Online content. You’ve heard the term, and you know it’s key for your online marketing strategy, but perhaps you don’t fully understand all of the elements that make up online content. You see, online content is so much more than well-written, informative words. It’s content with a purpose, with each page designed specifically and intentionally to both inform viewers and to be promoted as valued content worthy of high search engine ranks. From headlines to meta-descriptions to alt text for images, every piece of your content from beginning to end should be working to increase web traffic long after it’s posted to the web.
The first step in creating online content is developing the information you want for your visitors. Online content should be tailored around a purpose, format, and topic. Your purpose and format of your content should be based around your business’s target buyer personas. A buyer persona is, simply put, the ideal buyer you want to reach with your inbound marketing strategies. Your buyer persona should be based on actual research from your business’s own data because you will use these personas to build your target audience. The topic of your content is what you are writing about, which will vary with your purpose. Your content may be a new blog post, but you will also need content for your web pages informing your visitors about your business.
Once your content is established, it’s time for the next step in online creation--designing the content for search engine optimization, or SEO. This is the technical side of online content, and it’s what’s key in search engine marketing to promoting your content up the search engine ranks. Elements like keywords, H1 tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions are all a part of the design that works to rank your content. Without these and other elements, your well-written content will disappear into the search engine abyss. Since some of these terms probably seem foreign to you, we’ll take a look at each term’s definition and how to use them.
You’ve likely heard of keywords and know that they are important to SEO and content marketing. Keywords are simply the words web surfers use to search for the information they want to find. Your target keywords should be based on your buyer persona information, as well as the service or product you offer, and the actual content of your page. For instance, if you own a strawberry patch in north Mississippi, your potential site visitors might find your website by searching keywords such as “strawberry farmer” “local strawberry patch” or “mississippi strawberry patches.”
HTML Heading tags
Better known as H1, H2, H3, and so on and so on, these tags are pieces of code used to instruct your web browser how to display the content. H1 tags are the headline for the overall piece of content, while H2 tags are subheadings. A successful H1 tag should be designed with a larger font than the rest of the page’s content and should be comprised with targeted keywords relevant to the page’s title and content.
Meta tags work very similar to heading tags, with one significant difference. The meta tag serves as the title tag for your content, as well as the hyperlink visitors find in search engines. This title will also appear at the top of the web browser, and serve as the bookmark title when that page is bookmarked by visitors. Again, meta tags should contain targeted keywords for your content.
Alt text are the words behind online images that “tell” HTML what the image is about or relates to. Every image on your web site should be backed with alt text containing targeted keywords. Images with alt texts will then appear in search engine image searches under the targeted keywords used. Alt text is needed because Google does not “see” images, instead it only sees text. For instance, let’s say you own a maternity and infant retail store and you use a photo of baby blocks and a rattle on your site’s front page. By adding keywords such as “baby retail” to your image’s alt text, any time someone searches “baby retail” on Google, that image will pop up with a link back to your site.
The meta description is a snippet with 160 characters or less displayed in search engine results that give a brief description of the page’s content using target keywords. Every single content page you publish should contain a meta description. This is what web surfers will use to determine if your page has the information they are seeking. It needs to be concise, intentional, and relevant to the page’s content.
As you can see, online content is not only about writing great content, it’s about science--the science of SEO. It’s about developing online content based on research and formulas proven to work. Now that you know a little bit more about the science behind great online content, it’s time to put that science to work for you. But don’t let this important work fall to just anyone. Instead, choose an online marketing expert who knows how to optimize these design tools to be used at your fullest advantage. Here at Momentum Consulting, we’re committed to being that expert. We are an inbound and Hubspot certified inbound marketing agency. Hubspot is a leading inbound marketing and sales software company which provides training with their top marketing experts that teaches us how to optimize online marketing efforts with the latest inbound marketing tools. Let us help you get your online content down to a science and up in the search engine ranks. We’re just one click away.