SEO, or search engine optimization, is a vital skill for anyone who wants to increase page views and grow their audience. In other words, if you want to put numbers on the board, SEO is a surefire way to show up in search results and reach people looking for the type of content you create. And while there are guidelines that can be applied to virtually any category, those in the health and wellness space should be putting extra effort into their SEO strategy, as Google is setting insanely high standards on content that speaks to health topics.
We’ll be talking more about how to create compelling content during BlogHer Health on January 29 but for now, here are four things to keep in mind before publishing your next post.
Google‘s goal is to make sure search results reflect accurate and reliable information. It calls these standards E.A.T, an acronym for expertise, authoritativeness, and trust. That being said, be sure that your website content is written by someone who is qualified to cover your chosen topic(s). This goes for all categories, but even more so for health, finance, law, nutrition, and in-depth parenting information. Make sure the content on your site is unique, interesting, and useful to the reader.
Be sure to also focus on user experience, particularly on mobile search. If your users cannot easily navigate throughout your site in a timely manner, chances are they aren’t going to want to return. Modern-day SEO has everything to do with how you treat your readers.
Competing as a Smaller Brand
If you’re a smaller site or blog competing for organic search traffic with bigger sites that are covering the same topics, focus on niche content. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. The more targeted or specialized you are, the more you can build a strong brand and send signals to Google about what your expertise is.
Within that niche, try developing angles that add something unique that differentiates your content from your competitors. Engage with your audience across all platforms and establish yourself as a thought leader by gaining exposure (and backlinks) from relevant, authoritative publications.
Must-Know Fields and Tools
There are also certain technical aspects to good SEO that are crucial to making sure your content is surfacing on the SERP. Here are some of the on-page fields in a typical CMS (like WordPress) that act as a direct signal to Google, and help reinforce what a given page is about:
For images: alt text and optimized file name
Most people don’t have a team of SEO experts at their disposal, but there are lots of tools out there that can be helpful for all aspects of SEO / tracking site metrics. For SEO tools, backlink data, ranking info, etc., we love SEMrush, Ahrefs & Uber Suggest. For editorial inspiration, we recommend Answer the Public and Soovle.com.
Take that ten extra minutes to re-read your copy. Make sure it’s easy to digest and clear of typos, grammar mistakes, and inaccuracies. This matters when it comes to Google and also when it comes to maintaining a positive reputation. Remove or update your old, low-quality content pages. People tend to focus on SEO at the page level while forgetting to think of the overall health of the site. If you’ve been blogging for 5+ years, chances are that some of your original content doesn’t shine quite as much as your newer stuff. Clean it up!
The Benefits of Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that is always relevant and does not become dated outdated over time. More and more (and even more as voice search escalates), people turn to Google to ask the who-what-why-where-how questions. Evergreen content can include question/answer style pieces, recipes, best-of lists, and plenty of general tips and tricks. Trending news can be inconsistent so supplementing your news content with evergreens can help off-set the slower traffic times.
In our experience with sponsored content, it’s safest to not rely whatsoever on organic traffic to be a campaign driver. We do see sponsored posts show up in Google from time to time, but as a general rule Google likes to keep paid and unpaid results separate in all forms. And of course, no-follow all outbound links in your branded content. We see better organic performance metrics on these pieces when we are following all of Google’s branded content guidelines.
If you’re looking for tips on how to create compelling content and ways to better navigate your health, register for BlogHer Health, taking place January 29 at 12PM EST.