Boost Your Content and SEO to Get Noticed Post-COVID
Content, SEO Key to Visibility in Post-Pandemic World
With almost 2 billion websites competing for Internet users’ attention, associations need to ensure they're doing everything they can to capture not only more eyeballs, but also the right ones. Perhaps the two best ways to do this is by providing quality content and using best-in-class search engine optimization (SEO) practices.
One of the key principals of marketing online is identifying your target audience so you can make your content speak to them and use the right keywords in your SEO strategy. Who is your audience? Do you have multiple audiences? Are you trying to reach both prospective members and current members as well as sponsors? Because most associations have distinct audiences, their website should include key words and phrases familiar to those audiences.
“If you can segment your members and personalize that content, it will have more effect. For example, nursing students will have a different view from those who have been in nursing for 20 years,” suggests Mike Wiley, president of Vanguard Technology.
Content is Still King
Your goal should always be to provide content for your audience that speaks to them. If your content is good and readers find it interesting they will stay on your website longer, bookmark it, perhaps even share it on social media channels.
Continually updating the content on your website also boosts your rankings and attracts visitors to return. Blogging is a good way to provide fresh content and use new keywords. For example, given the current global preoccupation with COVID-19, associations might want to provide content on their websites addressing how the pandemic might affect their members.
It's also important to have a good mix of content formats. Photos, illustrations and videos increase your chances of being found by search engine verticals, such as “Images” and “Videos.” Blogs typically come up when an Internet user searches under the “News” vertical. And the trend toward using video isn’t a fad, this is how many people, especially younger people, want to consume content.
Knowing Your Audience
You might want to build content around some of the questions those audiences would typically ask when searching for information. If your website content contains a question that matches a searcher’s query word-for-word, your website will rank higher. More precise optimization also yields better-quality leads — individuals who are ready to make a commitment vs. those who are just browsing.
Breaking up content with subheads enables the use of keywords more than once, which also increases search rankings. But be careful not to overdo it; not only will the search engines penalize you, it’s a turnoff for readers who find such repetition annoying. But it’s OK to use synonyms. Believe it or not, Google knows if two search terms mean the same thing, like “purchase” and “buy”.
Improving SEO for Better Site Visibility
Even with the best content possible, you still need to make it easy for people to find it. This is especially true now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many people are at home because of government-ordered lockdowns and are using the Internet to access information and connect with the outside world.
By focusing on the most important ranking factors used by Google and other search engines, you can enhance your website’s visibility, extending your marketing reach.
Not All SEO is Under Your Control
It’s essential to account for both on-the-page and off-the-page SEO factors that can affect your website’s ranking. On-the-page SEO are the things that you can control, like your website’s content and site structure. Off-the-page SEO are things over which you have less control, like your website’s perceived authority or whether other authoritative websites link back to your site.
For example, if you offer quality content and your site is easy to navigate, keeping users engaged longer, your site will earn SEO points. If your website is considered an authority because other websites link to it as a source of reputable information, it will get more points. But if you incorporate pop-up ads or plagiarize content from other websites, you will lose points, pushing you down in search engine rankings.
Success Takes Time
It’s important to remember that none of these changes will create an impact overnight. The SEO game is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to build momentum. But if you effectively communicate what your site is all about to the Internet search engines and provide quality content, you will attract your target audiences and keep their attention longer. Targeted compelling content also creates opportunities to increase conversions from your website.
With more companies vying for your members and potential members attention you need to adjust to keep up. By understanding key information about the people you are trying to attract, providing the content you think speaks to them, making sure your website can be found and analyzing the data to see what is working you can significantly improve your odds of success.
President Vanguard Technology