Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the cornerstone for successful online businesses. Smaller publications and news outlets, with up-to-date knowledge of how search engines work and a clear strategy to apply that knowledge to their content, can successfully compete with larger companies in Google’s rankings.
SEO in media is much more than just putting the right keyword into an article enough times. Most companies have full SEO teams developing intricate strategies, and the ideas they have can extend far beyond improving an article. Here are six SEO tips from the media industry that any company can use to improve its online reach.
Understanding Your Audience’s “Pain Points”
The “pain points” are the things your clients need help with that you can provide on your website. And no matter what industry you’re in, you want your website to be as informative as possible for your clients.
Talk to your customer service people, your sales staff, and your technical department to see what your customers’ pain points are. Use that to find blind spots on your website and improve your strategy.
No matter what your business is, your content needs to resonate with its audience. No matter how often other parts of the industry change, that will always stay the same
The ultimate goal of your company’s website is to entice customers into buying your product, and they can be a hard sell. You may decide to create an FAQ page or some additional pages to fill out your site with helpful information.
Another option is using the “internal site search” to see what your site visitors have been searching for, and then creating relevant content based on the data you find.
This type of “targeted content” makes you a trustworthy source for visitors and gives you a better chance of turning readers into buyers.
Stand Out From the Competition
What is the unique expertise your company offers that separates you from your competitors? That has to be the focus of your strategy.
Let’s say you run a travel site. Check your competitors’ websites to see what they’ve been doing with their content. Where many of them may be providing fairly generic travel guides, you may be able to capitalize by focusing on the unique qualities of your customers and crafting content based on that instead. If your company focuses more on family travel, capitalize on that. “Best Paris Hotels for Families” is going to stand out from “Best Paris Hotels,” while also answering a question your customers might actually have.
“In any industry, you can look at your competition and see what they’re lacking.” If you’re covering the same topic a competitor is, even something as simple as adding a chart, infographic or video can go a long way toward standing out. There are plenty of ways to make your content different from other websites that you may not have thought of before.
Consider Adding a Blog
Once you know the information you want to cover and the questions you want to answer, you need to consider how to present that information. If you’re not in an industry that can have articles, creating a blog could be useful here.
Filling your blog with informational content – along with photos, videos and infographics – can drive potential customers to your site and prove to them that you’re a reliable source of relevant information.
Consider the Right Keywords
Doing a keyword search and looking at trending topics can help give you a sense of how often certain keywords and phrases are being searched, helping you increase the odds that someone will find your material when they search it.
It’s important to categorize your keywords into “buckets” of topics, finding the relevant and trending keywords, and making them an important part of your content strategy. There are free and paid keyword tools that can lead you to the right ones, and from there, you can organize and prioritize which, are the keywords most worth targeting.
Using tools like these gives you a sense of what’s being searched for, and multiple keywords to include while creating engaging, informative content. It is also important to remember that keywords can be full phrases, like “when is the 2020 election.” Questions like this are one keyword.
Create a Production Calendar
A monthly production calendar is important not just for staying organized but maximizing search traffic to your site.
Say you’re planning content around Super Bowl Sunday, connecting the event to your business or product. Instead of rushing out content last-minute, consider using a calendar to prepare its creation months in advance.
Being prepared means, you can get your content out earlier, giving it a better opportunity to get shared via social media, newsletters, and links. This increased engagement over time may help it perform better in search leading up to the event.
Creating a content-production plan for each month that accounts for upcoming holidays, trade shows, and events relevant to your industry gives you enough lead time to generate content for them.
Don’t Feel Obligated to Repost Material
You may have heard that Google gives new content more prominence than old content when someone searches something, but that’s only part of the story.
If you created a piece four days ago, you shouldn’t constantly refresh or repost it just to make it seem new. Only refresh content when you need to make a change, like revising the business hours when they change, adding an important question to your FAQ page or adding new information to an older article.
Use your best judgment to determine whether refreshing an article is necessary. Otherwise, don’t feel pressure to make it look like your content was just posted today.
“Using some or all of these strategies can seem like a daunting task, as SEO is constantly evolving, but the reason your business needs it hasn’t changed.” No matter what your business is, your content needs to resonate with its audience. No matter how often other parts of the industry change, that will always stay the same.
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