Host: Jen Spencer

If you're already writing SEO-optimized, persona focused content, and if you're publishing that content on a regular basis and creating detailed newsworthy updates that Google's going to love, then the tips I'm about to share with you will provide some ideas on where you can go next. 

But first things first — the content strategy tips I want to share today assume you already know up from down when it comes to your keyword strategy. 

So, if you're looking for a guide on how to choose the best keywords to write about, or how to create buyer's journey focused content that your personas will care about, just send us an email and we will point you in the right direction. 

On the latest episode of SmartBug on Tap I shared our team’s favorite tips to help you refine your content strategy and grow your organic search. 

Here they are:

Tip #1: Develop a steady publishing schedule...and actually use it!

Publishing content on a regular basis is important for many reasons. 

For one, it gives search engines a reason to keep coming back to you, to keep crawling your website pages, so any new content you're creating is quickly indexed and is rankable. 

Publishing new content speaks to the freshness factor of your website, indicating to search engines that your web pages are up to date with sources of new information that's worthy of surfacing to searchers. 

And when it comes to blog content in particular, there’s the idea of blogging as an annuity, as something that will pay off in dividends over time. 

The sooner you get started, the sooner the existing post on your site will compound the traffic and lead generating capabilities of your site. 

If you take some time to look at your blog analytics, you should see is that each post on your website is drawing in more traffic than the last. 

So, what better way to start reaping the cumulative benefits of blogging than by creating content on a regular basis.

Tip #2: Use the right anchor text. 

Anchor text refers to the words on a page that are hyperlinked to another website page. 

These snippets of copy can have a big impact on how relevant search engines believe your page is about a particular topic. 

If possible, you should include a page's keyword in the highlighted anchor text. Ideally, that keyword is also relevant for the linked-to page, as well. 

While one of the easiest ways to integrate optimized anchor text into your content is by linking keywords to relevant articles or sources, it's far from the only way to use it. 

Strong anchor text can also be a phrase including the target keyword, a URL, a brand name, or something else that's highly relevant to the topic that you're discussing in your article. 

Tip #3: Don't forget about alt tags. 

The formal name for alt tags is “alternative attributes of an image tag”. 

These are HTML modifiers that actually provide descriptive information about the image that we're looking at in an image tag within a page of HTML code. 

Marketers tend to think of alt tags in terms of their SEO value. 

But we need to remember that the original purpose of alt tags was to help visitors who are challenged with viewing the content visually to determine what was depicted in a particular image. 

Visually impaired users that are viewing text only versions of your site are still relying on the image’s alt text to identify what the image is of.

So, while organic search optimized alt text does typically include the target keyword for the page where the image is appearing, it's really important not to forget that the alt tags original purpose of alt tags was to improve accessibility. 

Focusing on writing short tags that are descriptive of the image and its role on the page will not only help visually impaired users understand the image, it will help to increase your organic search. 

Tip #4: Optimize your URLs.

You might think the URL that your content management system automatically generates is the best choice. 

But it's not necessarily true. 

The best URLs are short, keeping hyphens to a minimum. 

They they don't contain any subfolders but they do contain the target keywords that align with the on-page keywords.

And focus on shortening your URLs by removing unnecessary numbers or words like "the", "a", "and", and so on. 

So, when you're creating URLs for, say a blog article, resist the urge to simply copy and paste in the article title. 

Instead, focus on crafting a URL that will actually help generate organic search.

Tip #5: Share relevant content on social media. 

I feel like this is a tip that keeps popping up in every episode.

But it’s an important tip that will increase your success in so many areas. 

Sharing content on social isn't just a great way to generate social views of your site — it's also an effective tool for drumming up additional organic traffic. 

Not only do search engines index and serve up content shared on social, search engine algorithms see social shares as a strong vote of confidence for the quality of that piece of content

And since search engines are always looking for new and better ways to identify relevant and high quality content to surface to their users, it's not surprising that they consider shares when deciding how highly to rank a piece of content on the results page. 

Tip #6: Don't use super high resolution images or fancy font sets. 

Google pages load time is a major ranking factor when it comes to organic search. 

And very large images or complex font sets can drastically increase how long it takes for a page to render. 

The same thing goes for JavaScript snippets or custom code — these can really slow things down. 

So, to keep your organic search numbers trending up just avoid unnecessarily using those elements, if possible. 

Tip #7: Build fresh backlinks. 

Backlinks, also called incoming or inbound links, are the bread and butter of off-page SEO. 

And they can have a really strong impact on how well your site ranks in organic search. 

So, whether it's by well placed anchor text that's paid back in kind with guest blogging or by sharing thoughtful content with those likely to share or link to it, link building can be a very complex but useful tool to increase organic search. 

If you're not already employing a link building strategy as a way to increase organic traffic, there's no time like the present to actually start tackling it. 

So, those are our 7 favorite tips to help you increase your organic search traffic.

Which of these tips are you most looking forward to trying?

Tweet me or SmartBug at @jenspencer or @smartbugmedia to share your journey.

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Jen Spencer

About the author

Jen Spencer leads SmartBug's sales, marketing, and brand strategy. Over her career, Jen has built several demand generation and sales enablement programs from the ground up and has experience working within tech startups, publicly traded companies, mid-market organizations, and the not-for-profit space. Jen subscribes to the notion that “we’re all in this together,” and great communication leads to great partnership. She loves animals, technology, the arts, and really good Scotch. Read more articles by Jen Spencer.

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