Best ways to format content for SEO

In the Game of SEO Thrones, you can’t afford to lose because of improper formatting. That was our attempt at a play on words with the new popular HBO show “Game of Thrones”!
Writing for search engine optimization in 2019 means your blog articles, thought leadership pieces and other website content should still incorporate the winning formula. Keep in mind – the winning formula is always changing.
What SEO writing strategy works for today’s content marketers?
It’s important that copywriters, freelance writers, bloggers and content creators are all on the same page.
Here’s how to format your content and take your SEO game to the next level, one blog article at a time.

H1 tag for headlines are imperative for SEO

First things first. Use the proper HTML heading tag, H1, for the title of your blog article. On this page, that’s “Best ways to format content for SEO.”
Next, you need to craft a killer, reader-friendly headline. Only in the SEO realm can using the adjectives “killer” and “friendly” in the same sentence sound perfectly normal.
Choose a reader-friendly headline style. Choose between headline style (“Best Ways to Format Content for SEO”) and sentence style (“How to format content for SEO”). Tempesta Media writers follow either the AP style (sentence style) or our customer’s title style preference.
Avoid using all capital letters (“HOW TO FORMAT CONTENT FOR SEO”) or capping initial letters in every word (“How To Format Content For SEO”). The former makes the text hard to read while the latter makes conjunctions, prepositions and articles of three letters or fewer look awkward.
Always use the numeral instead of spelling out a number in headlines (“6 common writer mistakes to avoid“). It’s easy on the eyes, and it helps boost engagement rates.
Follow the ideal length. Different articles suggest the perfect headline length is about 7-8 words or 64-70 characters. Article Document allows writers to use a lengthier title as long as it is catchy, relevant to the topic and does not contain special characters (e.g., @#:;*&%^).
Meanwhile, a killer headline, in SEO terms, has these elements:

H3 tag for subheadings make the content easier to read

Content presentation matters. Considering the limited attention span of humans, it makes sense to use subheads to break up chunks of text and make the article easier to read.
Tempesta Media advises its writers to use H3 tags to organize their content and include at least two subheaders in a 500-word assignment.
The subheaders should be 5-8 words long, descriptive, compelling, parallel in structure and consistent in tone.
To boost SEO, it is best to include the keyword phrase in the first subheader of the article. On this page, that’s “Format content for SEO – H1 tag for headlines.”

Bulleted lists to easily scan content and capture information

Make use of bullet points to keep readers that prefer to skim articles on your page. Numbered lists work just as well.
Readers love lists because they make important points easier to digest.
These tactics also increase the chances of your content getting a featured snippet in the Google SERPs.

Links for SEO success

In a recent blog article, we discussed how proper linking helps SEO. Internal/external links enable your content to rank and are helpful for your readers.
Use the right anchor text, which is the clickable text that readers see. Make sure it looks natural and the sentence in which the link is embedded provides meaningful context.
For a 500-word blog article, strive to include at least two internal links. Remember to follow best practices for linking to internal/external sources within an article.
Today, you have access to numerous tools that help you format content for SEO. The right content marketing partner can do the heavy lifting while you focus on improving the efficiency of your day-to-day business. Contact Tempesta Media to work with a best in class content marketing service.

8 tips on how to incorporate internal links to your content

Internal links within a blog article show that there is content available from an earlier discussion, a wider discussion or a continuing discussion around the topic.

When these earlier, wider and continuing discussions are located on other websites, they are external links. Internal links point a reader to the discussion located on another page of your website, but still within the same website.

Why does content perform better with internal links?

Internal links are very useful:

  • They create traffic for your website.
  • They enrich your content.
  • They establish your website’s authority showing that it is a cache of information.
  • They serve as a map of your site’s structure, including its multi-tiered contents.
  • They precipitate reader engagement within your site and invite browsers to visit again.
  • And, finally, internal links within a blog article carry more weight in terms of rankings. This helps with SEO.

So how many internal links should there be for every blog article? Here are some tips for writing effective internal links that will hopefully answer that tricky question:

Use an internal link as your first hyperlink

Start the discussion by pointing to your own resources as an expert. Internal links should be the first hyperlink in your content. It should be located near the start of your page. This gives the link better chances of being clicked, which is any link’s raison d’être.

Make the internal link visible to increase clicks

Links are usually in blue or are underlined to call attention to itself. You may also make it bold or italicized. However, making the link twinkle or be in a different or larger font may be a tad too much.

Make the internal link a natural part of the content – don’t force it

Internal links should be anchored to important words or phrases within your article. “Click here” and other generic terms or CTA buttons must be avoided.

Content still reigns supreme when it comes to your internal link. Don’t suddenly go off-topic and don’t give far-off examples just so it leads to a page in your website that you want to get maximum views. Make sure your link adds value to your current blog article.

Link to a page just once for every article

If you’ve already linked to page B once within the article, that’s enough. If you feel the latter part of your article can also be enriched by page B, find a page C within your website that can also do the job. Or just stop with that one internal link altogether.

Linking your article twice to the same page says to the reader that you have limited content.

Link deep within your website, not just the main pages

An effective internal link should not just lead to your Home, About Us or Contact Us page. Those main category pages are easy enough to search for. Link to content that is three or more clicks away from your home page.

Avoid broken links by updating the URLs regularly

As you add to your content, return to previous articles to add or change internal links. Your data or your products may have changed; therefore your content needs to be updated.

So how many internal links should there be for every blog article?

No content marketing or SEO expert has dared to put forth a number – except to say that each article should have at least one internal link. No maximum limit has been set either. So as long as you have other pages within your website that can add value to your current content, feel free to add another link.

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