9 Content marketing steps to optimize your article for top ranking

Content will become more appealing to the reader in 2017 due to advances in tech. Content marketing plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining customers through the way brand’s message is conveyed.

As an entrepreneur, you have to sell your product or service in a manner that influences your customers’ perception of your brand. The value you provide on your site has to touch your audience emotionally and trigger the need to perform an action on your product’s page.

Content marketing and SEO have to work together if you want to appropriately tackle ranking challenges. Without possessing knowledge of both topics, the articles posted on your site will not become visible in the online world.

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If you want to invest intelligently your money in online marketing, you have to think about content development and content optimization tactics, part of SEO. This is a shortcut that can help you reach the audience that is most likely to be interested in your product/service/brand.

People who are passionate about writing valuable and original content have to undertake on-page SEO before and after writing an article.

So, in this article will be presented 9 content marketing tactics to help you optimize your article for SEO success and top ranking:

  1. Keyword Research

Before starting to compose the article, do a keyword research using Keyword Planner in order to check if people are looking for the keywords you intend to have in your text.

Example Google AdWords Keyword Planner - BeEMK

Be focused on 2-3 keywords in an article, provide interesting information in such a way that your audience becomes satisfied. Try not to exaggerate when using keywords (over-optimization) and do not include text that does not match the topic requiring a separate post.

Learn to anticipate what query terms people may search on Google that can generate the traffic you desire. You need to check how popular (avg. monthly searches) your keywords are. Also, look at the competition to better decide if your keywords are a good choice or not.

Competition AdWords Keyword Planner example - BeEMK

2. Title tag & meta description

Meta title and meta description still remain of great importance in terms of SEO because they let users and search engines know what your pages are all about. As long as you write them properly, search engines have a clue and rank the page as high as possible when a search is made.

To become easy for search engines to understand your pages, keywords have to be found both in title tag and meta description. Title tag and meta description of your page appear in SERP (search engine page) and let users know what to expect from your site before they click the page’s title.Title tag, meta description example Google SERP - BeEMK

Meta title and meta description have to be done after you finish writing your article and not at the beginning when you are in the process of completing it. At the end, you will definitely write an adequate title and description both for users and search engines.

3. Eye-catching online copy

If you want your article to look polished, set a font size and font style that are user-friendly and match the design of your website.

Highlight paragraphs using descriptive headings (H1, H2, H3) to let your reader know what the paragraph is about. When writing headings, bump up the type size and make them bold to be as attractive as possible and keep readers engaged.

To grab the attention of the users, in the paragraphs, highlight keywords and anchor text in bold/italic/underline or even change their color – don’t overuse it. The text has to be easily readable on any device.

In order to prove all of these, I found ‘The Ultimate List of Free Content Creation Tools & Resources’ article posted on blog.hubspot.com and made a short content optimization analysis on it. Check the example below:

Hubspot content optimization post example - BeEMK

4. Include internal links to your content

When writing an article, you need to be trustworthy and include additional information using hyperlinks to link the text to any other information from your site. You have to use keywords and long tail keywords in the hypertext (anchor text) to define the web page you will link to (see the content marketing analysis above).

5. Research websites to create external links

Research websites and add in your post external URLs to add additional information to your content and make your audience satisfied.

For a quick and efficient online research look at the article Advanced Search Strings for SEO off-page to find formulas that help you discover well-ranked sites covering the subject that you plan to approach.

There should be a real connection between the topic of your new article and the page on the site you want to link to. More exactly, the article you want to link to needs to target similar keywords same as your content does.

6. Call to action phrases

Call to action phrases are always a good option when you want to capture people’s attention and make them click on a specific link to make a purchase. Make call to action phrases visible and differentiate them from the rest of the text through font style or color.

Play with the font size but do not exaggerate to the point of distracting readers attention from the rest of the text. Be creative but keep it simple!

From the example below, you will understand exactly how to integrate a call to action phrase within an article and how it has to differentiate itself from the rest of the paragraphs.

The example is extracted from 'Marketing Psychology: 10 Revealing Principles of Human Behavior', blog.hubspot.com
The example is extracted from ‘Marketing Psychology: 10 Revealing Principles of Human Behavior’,blog.hubspot.com 

7. Check permalinks (page URL) 

A permalink is the page’s URL and when you have finished writing your article, check to see if the link is well-done because it helps your site rank higher in search engines. Also, a friendly URL structure needs to have keywords with hyphens between them.

Before publishing your article, make sure your page’s link is ready because it will be permanent; in case you want to change it, use a 301 redirect or create a custom 404 page with information about the URL change.

8. Optimize images

When you are done with your article, choose a high quality and inspiring photo to reflect the message of your post. After you have uploaded the image, complete Alt Text box to describe what is the image about containing the focus keyword. Ált text or alt tag of your image should appear in HTML as: <img alt=”image description with keywords”> .

9. Include social media buttons

Put social media buttons (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest, etc.) at the beginning and at the end of the article to influence readers to become active and share your content or leave a comment.

Above the buttons, write a call to action phrase and let your readers know what you want them to do with your article (share, find, tell / help friends, etc. ). Write a benefit that is won when content is shared (help your friends learn how to optimize a site or find strategies for your site to improve conversion rate, etc.).