There are three ingredients you need to create a robust SEO presence. These are:
- SEO foundation: website pages
- SEO consumable content: blogs
- SEO long-form content: pillars
The first you pretty much invest in once. The second and third you need to invest in regularly. Let’s get into it. What are these, seriously do I have to do them, and yes, you have to do them. Why? Because I’m your mother and I said so.
SEO Website Pages
First, your core website pages should not be the dirty dozen: it should be the fearless five. For almost any business, it is sufficient to have:
Ecomm sites will obviously diverge from that formula. But you do have to be mindful that a cluttered nav or tons of subsections are going to deteriorate UX. There are a few things you will do as you create the copy on these pages. These are the golden rules of SEO websites and I don’t care if you break them. But Google does.
- Use your SEO keyword list (go here for info on how to make one)
- Write at least 500 words per page (this is controversial and not a magic number but use logic: if you want to fit keywords onto the page, you have to have copy to add them into)
- Organize your copy so that you have at least one H1 and a couple of H2s
- Write a meta-description that matches your H1
- Have at least two external links
- Have at least two internal links
There are some dev things you can do to refine this strategy. But that’s for the nerd you hire. For our purposes here, this is the copy structure you need on every page (yes, even your contact page) to have a solid SEO website.
SEO blogs are probably one of the most common forms of digital collateral. They’re often outsourced to freelancers, which is fine. Here’s the SEO value of a blog:
- It’s an ongoing source of content that gives fresh life to your website
- You can use blogs to incorporate new and trending keywords into your website
- You can use newsjacking blogs to ride the coattails of traffic and trending concepts/news stories
- Blogs can provide a powerful network of linking throughout your site
- Blogs drive organic traffic by being a platform for expertise, how-to articles, comparisons and listicles.
Reminder: you can’t just write a big block of copy. You still have to employ best practices. This means:
- 500-1,200 words (average length is about 1,000, believe it or not)
- A core keyword used in the title/H1 and meta-description
- Secondary keywords used in H2s and throughout the copy
- Third-tier keywords used in H3s and throughout the copy
- External and internal links
I just did a series on How to Write Better Blogs – you can check it out here on the blog or as moving pictures on my YouTube channel.
There is someone else I like enough to share traffic with: the Narrative SEO crew is pretty baller and has a great checklist for SEO blogs. Tap here to see it.
Pillars are a hot topic in a lot of SEO/SEM circles. These are pieces of long-form copy that usually answer a question. “What is the best blog style?” “How to rank for SEO?” Pillars are special enough to require their very own keyword research process. You create, prioritize and write with this special set of keywords in mind. Done right, pillars can do wondrous things to expand your digital footprint. A pillar is:
- Topically driven by a single thought or process: may answer a question or address a single idea
- 5,000-10,000 words (I wasn’t joking about the long-form thing)
- Highly strategized and curated, often includes a table of contents
Pillars use topic clusters. They are highly conversational. This topical strategy provides immense value for your organic ranking. People may find you through pillars alone. Valuable. Worth it.
Because I Said So
Need more? I provide SEO consulting for businesses like yours. I mean, maybe. Unless you’re a very strange business that makes me uncomfortable. Go here to contact me.