Help Your Business Soar with our Favorite SEO Strategies
Downloadable content is one of the best forms of lead generation you can use to earn more from your website.
Like infographics, downloads follow a formula to provide the best value to your target audience.
- Identify a question your customers frequently ask
- Address the question from as many angles as possible
- Explain the reasoning behind your solutions
- Demonstrate how someone can use those solutions
- Address the outcome and how someone can improve it
This process requires a lot more work than an infographic because you have to write extensively about a topic.
Downloads also require visual aids and links to other sources to validate their legitimacy. This takes people away from your download, but it also provides them with supplemental information that helps them get a good grasp on the subject.
You can create downloadable content by exporting information from programs like Microsoft Word or Publisher into PDFs.
That places everything in one simple package so you can post the PDF to your website and gate it.
“Gating” your PDF means placing it behind a few form fields that users need to fill out before getting your download.
The most common form fields used for gating are:
- Email address
Once you have this information, you can add it to your email marketing platform. Then, you can include these users in your campaigns and send them more information based on the download they got from you.
That keeps them in your sales funnel, which lets you help them move towards eventually becoming a customer.
With blog posts, infographics, and downloads, you have a high-quality content strategy that’ll help your business grow year after year.
Still, they can’t succeed on their own. Your content needs another ingredient to thrive in the SEO world.
2. Keyword optimization
Keyword optimization is essential for ranking well in search engines.
Without it, your content can’t rank for search terms related for your business.
Fortunately, a lot of keyword optimization is common sense. When you write with the goal of helping a reader, you’ll naturally use the keywords that describe the topic of the page.
Using keywords naturally is crucial, though. If you intentionally use keywords as many times as possible on a page, even where they don’t make sense, you’ll actually lose SEO power with that page.
This is called “keyword stuffing,” and Google penalizes it harshly since it provides a poor user experience.
At the same time, you don’t want to get completely sidetracked by another idea and avoid using your keyword altogether. This can also provide a poor user experience if you go off on a tangent instead of sticking to the matter at hand.
You can prevent both of these scenarios by carefully editing your pages before you post them on your site.
We recommend editing once per piece of content. That’s just enough time to find any serious flaws in a piece without overthinking the tiny details.
This way, you can keep the ball rolling, and keep producing more content.
Look for grammar mix-ups, spelling errors, complicated sentences, jargon-heavy paragraphs, and keyword usage.
If anything feels off, change the content so that it’s up to your business’s quality standards.
This helps your pages rank in search results for the terms that matter to your business.
Keywords aren’t only meant for body text, though. By using them on key areas of your pages, you can really help your pages climb in search engine results.
Title tags are the names of your site’s pages. They’re also the first part of your page that Google reads, meaning they’re the first bit of context Google can understand.
This means title tags need keywords. Otherwise, Google won’t know when or how to rank your page when someone searches for the corresponding keyword.
This is also helpful for drawing clicks to your site.
After all, if you have a title tag saying “Women’s Running Shoes for Sale” and someone just searched “buy women’s running shoes,” then they know they should click to your site.
Title tags provide opportunities for more ideas than just keywords, though.
Numbers, lists, dates, prices, brand names, power words, and other strategies all contribute to getting more clicks from search engines.
So instead of “Women’s Running Shoes for Sale,” you could try “33% Off Women’s Running Shoes,” “Women’s Nike & Adidas from $20,” and other ideas to get visitors to your site with as few words as possible.
But the title tag isn’t the only opportunity you have to get clicks. Fortunately, you also have meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions are one- or two-sentence accounts of what someone can find on your page.
They don’t play a direct role in SEO, but they can improve your click-through rate (CTR) by encouraging search engine users to click.
As a result, meta descriptions work as quick sales pitches for each page.
They can cover ideas like:
- What’s on the page
- Why someone would read it
- The result someone can get from it
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a great jumping-off point if you’re learning about SEO for the first time.
After you have your meta description up and running, you can tweak it occasionally to test what gives you the best CTR.
Maybe it works best for you to start a meta description with a question.
Maybe it’s better to lead with your keyword.
Maybe you can get more clicks by using fewer words.
You can supply definite answers to those ideas by creating, tracking, and changing the meta descriptions on your pages.
With your title tags and meta descriptions in place, you’re effectively using keywords to promote your pages.
But there’s still another SEO strategy you can use to improve your site.
Multimedia is one of the most important parts of SEO.
It makes pages easier to read, engages readers more effectively than text, and keeps people on your site longer.
But there’s a catch to multimedia — Google’s algorithm can’t actually “see” it.
To fix that, you should include alt descriptions for all of your multimedia. These are brief text descriptions of an image, video, or audio clip that Google uses to better understand the page.
Those alt descriptions let you use multimedia effectively for both users and search engines.
With that in mind, most multimedia breaks down into a few different categories.
We’ll talk about each of those categories in detail.
Images are the most common form of multimedia.
You can use them to break up text to keep people engaged and provide captivating visualizations for readers.
As the header image for this section shows, your images don’t always have to pertain 100% to your topic. You can use images for humor just as well as you can use them to make points or add emphasis.
Regardless of how you choose to use images, you’re helping your readers with them.
The biggest advantage of images is that they break up walls of text so your site visitors can scan and read more easily.
In fact, this has become crucial since most Internet users don’t read much anymore. Instead, they scan a page to find what they want.
If they can’t find what they want, they leave.
This makes images all the more important.
By using them at key points on your pages — like the beginning or at major points in the middle — you make it easier for someone to find what they want at a glance.
At the very least, you can make a page more entertaining so visitors can enjoy themselves on your site.
But images are just the beginning. They do a great job keeping your readers engaged — but other formats take engagement a step further.
Today, every Internet-savvy company wants to jump on video as a marketing medium.
It makes sense why, too. Videos increase customer interaction by as much as 10 times, and they can increase conversion rates by 80% on a landing page.
Those are huge improvements over text-only content. They’re even advancements past text-and-image content.
So why is video so effective?
The biggest advantage is that you can condense entire pages of text into a few minutes of engaging, visualized explanations. All you need is a decent camera, a willing speaker, and editing software.
A lot of companies who experiment with video marketing start by using the cameras on their phones.
This is a great way to get basic product demonstration videos, office walkthroughs, employee interviews, and other videos to use on your site.
It’s always a plus to have at least one person at your company who’s comfortable speaking to a camera, too. That adds a face to your business that makes it more relatable, and viewers can come to “know” who’s speaking.
If you want to add production value to your final video, you can also use editing software.
Editing software can be pricey, but free options exist. iMovie is probably the most robust free software, and Adobe Premiere is the gold standard of paid products. It’s hard to justify spending on video marketing if you’ve never used it before. But like other marketing strategies, video is an investment.
The more time and money you invest into it, the better your results will be.
Better results mean lots of advantages for your company’s website, including more traffic, more conversions, and better brand association. At the end of the day, you can recoup the investment of video marketing by converting viewers into customers.
You’ll likely earn your cost of investment back within a year, although your timeframe may vary depending on your company, industry, and other marketing initiatives. Clearly, video is king of multimedia. But it still requires someone’s active attention to consume it.
Using a Keyword Difficulty Tool
Several SEO analytics tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush provide keyword difficulty scores. Optimizing for search would be easy if you could plan your strategy around a single keyword difficulty score, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
While a good keyword research tool can make SEO content creation more manageable, I always recommend that marketers look under the hood of each platform to understand how each calculates keyword difficulty.
How Popular Keyword Research Tools Measure Ranking Difficulty
In general, any keyword research tool you turn to will have its own proprietary formula for metrics like keyword difficulty.
I love this question because it gets to the heart of why it can be so difficult to rank for your primary keywords.
No person, business, or SEO tool knows for sure what’s happening inside the black box of Google’s algorithm. At best, we can observe top-ranking content and draw conclusions based on what we learn.
How to Search for Keywords for Your SEO Strategy
Here’s a quick rundown of how the most popular tools calculate a keyword’s difficulty.
Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty
Ahrefs calculates its KD score by averaging the number of linking domains pointing to the first page results for a specific keyword, then plotting that number on a logarithmic scale from 0 (easy) to 100 (hard).
This keyword difficulty score doesn’t take any other variables into account.
It’s also important to note that because Ahrefs plots its KD score on a logarithmic scale, it’s non-linear. What that means, in real terms, is that a KD of 50 isn’t a “medium” keyword difficulty. It’s hard.
Because link profile is the only factor for this score, it will correspond directly to how many links Ahrefs estimates a page needs to rank for competitive keywords.
Learn more about the importance of external links as a ranking factor in our article about broken link building.
SEMrush Keyword Difficulty
SEMrush uses a keyword difficulty index based on a percentage from 0 (easy) to 100% (hard). SEMrush isn’t as transparent as Ahrefs about how they arrive at their difficulty score. They say their KD calculation considers a “variety of factors” of the top-20 ranking domains. These factors include the median number of referring domains in each link profile, the ratio of dofollow/nofollow links, and the authority scores of ranking websites (based on their proprietary formula).
Moz Keyword Difficulty
Moz’s difficulty score rates keywords on a scale from 1 (easy) to 100 (hard). According to Moz, they arrive at that score by analyzing the top ten organic links on a search engine results page.
The Moz KD score is based on two of its other proprietary metrics, page authority and domain authority. It’s important to note that neither Moz’s domain or page authority metrics directly correlate to how search engines evaluate authority.
Learn more about what domain authority means.
Which Keyword Difficulty Score is Better?
No one KD score is better than the others. They’re all different paths to arrive at the same place, which is an educated guess about how Google ranks existing pages for individual search queries.
Two things to remember:
- Compare apples to apples. It’s okay to cross-reference different tools but systematically apply them to your entire keyword list instead of cherry-picking different results between the tools.
- Never conflate a proprietary keyword tool metric with a prediction of exactly how a search engine will rank your content.
Some top-ranked pages will tick all of these boxes, but some won’t. If you can offer better quality content than the competition, there is potential to rank above them.