Performance Marketing Strategy

An SEO Content Checklist for Mastering Your Marketing Messages

How does search engine optimization (SEO) impact your marketing messages? Through keyword research, brands can identify the words and phrases people use in their online searches to inform the brand’s website and campaigns for maximum marketing return on investment (ROI).

Ongoing content development is also imperative to SEO. By creating relevant content that’s updated and optimized regularly, the brand can establish authority, differentiate products and services, engage with consumers, and influence purchasing decisions.

When developing web content, marketers should consider the following SEO tactics:

  • Crafting a solid page title and description
  • Ensuring reader-friendly, keyword-rich pages
  • Presenting the information in a digestible and engaging way
  • Creating content on an ongoing basis

Tell Them in the Title
Search engines focus on titles and descriptions as a way to understand the overall page topic. The description should explain what someone can find or do on the web page.

You can obtain a list of keyword opportunities through research. (Google AdWords is one of many tools.) Decide what keywords to target based on volume and what best fits with the brand. Traditionally, it’s best to put the highest volume keywords in the beginning of the title and description, because search engines assign priority based on where the content is.

Other considerations:

  • Ensure that titles and descriptions complement each other.
  • Keep titles to 60 characters or less.
  • Limit descriptions to 160 characters or less.

If the character counts exceed those limits, there’s a risk the search engine will truncate or rewrite the parameters to better fit the page. This is an issue on PCs, but it’s even more problematic with smartphones because of the smaller screen. Write with mobile in mind.

Keep Them on the Page
Content matters because search engines crawl a page to decipher which keywords are the most relevant for someone searching online. When crafting web page content, focus on readability, keyword density, formatting, and content length.

Other considerations:

  • Longer content tends to perform better because it gives search engines more information on which to base a decision.
  • Target 500 to 1,500 words for pages that you want to rank organically.
  • Longer-form content can hit 2,000 words or more, depending on the topic.

Write for Your Customer
The content must speak to consumers in a relevant way. Consider your audience’s average education level as a guide. People are more likely to share content that resonates with them — which is less likely if the content includes unfamiliar words or phrases.

Work in Keywords Naturally
Keyword density is important, but tread cautiously. First, write about what your customers care about, in the manner in which they talk about it. Then make sure you’re leveraging your keyword research by incorporating those important words and phrases into the content.

If a web page focuses too heavily on specific keywords, its search ranking can be negatively impacted. Search engines care about trust and authority. There’s no issue with ensuring those target keywords are sprinkled throughout the content, but don’t overdo it.

Format With Care
When formatting content, consider the color. There needs to be a contrast between the page type and background color.

Experiment with paragraphs and lists. Now that more and more people rely on voice search, there are opportunities to have your content featured by Google. Depending on what a customer is looking for, voice search can help find that information faster.

Optimize your web page for content relevancy, as well as presentation. By considering the various ways people interact with your website, you can increase discoverability, regardless of how the search process evolves over time.

Be Consistent Across Channels
As you incorporate the right keywords into your web content, you need to do the same across other marketing channels. For example, add relevant keywords to your social media messages, videos, or other marketing campaigns. Keep your marketing message consistent at every touchpoint to ensure a seamless customer experience.

A version of this article originally appeared in MarTech Cube.

By James Crolley

James leads Ansira’s integrated media teams to support clients using marketing automation, data analytics, CRM, and performance media capabilities.