Optimized content is an integral part of every marketing strategy.
When we start a blog or a website, we see a spike in incoming organic search traffic for a few days or weeks.
While that is exciting, that excitement dies as fast when the curve starts flattening and there are barely any new users to showcase. This is where content optimization plays its role.
Up to 92% of web traffic is restricted to the first page of the search results.
With most of your target audience refraining from going past the first page, you being stranded on the second or third page will feel no better than a jilted lover.
But that in no way means that you should optimize your content merely for SERP and search engine bots. In contrast, you should focus on creating new content optimized for humans, and it will automatically start bearing results.
Today, we discuss the importance of content optimization and will give you an insider view on how to ace it with ease. So let’s get going.
What is content optimization?
In layman’s terms, content optimization is a strategy where you provide search engines with essential data that they can use to understand the reason behind your content’s existence.
Content optimization ensures that the content (irrespective of any format) allows you to reach your target audience and compels them to perform the desired action.
For this, you will have to combine your interpersonal skills with specific technical, time-tested methods to ensure you achieve your goals. It includes inculcating certain marketing and editorial elements into your content pieces to have all the bases covered.
Importance of content optimization
90.63% of all webpages receive no organic traffic from Google.
So imagine - you spent days on some of the best practices for curating a content piece you adored and posted on your website only to find out that not many people are actually reading it.
You do it consistently only to hope that things will improve, but even after a good month or two, things remain the same.
Here can be the possible reasons behind it –
- Your content pieces have failed to target a particular set of keywords, or the ones they have targeted have no search volume.
- Google robots had a hard time decoding your article or other content types because of it missing coherence in its structuring.
- Your article lacks the depth that your competition has been able to provide.
There can be ‘N’ number of other reasons why your pieces failed to rank, but all of it will boil down to your inability to optimize content before publishing.
For example, your target audience is B2B, but you have created pieces of content that are generic and are ending up targeting B2C instead. It is not your domain, and the people who visit your website will end up bouncing off quickly.
Or you may have covered everything in great detail ensuring good grammar, punctuation, syntax but haven’t included the requisite CTAs to convert the incoming audience. It means that while your blog post may receive a good amount of traffic, your target metrics of optimizing lead conversion is having a dry day.
Content optimization is the physician that helps you get rid of all these issues gradually. Here is why you should focus on it –
- Helps rank on search engine results pages
- Earns you valuable backlinks
- Increases the time spent by the target audience on your website
- Improves conversion rate
- Makes your content shareable
- Increases CTR
How does content optimization work?
Every day 4.4 million blog posts are created. And you may have guessed by now that only a small percentage of them receive the desired traction and user engagement.
This is because they are optimized to perform certain tasks and generate the desired results.
Content optimization works by making structural and meaningful changes to the content’s body, meta description/metadata, and meta title to propel the search engines into believing that it is useful.
While some of these changes can be minor, others may require you to change how you go about drafting your content altogether.
Is creating content the same as content optimization?
Content optimization is a part of content creation. You create content because you like it, and you want to provide value to your audience by answering their search query/queries.
But content optimization is the technical part of it that helps you reach a wider audience by making subtle changes in the way you present it.
So, while value addition should be your primary focus while devising your content, making sure that it appeals to the search engine algorithms is where content optimization comes in. SERP will showcase pages that are optimized higher than those that lack it, irrespective of how valuable you deem them to be.
How to optimize different content types?
There are three different primary content types –
Each of these content types is vastly different from each other, and search engines also differentiate them while crawling through them. Here are some tips on optimizing each of them –
Text is a vital part of your marketing strategy and becomes more so when the web page in contention is a landing page. Here is how you can optimize text for search engines –
· Use title tags
Title tags refer to an HTML element used for describing the title of your piece. These are the parts of your text visible in bold when someone shares your content on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
In addition, the search engines often use them to showcase the results users are looking for and as snippets.
Furthermore, the title tag appears at the top of the browser when you view a page or switch between tabs. So it is imperative for you to use a title tag judiciously and ensure it conveys the reason behind the page’s creation.
· Meta description
A meta description is the short description of each web page that appears just below its title in the search results.
It is a descriptor text that presents a brief on what to expect from the content.
Given that it is often one of the first things your online traffic will come across, and it has the power to propel them to click, it is vital for you to optimize meta descriptions and meta tags.
It is a crisp copy that should ideally contain the primary keyword and sum up what visitors will find when they click on your web page in a great way.
Given the short space, the search engine can only show meta descriptions up to 160-odd characters, and anything more you write will be cut off.
URLs or Universe Resource Locators are keyword-rich phrases that provide overviews of the web pages to the search engines, and to an extent, users.
So it is vital for you to ensure that your URLs are straightforward and do not come forward as cluttered or lacking sense. Optimizing URLs involves including your primary keyword relevant to the given piece of content and creating a group of words that make sense.
You can also use LSI keywords to make them more specific.
· Meta keywords
Meta keywords are similar to meta descriptions but only smaller and less impactful. These are the set of keywords that you are looking to target via your content piece.
People may even misunderstand their usage and end up keyword stuffing hurting their chances of ranking. These are optional and if you are creating web content, make sure you only use a handful of meta keywords that describe it best.
Video content has quickly gone on to become the primary form of marketing media for brands looking to gain traction online.
For example, 70% of viewers purchased from a brand after coming across it on YouTube, and 79% of people report being convinced in investing in software or downloading an app after watching a video. These numbers are staggering and instantly demand notice from content marketers.
Create visually rich content
Thankfully, it is easier than ever to produce visually rich and graphically superior video content today.
But more than anything, most of the videos that can catch public attention have been interesting and compelling.
While YouTube is the default choice for video content, you can also opt for posting the content you produce solely on your website or social media platforms.
A strategy that combines YouTube with your private website and social media has higher chances of gaining the eye of your target audience owing to its multi-channel presence.
Focus on keyword research
Video content optimization requires you to focus on using relevant keywords that are more likely to garner the audience’s interest while describing the content.
Ensure you do not stuff keywords and only use the terms that best describe the content. For this, you will have to put greater emphasis on keyword research and find those that are best suited for the topic you are covering.
Visuals have become more and more important for content optimization, especially given that more and more people visit a website to scan than to read word to word.
So focusing on readability has become a vital part of every modern content strategy.
64% of surveyed marketers believed that visuals are a vital part of every web content. Further, people perform 323% better while following directions that comprise text and illustrations than those who follow merely text-based information.
Images should be value-adding
A few years ago, Google did not pay much heed to the images. But with people now moving towards visual content gradually, images have started appearing in the search feed, making them more vital than ever for your content marketing strategy.
In the present scenario, your blog post images and infographics can also appear on SERP even when your content pages don’t provide the crawling bots think that it is relevant for a particular keyword or phrase.
Do not miss out on alt tags and descriptions
Image optimization for search engines is a work-in-progress, but you can improve your chances of ranking by including relevant images that amplify the content present on the web page.
In addition, you must use appropriate alt tags to allow improved crawlability and allow visitors with poor network reception to gauge the idea represented by the visual. Further, you can add other elements, such as title tags and names to optimize images for your content.
How to optimize content for SEO?
When you are producing a ton of content, you want it to reach as many people as possible.
Undertaking a well-thought-out Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan would help you garner a wider audience organically.
Here are some tips for undertaking SEO content optimization –
Prepare for content decay
Things depreciate over time, and it plagues the content world too, but for good.
Google and other search engines are continually looking to improve user experience by ensuring that only the most relevant and updated content people are searching becomes a part of their SERP.
Older pages on your website can be subjected to decay for any of the following reasons –
- Your competition has updated its older content to cater to the present scenario.
- You are no longer promoting your older pages.
- There are significant changes that have taken place since you last updated the content on the web page.
So, you can start by checking the current ranking of the page in contention and deducing the reasons behind the content decay.
For this, you can go through the content appearing on the first few search result pages for your target keyword and analyze the reason behind them ranking on top.
The next step would be to make your existing content visually rich by adding infographic or video elements to cater to the modern audience.
You can also add newer content and remove the irrelevant parts from the old content piece.
Make sure you have well understood the recent developments and inculcated them in an interesting manner.
The last step is to promote. It can help you gain your target audience’s attention again and find newer backlinks to propel its ranking once again.
Find the right set of keywords to target
Everything new starts with the primary keyword you seek to target, and your target audience is interested in too.
It is the basic building block around which long tail, secondary keywords, and the final content will be formulated.
Keyword research is both easy and difficult, depending on how you approach it. You can use Scalenut’s SEO Assistant to help you understand search volumes and generate full-fledged content reports that would aid you in content creation.
Plus, it also helps in optimizing content directly in the editor.
Remember, finding the right set of keywords also depends on your target audience and the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) of your website.
So make sure you have everything in context before undertaking content research for your content optimization needs.
Look for semantically related keywords
When you are trying to rank for pets, targeting keywords like “best pets for a household” and others that are semantically related would lend you a higher chance to rank. It propels your chance of ranking for the primary keyword by enabling the search engines to deduce better the topic you are covering.
Before 2013, Google's algorithm focused on the frequency of a keyword for ranking purposes. But with Google Hummingbird update, the algorithm put greater emphasis on relevance of keywords instead of their quantity. It started focusing on semantic keywords, or keywords that were conceptually related to the original keyword.
For example, when you are looking to rank for “Digital Twin,” keywords like “digital transformation” and “IoT” would be meaningful, but incorporating “best Industry 4.0 advantages” would mean you are deviating from the original topic.
70% of people prefer gathering information from blogs to traditional advertisements. Today, we have over 600 million blogs accounting for over 2.5 billion blog posts annually.
If you are targeting competitive keywords, you will have to understand how search algorithms work.
Search bot analyzes the web pages to understand if they contain the relevant information the user is looking for.
In addition, Google is more bent towards presenting those pages on its first page that are proven experts for the search keywords.
So in order for you to create a valuable piece, you not only need to reproduce what your competitors are producing but also find additional stuff that would help differentiate.
For this, you need to understand the underlying themes and go through the questions asked around the topic, and then inculcate additional content accordingly.
While this seems like a strenuous task, creating in-depth pieces that showcase your technical superiority and broader coverage is vital for ranking for competitive keywords.
Understand keyword density
Understanding keyword density would enable you to differentiate between keyword-optimized and keyword-stuffed content.
While it is imperative for everything to look organic, focusing on a minimum keyword density of up to 3% would put you in good stead and give your content a higher chance of ranking. In addition, placing them on H1 and H2 headings can also give them a higher chance of online visibility.
Make sure to add internal links
Internal linking refers to adding links to existing content pieces from the same website.
It is one of the vital SEO elements for marketers and also allows search engine bots to rank more of your pages easier, bypassing authority from power pages. It also contributes to visitors staying longer on your web pages and finding topics that may interest them.
Develop link-worthy content
Backlink was worth a bomb back in the day. While its relevance is on a declining curve, with search engines focusing more on quality, it helps you leverage your existing content and gives it a higher chance to rank.
Backlinking should be editorially earned and come from relevant sites with good DA and PA scores.
A solid link-building strategy would enable you to gain a competitive advantage and give yourself a higher chance of improving visibility on your favorite search engine.
Make sure your content is social media relevant
One of the most significant aspects of content optimization is its high shareability quotient. Social media sharing is one of the easiest ways to reach a wider audience organically. But for that, you will have to create viral content deemed social media-worthy by your target audience.
For this, you can validate your audience’s opinion to help reinforce their beliefs and values via your content.
You can also develop a personal connection with your audience by inculcating certain elements, such as references or memes, that allow your readers and target audience to relate and pass it to their networks.
Inculcate precise CTAs
CTAs or click-to-action is one of the key reasons why you are spending your time and resources on creating content.
Unless your motive is solely to pass information, it is vital to organically push the readers to take a certain action, such as subscribing to the blog or reading another piece. Therefore, a CTA should resemble the user journey and be deemed actionable by your target audience.
Embark on seamless content optimization with Scalenut's SEO Assistant
Content optimization should be the vital element of every marketing strategy. Given that more and more people are creating content, it has become more crucial than ever to create pieces that stand out from the crowd while delivering superior value to the target audience.
Content optimization gives you the best chance to have a chunk of the available audience, position yourself as a leader in a particular sector, and convert leads into customers.
While understanding and focusing on the technical part is necessary to drive the requisite actions, it is also vital not to lose the human touch.
For this, you can take the help of a proven performer like Scalenut’s SEO Assistant. This all-in-one content optimization tool is built to optimize your content and help you create reports that cover the given keyword in-depth.
In addition, it also congregates NLP terms from top ranking pages along with showcasing what your competitor pages are focusing on. All of it helps you excel in your content optimization endeavour and create high-quality content ruthlessly.
So, what are you waiting for? Click here to join the Scalenut SEO Assistant bandwagon and supercharge your content creation abilities today.