From the time we’re young, we’re told to choose one goal at a time and give it everything we have. Many of us follow this conventional wisdom, but what happens when the path to meet said goal is multifaceted?
For example, to become a better athlete, one must train their strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Millions of Americans try to get in shape ever year and fall short. Many of these people are looking to lose weight and increase their health, so they turn to the first workout type that comes to mind – cardio.
Although cardio-based programs – like running and cycling – are important, they are only a small part of the athlete-building equation.
What many people don’t realize is that although the end-goal is fitness, they must diversify their training in order to achieve it.
Today, we live in a complicated world, and the path to almost every goal one can strive for is multifaceted – whether it’s in fitness, personal relationships or business.
Multifaceted plans to achieve one goal
If you’re starting to wonder what any of this could possibly have to do with digital marketing, allow me to explain – like Americans trying to improve their fitness, we marketers often strive to improve our SEO writing, but many of us fall short.
Truth be told, SEO writing – much like exercise – has many components. Sure, you could spend all of your time adamantly focusing on one of its tenants, but just like the Americans who overrun themselves with cardio, you’re not going to find success that way.
Luckily, just as athletes look to trainers and coaches for ideas, you too can improve your SEO writing by adhering to the following advice from experts in the field.
Seriously, don’t make this harder than it has to be. Nobody likes running on a treadmill, and nobody likes creating ineffective content. The following steps have worked for others, and they’ll work for you, too.
In fact, starting right here, right now, consider everything below your training plan to success.
The nitty-gritty of SEO
There’s no denying the obvious – SEO can be confusing …
Everyone knows that it has many important aspects and important details, but this information often seems elusive and ever-changing.
As the internet has evolved, so has SEO, and what might have worked a couple years ago might be destroying your rankings today.
Here’s the most up-to-date information about SEO – it’s all about catering to people. If you want your content to rank well, create something that’s easily likable and sharable.
For example, look at Coypblogger’s post above.
Right away, you can see that it’s been shared 677 times. In some ways, shares are like positive reviews. If a bakery has 677 positive reviews on Yelp, you’re likely to visit it. Likewise, if an article has 677 shares, it’s likely worth a minute of your time.
Write and write again
As great as it would be to only work out once a week and have six-pack abs, for the vast majority of the population, this isn’t likely to happen.
Similarly, you can’t expect to have successful content without putting in the work. In order to keep readers interested and have Google take notice, aim to post around three to four times per week.
Hello Fresh has their blog’s timing down to a science. They’re strategic about how many times a week they post, and they provide quality content – every time.
Needless to say, timely, well-crafted blogs improve your SEO and keep customers coming back for more.
Keep content SEO and human-friendly with images
Images draw potential customers’ attention and improve SEO.
Tried-and-true is the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Photos help customers and search engines understand what your content might be about – if they’re named correctly.
Tide provides a perfect example of this.
Quickly, take note of this photo’s name. Instead of using a file that’s composed of a seemingly random combination of letters and/or numbers, Tide’s URL outlines the image’s purpose.
Because of this, Google and other search engines more easily understand Tide’s content, improving its SEO rankings. Google is also tipped off on a keyword – coupon, which is most important.
Every image is named appropriately, and it’s surrounded by related text, too. Images that are surrounded by related text rank better, further increasing SEO success.
The use of text breaks up the images on the page and makes it easy on the eyes, as well.
When you do the same with images, and visitors/Google like what they see, you’ll find you have notably better engagement.
Use internal links
While external links to highly authoritative sources are great for providing audiences with extra value on your topic of choice, don’t overcrowd your content with them.
If you can provide relevant and helpful information by linking to some of your older articles in your current content, do it – just make sure you know how to effectively.
If you implement them correctly, they will help keep users on your website for longer, increase page views and possibly conversions. This isn’t to say, however, that external linking to credible sites isn’t important …
Still, if you can keep links internal, you should.
Image Source: Quick Sprout
Rather than taking users to another company’s site, keep them with you, engaging with your content; make your links work for you over and over again.
Captivate readers with headlines
Have you ever driven by a restaurant and turned it down based on its street appearance? We judge books by their covers all the time, which is why everything digital marketers create must be appealing – from headlines to content.
For starters, writing viral headlines isn’t rocket science. And once you’ve figured out the common elements viral headlines encompass, you can create successful headlines.
Viral Nova provides a great example of an effective strategy – the emotional element. The statement “deadliest hike in the world” stands out from other content and draws readers in.
The title also slightly contrasts with the other viewable content; the surrounding text and images are interesting, but they don’t grab the attention like the title does – this is exactly what you want.
This way, the reader will read the content, and, after they’ve finished, the other options are still captivating enough to draw them in.
Originally found on the same page, take a look at this diet soda copy, too.
Though seemingly insignificant at first glance, it’s strategically placed.
Without question, it’s the second-most grabbing content on the page, but it’s only visible after the customer has read the article above. Viral Nova does an excellent job of attracting attention to what the reader should read first and what they should look at second – keeping them engaged, all along.
Everyone loves a celebrity appearance, and SEO is no different.
No, we’re not saying that you should hire paparazzi to follow you to the coffee shop and catch you in sweats, but we are talking about guest-blogging. Blogging for another site can showcase your product or service in a positive light and link new readers to your company.
Image Source: Business 2 Community
Today, consumers are inundated with advertisements, so they like to stick with companies they already know and trust. If customers are taking the time to read a company’s content, it’s likely that they find value in that company already, and so you’re getting great referrals simply by guest-blogging.
When they read your post on a platform they’re already familiar with, they have greater confidence in you and you secure warmer leads.
Make a plan
Whether you’ve been creating content for a long time or you’re an SEO rookie, you should have a strategic plan for your content.
Build the entire thing from soup to nuts – we’re talking keyword strategy, measurements of success, overarching goals, etc.
There’s no perfect way to do this, but looking for inspiration from companies, like Digital Current, is a good way to start.
Everyone’s goals are slightly different, so plans will differ slightly; however, at the end of the day, they should all lead to similar success, so create your plan wisely.
Ready to run?
Just as countless Americans try to get in shape each year, many digital marketers set out to find SEO success.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve taken part in the “get in shape” resolution one too many times. I’ve wasted my time running until I was exhausted – still not getting results. In fact, I did this for years before I met a trainer that taught me the importance of cross training.
In fitness, cardio gives you a good place to start, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Similarly, when it comes to improving your SEO writing, there isn’t one technique or practice that leads to success.
In order to be successful in both of these pursuits, variety is key.
Luckily, when it comes to health, there are professionals that can show you how to eat better and train smarter to achieve results. Similarly, with SEO, there are savants that have shown thousands of content markers how they can reach success.
Don’t waste your time in the rat race like everyone else, take our advice and get on the path to real results.
I’ve said my peace, and now it’s time for you to say yours …
What practices have helped you get great results in SEO writing? Also, what are your favorite sites for inspiration? I can’t wait to see what you have to share! (Healthy meal prep ideas are also encouraged, but not required.)
Guest Author: Lucas Miller is a Freelance Copywriter and Founder of Echelon Copy. When not writing, tweeting or attempting to play pickup basketball, he’s working tirelessly to perfect what he claims is the “World’s Greatest Pompadour.” To get more tips on how to start your own six-figure freelance copywriting business, join his free newsletter.