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Your greatest source for generating traffic is through publishing great content. By publishing high quality content, your posts will attract links that can move up your rankings on search engines. And higher rankings means more traffic to your website.

Understanding the basic principles and benefits of implementing SEO into your content marketing strategy is imperative for successful content marketing. “Think of SEO this way: If a customer-focused content marketing program is the sandwich, then SEO is the mayonnaise. It touches nearly everything and enhances the overall flavor of the sandwich,” says Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, in a blog post for the Content Marketing Institute.

Creating great content is an excellent start, but it would be a shame not to implement even the simplest of SEO strategies to ensure that you’re driving up the views on your blog posts. Here are some of the most important and simplest ways to apply SEO to your content marketing strategy.

Use Keywords

Even if you have no idea how to find keywords or what to do with them, if you have a blog, you’ve most certainly heard of the importance of using them. So, to give you a better idea, “choosing the right target keywords builds the foundation for an entire SEO campaign. If the right keywords with the highest potential for return are not selected, the foundation of the campaign will be weak and, therefore, success is nearly impossible”, says Marc Purtell, a writer for Search Engine Journal.

When it comes to selecting what keywords to use, there are many tools you can utilize that will measure the relevance and competitiveness. Some of the best tools include, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Bing Keyword Tool and Übersuggest. These tools will help you get a better grasp of what keywords are ranking high within you niche, how popular they are and which ones would be worth using in your posts.

Links

When other websites link back to your content, it shows Google that you are a trusted source. Creating content you think is exceptional simply isn’t enough. The search engines want to know that other people think the same. Therefore, work on obtaining inbound links from other businesses and building your authority on the search engines.

Networks such as Outbrain, Taboola and the Renown Viral Blogging Program offer services that spark large amounts of traffic through strategic publishing. You can also use a program like Linkstant to discover how many links are currently referring back to your blog.

Meta Tags and Descriptions

The meta descriptions you attach to your blog posts are the first snippets of information your readers will see before they click on your post, although there are a couple rules to follow when writing your meta description in terms of the amount of characters to use. When writing your page title, do not use more than 70 characters. For your meta descriptions, stay under 160 characters, and for meta keywords, do not include more than 10 keyword phrases. Stay within these boundaries, and watch the difference in traffic.

Headlines

Writing an effective headline is crucial when it comes to generating traffic to your posts. Once you’ve done you keyword research and you selected which ones have just the right amount of competitiveness and interested within your niche, formulate them into your headline and attach an emotional hook to get your readers to click. “The best headlines are ones which marry SEO with emotion. They are the ones we want to click on but they are also the ones that convey the essence of the article and follow through on the promise of the headline,” says Salma Jafari, a writer for Search Engine Watch.

The keyword within your headline will give you a good ranking in the search engines and the emotionally based hook in the sentence you build around your keyword(s) will generate the clicks you want. Make sure your headlines are relevant to the content you attach them to. Do not write a headline solely to get attention, only to have your reader’s disappointed in the content that follows once they’re on your site. Deliver what your headline promises. “The difference between clickbait and a truly great headline is the difference between a one-night stand and a long-term relationship. Marketers that really want to connect with their audience in a lasting way should establish a process for creating smart headlines and test and optimize them continuously,” says Alexis C. Madrigal, the deputy editor for The Atlantic.

Social Media

The social influence on searched based traffic is an element to content marketing that cannot be ignored. Just as we spoke about the power of trust when receiving inbound links, the trust people have in the links shared by their friends on social media is just as strong if not stronger, then the references they receive from acclaimed experts. Use a tool like SharedCount, to see how many times your blog has been shared, tweed or liked.

 

If you want to leave SEO to the experts and make sure your content becomes a viral success, click here and receive 50% off your first month of the Renown SEO Blogging Program.

 

alysamug-1Alysa Scanzano is a senior writer at Article-Writing. She can be reached at alysa@nimblemedia.ca