With virtually every website on the internet looking to get to the top positions in Google SERP and drive maximum traffic, content optimization for SEO is an absolute must. Search engine algorithms continually evolve with time so do the rules of effective SEO-friendly content – making it increasingly important to ensure that your online content meets all requirements while simultaneously providing relevant information to users’ queries. Neglecting these critical steps may result in achieving poor results in terms of traffic and generating leads.
Don’t be left behind; make sure your website follows those SEO rules! Keep reading to learn more about how to optimize content for SEO.
- Content optimization means creating content that helps reach the website and business goals.
- Neglecting content optimization can result in poor results in terms of traffic and generating leads.
- Content optimization plays a crucial role in establishing an effective SEO presence.
- Creating relevant content for SEO requires coherence, logic, and value to the readers.
- Content optimization works by writing content about topics the target audience is searching for and using keywords to drive traffic to the website.
- In-depth keyword research is necessary to find the right topics and keywords that have traffic potential.
- Content must align with search intent and be consistent with keyword use, format, and angle.
- Including target keywords throughout the content is essential for content optimization.
- Headlines and subheadings must make sense to the audience and SEO to avoid confusing search engine bots.
- Content optimization requires regular updates to keep up with changes in search engine algorithms.
What Is Content Optimization?
To put it bluntly, content optimization means creating content, whether it is written, a video, or just simple images, that helps you reach your website and business goals in the best way possible.
Those goals could be to rank high in the search engine results pages or turn website visitors into leads and paying customers. To create this top-quality content, you need to do your homework. Research is the key to better understanding your audience’s preferences and getting the answers they are looking for.
You can’t do what your competitors did and simply write one or two paragraphs more and hope to rank high. Or even worse just rewrite what somebody else wrote just to reach a certain word count (believe me I’ve seen that…). That is heading back to the wild west days of SEO, and those strategies do not fly anymore.
Creating relevant content for SEO takes a lot of work, and you must remain coherent, and logical, and make it valuable to your readers.
Why content optimization is important for SEO
Content optimization plays a crucial role in establishing an effective SEO presence. What you place on your web pages not only reflects on you, your character, and your personality but helps search engine bots decide where you need to be in their rankings.
This objective is not just about writing great content. You could write the best content on the internet, and people will still not find your website or read what you have written. It’s like building a magnificent castle with no roads to get there.
There are reasons for that:
- You used keywords no one else uses
- You did not go in-depth on the topic you were writing about
- Your headlines or subheadings did not make sense to your audience and SEO
- Your title tag does not indicate anything about your subject matter
The good news is that when you are optimizing content for SEO, you can avoid making those mistakes and get more traffic to your website. That is the key reason why you do content SEO optimization. You drive more traffic to your website, and hopefully, your content will convert them into paying customers.
How Content Optimization Works
Let’s simplify it. You do content optimization by writing content about topics your target audience is searching for. Then you use the keywords they are using to help drive them to your website.
By doing both of these strategies, your website ranks higher and more people see your website in their search results. Once that happens, you get more traffic and possibly more converted visitors.
With the right SEO tools, you can find the relevant keywords your target audience is using. That helps you write better content that will attract the attention of search engine bots which will rank your website higher.
But if you do not do this research, then you may end up at the end of the results pages where no one looks.
How to optimize content for SEO – Practical Tips
Now that you know what is content optimization for SEO and how it works, you may ask: What are the keys to content optimization?
There are several steps involved that will help you create content for SEO results and make your web pages worth reading.
Let’s look into them.
1. Perform In-Depth Keyword Research
This research helps you focus on the most important elements of finding and using keywords. Those elements are:
- Finding the right topics and the right keywords
- Research-related keywords and phrases
- Picking keywords that have traffic potential
To do all three, you need some top keyword search tools. These tools will produce the best keywords you should use that will relate to your topic, attract crawlers, and produce more traffic.
Content SEO optimization depends on using the right keywords. If no one is using the keywords you have selected, chances are, no one will ever see what content you have put on your website.
2. Optimize Your Content Based On GSC Data
When an article hits page 2 or 3, run it through Google Search Console and see what keywords it’s ranking for.
More often than not, you’re going to find a handful of topics related to your article that you haven’t covered yet.
Give your article an upgrade, add more information about these topics/keywords, and watch your blog post jump in rankings!
3. Make sure your content aligns with the search intent
Now that you have the right keywords to use, it is time to write or build your content. As the saying goes, ‘content is king’; you need great content to hold your visitors and convert them into paying customers.
When you set out to produce your content, you need to make sure it aligns with what internet users are searching for. If it doesn’t, then your efforts will be wasted.
- Content-Type – Optimizing SEO content means that what is on your website needs to be consistent with your keyword use. If your keywords are for a blog post, then write a blog post.
- Content Format – Use the format that is popular with internet users using those top keywords. If it is a listicle that ranks high, go with a listicle, and on it goes
- Content Angle – This is your selling point. It should be unique but not so unique that it is outlandish or out of touch with your target audience. You may need to have a similar selling point as your competition.
4. Identify Search Intent
When creating or optimizing content for SEO, it is important to consider what people are searching for – this is known as search intent. Identifying and understanding it can help you create content that better meets the needs of your audience and help improve your website’s ranking in SERPs.
You should be aware of three primary types of search intent: informational, navigational, and transactional. Informational searches are looking for answers to questions, navigational searches want to find a specific page on your website, and transactional searches are looking to complete an action – such as making a purchase.
5. Include Target Keywords throughout the Content
In the old days, website owners simply repeated their keywords over and over, and their websites looked like someone got their keyboard keys stuck. You want to use your best keywords in your content but keep it natural and do not stuff the content with them.
Content optimization strategies include the use of target keywords. Still, with SEO evolution and Google updates, Google is much smarter at understanding what your content is about. It means that although keywords are valid, they don’t play that important role anymore.
6. Make Sure You Have Assigned Keywords to URLs
My most effective tip to optimize content for SEO is to do some keyword research and find 5-10 phrases that make the most sense for the URL to rank for. This means the searcher’s intent will match the content of the page you’re trying to optimize.
Then, make sure to get the main one or two phrases within your title tag and place all the others throughout the content somewhere, whether it be in the content, an alt text, header tags, or any internal links pointing to this page from other pages on your site. But the most important thing is to make sure you have assigned keywords to this URL, because that will guide all of your optimization efforts for that page.
7. Establish Your Structure
It makes no sense to invest in a lot of SEO tools if you cannot create great titles or sub-headings. If these are poorly done or make no sense, then those needed SEO bots will not rank your website very high.
You will want to use headings, headlines, or sub-headings properly. Keep them orderly, logical, and coherent, and make sure they relate to the content underneath them.
Then make those headings, etc., SEO-friendly. When you want to rank high, even your titles, headlines, etc., need to meet SEO regulations.
8. Optimize the Length of Your Content
It has been said that Google likes long content. The average post length that Google likes is between 2100 and 2400 words (HubSpot, 2020). Still, the best is to verify what kind of content ranks for the keyword you are focusing on. This will give you the best answer to how long your content should be.
Turn up your content to the next level. Gone are the days when a 300-word post with a few hyperlinks in it was enough to get your website boosted by the algorithm.
These days, Google prioritizes researched and reliably sourced long-form content.
You’ll need longer posts – around 2,000 words seems to be a sweet spot – and they should be high-quality content. If you want to optimize for SEO, you have to do the work.
9. Don’t Try to Create Have-it-all Universal Content
SEO success often boils down to building the right kind of content – and refraining from trying to make it all-encompassing. Despite popular belief, SEO optimization can’t be achieved by stuffing your webpage with a few keywords or cramming several SEO tactics into one piece of content.
SEO requires diversifying your strategy into different pieces that target specific objectives. Dedicate separate pieces to linkable assets, time-sensitive clickable content, and long-term organic traffic builders. This approach helps you create content tailored towards SEO success while keeping quality high and avoiding redundancies in your deliverables.
In the end, breaking up your strategy into granular parts is the key to creating SEO-optimized content that’s both effective and enjoyable for readers!
10. Add Visuals and Multimedia
What is the key to content optimization? One of the keys is to add videos, images, multi-media productions, and similar content. Internet users do not spend a lot of time looking at a website before deciding to stay or go.
By adding visuals and videos you can make sure they stay on your web pages a lot longer. Be creative but do not go over the top when doing this. Keep these visuals relevant to your topic and other content.
11. Add internal and external links for SEO
This has been a long-term SEO strategy. Linking to your previous web pages on the same topic or to authoritative websites around the internet helps improve your ranking.
What will help you find those links faster is, when you get time, to make a list of articles that relate to your current topic. Then you can add those links faster without losing a lot of time searching for them during your content production.
If you need to, update those older web pages to keep them relevant.
Internal linking is essential for SEO because it helps to distribute link equity throughout a website, strengthening its overall authority. It also helps users navigate a website and find related content, improving their experience and increasing the chances of engagement and conversions. Additionally, internal links can help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of a website, leading to improved crawlability and indexing. When we started implementing a strategic way of internal linking in SmartWriter, it helped us improve our rankings in the SERP in a very short time span.
12. Consider Technical Elements
This sounds harder than it really is, but when you want content for SEO, you need to audit your technical SEO for problems. This means you need to track down and fix broken links, upgrade core web vitals, organize meta tags, and make sure your alt tags are placed in your content correctly.
Any of these and other technical issues can undermine your keyword and content work. You want to do an audit regularly to make sure all pages are loading quickly; links are working, and so on.
13. Be Aware of Cannibalization
It is a big word that puts a big scary picture in your mind. Everyone has heard about cannibals and what they do. Thankfully, that definition does not apply to your SEO strategy or results.
Cannibalization in the internet context means you have optimized many different web pages for the same keyword. This makes those web pages compete with each other.
Then when the SEO bots see this, your rankings can be hurt. To find out if you are using the same keyword, Google it. You do that by using the following equation– Site: [website name] “[keyword], then add ^ for an exact match.
14. Make sure it’s easy and enticing to read
Have you ever read a history textbook? For most people, not very interesting and certainly not easy to read. That is an example of what you do not want for your website. While you do not want it on the level of a comic book either, you still need to make it easy to read and compelling.
Content is king, so if you cannot write great content, hire someone who can. Don’t copy other websites’ content. There are many websites that do this word for word, and it is not interesting or helpful when you are researching a specific topic.
15. Use Location-Specific Phrases
International and national searches are not the only searches internet users do. Most often, internet users are searching for businesses that are near them. When you are optimizing content for SEO, you need to put specific geographical locations in your content or subheadings to rank on those search results.
People won’t find you if you do not show up on their results page. Location-specific phrases make sure you have a shot of reaching those internet users who are doing local searches.
You can even place these phrases in your H1 headline tags. Most of your business will come from your local area, so you need to make sure those local internet users can find you easily.
16. Cover the Topic in Depth
When you are writing on a very competitive topic or set of keywords, your content has to be very detailed, comprehensive, and better than your competitors’ content.
This is no time to be lazy and simply write basic information. You have to do the research and put out well-written content that covers the topic thoroughly, as well as logically and in a coherent manner.
You can do this by creating topic clusters. This is where you have several keywords that describe the same topic but from different angles. Or you can create content benchmarks. You get these from analyzing the top 10 ranked posts for specific keywords, and those benchmarks include:
- Word count
- The number of images and videos
- Total internal and external links
- Keyword usage in the content and headlines
- Keyword variations in the content
- Content type (list post, guide, tutorial, buying guide, informational, comparison, etc.)
- Search intent (what does it help the user achieve?)
This information will help you decide the length, quality, type, nature, and search intent of your content.
17. Use Schema Markup
One effective tip to optimize content for SEO is to use schema markup. Schema markup is a kind of code that lets search engines understand immediately what your business offers and where it’s located. It tells the algorithm what type of data you’re providing, from address information to ratings and reviews, so that it can be displayed in rich results on SERP (search engine result page)s.
For example, you can add restaurant snippets to your website with schema markup-this provides an overview displaying photos, star ratings, reviews, and more, instead of simply the link for visitors to click through.
Incorporating this kind of semantic markup helps you stand out from the competition in SERPs and increases potential engagement with customers.
To learn more about Schema Markup watch the SEOwind video.
18. Create Pillar Content
Another effective strategy to optimize your content for SEO is creating pillar content. Pillar content is a comprehensive, detailed piece of content on a specific topic. This kind of content represents a useful and valuable resource for users seeking exhaustive information about a relevant subject.
From an SEO perspective, pillar content helps establish website authority and credibility, and, with the various targeted blog posts, helps search engines understand your website structure and hierarchy.
19. Use of the ‘People Also Ask’ Questions in Your Content
By making use of the PAA (People Also Ask) questions in your content, you can improve the user experience. These subheadings give users an idea of the content’s structure and what topics will be covered, making it easier for them to find the information they’re looking for quickly.
This can increase the chances of users staying on your website longer and potentially taking other desired actions, such as filling out a form or making a purchase. It’s important to ensure that the content you create in response to each PAA question provides valuable and in-depth information. This helps to establish your website as an authoritative source of information and improve its visibility in search results over time.
Optimizing SEO Content Also Includes
The above is just the starting point when you want to create content for SEO purposes. There are other strategies you should focus on as well. Those include the following:
- Using Quora Questions and Reddit insights to help drive traffic to your website,
- Updating your content on a regular basis,
- Optimizing Page Title, URL, and Headlines,
- Include interesting Meta descriptions and Meta tags.
3 Hacks for optimizing and updating your content
Looking for some hacks to optimize already published content? Look no further. We are sharing proven frameworks that bring results.
When you want to be at the top of the internet pile and rank #1, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Not only does your content have to be better than everyone else’s, but you also need to practice strong content optimization SEO.
The lazy person does not win the prize, so do your homework and be prepared to spend time researching what you need to create great content that drives traffic to your website. Once you get that traffic, hopefully, your content will be so compelling it will convert those visitors into paying customers.
Nothing is guaranteed, though, as everyone else is doing the same thing. You just have to be smarter and work harder to get the results you want.