Search Engine Optimization Starts with Great Content

Successful internet marketers will tell you that the secret to search engine optimization is great content.  The problem is that most people don’t know how to create it.  Anyone can type something and post it online, but it takes experience to get people to see it.  So, I’ve called in the expert for today’s post.  Luke Van Der Veer, SEO expert and owner of Digifly Marketing, graciously volunteered some of his time to share his expertise with me.  If you’d like to get in touch with Luke, click here to visit his site.

Research Topics & Competition

Before writing anything, it’s important to research what’s already been done.  We don’t want to recreate the wheel; we want to take the existing one and make it better, if possible.  This could be as simple as performing a few quick Google searches.  We’re just looking to see what people are writing about, what they keywords the articles rank for, and whether it’s a viable option to pursue.  If the articles ranking at the top are from big names like Forbes or the New York Times, it’s better to choose a different topic or target a different keyword.  Sites with huge authority are very hard to overpower even with amazing search engine optimization.  When this happens, your time is better spent elsewhere.  Ideally, you’re looking for a keyword the has at least 200 searches and has weak content ranking in the top spots of the search engine.  The opportunities are out there, and when find them, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Identify the Type of Content Needed

Review the type of content ranking at the top.  How long is the article?  Are there pictures?  Does the writer go into detail or is it just an overview?  Does it reference quality sources of information?  These questions will give you an idea of how much work is involved to overtake the #1 spot.  For example, if the “best” article is 500 words, you should be starting at 1,000.  Write down a list of all the questions you have after reading it.  If you can’t think of any, hop on message boards and type in the topic.  You’d be surprised how many questions you can find that can serve as the ammo you need.  Then, look up the answers to every single question to include in your article.

Create an Outline and Write the First Draft

Once you’ve completed the steps above, organize all of the information into logical sections.  H2 headers are a great way to break up things that are related but don’t belong in the same paragraph.  With the outline complete, start writing; the initial wording doesn’t matter.  Get your thoughts and ideas on the paper so you can organize it later.  If any of the sections look weak, go back to researching what else can be added.  Afterwards, save your work and take a break.  Surprisingly, focusing on something else can get the creative juices flowing again.

Finish Your Masterpiece

Start at the top and read through your entire article, tweaking and changing things as you go.  Make sure you get your point across in the least words possible, and don’t use big words unless you have to (which is probably never).  The average reader doesn’t care about your vocabulary, they only care about the information you’re giving them.  Once you’re done, ask someone nearby to read your article and critique it.  It’s best to ask someone who doesn’t understand the topic, in order to get reliable feedback.  Make any required changes and post your final article.

Article Promotion with Search Engine Optimization

Your article is complete.  You’ve published an amazing piece of content that far exceeds your competition.  Now what?  This is where search engine optimization takes over.  Even with great, in-depth content, Google needs other people to validate it before it sends you traffic.  That validation comes in the form of backlinks to your work.  We don’t have enough time to discuss link building today, so we’ll save that for another post.  However, high level, the idea is to promote your article to related sources that may find it useful.  If they do, they’ll reference your article in their posts, and you’ll start receiving traffic.  Of course, the easiest way to do this is to simply hire an SEO company.  You’ll save time and a lot of headaches.

We hope you enjoyed today’s post from our discussion with Luke.  Check back in next week as we discuss more in the world of search engine optimization and digital marketing.