaching conversation is packed full of gems. Enjoy!

write podcast E17 Mark Traphagen

The Write Podcast, Episode 17: Mark Traphagen- His SEO Story, Tips on Video Storytelling, & Creating Content That Builds Your Brand & SEO

While Mark has held many jobs throughout his life, ranging from a salesman to a school administrator, he eventually found his way through grad school and went to work at a bookstore.

It wasn’t long before he realized the physical bookstore was dying due to digital competitors like Amazon, and his boss at the time asked him to take it online in an attempt to save it.

He dove in and learned his way through the process of digital marketing and e-commerce. Eventually, he found his way into Stone Temple Consulting, where he is currently creating some of the most unique video and text content on the web.

In today’s fun, enlightening conversation, we cover the following:

  • How Mark worked in sales, went into teaching, then went back to grad school and ended up working for a bookstore, where he learned how to setup an e-commerce store and actually conducted early influencer marketing with bloggers.
  • How he took inspiration from Rand Fishkin’s “Whiteboard Friday” videos. And how these led him to developing his own unique video content, “Here’s Why.”
  • How he learned to navigate his way around Facebook’s soundless auto-play feature. While these videos don’t typically offer much of an incentive to click, Traphagen discovered how to grab a user’s interest with visual material and captions first.
  • Why good SEO takes time. And how he and his team at Stone Temple Have learned to communicate this to their clients.
  • How to master the science of SEO. While things like ranking algorithms are difficult to get a handle on, Traphagen does a great job of explaining how ranking in SEO is a little bit like a scientist testing and developing a theory.
  • How you can build a successful platform by focusing on long-term SEO efforts. SEO isn’t an overnight game, and Traphagen helps listeners understand how to focus on cumulative efforts rather than one-off results.
  • How to create authority content that gets inbound links. When you write relevant, well-marketed content, people link to it and talk about it, which builds publicity and helps expand your business!
  • How you can become one of the few brands consumers look forward to hearing from. While many social media users say they don’t want branded content in their feeds, virtually everyone has a few brands they love. Traphagen talks about how you can learn to become one of those top-tier brands through trust, authenticity, and value.
  • Using guest blogging to build your brand. Through OPA (other people’s audience), you can build your brand massively. Traphagen talks about how to do this, and why (after creating content on your own site) it should be one of your main priorities.

Favorite Quotes to Tweet

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘I am not the Al Gore of SEO.’ – @marktraphagen” quote=”‘I am not the Al Gore of SEO.’ – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘I went back to grad school & worked for a bookstore, where I learned how to do SEO.’ @marktraphagen” quote=”‘I went back to grad school and worked for a bookstore, where I learned how to use SEO.’ – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”“SEO is both a science and an art.” – @marktraphagen” quote=”“SEO is both a science and an art.” – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘The most important thing we can do is to be trustworthy and useful to our audience.’ @marktraphagen” quote=”‘The most important thing we can do is to be trustworthy and useful to our audience.’ – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘We don’t need to do a hard sell. Be at the top of their mind = be the most helpful.’ @marktraphagen” quote=”‘We don’t need to do a hard sell on people. Or push products. Be at the top of their mind by being the most helpful.’ – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”“Good, effective SEO is a cumulative effort.” – @marktraphagen” quote=”“Good, effective SEO is a cumulative effort.” – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”“There is a vital link between SEO as we typically think of it & brand value.” @marktraphagen” quote=”“There is a vital link between SEO as we typically think of it, and the value of a brand.” – @marktraphagen”]

[clickToTweet tweet=”“Never think of SEO as some sort of isolated practice.” – @marktraphagen” quote=”“Never think of SEO as some sort of isolated practice.” – @marktraphagen”]

Links Mentioned

This Episode Is Sponsored By Search Engine Journal!

Get 15% off the November 2 SEJ Summit with coupon code EXWSEJ, at bit.ly/sejsavings!

Today’s episode is sponsored by Search Engine Journal! This is a one-day conference tailored for search marketers, featuring experts from Google and other industry experts in a full day of 11 sessions and 6 Q&As. Guess what? Mark himself will be speaking in one of the sessions! And, I’ll be there giving away 25 free copies of my bestseller So You Think You Can Write? Get your free copy, find me there, and I’ll sign it!

Grab 15% your tickets now using exclusive Write Podcast coupon code EXWSEJ at bit.ly/sejsavings.

cta button general cta

A Holistic Approach: How SEO and Content Marketing Work Hand-in-Hand Today

Have you ever assembled a puzzle?

Most of us have. There’s a deep sense of satisfaction watching the image slowly come together through tedious effort and clever tactics.

But for some, putting the puzzle can be frustrating. There might be one piece, just ONE piece, that’s missing from a section, and it can drive you mad looking for it.

Here’s the thing — content marketing can be a lot like a puzzle, with many pieces coming together to make something amazing.

Unfortunately, content marketers often get fixated on a single piece, leaving the rest of the puzzle unassembled. That piece is, very often, “Search Engine Optimization (SEO).”

SEO and content marketing are becoming two pieces to a puzzle in today’s friendly online marketing era. Yet, SEO as a separate piece has still earned more than its fair share of attention.

Frankly, it’s not hard to understand why.

Getting to the front page of a search engine like Google can seem like the make-or-break gauge of success for a piece of content.

But there’s a lot more to what makes a fantastic SEO and content marketing strategy, where you win with both Google and readers; and ignoring it will simply leave you with an incomplete puzzle.

A holistic approach to it all is what you need today in order to win.

seo is part of the puzzle

A Holistic Approach: How SEO and Content Marketing Fit Together

Thankfully, there are definitive steps you can take to ensure a holistic approach to your SEO and content marketing strategy.

Here’s how:

1. Learn the Difference Between Advertising and Marketing

One major mistake marketers tend to make with their content is making it overly advertorial or salesy.

Sure, potential customers might stumble across your blog through a referral, or a backlink, or a search engine.

But if they’re looking for helpful information or a solution to their problem and all they find is an advertisement for your latest product or service, they’ll feel alienated right off the bat.

In fact, 28% of Americans actively seek to avoid advertisements online, according to Hubspot. And advertisers are the second most hated group online, only falling behind criminals and hackers. Yup.

If your content becomes perceived as a sneaky advertisement, you might quickly find your brand being seen in a light you never intended.

It doesn’t matter how great your SEO is if you’re creating content that is entirely self-serving. Truly great content will help to inform and assist the reader, rather than cajole them into a conversion.

The positive impression a reader engaging with your content will have a far greater impact than merely a sales pitch alone.

Customers who feel serviced and satisfied will willfully engage with more of your content, explore your brand in greater depth, and even recommend you to others.

And here’s the best part — all these efforts to ensure your content benefits a potential customer will pay dividends in SEO.

It’s Not Just About Keywords Anymore

It’s not just about keywords anymore. There’s a lot more to building a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Among the most effective methods to increase search engine visibility is generating quality backlinks from other sites.

And, simply put, no one is going to link back to an advertisement.

People link back to valuable, easy-to-understand, hyper-relevant content. If you break out of the mindset of needing to convert every reader with a sales pitch tucked in every piece of content, you’ll find your SEO improving in tandem with your conversions.

2. Write Exceptional, Meaty, Evergreen Content for Your SEO and Content Marketing Campaigns

seo part of the puzzleHow long does it take to put together a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle?

No matter how good you are, it’s a time consuming process — and effective content creation is no different.

Anyone can whip up a stubby blog a couple hundred words long stuffed with the requisite keywords.

As a matter of fact, many are already doing it. It’s a super bad habit, and a perfect example of a strategy focused purely on SEO and not on content.

There’s evidence to back this up, too. Neil Patel of Quicksprout found that posts he made over 1500 words received 68% more tweets and 22% more Facebook likes than shorter posts. That’s a massive boost for a more thorough article.

Even if you have good intentions about informing your audience, if it’s not well-researched and relevant, it won’t appeal to readers. In content marketing, it’s not the thought that counts — it’s the product.

With that said, it’s important to dig deep into your subject matter to create content that’s so thorough, readers will frequently return to you for their information.

Speaking of information, that’s the other thing you’re going to have to consider.

What kind of information do you intend to share? It can seem daunting to break new ground, especially in fields that are written about with extreme frequency (here’s looking at you, content marketing.)

Thus, it can be a bit tempting to jump on current events and tie your content to that. Trending hashtag? Next blog post. Viral challenge? Gotta upload a branded video.

There’s just one problem — this type of content has a short shelf-life and won’t have the long-term impact it could.

That’s why you need to build a foundation of “evergreen” content for your marketing strategy.

Evergreen content involves creating pieces that are relevant for as long as possible (ideally forever, but things do change and need to be updated.)

When you develop a marketing strategy, consider developing content that won’t become outdated anytime soon. This means it can continue to draw views, shares and backlinks well after its publication, giving you a long-term SEO boost as a consequence.

In the long run, your dedication to creating long-lasting and meaningful content will result in a wealth of engaging and relevant material that will drive readership years after it is written.

This doesn’t mean you have to completely ignore current events — quite the opposite. Making your content relevant to the experiences of your viewers is essential.

It’s just important to remember that this can’t be the keystone of your strategy. With a careful application of topical material on a foundation of evergreen content, you’ll remain relevant now and far down the line.

3. Engage With Your Community

Have you ever tried putting together a whole puzzle on your own? Like many activities, it is one that’s faster, easier and more fun with friends.

With all your energy focused on attracting readers to your website, you may forget that good content marketing is more than a one-way conversation.

Sure, you have an amazing product that you know everyone will love if they would only give you the time of day, but with so many companies out there competing for customer attention, your message could easily be drowned out by all the noise.

Waiting for Google to rank your content well may be one way to get people to come to your site and share your message, but actually encouraging your community to engage with your brand adds the personal touch that keeps them coming back.

The best way to determine if you’re striking a chord among your audience is to talk to them yourself. You can do this by leveraging social media to gather their feedback on a new product or idea.

Even more important than seeking validation from Google by chasing high page ranks, is the confirmation from your customers that your content is fulfilling their needs.

By listening to and engaging with your readers, not only will you demonstrate that you truly care about their opinions, but their feedback could also help you continually improve your product.

Your community can also be used for cross-promoting great content. It is a common practice for content writers to reach out to other writers to help promote their material.

Proactively reaching out to others allows you to share content to people who may not have viewed it otherwise. Even better, if they like what you’ve written, they will often add it as a link on their website — driving even more traffic to your content (and benefiting that ever important SEO.)

You can return the favor by linking to others’ content that is relevant to your readers. Your readers will thank you for introducing them to helpful information.

Even in the digital age, it is still important to foster an authentic connection with your community.

This way, not only will readers come to your website, they’ll also stay.

4. Words Are Good, Rich Media is Even Better

There’s another part of the content marketing puzzle you may have not considered — especially if you’ve been extremely focused on SEO.

Rich media like images, slideshares, videos and infographics all have amazing potential to engage and inform your audience.

Check out the SlideShare I recently did for my book, So You Think You Can Write:

Pretty cool, eh?

But what does this SlideShare have to do with “SEO?”

Again, think holistic…

Remember why you create content in the first place.

It’s about more than a series of tricks and gimmicks to get you to rank well on Google, it actually exists to provide a service — or at the very least entertainment.

With media-rich content like videos and infographics, your audience will be able to have a diverse, multi-sense engagement with your brand, elevating their experience beyond just reading another blog.

Here’s some fast facts about user engagement with videos, courtesy of Hubspot:

  • After watching a video, 64% of viewers are more likely to buy a product online
  • 92% of mobile video viewers share videos they’ve seen with others
  • Video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click through rate

And because of this, over 87% of companies are including video in their content strategy. It’s clearly striking a chord.

“But what about the SEO?!” a frazzled marketer might reply. “Great visual content is all well and good, but what use is it if no one sees it?”

A valid question, and here’s the answer — media rich content is the most shared, receives the best backlinks and is the easiest to promote. That means it’s great for SEO, just without all the hassle.

Are you beginning to see a trend here?

Great Content Means Great SEO

If you’ve made it to this point, you’ve probably begun to realize the point I’m getting at.

Content and SEO go hand in hand.

The puzzle you’re trying to put together is one that attempts to drive engagement with your online brand. SEO is an important piece of that.

But when it’s conceptualized as something other than just a piece and becomes the main focus of content marketers, it becomes less effective. Because great content, by its very nature, means great SEO.

It’s tough breaking out of the old mindset, one which placed an enormous importance on keywords (which no longer have nearly the impact they used to.)

How best to rank on search engines is a dynamic and ever-changing process, and to keep up, you have to be able to adapt.

There’s this idea that you have to futz around with code, and tags, and text with every piece of content you create in order for it to rank.

While that certainly won’t hurt, simply creating content your audience wants to engage with will work much more effectively.

Conclusion: Content is Powerful

Content has the amazing potential to build a trusting, engaged audience.

By being informative without being advertorial, by making deep, well-researched content, and incorporating media-rich content into your strategy you’ll be putting together a far more comprehensive puzzle than just focusing on SEO alone.

And in today’s search-engine climate, that’s what works.

Hire your best content writers from our team at Express Writers.

#ContentWritingChat

#ContentWritingChat June 21 2016 Recap: The Basics of Optimizing Your Content Correctly for Search Engines

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? There’s no need to worry, my friend. We have you covered with a recap of our latest chat (and it’s a good one). Go ahead and dive into our recap and brush up on your SEO skills with this week’s tips!

#ContentWritingChat June 21 2016 Recap: The Basics of Optimizing Your Content Correctly for Search Engines


For this week’s chat, our guest host was Sherry Bonelli. Sherry is an expert digital marketer (hailing back from 1998), the founder of Early Bird Digital Marketing, and has been featured on the TODAY Show, CNN, ABC. She joined us to share her tips on optimizing your written online content for search engines.

Q1: What are the basics copywriters should know about SEO?

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to optimize your online content. If you’re a natural writer, knowing the basics will just refine your existing skills to help you create fantastic content that Google will love. Check out these tips from the chat:

Don’t forget that everyone can learn the basics of SEO and even small optimizations can make a difference.

As Sherry said, the title of your content and its description will get the attention of potential readers. Make sure you’re using the right keywords to rank higher and attract your ideal reader.

Great advice from Kristen! Understand the language people use within your industry. You need to get inside their heads to choose the keywords they’ll be searching for.

Write with your audience in mind. You want to write for humans, not for robots. Keywords come second.

Make sure you know how to do keyword research. To find the ideal keywords for your content, you’ll need to know how to research them effectively and which tools you should use.

Brittany said to make sure you know why SEO matters. Of course, don’t forget about those all-important keywords either.

Varun suggested that you learn about title, tags, meta description, and headers. You should also understand how to choose the correct keywords.

Our CEO, Julia, said to make sure you know how to write good meta titles and descriptions. Those are key for ranking your content!

Cheryl said to focus on using the right keywords for your content and in your titles and headings. Don’t forget to tag your images with the appropriate keywords as well. This is a step that’s easy to overlook!

Zachary relies on the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to keep him on track when it comes to optimization. We’re right there with you!

Ryan knows keyword stuffing isn’t cool. Make sure the copy you write sounds natural, otherwise it can be a turn-off for your reader.

Jim said to keep your content natural. Don’t force your SEO.

Q2: Should you optimize every piece of content you create?

Is it worthwhile to optimize every piece of content you publish online? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Sherry believes in optimizing all of the content you create, even print material.

Sarah from ThinkSEM said you don’t need to optimize all of your content. Ultimately, it depends what the content is for. Certain pages on your site don’t necessarily need to rank.

Scott said pages such as your About page and your Contact page don’t need to be optimized. Make sure you’re optimizing what’s relevant.

For the content you want to reach a wide audience, make sure you’re taking the time to optimize it.

Varun questions the point of creating content if you’re not optimizing.

Do you want your content to be seen?

Michael said you should optimize all of your content. He also said the optimization process starts before you even begin writing. You have to conduct research, select keywords, and more.

Julia believes it’s not always important to optimize every piece of content.

You don’t want to neglect your older content. Kristen suggests going back and optimizing your best content first.

Q3: Is keyword density still important when optimizing content?

Keyword density was once a big factor when it comes to ranking your content. Is it still relevant?

Sherry said keyword density isn’t looked at so much anymore. She also said to make sure you’re not guilty of keyword stuffing. If you’re having trouble with your keyword, she suggested reaching for the thesaurus. You can find synonyms to use in your content.

Keywords should still be present, but providing engaging content is always the most important. Great answer, Kristen!

Sarah doesn’t think keyword density is still important. She said the way your content is written is much more important in the end.

Ray’s advice was to make sure you’re not stuffing your content with keywords. It’s not good for your readers and the search engines won’t like it either. Instead, focus on providing valuable content for your reader.

Rohan said keyword variation and natural language are more important.

Jim’s advice was to choose the keywords that feel natural to your content. Remember: no keyword stuffing ever!

Our Content Manager, Katria, knows quality is always the #1 priority.

Q4: How can you define and choose the right keywords for your content?

Choosing the right keywords is essential when optimizing your content. To help you out, check out these tips from the chat:

Don’t forget that Google will show you what people have been searching. All you have to do is start typing for suggestions to appear. She also said that you want to find content that’s being searched for, but doesn’t have too much competition.

Ray knows it’s important to consider your audience in this situation. He said to think about how your audience would ask a question to help in choosing the right keywords.

Similarly, you should spend time getting to know your audience. By doing some research and communicating with your target market, you’ll get to know their preferences and interests. This will help in choosing the keywords that will get you results.

Sarah also said you need to figure out how your audience is talking about a specific topic. Use the words and phrases they’re using because that’s what they’ll search with.

Focus on writing great content first. That’s always the most important thing. Optimize your content afterwards with common keywords.

Julia said to figure out what your audience is talking about. Use BuzzSumo to see what topics are popular at the moment. Keyword tools such as SEMrush and KW Finder are great as well.

Erika relies on Google Keyword Planner, Moz, and Keyword Tool for choosing the best keywords for her content.

Again, it all goes back to your audience. Know what they’re searching for so you can choose your keywords accordingly.

Q5: What tools do you use to help with SEO?

There are a ton of great SEO tools out there and it can be hard to choose just one to use. In fact, many people use multiple tools to help them out. Here are some tool recommendations to try:

Sherry likes to use SEMrush, RankRanger, SEOProfiler, and SEO Powersuite.

Ray, Brittany, and Erika are all fans of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s a great tool and we use it here at Express Writers.

Sarah turns to tools like ScreamingFrog, Raven Tools, Keyword Planner, and Google autosuggest.

Ryan said you can’t go wrong with Moz, Keyword Planner, and KW Finder.

Julia rlies on Quora, Uber Suggest, SEMrush, and KW Finder.

Screaming Frog and Yoast always come highly recommended.

Yoast, SEO Quake Team, Moz, and Hubspot are all tools worth checking out.

Jeff’s go-to tools include Google Analytics, Adwords, and Moz.

Amalia likes to use tools such as Yoast, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and Moz.

Q6: Which SEO experts do you follow to stay updated on Google standards?

Because Google does change the standards from time to time, it’s important to stay updated with what’s going on. There are plenty of SEO experts you can follow online to help you stay up to date.

Erika has a few tools she turns to when it comes to SEO, including Randfish’s Whiteboard Friday.

Ellie’s suggestions include Randfish, Moz, Neil Patel, and more.

To stay on top of his blogging game, Zachary likes to read content from Jon Morrow.

All of these suggestions are definitely worth checking out!

We agree, Jim! Neil Patel is always a great resource to turn to for SEO tips and more.

Julia had quite a few suggestions to offer. Do you follow any of these people?

Q7: How can we handle the updates Google made to meta content standards?

Google recently made some updates to their meta content standards. If you haven’t heard about this, make sure you reader our blog post on it: https://expresswriters.com/new-meta-content-length

Sherry said to keep an eye on what experts are doing and learn from their mistakes.

With a little more room to write, Julia says we can get creative with those extra characters.

No matter what changes are made, Sarah said you still want to write meta content that’s descriptive.

It always helps to regularly test and analyze your results so you can get better.

For now, just keep going and doing things as you normally would.

Q8: What are the don’ts when optimizing content?

There are always a few don’ts you should avoid when optimizing content for search engines. Here are some tips from our chat:

Sherry said not to forget about adding alt tags to your images. This is key if you want your images to be picked up by search engines.

Kristen is spot on with her answer. Don’t alter the core message or readability of your content for SEO. Providing quality to your audience is always the most important thing. Never sacrifice that.

Erika had some advice that was similar to Kristen’s. Be human! Don’t make your content unnatural for the sake of SEO.

To sum it all up: no keyword stuffing.

Sarah knows there are quite a few “don’ts” when it comes to SEO. She said to avoid keyword stuffing, over-linking, and writing just for keywords/SEO. Avoid being spammy.

As Julia said, you should never focus solely on keywords. It’s more important to focus on creating high-quality content.

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. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

P.S. Interested to learn how Julia created our chat from scratch and how I manage it? Check out our episode on The Write Podcast posted this week, where Julia and I discuss everything entailed in launching/running a Twitter chat!