As a child, hide-and-seek was probably one of your go-to games. There’s something about the thrill and suspense of finding somewhere in the shadows to hide, and then waiting impatiently to see if you’ll be discovered. Take a second and think about where you would hide, right now, in the location you’re in, if you were playing hide-and-seek. Got a place?

Now, fast-forward back to reality and stop day dreaming :). Hide-and-seek is fun to play, but if you’re a marketer and dabbling in the game, you’re going to lose. No, I don’t mean that you’re too old to play or too big and inflexible to find a good hiding spot (although, that may be true). What I do mean, is that as a marketer, you’re probably putting out a lot of content (or you should be), and if you do not actively take steps to push your content into the spotlight, it’s going to be hidden - only in this case, people will not know to ‘seek’ it out. It’s always a bummer when the game is one-sided.

Make Your Content Stand Out

Over 90% of B2C and B2B companies use content marketing.1,2 That means there are a lot of brands putting out content, which means you need to take purposeful steps to help your content stand out from the crowd and stay out of the shadows.

SEO the Hell Out of Your Content

Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are necessary to implement to make sure your content is findable when consumers search for information related to your industry.

Before diving into the techniques, let’s briefly look at how Google’s ranking algorithm works. There are over 200 factors that Google’s algorithm parses through when ranking content. I’m not sure anyone can tell you what those 200 things are, but there are specific factors that you can directly affect that will help your content emerge to the forefront of searches.

Google constantly makes updates to their search ranking. More and more they are identifying the ways that people conduct searches, and optimizing their ranking to match. For example, consumers often search for content in conversation form, as if they were speaking the search query. So if searching for swim goggles, they may enter “best, most affordable swim goggles for use in the ocean” vs. “ocean swim goggles.”

The main factors Google looks for when ranking content, include the authority of the website, the quality of the content, and the relevance of the content to a search phrase. Here are 3 SEO tactics you should implement with each piece of content you put out:

  1. Keyword Integration - Google wants the quality of content returned to users to be the best - but how can Google know what’s best? Keywords. When someone enters a search, one of the first thing Google does is look in its index to find sites that include the keywords entered in the query. This means that if your content includes key terms that consumers will search for in regard to your industry, you have a better chance of being pulled up in the search results. Typically, each brand should identify 15-20 keywords to use consistently within all of their content. Also note that it is not good to “keyword stuff” - only use keywords as they naturally fit. If you use the same words over and over, Google can identify that and flag it, and your content will likely sound kind of funny, too. There are many companies that can help you determine what your keywords should be. It’d be easy to arbitrarily pick what you think will work, but not effective. There are many companies out there trying to rank for certain keywords, so you have to choose keywords that are not overly used, and ones that have a decent number of users searching for them.
  2. Meta Titles and Descriptions - Another thing that Google looks at is a webpage’s meta title, which is what appears as the title of an item on the search results page. It’s a good idea to have these titles include one or two of your keywords. Typically these titles are recommended to be between 50 and 60 characters long. A meta description is the content that falls under the titles on the search results page. These are not heavily factored into search ranking, but they do contribute to click-through-rates. The more informative a description is, the more likely a user is to click on it (if it matches what they are looking for). The more clicks your site gets, the more authority Google assigns it as having.
  3. Link Building - Google also determines a website’s authority based on how many other quality websites link back to it. So the more you get your content out there, and encourage others to share and link to it, the better off you’ll be. It also helps to link to other pages on your website within a blog post, as relevant.

For more detailed information on each of these methods and for a step-by-step guide for implementing each tactic, check out this SEO ebook by Community Elf.

You’re working hard on your content and you obviously want people to read it. There’s no reason not to include search engine optimization into your content strategy. It’s quite imperative to the success of your content.

If you have any questions about SEO and how it should be integrated into a content marketing strategy, reach out:

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