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Spend your time on what matters most: Part two: content optimization

October 25th, 2012

By Ryan Kettler, Boostsuite

scrabble tilesLast week we revealed that the first step to getting more results from your website is to start creating new content. Today, we will talk about how you can optimize your new content for maximum results.

Before, during, and after you create your new pages of content you need to make sure to focus on optimization. What does that mean? It means you need to select the proper keywords and use them in the right places on your new pages. Keywords are the basis of ALL search engine rankings. Searchers enter keywords and short key phrases in search engines to find information they need.

The best keywords have some level of search volume for them, yet aren’t too broad or unknown. For instance, your business name and brand names are not usually good keywords because most of your new customers don’t already know about your business yet.

The best way to find the right new keywords for your business is to use a resource like the Google Keyword Tool.

After you choose one or two keywords to optimize a new article with, you have to actually integrate those keywords within your content in five key areas.

1 – Page Title

This is the text used in the link that visitors click on in the search engine results page to come to your site. You need to make sure each one of your page titles reflects the content of its page and that the keywords you have chosen for that page appear near the beginning of the title. This is because longer titles are truncated after 70 characters. You need to find a fine balance between short length and making sure that your title explains what your page is about.

2 – URLs

Your page URL often already includes your Page Title because most modern content management systems place the page title within the page URL automatically. If yours doesn’t, ask your webmaster how you can change your website to automatically include your page titles in your page URLs.

3 – Meta Description

Although meta descriptions are no longer important to search engine rankings, they remain highly important for improving click-through rates from the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Meta descriptions are your opportunity to advertise your website to searchers and let them know exactly how pertinent a given page’s content is to the subject they’re searching for. A good meta description includes keywords associated with a page’s content, but should also create a compelling description a searcher will want to click on.

Using calls-to-action in your meta description such as “learn more”, “download now”, and “find out how” is a great idea because they’re incentives that tell your potential visitors exactly what they’ll get by clicking your link. The meta description should optimally be around 150 characters and should be written in sentence format.

4 – Headings

Headings are lines of text on a webpage wrapped by special HTML tags that cause them to be displayed as large text on a web page. These tags range numerically from H1 to H6 where H1 is the largest. Before the Internet, text headings were used by newspaper editors to catch readers’ attention at a newsstand and entice them to buy the paper.

Nowadays, since most web content is free, the heading tags serve as a way to get the search-engines’ attention so they can provide their searchers with the most relevant results. You should always start an article with a keyword-rich large (H1) heading and work your way down the page using smaller headings in order as your content progresses.

Body Content

You may have heard the expression “content is king” and the reason why is because the meat and potatoes of search engine optimization is making sure the body content of a web page contains your keywords. In a 500 word article you should mention all of your article keywords about five times.

Implement a regular content creation and optimization process for your business and you’ll get a leg up on your competitors. Stay tuned for the next article in this series. We’re going to share some easy tips for how to promote your new content to gain maximum exposure.

Boostsuite’s founder and CEO, Aaron Houghton is among the entrepreneurial thought-leaders participating in the two-day Startup Summit in Raleigh, Nov. 6-8, where he’ll discuss how to drastically lower the risk you take when you launch your new startup.

The Startup Summit is sponsored by TechMedia’s Southeast Venture Conference at the upcoming Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC, Nov. 6-8.

Ryan Kettler is Director of Communications for BoostSuite. Ryan is a sports fanatic, beer connoisseur, Internet marketing zealot and live music enthusiast. When he’s not helping BoostSuite customers he can be found sampling the latest IPAs and cheering on his North Carolina State Wolfpack.

BoostSuite is a web marketing optimization product for small business owners. Unlike current products that bewilder and discourage small business owners, BoostSuite allows novice web marketers to build more website traffic and convert more online visitors into customers and leads for their businesses. BoostSuite is free and takes only one minute to set up, is easy to learn, and can be used by anyone.

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