Search engine optimization, a.k.a. SEO, is an amazing way to gain organic reach and visibility for your business. Most service-based business owners know that reaching the top of the Google search results can considerably impact sales, but few know how to get there.
If you’re just getting started, your primary focus should be on-page SEO, which refers to the changes you’re able to implement to your own website and/or blog. This is the best place to start because off-page SEO, such as link building, will amplify your on-page efforts.
Below are four steps designed to enhance your content strategy so you can reach page one on Google and attract high-quality leads for your business.
1. Brainstorm blog topics related to your services or products
The first step is to analyze your products and corresponding offers (i.e., perhaps you offer 1:1 services or digital products). Your website and/or blog should provide educational content that directly supports those offers.
Next, dive into the mind of your ideal clients.
- What do they struggling with?
- What specific problems are they facing?
- What information are they searching for?
Your content should offer answers to common questions and solutions to problems. Every post should have a very clear purpose and provide a clear win. For example, if you’re a business coach, you wouldn’t want to write a blog post about a vacation with your kids. Instead, you’d benefit from sharing content that helps your ideal clients identify their niche, craft powerful messaging that attracts clients, and successfully run a sales call.
2. Conduct keyword research
Brainstorm two to five categories or main topics your company blog will cover. Then brainstorm various post ideas based on those categories.
Once you have blog post topics laid out, the next step is to conduct keyword research. It’s important to check that you’re using the same words and phrases in your content that your ideal clients are typing into the Google search bar. While you might think your blog post title should be phrased a certain way, the data might show there’s little to no search volume.
For example, “Why you should go paleo” has no search volume. However, “paleo diet benefits” has a search volume of 2,900 per month. Do you see the distinction here? It’s the same topic but worded differently.
Proper keyword research will give your blog post the best possible chance of ranking high in search results. When choosing keywords, focus on long-tail keywords instead of a single word. A long-tail keyword has three or more words, such as “paleo diet benefits” from the example above. Ranking for a long-tail keyword is much easier because the search volume is lower, and typically the competition is lower as well.
A keyword research tool that integrates with Google Chrome and Firefox is Keywords Everywhere.
3. Create long-form content
To rank on the first page of Google, you have to establish your blog as a high-quality resource for information. You can do this by publishing long-form educational content between 1,000 and 3,000 words.
However, your blog post should not be one large block of text.
Before you start writing your post, identify the main points. Those main points should be subheadings. Structuring your content in this manner not only enhances the user experience but also helps Google understand the structure of your blog post.
Don’t be afraid to share too much information because the goal is to use your content to establish trust. Ideal clients are more likely to hire you because you’ve already helped them for free. While they will find your blog content helpful, many will still want customized support for their specific problems and challenges.
4. Optimize your post for SEO
Before you click “Publish” on your blog post, be sure to optimize both the content and technical elements. In other words, you’re packaging your blog post for Google.
Now that your keyword is identified, insert it in the following areas of your blog post:
- meta description
- image file name
- image alt text
While keyword density is a highly debated topic in the SEO industry, you should include your keyword throughout the blog post –– in headings where it looks natural and flows with the surrounding content.
Next, condense any images below 500 KB that are included in the post. This helps with site speed and ensures your blog posts load quickly. Use a tool like JPEGmini, which can condense image files by up to 80% without compromising the quality of the image.
Blogging is a powerful content marketing strategy
When paired with SEO, blogging is a powerful marketing strategy. Gaining traction through Google takes time, but business owners who are patient and continue to publish top-notch content see the greatest results.
Lauren Lasky is a brand designer, Squarespace website designer, and SEO strategist. She helps powerhouse coaches and creatives build a highly converting website and create an evergreen lead generation machine so that they can stand out, get seen, and make more sales. After spending 2 years in the SEO industry servicing billion-dollar global brands, Lauren is passionate about combining the art and science of websites to give her clients a rock-solid online presence.
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