As an editor of an online website, you probably already know that content alone is not enough to generate the biggest audience possible. No matter how relevant, thought-provoking or hard-hitting your content is, if no-one can find it, then no-one will read it!
That’s where SEO comes in.
Getting the SEO fundamentals right can be an editor’s dream – giving your content the opportunity to rank for a broad spread of keywords in google’s organic results, and exposing it (for free) to thousands of potential new readers.
Here are a few basic SEO tips that editors can follow, which are cost effective and can boost your readership without breaking the bank:
1 – Choose the Right Keyword Phrase
It’s no secret that all your content should include keywords which are relevant to your industry, chosen topic, or target audience in order to attract readers interested in those things.
If you’re unsure of which keywords to target, there are plenty of helpful and free research tools available online to help you pick relevant keyword phrases, such as google’s free keyword planner.
Keyword research should be conducted on all content – including daily stories, static pages such as your homepage, and even blogs.
For daily/news style content, google trends can give you a great insight into what people are currently searching for (i.e. buzzing content) and using some choice keywords (where relevant) can give you a nice short term boost.
2 – Use SEO Friendly Headlines
It’s not just the body of your content which needs to have SEO in mind – your title is also important and will be picked up by Google.
While it is important that your title is ‘clickable’ and attention grabbing, try and include one or two keywords or phrases within it too. Getting this balance right can make a big difference to your site’s search performance.
You might also want to consider using a separate title for google (shorter, more keyword focused), and for social media (more attention grabbing). YOAST’s free SEO plugin will allow you to do this easily.
3 – Optimise your whole article
As well as using the relevant key term in your article headline, it’s SEO best practice to use the same phrase within the actual content at least once to increase your chances of ranking for that phrase.
However don’t overdo it – there’s also a way to get penalised from search engine rankings through bad SEO practice. Avoid keyword stuffing and bad links to ensure you aren’t spamming and you’ll rank more naturally.
PayPal-casinos.co site editor agrees, saying that “after we overhauled our existing content and started ensuring all our articles contained only relevant keywords sparingly throughout, we started to notice the site moving up the rankings to reach the top in our casino field.”
4 – SEO your images
Images are becoming increasingly important to SEO and, when used correctly, can be a good source of inbound links (due to the swipe factor).
As well as making your content more interesting to the reader (and therefore more shareable), ensuring your images are properly optimised with alt text (and even using keywords in the file name) can bring in extra traffic from google image search, and also serve as a ranking signal for the page itself within the main search results.
If your images are high quality, then letting people grab them for use on their own site is not a bad idea, as long as they attribute you as the source through a link. If they don’t… then reach out to them and ask for one!
5 – Track your page
One of the biggest mistakes editors make is to research SEO keywords and use them to the death, or never refresh, analyse or change them.
Unless you’re number 1 for all your target phrases (which is highly unlikely), you’re going to need to keep analysing everything, and brainstorming for ways to improve.
You can use google analytics, alongside webmaster tools to analyse your site’s performance, track which pages are performing, and where some tweaking might be required.
While analytics no longer reports all keyword data, you can combine the information in there with impression and click data from webmaster tools (under search analytics). This will often give you ideas for future content.
For your main keywords, you’ll also want to regularly check to see what else is ranking in the SERPs, as this can give you some extra ideas for content, and an insight into what is working.
Of course, if a competitor is ranking well, you might want to deep dive into their links (through a link checker such as ahrefs) and see if there are any you can easily replicate.
These are just a few basic tips editors can use to help understand and maximise SEO potential. Like most things, getting the basics right, can lead to big improvements in performance – and best of all you can implement all of these tips for free.