As an SEO, I sit and read hundreds of pieces of content a week, they vary in quality from bloody amazing to downright crap.
They can be really good for a number of reasons, and really bad for a number of a reasons.
This piece is a simple 7 rules that you can inject into your writing, either a few of them or all of them. Even if you just pick up one or two of them in any piece, you will improve your work from a search view — you will be found more by search engines .
Rule 1— CONTENT is King
You clearly know content is king, it’s your passion — you are researching how to make it better.
But here is their thing. Ensure that your content isn’t just filled with your passion and love, but that it is enjoyable or engaging, and that you’ve got jumping-off points so that if people are interested in a given aspect they can find out more. Make your passion go further, make your content go further.
Rule 2 — STICK with Your Keywords
Within each piece of content you write, consider specifically what keywords you are targeting and stick to it.
Use keyword tools from systems such as Google Trends (which is free) or SEMRush (a paid tool) to research your target keywords and what kind of difficulty these may be to rank for, or indeed whether they are seasonal keywords.
Rule 3 — Use a Clear Structure
Think of your information layout being a pyramid…. start with the H1 tag and have your first paragraph explain the rest of your page's content. Then move down with more heading tags (H2, H3, etc). Doing this helps search engines understand your content and how to section content.
Rule 4 — ALTERNATIVE text/tags
You are a blind user, you visit a site full of images (a picture speaks a thousand words), these images explain the content a little better but you can’t see them… and they don’t have an alternative text nor a caption… they are useless to you and now the site makes no sense.
ALT Text is can be attached to any image, background images can utilise a similar label called an aria-label. Using this text is useful not only for blind users but enables search engines to understand what is within the image files.
Rule 5 — DESIGN friendly URLs
Whether dynamic or not, all sites should have SEO / User-friendly URLs this means not having /p?=1234?34 or anything like this but rather /real-seo as a URL following the domain.
Rule 6 — RULES are only Rules if you break them
Most SEO’s will hate me for this (and i know i am in for a nasty time when this is published) most of the above will stand good for many years, but everything changes… so don’t trust what you read on every SEO website.
If you break a rule above that is fine…just try not to…google won’t penalise you for most of them… though cheating or being black-hat may see you being in trouble and having a need to explain yourself.
Rule 7 — Use Meta Tags
Title Tags and Descriptions exist within most CMS’s, including here on Medium (click the 3 dots, and go to More Settings). These are the titles that appear within the search results page and act as a call to action for users, they also appear in the top of the browser and browsing history.
Often some CMS’s may use them for their own search engines, such as WordPress — its unclear if Medium also may hold some weight within it’s search for this.