Mention the phrase “search engine optimization” to a room full of marketers and be prepared to listen to a slew of varying definitions, best practices, and even some begrudging groans.
Yes, even after over a decade of relevance (SEO is not dead), search engine optimization is still a feared, mythical beast that few actually understand, let alone know how to use effectively.
The reality is that SEO is more important than ever. 61% of the respondents in a Demand Gen Report said web search is still where they begin their buying journey, and 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
What does this mean? If you’re not optimizing your content for search, be prepared to be buried under pages of search results and miss out on great opportunities to get in front of customers.
Content creation is ranked as the single most effective SEO tactic, by 53%.
The good news is you don’t have to be a search engine expert to effectively incorporate SEO into your content marketing strategy and, likely, you’re already practicing it.
Content creation is ranked as the single most effective SEO tactic, by 53% according to a study done by Marketing Sherpa. Effective search engine optimization can be as easy as understanding what your audience is searching for, and delivering valuable content tailored to those keyword phrases.
75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
Love it or hate it, SEO is here to stay and using it effectively is critical to every content marketer’s success. But fear not, fellow marketeer. To help you tame the beast, we’ve put together the five articles you need to read to master effective search engine optimization.
1. The Beginners Guide to SEO
Moz’s The Beginners Guide to SEO is a comprehensive guide that lays the foundation for understanding SEO from start to finish. From “How Search Engines Work” to “Measuring and Tracking Success,” this beautifully designed, interactive eBook has ten dedicated chapters addressing the in’s and out’s of SEO, including tons of links to other resources for further investigation. Whether you’re new to SEO or just looking for a refresher, The Beginners Guide to SEO will get you to where you need to go.
2. A Step-by-Step Guide for On-Page SEO Management [Free SEO Template]
If your SEO management has gotten totally out of control (or totally doesn’t exist) start with HubSpot’s A Step-by-Step Guide for On-Page SEO Management and free SEO template to begin your SEO audit and plan out your strategy. Taking a good, critical look at the current state of your SEO will not only help you understand your current search rankings, but is also a good indicator of whether or not your overall content strategy needs to be reevaluated.
3. A Content Marketer’s Guide To SEO: A Checklist
Once you’ve got a handle on what SEO is and have done an SEO audit, the next step is taking what you’ve learned and putting it into action. Search Engine Land’s A Content Marketer’s Guide to SEO: A Checklist identifies the four areas you need to focus on, with tips on how to execute.
4. Planning a Content Strategy with SEO in Mind
Short, sweet, and straight to the point. Kapost’s Planning a Content Strategy with SEO in Mind is a quick and dirty overview of how to optimize your content for search with keywords.
5. 5 Secrets to Selecting Highly Effective SEO Keywords
For truly effective search engine optimization, establishing the right keywords should be priority number one. Inc’s 5 Secrets to Selecting Highly Effective SEO Keywords picks out some of the common pitfalls marketers fall into when choosing keywords and phrases and uses concrete examples on how to pick smarter phrases. The biggest takeaway: tie your keywords back to your overall content strategy.
6. Where Social Media and SEO Fit in Today’s Content Marketing Mix
How does it all work together? TopRank Blog’s Where Social Media and SEO Fit in Today’s Content Marketing Mix uses a tasty sandwich metaphor to explain the relationship between social, search, and content marketing. If you’re ready to dive into the difference between quantity and quality, and what that means for your content marketing operation, dive into this helpful article.
7. How to Create Compelling Copy that Ranks Well in Search Engines
Easy to read and tailored to content creators, Copyblogger’s How to Create Compelling Copy that Ranks Well in Search Engines addresses the how and why of writing content with SEO in mind. Complete with a quick overview of the “then and now” of SEO and how search engines work, How to Create Compelling Copy that Ranks Well in Search Engines demystifies and re-humanizes writing for targeted search traffic.