Writers and editors should all be fully aware of your target keywords and phrases and begin the process of incorporating them into the content they create, according to the Editorial/Content Calendar.
Today’s keyword writing strategies no longer focus on things like stuffing keywords into meta tags or keyword density, but it is important to employ modern SEO best practices for copywriting. That means writing good, clean, unique, interesting and engaging (original) copy that is topically focused with just the right mix of target keywords, phrases, synonyms, co-occurrence and magazine/brand associations. This ensures that the content is reader friendly and valuable, setting it apart from content written solely for the search engines, yet ensures that your content will show up in the search engines, and that, over time, your rankings will grow.
Creating your content this way and mixing in a good blend of properly tagged and titled images and supporting video, builds rich context that gets your pages higher ranking in search, for longtail phrases as well as your primary keyword targets. In addition, it’s important for your writers to employ a “call to action”, directing readers to your website to sign up for newsletters and email, when this is appropriate.
Remember that you’re working toward two goals for finding readers. The first is with the headline, which should be catchy and interesting, to bring readers within the first 48 hours after the article is released. For gaining long term search engine viability for your article, however, the page title must be keyword rich and compelling.
As you can see, it’s critical for writers and editors to understand the right keywords for your content, and the process of conducting effective keyword research.
Keyword Research - Deep Dive
Once editors have a good understanding of how to incorporate SEO into their workflow, it’s time to go deep, by expanding beyond the first 100 words you determined. Work with them to research additional keywords and phrases for topics that are directly related to the type of content inherent in the industry you represent with and in the type of reader you want to attract.
This is a bit more complex than simply coming up with the first 100 words, so it’s important to employ some tools designed to help you learn the appropriate long tail keywords for your content. Try tools like “Keyword Tool” and “Keyword Planner” to identify question based queries, and search volume. To learn what keywords your competitors use and how well these rank, take a look at SEMRush. This is a great way to find keywords that are working for your competition.
Create a Strategy for Your Editorial Calendar
You’re probably using an editorial calendar to plan your articles. To make this calendar an effective tool for increasing your search engine rank, you need a two part strategy.
First, choose the keywords that will be highlighted in upcoming content already on the calendar. Take a look at the planned content and research the appropriate keywords for this content before the writing begins. In the future, keywords should be identified as content ideas are developed. The idea here is that when a writer begins an article, he or she knows the keywords to be incorporated before taking pen to paper.
Part two of this strategy is to begin working at this from the opposite perspective, as well. This means deciding on future magazine content based on the keywords relevant to your industry that are most commonly searched.
For example, let’s say you have a gardening magazine, and this year’s hottest plant is the hydrangea. You know this because you have researched what gardening and plant topics are being frequently searched this spring.
Let’s hope that the reason the hydrangea is in vogue this year is because you wrote about how great this plant is last year. But, even if that’s not the case, you want to capitalize on the fact that hydrangea is the hot plant. So, now that you know that everyone is into hydrangeas this year, you know you need to write an article about them, pronto. The more frequently someone is searching a particular keyword relevant to your industry, the more quickly you need to create an article around that keyword.
Using this two pronged approach ensures you’re consistently working toward providing the content that online readers are looking for.
Once you’ve incorporated these methods, you’ve developed a solid strategy and should have a big list of keywords to focus your efforts around. In the next article, we’ll talk about how to keep this momentum going.
Norm is Creative Director and founder of K9 strategy+design and has 25 years of experience directing, strategizing and designing for publishing clients such as Rogers, Ski Canada Magazine, Alternatives Journal, Homes & Cottages Magazine and Metro News. Over the years, Norm has also assisted TELUS, Bell, Sirius, BMO Nesbitt Burns, American Express and countless entrepreneurial, professional and non-profit clients with their branding and communications opportunities.