How to Format Your SEO Content, According to the Motley Fool’s SEO Lead

How to Format Your SEO Content, According to the Motley Fool’s SEO Lead

By Justin Biel, trends editor at Grow Wire
2-minute read

Optimizing your company website’s content for search is critical to claiming your slice of global search traffic. B2B companies rate written website content like blog posts, articles and white papers as the most effective content marketing techniques for moving potential customers to the next stage in the buyer journey, according to Content Marketing Institute.

To have a chance at converting a customer with your content, you first must allow them to find it. Using these simple but effective search engine optimization tactics -- from Alli Berry, SEO lead at The Motley Fool -- will help you reel in the pageviews. 

  • Check title tags.

A title tag is the copy that shows up as your content’s title in Google search results, for example, and it should always include your seed keyword (also referred to as the primary, hub or short-tail keyword) to drive search traffic. Keep title tags under 65 characters. For the best SEO ranking, place the seed keyword at the beginning of the title tag.

The title tag is the first line of text that appears in Google's (or any other search engine's) search results. The title tag for Grow Wire's homepage includes our seed keyword, "grow wire."

  • Check the meta description.

A meta description appears beneath the title tag and website URL in search results. It describes the content. Keep meta descriptions between 140-160 characters, said Berry, and use "compelling descriptions" that drive click-through.

The meta description appears beneath your title tag and URL.image of alt. text :)

  • Utilize HTML header tags.

Header tags (H1-H6) are an important ranking factor for Google, so include both your article’s primary and secondary keywords in its headers. Header tags also impact accessibility, as they help readers navigate articles via the "tab" key.

"If possible, [incorporate HTML header tags] without suffocating flow or reader experience," said Berry.

Look, we used HTML header tags in this article! ("HTML header tag" is a secondary keyword to our primary keyword, which is "SEO content.")

  • Use alt text for images.

Alt tags are used in a CMS system to describe images. Search engines use these short descriptions to pull up image searches. Alt text is also essential for accessibility, as it explains the nature of images for visually impaired visitors using screen readers. 

"The most important thing is that [alt tags] describe the image accurately," said Berry.

Most content management systems allow you to input alt text while uploading an image onto your webpage.

  • Use internal links.

"Internal links help search engines understand the context between different pages," said Berry.

These links take users from one piece of your content to another. If a given article expands on your coverage of a primary keyword (i.e. is focused on a secondary keyword within the same topic area), then it should link back to your main, primary-keyword article.

  • Use external links.

Linking to credible external sources will both lend credibility to your content and aid in boosting your site’s ranking in search results. Ensure external links point to pages that are trustworthy, popular and relevant to the page in which they appear.

  • Always have a call to action.

A call to action (CTA) should tell readers what to do next. CTAs can offer links to more research, tell someone where to buy a product mentioned in your article or explore a related topic. Ideally, a call to action keeps the user on your website.

They tie in to the aim of SEO as a whole, Berry said: "If you don't tell people what to do, they are more likely to drop off.”

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