A few weeks ago, Google launched a new update called “Mobilegeddon” that included a website’s mobile-friendliness into the SEO ranking system. Since going live, the Web has seen an increase of 5% in mobile-friendly sites. It seems Google succeded in raising awareness on the importance of optimization with this update.
But a responsive website is not enough to keep your visitors interested. Your content also needs to play its part, and not just to make the work of search engines easier. Ultimately, your goal is to trigger positive engagement like comments, social shares, recommendations, and sales of course.
These last few weeks, I have read excellent posts on content optimization. Five of them are in today’s roundup. They cover several areas: headlines, promotion, newsletters, key optimization elements to consider, and “the fold”..
How To Use Emotional Headlines To Grab Readers (Curatti)
What is the first thing a visitor sees when they land on your post? If you answered “the title”, you win!
A headline is probably the most important part of any page. The more attention-grabbing it is, the more likely people are to continue reading. And when they see your content on social media, that factor will influence their clicking decision in most cases.
Winning headlines have one thing in common: They appeal to emotions. Want stellar examples? Check out BuzzFeed or the Buffer Blog and try taking note of your reactions before you click anything.
If you are looking for a good guide to craft attractive titles, read Barry Feldman’s article. He mentions a tool that he has used to understand why some content gets shared more than the rest. You will also find a list of powerful words that increase sharing potential.
This post is a must-read! You will find it here.
Get the Most From One Blog Post: 21 Advanced Content Tips (Buffer Blog)
You have just published your latest post. Congratulations! Unfortunately, your work is far from done.
The first step is to promote it on social networks — and reshare it several times over the next couple of weeks.
Have you thought of reposting it on LinkedIn, Quora, and/or Medium? These three platforms have huge audiences. So, they are worth a shot. if you are worried about Google slapping you with a duplicate content penalty, even though it’s a myth, you can always tweak the content slightly.
There are other ways to squeeze all the juice from a post. You can create an infographic, make a video, share it as PDF, or revisit and freshen it up after a few months.
These are only a few of Kevan Lee’s suggestions. He has written another stellar post that will teach you how to get the most of any piece of content you author. Read it here.
The Anatomy of an Optimized Web Page (Infographic)
Do you know that the Google algorithm uses 200 ranking factors? Yes, SEO can be an overwhelming affair.
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to worry about all the factors. Some elements matter more than others.
According to SurePayroll, there are the 10 key things to focus on when working on your pages and posts:
- Meta description / title / header tags
- Visual aids
- Embeds (for infographics, slidedecks, and videos)
- Sharing buttons
- Open Graph meta tags
- Twitter Cards
For example, when it comes to header tags, you should proceed sequentially. Use H1 for your titles, then include all levels in order (H2, H3, etc.) within content. Don’t skip any level!
Also, make sure that your URLs feature primary, but relevant keywords. Get rid of short or insignificant stopwords like ‘the’, ‘about’, or numbers. This will allow you to remove hyphens, which can make your links spammy.
The last two elements in the above list have become essential as well. Your website or blog must be optimized to display content the right way when shared on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Infographic courtesy of SurePayroll.
Not sure of what Twitter Cards and the Open Graph are? Here are two posts that you may find useful:
- The Everything Guide to Twitter Cards: How to Choose, Set Up, Measure Them And More (Buffer Social)
- What You Need to Know About Open Graph Meta Tags for Total Facebook and Twitter Mastery (KISSmetrics)
Last, but not least, don’t forget the mobile experience. Optimize your website for that as well.
There Is No Fold (LukeW)
According to WhatIs.com, the “above the fold” phrase stands for “the portion of a Web page that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads.” Anything under that area is considered “below the fold”. Why? Because you have to scroll to see it.
That dichotomy stood for a long time. However, now that mobile search has officially overtaken desktop search, there is no valid reason why calls-to-action should always be at the top of pages. Actually, there is no fold per say anymore.
“The issue isn’t whether the call to action is visible. The issue is whether your call to action is visible at the point where someone has become convinced to take action,” says Luke Wroblewski in his excellent article.
The post is full of useful resources and visuals to help you make more business-savvy decisions. Read it here.
The Most Important Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy (SEMrush)
Reaching customers can be done in many ways. One of the most effective ones is newsletters. However, your having their permission to send them messages does not mean you should forget why they gave it to you.
The keyword here? Trust! That’s where it all starts. But, the trust gained from proven expertise (a.k.a authority) . Celebrities actually don’t have much of an influence on consumers.
The best newsletters deliver consistent value for free. Your willingness to give much more than you receive will determine the ROI of your efforts.
This explains why a marketer like Mari Smith has been so successful. Every week, she sends three personal recommendations from around the web to the 90,000 subscribers of her newsletter, The Social Scoop. The result? She does not just give selected bloggers and entrepreneurs a huge promotional boost, (I can testify to that) but she also gains allies in the process. And even though she did not create the content, she still delivers important information to her readers.
People may remember an author. But they are also very likely to remember a consistent source of information.
As Dustin Lien states: “You have to give [people] a reason to never leave you. Focus 90% or your efforts into helping them be better at whatever your topic is, and they’ll love you for it, and eventually will buy your product or at least recommend it to someone else they know.”
Read Dustin’s post here.
- The Top 100 Email marketing campaigns of 2014 (Campaign Monitor)
- 10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy (JeffBullas.com)
I hope you found this list of suggestions helpful.
Join us for our next chat on Tuesday, May 12. We look forward to reading your insights!
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