Marketing How Tos

A Simple Guide for Creating Search Engine Optimized Content

Photo of Michelle Givens Michelle Givens - September 20, 2019

When you are planning out content there are so many things to consider, target audience, tone, voice, format, and the list goes on. And when you produce digital content, you have to also consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO). All of these details can become overwhelming! Because of this, we wanted to provide a simple 4 step guide on how to create social media and website content that is search engine optimized.

Step 1. Determine the Best Content Format

Think about it, there are many more highly-visible search engines today than ever before. A shortlist includes Google, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Bing just to name a few. Are you selecting the correct content format to meet your buyers where they are in their purchasing journey? Will your content show up on the correct search engine when they are looking for you? Your content format plays a big role in that. If you are only optimizing your content for Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you are limiting your content marketing strategy.

So the first step you should consider when optimizing your content for search engines is determining what format the content is best suited for to meet your buyers where they are looking for your information. On top of that, you need to consider your multiple target buyer personas. For example, a Millennial is not going to seek out your content the same way a Baby Boomer might even though they both may be potential customers. Because of that, you may need to produce content in a video series and a long-form blog post.

Step 2. Identify the Correct Keywords

Make sure that the keywords you are focusing your content on are actually keywords that your target audience is using to search for the content you are generating. Don’t forget you are an expert in your industry. You must remember that the average person searching for the content you are generating may not know your industry as well. And 9 times out of 10 they will NOT be using the “proper” search terms or your industry jargon. So, you need to make sure that the focus keyword for your platform-specific content matches the popular search terms on that platform.

How would you do this for Google and Bing SERPs?

There are several tools you can use, but a free and straightforward tool for Google SERPs keyword research is the Keyword Planner Tool in Google Ads. To use the Google Planner Keyword Tool, you will have to create a Google Ads account. But do not worry, you can create an account for free! This tool will show you keywords that people actually search for that are related to the keywords you entered or a web page you reference. When you are selecting keywords to focus your content efforts on, you should pick keywords that have high search volume and are relevant to your industry.

Bing has a similar tool, Bing Keyword Research Tool. Like Google’s similar tool, you have to create a free account to get started.

How would you do this for the search results of the other search engines?

You would follow a similar process.

For YouTube, You can use Google Trends and set the results to be YouTube Search only.

Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 10.01.52 AM
For Instagram and Twitter, check out hashtag tools.

When researching keywords on Pinterest and Facebook, it’s not as straightforward. A lot more generalizations and research activities have to be manually performed. So, that how-to is better suited for a separate post. Check out this guide for help in the meantime.

Step 3. Use the Keywords Properly

Now that you know what keywords to focus on you need to properly use those keywords in your content to increase your rankings for those keywords. But remember, we’re not just optimizing for Google, so you must consider the best practices associated with the search engine that you are generating your content for. To help you out, we have compiled a list of best practices references for the top search engines.

Bing vs Google: <- Sorry the number of annoying popups

Step 4. Analyze and Optimize

And last, but positively, not least. You must take time to analyze the results of your content strategy and make necessary adjustments to maximize your content’s exposure. You can do this analysis through Google Analytics, Google Search Console, YouTube Analytics, as well as the analytical reporting on the appropriate social platform.

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If the results are not meeting your goals, then optimize your content and repeat your analysis in another couple of weeks. If your results are nowhere near your expectations reevaluate your goals, rinse, and repeat.

I hope this information helps you take your content strategy to the next level. However, if you are still scratching your head or would like to brainstorm your current strategy, let’s talk! We’d enjoy the opportunity to help you adjust your current efforts to make them more easy or more effective in meeting your marketing objectives.

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