As a kid I danced, sang and was in lots of plays. And though I outgrew the performance bug, my appreciation for the enormous effort required backstage to pull off a smoothly run show has never waned. I have also come to see how true this is for so many areas of work–including the production of a good blog.
When I read a good blog post (here is a fun one ), I know that a lot of work you can’t see has gone into it. I am sure you know this too if you’ve done any writing. It takes an incredible amount of work (and drafts) to produce prose that reads effortlessly.
You get a glimpse of some of the work: In a show you notice the music, costumes and sets, and in a blog post you see the formatting, images, and style. If these things are done well, more than you specifically noticing them, they transport you further into the story.
But, unless you are in the biz, there are many things that you never see or even imagine that go into a seamless production. It is the same in content marketing—Search engine optimization (SEO) and site organization, for example.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is one of those terms that gets swung around a lot and often people know it’s important but not much else. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it has to do with getting your website and your posts found and ranked well by Google. I say Google because other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo, account for a much smaller percentage of users.
Search engines have elaborate (and largely secret) algorithms that they use to serve up the highest quality and most relevant results to a search query. It is in their best interest to keep spam and other junk off the results page so you stick with them.
Because of this, the most important thing you can do to improve your website and blog post SEO is to produce high quality content. Behind the scenes, however, there are things you can do to boost your post rankings.
Many blogging and website platforms make this pretty easy by providing an editorial panel on the back end devoted to SEO. They provide prompts and boxes to enter key words and phrases that search engines are looking for. Yoast SEO is a plugin that you can use if you don’t have this feature.
Amy goes into much more detail about this in her series What You Need to Know about Medical SEO. I encourage you to start with her posts. Then, if you get bitten by the SEO bug and want to go further, check out the SEO Tutorials at Lynda.com.
Good website organization is akin to a well laid out textbook: The home page (like the book’s cover) clearly indicates the subject of the site; menu items (like a book’s table of contents) take you to the main sections of the website; and tags and categories function much the same way as a book’s index.
Imagine trying to use a physics or chemistry text without any one of these elements. Without some kind of structure like this on your website, users will get confused and frustrated. They will click away and miss out on all the great content you worked so hard to produce.
In addition to improving a user’s experience of your site, this kind of organization makes it easier for search engines to navigate your site (and rank it).
Even if you are not involved in the overall website’s design, it is important to know the basic structure when creating content–like blog posts or condition pages–so it fits in and is easy to find. You can do this pretty easily by choosing the right categories and tags. Amy gives a great explanation of this in her post here.
To learn more about organizing your website, pages, and blog posts check out these posts:
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 1: What is Content Marketing?
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 2: Why Use Content Marketing for Medical Practices?
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 3: Bare Bones Approach to Content Strategy
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 4: Copywriting: Not Just for Selling Bananas
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 5: Stay on the Right Side of Medical Ethics
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 6: The Who, Where & What of Medical Content Generation
Basics of Content Marketing for Medical Practices Part 7: 5 Star Recipe: Writing for the Internet
Image credit: © Andriy Bezuglov / AdobeStock