A quick guide to SEO

Analytics graph going up

This post aims to be a constantly updated quick reference guide with practical tips on how to ensure your content is properly optimised for search.

The advice here is based on guidance from both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network. Most of the tips apply to all major search engines; some, like using meta keyword tags, only apply to Bing/Yahoo.

As you should aim to rank for all search engines and not just Google I’ve amalgamated all these tips into one list.

If you have any questions about proper SEO techniques, please let me know in comments.

SEO tips

  • Use h tags to structure your content
  • Only use one h1 tag per page
  • Use bold and italics for emphasis
  • Keep titles between 5 and 65 characters in length
  • Meta descriptions should be between 25 and 150  characters
  • Publish content regularly
  • Ensure content is unique
  • Use long tail keywords
  • Avoid keyword stuffing
  • Use images and embedded video
  • Black hat seo tactics can get you banned from search!

What makes my content so effective?

My content has been shown to boost organic traffic by 237% and increase CTAs by 39%, based on client feedback I’ve received.

After spending a lot of time reflecting on it, here are some of the factors I think make my content so effective:

  • Publishing frequent content: 4-6 blog posts per month.
  • Providing practical and enlightening information and insights in my work, mining the internet for concrete examples to support key points.
  • A generous use of authorative links, images and video embeds where appropriate.
  • Using plenty of headings and subheadings to make my content reader-friendly, and to give search engines plenty to work with.
  • Organically incorporating keywords into both the text body and headers where appropriate, whilst avoiding “stuffing” at all times.
  • Actually trying to develop practical strategies and “eureka” insights to help solve audience pain points.
  •  Being aware of exactly who is likely to be reading the articles, and bending the content towards them.
  • Being conscious that readers’ time is precious and not wasting their time with pointless filler.
  • Carefully observing the best practices of fellow content marketers and trying to make sure my content is the best on the web.
What factors do you think lead to effective content? Let’s have a discussion in the comments.