Organic referencing (aka SEO) is the cornerstone of successful audience retention. And because writing should lend itself to reading, we have put together a list of 7 ways that you can optimize your articles to generate more traffic for your blog.
Here we go!
1. Find the right keywords
Duh…! This is a no-brainer, right?
Well, you’d be surprised to see what your competition is actually doing. Even if you write like Shakespeare, if you don’t choose a keyword in advance that will be the focus of your article, you are doomed to fail.
For this to really work efficiently, you will have to think about what users would input to Google (or any other search engine) that could make your article appear in the list of results. The fundamental thing here is to identify keywords that have a high search volume but a low level of competition. You can find a list of these words on Google Keyword Planner, MOZ Keyword explorerand other keyword search tools.
Keep in mind that it’s easier to have better referencing with long-tail keywords, that is to say, longer, more detailed keywords that are ideally between 2 and 4 words.
2. Integrate keywords in your content. And not sparingly, either.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, scatter them with passion throughout your content:
- Title (never exceed the 60 character limit for Google)
- Body of the text
- alt textimages (HTML code describing the appearance and purpose of the image)
- The article’s URL
The golden rule: achieve the right dose. To avoid content that looks like it was written by a robot, integrate the keywords skilfully, alternating the word order in each paragraph. No need to use it forcefully 20 times on the same page – just a few times will be enough for Google to understand the subject covered by your content. Your goal is to produce content that feels natural, written by one human, for another human.
Synonyms, bold and italics will also serve you well to emphasize certain keywords in your text.
3. Optimize for mobile
Since 82 % of Canadians use a mobile phone, you can’t notmake your content mobile-friendly.
To ensure that your content is adapted to cell phones, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test. Here, you will find tips on how to optimize your content for the URL you plan to use.
4. Rock your content
Of course, having quality content is really important, but so too is the way the text is organized, and don’t forget to add effective design elements.
First of all, with regards to layout, you should:
- Opt for short paragraphs (white space is your bff)
- Separate the text into paragraphs, each one with a subheading
- Use bullet points (like I have used here)
- Highlight important information in bold
- Add internal and external hyperlinks (but not more than 2 or 3 per paragraph)
- Include an image at the top of your article to encourage readers to continue reading
Also consider including your social media logos at the beginning of the article to encourage and make sharing the article easier. You could also do the same with a “recent articles”or “popular articles”section on the sidebar.
Being popular means more traffic and therefore, better referencing.
5. Integrate some call to action
A call to action(CTA) is a simple and effective way to take your readers to the next level, and turn prospects into customers.
Often, CTAs come in the form of buttons or clickable links that encourage the reader to take action.
For example: “Click here to…, “Participate in…”
To be really effective, a call to actionhas to:
- Tell the audience exactly what to do
- Start with an action verb
- Be eye-catching (interesting shapes and colours)
- Be different from the rest of the text, can be in the middle or the end)
If your CTA generates between 1% and 2% clicks, give yourself a big pat on the back.
6. Reference with frequency and length
Of course, a blog that gets lots of love from readers will also be popular with search engines. That’s why it’s so important to publish new articles on a regular basis, while also updating older ones.
An inactive page risks plummeting in the search results.
However, by adding new articles you won’t necessarily be successful with your natural referencing; you also need to focus on the length of your texts. It’s generally recommended to produce articles that are at least 1,000 words long so that search engines recognize your article as comprehensive, well-written and of high quality.
That being said, you should definitely adapt your content to your own needs and goals. Writing for the sake of writing isn’t the best plan.
Pro tip: you can add content to a page without weighing it down; simply camouflage the text in tabs or scrolling text.
7. Check your site’s download speed
Content is one thing… and it’s definitely pivotal for good SEO. But a page that takes more than 5 seconds to load will leak more than 80% of its visitors. Didn’t you know that online patience is SO 2008?
If you want to know the download speed for your site, you can rely on PageSpeed Insightsor GTmetrix, which will give you your overall ranking as well as providing you with possible explanations for less than stellar speeds.
These are some factors that can cause slow speeds:
- No cache system
- No CDN(Content Delivery Network)
- Images that aren’t optimized (especially when it comes to their size)
- A slow server
- An overloaded database
In short, the key to success for a blog article that is naturally referenced is to create quality content using keywords that have been meticulously chosen to please your audience, and that will bring you qualified traffic.
And if you would like to see an example of an article that is optimized, why, look no further than the one you’re reading. It was created with all of these suggestions in mind. ????