Some writer’s like to write for enjoyment and to share their ideas. Other writers strive to educate their audience. But if you’re a blog writer that’s been hired by a business to create content for their website as part of the company’s inbound marketing strategy, you better hope that you’re writing to rank highly when it comes to search engine results. 

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This can be a tricky challenge, given how search engine optimization (SEO) rules and requirements have shifted in recent years, and how search engines such as Google and Bing are constantly adjusting and shifting their algorithms. In this blog, GoingClear explores methods and strategies for maximizing the performance of your blog content on search engine results pages, and how our content production services can help your Boston-based business outshine the competition. 

SEO Isn’t What it Used To Be

Search engine optimization has roots that can trace back as far as 1997, when DMOZ, the Mozilla Open Directory Project, strove to provide a listing of websites on par with the print version of Yellow Pages. Around this time, there were many directory listings competing for attention – AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, Excite, Lycos, Yahoo to name a few. These sites used relevancy, arbitrary measures of how much text was on the page versus images and other visual content, the accuracy and presence of embedded HTML tags, and the quantity of internal and external links. 

At this time and throughout the early portion of the 2000s, page ranking also relied upon keyword stacking throughout your page and in your metadata. While it might sound like an exaggeration, the only way at the time to outrank a similar site that used one of your keywords 75 times throughout the site was to ensure your site used the same keyword 76 times or more. 

The Birth of a Powerhouse

Everything started to change at the start of 2000, however, when Yahoo partnered with a little-known search engine and allowed that search engine to power their organic search. The trade-off for the up-and-comer was that they be listed as the engine powering Yahoo. While Yahoo banked on its reputation to sustain it, they didn’t take into consideration that Internet users would be more impressed with their partner’s functionality than Yahoo’s reputation. And suddenly, up-and-comer Google had everyone’s attention. 

Changing the Search Engine Game Forever

Google’s search engine and the algorithms driving it changed the search engine game over the years to come, and continue to set precedent for the competition today. Online reputation became the core of the company’s early strategy and a driving factor in how pages ranked when associated with a search query. The algorithms focused on onsite and offsite links, boosting the importance of whether or not your website was considered to be an authority in the topics covered by your website, leading to the practice of link-building. 

Around the same time, Google started to integrate paid advertising and link placement around and next to organic search results on results pages. Algorithms continued to evolve, and the importance of keyword spamming diminished. However, it created other problems and monetization issues around early functions it tried to leverage to add value to users. From 2003 through the advent of social media, Google’s search engine evolved to the everchanging online landscape. As their algorithms evolved, so too did their leveraging of user data to improve and tweak the user experience. Which brings us to the modern-day and how to leverage what we know to create content that delivers results.

Optimize Your Blogs for Page Rank

The strategies for modern blog content haven’t changed at a foundational level. We are still optimizing content using on-page and off-page SEO elements:

  • Keywords: Targeting questions to capture an audience in the research phase.
  • Internal Linking: Interlinking to related blog topics or services boosting user discovery on your site.
  • External Linking: Provide evidence to back up your claims to relevant and credible sources that will prove useful to the users.
  • Anchor Text: Using anchors that make sense to link helps provide more context for search engines and enhance the user experience.
  • Backlinks: Referring domains that link back to your page, help boost the page authority and trust on search engines.

How we accomplish these tactics, however, has shifted somewhat.

A More Natural Language

Keywords are still important. So important that digital marketing agencies and SEO companies will pay top dollar bidding on pay-per-click arrangements with search engines. These words are identified through tracking trends in the industry via other online tools and honing in on the keywords and key phrases that are most likely to be searched for by potential customers. 

As the writer, your goal is to then take those words and create content that is

  • Conversational
  • Engaging
  • Educational
  • Relevant

Often this material should be targeted towards the company’s relevant buyer personas so ensure that you as the writer understand the persona’s that the marketing department has identified as important. In order to rank properly, ensure your keywords and phrases appear in the title, the custom URL, headings, and subheadings throughout, in the meta description, and as naturally as possible throughout the content.

While there’s no magic word count, long-form blogs with a minimum of 1000 words tend to perform best, but it’s important to break up long paragraphs and create material that is easily scannable by the human eye. 

Linking with Intent More Important Than Before

Part of creating strong content is ensuring that your content is backed up by established facts and data. Linking to authoritative websites will help show Google and other search engines you’ve researched what you’ve written and verified it against existing expert studies and material. 

Onsite links play an important role as well. In linking to services and other content throughout your website, a well-crafted blog helps keep readers within the boundaries of your inbound marketing funnels and reduces bounce rate. It also helps search engines create a clear and accurate sitemap of your website, crucial for improving search engine rankings.

Work with business partners, publications in your industry, and other organizations to create a strong backlink strategy to help establish your organization as an authority on the blog topics you’re writing about. Much of that strategy should also revolve around the quality information you’re writing about in order to provide value for those who might choose to link back to you. You can also be proactive and offer to write guest blogs for other businesses, with the caveat that the blog link back to your website.  

Boston SEO Content Strategy

Search engine optimization has evolved tremendously in the last decade, and creating blog content that will maximize your organization’s page ranking is one of the strongest things you can do to impact this process. GoingClear, a Boston SEO-focused digital marketing agency, wants to help your organization better understand how to create and manage strong content to drive your page’s performance across search engine results pages. 

If you’re a Boston-based company looking to improve your organization’s marketing and digital media practices, our team of marketing professionals can help you navigate these and other marketing activities with ease.

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