Content marketing 101: How to get started and make friends with Google

This month, I got a lead that turned into a $5,000 project. How did this client find me? He Googled “WordPress developer Atlanta.”

As of today, my website ranks #2 for this phrase—and because of this high ranking, I’ve gotten quite a few new clients over the years. What’s extra-cool about this? I didn’t spend a penny on SEO. I didn’t pay for AdWords.

I did it myself with content marketing!

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Today, I’m going to tell you how I achieved such high, organic search engine rankings (and how you can too). And I’m going to start at the beginning…

Good SEO starts with a strong website foundation, and it’s supported with content marketing. This pretty much means creating great content—and sharing it in a way that Google understands.

Want more? Have a listen.

Is it a quick fix? Nope.

Is it worth it? YUP. Very!

Content marketing step 1: make sure your site is SEO-ready

Since your website houses all of your rich, relevant content—you want to make sure it’s built on a strong foundation that is easy for Google to find. Here are some tips:

Make your site responsive

It’s 2018. If you want to be found using Google, and your site isn’t responsive—you’re worse-off than a needle in a haystack.

Include SEO plugins

WordPress SEO by Yoast (my current favorite) allows you to easily update your page title and description in WordPress. Hint: These two elements are really important when it comes to Google finding your site.

The Yoast plugin also lets you supply a focus keyword, analyzes how you are using that focus keyword on the page, and gives suggestions for optimizing the post for that focus keyword.

Structure pages appropriately

When a webpage is open, the text that appears in the browser bar is your title tag. You want to make sure this tag, and your website’s other informational tags are where they should be.

Also, make sure that by default, the title tags are grabbing relevant information like your business name and location.

Add human-readable description tags

When someone Googles “WordPress developer Atlanta,” my description tag shows up under my search result. My description isn’t just filled with keywords—it’s written to be read by humans.

It says: I’m Jill Anderson, a web designer & developer in Atlanta. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and responsive websites with HTML5, CSS3, and WordPress.

The readability of your description tag can determine whether a prospect opens your site or someone else’s.

Think about what people are searching for

When your ideal clients are looking for you (before they know you)—what will they search for?

My prospects are searching for “WordPress developer Atlanta”—so I put those keywords in my home page title tag. If you want people to actually find you, the most important thing is narrowing it down.

“Website designer” is huge. “Atlanta website designer” is smaller, but still pretty big. But pinpointing my specialty, “Atlanta WordPress developer” is specific enough to get results.

What’s your niche market? Whether you’re an “annual report designer” or “book designer,” get specific and don’t forget to add your location.

Content marketing step 2: add new content regularly

For Google to find your website attractive enough to display high in search results, it wants to find awesome, relevant, regularly-updated content. This means that blogging is the super-critical in getting good SEO results!

To supercharge your blog’s magnetism:

Stick to a schedule

Google rewards you for adding new content regularly. Once a year won’t cut it, folks! I recommend blogging monthly at the bare minimum. Weekly is better.

Either way, choose your frequency and commit to the time it takes to write posts, find images, upload and proofread. If it takes forever, you might want to enlist some help.

Give value

You can absolutely give your opinions (you should!)—but this bundle of words must be able to exist alone and still give value.

Teach your reader something new, reinforce information, or start a useful conversation. A blog post should not be used to say, Hey, look at me, I’m great!—(even though you are).

Be relevant

This almost goes without saying, but not quite. Your prospects want to know about certain things. Google wants to help searchers find you for those things.

Write about those things! It’s why I blog about WordPress web design and not polar bears.

Relevant topics should come naturally…but when they don’t, simply ask yourself: What do my prospects want to know? What is the question that searchers are asking that your content will answer?

Consider your titles

Blog titles matter! Anytime you can include keywords in your blog title—go for it. Just make sure you’re writing for humans first and search engines second.

Use categories

Just like supermarkets have different aisles, your blog should use multiple categories so readers (and search engines) can more easily find what they’re looking for. For example, I categorize my posts into Web Design, Good Business and others.

Tag your posts

Tags are different than categories; they’re helpful because they create more linkage within your content and support SEO.

Link

If you have guest posts somewhere, link to them from your blog. Let your blog be the home-base for all the great information you put into the world.

Likewise, go guest post on other relevant blogs (like I’m doing here on Millo) so these posts link back to your website.

Are you ready to harness your SEO mojo? Great! Keep in mind, all good things take time, commitment, and sometimes—help from others!

No matter what, I encourage you to take charge of your SEO and content marketing efforts. Because when they start to result in projects (and they will!)—it’ll be so worth it.

Do you have more SEO tips? Let me know in the comments!

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About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill Anderson, a web designer/developer who partners with talented designers, writers, and creatives to craft custom, responsive WordPress websites. Have you wanted to revamp your website for a while but haven’t gotten very far? Get my FREE interactive guide, Get Your Website Done, and check your website off your list with 12 actionable steps.

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