Chances are you’re a busy person. You have a business to run, a life to lead, friends who you want to visit, family you care for and somewhere in there hobbies and interests and fun. So I understand when you cringe at hearing “Content Content Content”. Writing, building, taping, recording content takes time. Time that is in precious supply.
But bear with me.
You remember when I explained that Google and other search engines are punishing old tricks and building their algorithms into better and better engines for finding the perfect answer to a user’s question? Guess what they rate very very high on the results pages?
Good, useful, quality content.
Blogs, articles, news, how-to tutorials, videos, podcasts, and sundry are becoming more and more the top priority for search engines.
Finding and choosing keywords
The first thing to start your journey into creating search engine optimized content is to decide what words you most want be searched for. Is it your town? Is it your service or product? Is it a term your clients often use? Brainstorm these and then take that list into a place that generates variations on those keywords. I like Ubersuggest because they’re great and they’re free: http://ubersuggest.org/
By far the most weighted part of an article, blog, video, podcast, etc is its title. Makes sure you think like a magazine. In fact, getting some inspiration on the type of titles your favorite magazines use can be a big help! Titles also are the biggest thing to show up when someone shares a link in social media and what many blogging sites default to naming that post/page, meaning this has some very powerful SEO possibilities.
Writing blogs and articles
By far, the most common and easiest content for a search engine to consume and sort through is text-based. There’s a reason blogs are still so relevant in an age of videos and podcasts. While audio-to-text translations are getting better and better, it’s not yet perfect so even when using videos and podcasts, getting transcriptions and tagging with keywords (see above) is helpful.
When creating blog entries, consider your keywords and try to develop content around those themes. You can also download my 101 Blog Generation Ideas at tuneupmymarketing.com/books. Changing the game with longer or more thorough articles, maybe even a combination of old topics, can be a way of reiterating good keywords and giving visitors another way to consume your message.
Makes sure that your content is valuable – not just sales material! Boring, useless content is SPAM and is treated like such by search engines. Value is a mix of fame (covering someone famous, something famous or a guest post by someone famous), point of view, usefulness, and emotional response. Content doesn’t have to have all of these, but it needs to excel at at least one of these.
Keep content at a decent word count, make sure the information is credible, authentic and try not to post it anywhere else. Duplicate content (found on multiple pages or websites) counts against its value.
We are a visual people. How many times have you searched for something and immediately go to Google Images instead of the search results? Naming images with relevant keywords not only makes your blogs more engaging and valuable, but also adds another avenue in which your website can be found by search engine spiders.
Videos and Podcasts
By now you hopefully know that Google owns YouTube. That is amazing news for your SEO possibilities because it means Google’s search engine algorithms love YouTube. Posting videos there with relevant tags, descriptions and (especially!) titles along with a link back to a page on your website is a huge SEO booster. Videos can be screen shares or even put together with nothing more than your smartphone.
You’ll most want to focus on having good lighting (No lights behind you, lots of light in front of you.) Natural light is best, so if you can find a relatively quiet place outdoors use that. If not, grab a lot of your lamps and move them so help light up your beautiful face. The next most important thing for good video is excellent sound. You can get a clip-on microphone for your smartphone for usually under $30. (http://www.amazon.com/Omnidirectional-Condenser-Microphone-Camcorders-Smartphones/dp/B00QY62M0U/ref=sr_1_8?s=photo&ie=UTF8&qid=1420685573&sr=1-8)
Creating a YouTube account is easy, though be careful to make sure it’s branded! Add your logo and some quick background art to your channel and make sure the name resonates with your business. Both PCs (Windows Live Movie Maker) and Macs (iMovie) come with free video editing software. It’s basic and user-friendly, what’s not to love?
Podcasts are easy to put together with free audio programs like Audacity. (www.audacity.com) You can even host a show via Skype using a program like Pamela to record your interview and turn it into an mp3. Audio can be an even bigger deal with podcasts. I feel I have a very good microphone on my $100 webcam I purchased for work, but you can get a very good microphone alone for $50. (http://www.amazon.com/Samson-Meteor-Studio-Microphone-Cardioid/dp/B004MF39YS/?tag=lifehackeramzn-20&ascsubtag=fd045e2038436918a37c6faaacd278f305608018)
You can of course post podcasts to your WordPress website using a plugin like Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/powerpress/). iTunes has special information on how to register your podcast with them, which can only help your credibility and accessibility for users: https://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/creatorfaq.html
With both video and podcasts, consider getting transcriptions of your audio. Again, text is best for search engines to read and what you’re saying can be lost to the search engines. (Right now anyway. I expect there will be changes there soon. We’re already seeing audio-to-text technology like Siri becoming more and more accurate.) Posting a Show Synopsis is helpful for your visitors too, especially any hearing impaired visitors.
A last word about content building
Good content is pivotal for something called a Bounce Rate. A bounce rate is the percent of people who visit your site and immediately leave. Having a high bounce rate is bad, since it means most people who visit your website aren’t sticking around, reading interesting content and getting to know your brand. Making your content engaging and interesting can lower that number. The other big way to reduce bounce rate is having an excellent website design. If your navigation is clunky, your graphics outdated or your layout uninteresting you’re going to run into problems. Videos, by the way, are some of the first things people click on when they visit a website, which is another reason to make some! (And videos, you guessed it, reduce bounce rate.)