Chris Craft is the CEO/President of Nao Media, and a member of the Spin Sucks community for PR and marketing with CSR marketing consultant Casie Yoder. Nao Media’s mission is to elevate the art and science of marketing.

You can’t expect to achieve content marketing results for your clients or your own business without a basic understanding of SEO. Last week, I covered the SEO basics. This week, you can learn how to build on the basics with 3 more advanced SEO tips.

Let’s dive in.

1. On-Page Optimization

Once you’ve mastered keywords and blogging, it’s time to discuss optimization for improving the user experience on your website. On-page optimization of your website for things like site speed, website responsiveness for mobile phones, optimum image sizes/dimensions and properly tagged images can do wonders for your SEO.

Google is huge on website speed. They don’t want to send traffic to slow and buggy websites. You can check your page speed with Google PageSpeed Insights.

Google research shows that the chance of a user page bounce increases by 32 percent when the page load time goes from one second to three seconds. That’s a lot of lost traffic!

Here are four quick tips to improve your website’s on-page optimization:

  1. Sign up for a super-fast website host with great customer service to ensure lightning fast page speed. I’m a big fan of Big Scoots (disclosure: this is an affiliate link).
  2. Choose a WordPress website theme that is responsive. This means that the website will look good on mobile phones. About half of all internet searches and browsing happens on mobile phones…and that number is trending up!
  3. Crop all images to the optimum size for the page before putting it on your website. Large images significantly slow down websites.
  4. As I mentioned earlier, place your focus keyword in all the key areas of your website — SEO title, meta description, image alt text and page body. A lot of this can be accomplished with the proper use of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress users.

2. Yoast SEO Plugin

For WordPress users, the Yoast SEO Plugin makes it easy to know if your blog post or web page meets on-page SEO standards. If the Yoast plugin gives you a ‘green light’ rating for SEO, then you’re good to go.

The Yoast SEO Plugin will do the following and so much more:

  1. Let you know if you’ve written enough copy to cover your topic deeply.
  2. Alert you to let you know if you have included your focus keyword in your page copy enough. This is called keyword density.
  3. Let you know if you’ve included internal links to other pages on your website.
  4. Help you remember to include your focus keyword in the SEO title and meta description.

3. Link Building

It’s not good for man to be alone. And it’s not good for your website, articles, and pages to be out of the loop in a silo. Link building is the final component of the SEO basics.

Link building is the process of getting other quality websites to link to your website or specific pages. A link to your site from another site is called a backlink. The goal is to increase the number of backlinks to your website over time. Ideally, you’ll get backlinks from sites that are more popular and established than yours.

According to a survey conducted by SEO PowerSuite, 72 percent of SEO professionals said that backlinks are significant when it comes to Google’s ranking factors.

Google largely determines the quality of your website and its pages by the quantity and quality of the other websites that are linking to it.

Successful link building comes down to your dedication to networking with other professionals who blog. Good ol’ guest blogging still works, y’all. See…I’m practicing what I preach!

Power tip: Use HARO to find great link building opportunities. Respond to queries from journalists with quality pitches that provide value to them. Let your experience and expertise shine through your pitches. You are helping the journalists write helpful articles with your input. If you help them, you could be making a big longtime media connection. Remember, link building is all about relationships. If your pitch is chosen, you will often get a backlink to your website! Yup, SEO gold.

In Closing: SEO Benefits

Implementing SEO basics has been a gamechanger for our team and clients at Nao Media (my Atlanta digital marketing agency). We have tested all of these best practices internally to ensure that they work before we execute them for clients and partners. The increase in organic traffic has led to community growth and revenue growth on all fronts.

But we all know that content marketing is only one aspect of the marketing mix. Contact us at CSR to let us know your goals. We are confident that we can help your business thrive.