Let me get this out of the way from the very beginning – when it comes to content marketing, traffic isn’t everything.
That said, it’s still a critical piece of the marketing puzzle, and studies show that web traffic remains the most common metric of measurement for an effective content strategy.
Of course, not all traffic is created equal. To truly boost the ROI of your content efforts, you need to drive people to the right pages. From an inbound marketing perspective, this often comes down to thought leadership content that directs to registration pages and forms for lead generation.
But what about the other valuable pages on your website? The average company spends a lot of time and effort on marketing webpages (About Us, Products, Services, etc.) that position it as not a thought leader, but a solution to a problem. These are typically the primary pages that visitors can access via the homepage or main site navigation.
The fact is, pages like these represent an opportunity to drive more organic traffic to the most important parts of your site – and some simple SEO practices can help. Here are five ways to get more eyes in front of your company webpages.
#1. Focus each page around a unique keyword phrase.
As I said before, each webpage on your site represents an opportunity to drive more traffic, but in regards to SEO, they also enable you to broaden your keyword portfolio. What this means is that, in an ideal world, each page will be uniquely optimized around a specific longtail keyword phrase, in addition to the more general keywords your company is targeting overall.
When creating these pages and writing copy, identify what these pages are really about, do keyword research to determine the best phrase opportunities, and optimize your webpages by including those phrases:
in the SEO/browser title (close to the front, if possible)
the page URL (often dictated by the page file name in your CMS)
one-to-four times within the text body of the page
Of course, these aren’t the only way’s to optimize your pages (and we’ll talk about other options below), but they do represent some of the bare minimum, proven techniques for boosting your rankings.
#2. Write compelling titles.
Unlike blog content, many marketing webpages follow some sort of generic syntax or “breadcrumb” formula when it comes to titles (Example: “Compliance | Security | Company Name”). This might seem to make sense for simplicity and site navigation, but it’s horrendous for SEO.
Remember, it’s not enough just to rank well in Google; the real key is to get people to actually click on your links and visit your site. Titles should be descriptive of what each page is about so that users are compelled to click through. The example above doesn’t tell them much of anything, and will most likely be disregarded no matter how high it’s listed in search results. So treat your marketing webpages similar to your blog, and write interesting, descriptive titles!
#3. Write a unique meta description and ignore meta keywords.
This one goes hand-in-hand with your SEO titles. If the title catches a person’s eye, the meta description will help convince them to click by providing more detail on what the page is about. Many company or marketing webpages pay little attention to this area by either using the same company message over and over, or leaving the field blank all together. Keep in mind that meta descriptions won’t help your search rankings, but again, that’s only half the battle.
On the other hand, if your CMS has a meta keywords field, you should disregard it all together and just focus on the description. Meta keywords have been ignored by search engines for ages now, as they were far too easy to manipulate with irrelevant, catch-all phrases. They can’t help you; they can only hurt you. Don’t waste your time.
#4. Embed a video.
Video content has become an increasingly effective way to improve the value of your webpages and boost search rankings. It’s been reported that Google now places an emphasis on content that engages, educates and incentivizes users to stay on a website – and video provides all that in spades. So why not add video on your marketing webpages whenever possible?
By setting up a video site map or at least including keyword-optimized meta data for your embedded videos, that video content will help further increase your page authority around your target phrases. Search engines will also pull in the video thumbnail with its search results, providing a visual element that can help capture the attention of your audience and, once again, encourage more clicks.
Keep in mind that people can also filter their Google searches for video content specifically. If you create and host your videos with Brainshark On-Demand, those results will drive people back to your company webpages where your video is embedded. (In contrast, embedded YouTube videos will only drive audiences back to the YouTube site, no matter where you’ve embedded the video.)
#5. Add a featured image.
Finally, visuals and graphics can also be powerful SEO tools (somewhat surprisingly so, in fact). Chances are, most of your company webpages already include some sort of graphic element, even if it’s something as simple as a single featured image.
As an SEO best practice, you should make sure the alt text for these images are optimized with the same target phrases as the pages themselves, giving search engines more data to crawl and index.
With these tips in mind, ask yourself this: “Is there something we can do to increase the SEO value of our primary marketing webpages?” Chances are, the answer is yes. These are just some basic ideas, mind you, but they can easily serve as the foundation for a more search-friendly website.