While search engine optimization is a highly technical and intricate science, there are a lot of great, simple SEO tips out there which can help boost your digital marketing efforts at little to no cost.
Regardless of what your business is or does, SEO remains critically important, and for SEO to work, you need your business to appear on the first page of relevant search results. When people search for keywords relevant to your business, your website should, ideally, be one of the first ones that shows up - but even if you can't be at the very top of the list, you need to be featured on the first page of rankings. According to research, up to 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
To help maximize your SEO value, here are simple tips you can incorporate into your content creation process.
1. Short Paragraphs
One great SEO tip is to keep your paragraphs short - around two to five sentences at the most. This makes them visually more accessible to the reader who might skip over pages and pages of writing with long paragraphs.
Another great way to keep your reader's attention on your content is by creating subheadings. This isn't something people often do in other types of writing, so it takes some getting used to. However, it's also a great visual aid for people who are looking through websites in a hurry; it enables them to skip over things they already know and focus on what they need to find out.
3. Lists and Bullet Points
Lists have become so popular on the internet that there's now a word for articles that use them: "listicles".
Lists and bullet points effectively subdivide an article into sections which, again, enable a reader to focus on what they need to find. Plus, there's a certain degree of mental satisfaction people derive from finding out five, seven or ten things relevant to them.
Although it's not a good idea to overuse keywords in your content, you can still use them to some extent. Just make sure that they're naturally woven into your writing so you're not irritating customers by inundating them with the same word over and over.
Andy Beal, an SEO expert, advises that brands should "invest a lot of time in researching the keywords that potential customers will use."
You have a better chance of being found by search engines if you use good links in your writing. This means links to reputable websites, as well as links featuring recent material. There's no point adding a link if it's broken.
Keeping a reader's attention is hard, especially on the internet, but images can help a great deal.
For example, this article from Entrepreneur very cleverly uses an image from a popular movie, which is likely to stoke the reader's interest in the topic.
7. Good Writing
Overall, the rules of SEO are very similar to the rules of good writing. In order to keep your reader's attention, you need to avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes.
It's a good idea to use complex sentence structures and sentence variety, but remember not to overdo it, because good writing needs to have a natural flow - it should never seem forced.
This post originally appeared on The Fried Side blog.