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How to Optimize Your Web Content

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Optimizing your web content is a necessary and essential part of writing for your business. You spend a lot of time creating helpful, engaging content for your website or blog, so chances are, you’ll want to do whatever you can to increase the likelihood that it will show up in your customers’ search results.

Google changes its search algorithm 500-600 times a year. They do this to give their users quality results in their searches and to prevent bad websites from gaming the system. While most of those algorithm changes are minor, updates such as Panda and Penguin make significant impacts on search rankings.

Most of us don’t have the time to constantly adjust our writing strategy to Google’s latest update. Those that do won’t have it figured out for long before something changes.

There are a few basic things you can do to lay a solid SEO foundation and be in good favor with the audience that really counts – your readers.

Here are six web content optimization tips you may want to consider:

Write for your customers.

Write interesting, informative, quality articles on topics your customers care about. Write it well, make it easy to understand, and write it in a format that is readable. If your customers find value in what you write, they are going to bookmark your site, follow your blog, and come back on their own.

Write consistently.

Search engines look more favorably on websites that are updated frequently. So don’t just post a blog on your website and not touch it again for six months. Decide on a frequency that is realistic for your business. Enlist help from other managers and employees to write for your blog and to assist with identifying pages of your website that need updated. Create an editorial calendar and commit to a consistent schedule, whether it is daily, weekly, twice a week or twice a month.

Use keywords in your content.

Determine what words your customers are likely using to find you. There are many tools available to help you with this, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, WordTracker, MajesticSEO, and Ubersuggest. Once you determine the keywords, use them frequently but naturally in your content. Don’t overuse them – a term coined as “keyword stuffing” – because Google will penalize you for it and your readers will stop reading. WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO can help you identify how often and where your keywords are showing up on your page.

Use headings.

Headings, subheadings, and titles all help to make your content organized and readable. Since most online readers scan rather than read (or at least scan first and then possibly read), headings and subheadings encourage short paragraphs and white space, which makes it easier for your audience to understand the information on your page. Placing your keywords in your headings, subheadings, and titles of your article also helps improve your search results.

Use keywords in your URL.

If you are using a WordPress platform, this is a simple change to make with a click of an edit button. Having your keywords appear in the URL for that page is a powerful way to enhance your SEO efforts.

Add images.

It’s good practice to include at least one image with your content. Images break up text, draw attention to your article, and encourage your audience to read your page. Placing your keywords in the alt text of your images can also improve your search results.

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to write quality content for your website and be found on the Internet. Write for your audience, take small non-heroic measures to improve your rankings, and don’t task yourself with the challenge of figuring it all out. Google will always change, but your customers’ need for valuable, practical, well-written content will always stay the same.

Laurie Zinn is a Columbus-based freelance writer and owner of Line-By-Line. She helps businesses communicate with their customers through website content, blog articles, email marketing campaigns and social media. For more information about Line-By-Line, visit http://line-by-line.us or contact Laurie at laurie@line-by-line.us.

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