Are you struggling to get your website or blog noticed? Do you feel like your content is not reaching its full potential? Optimizing your content can help improve your search engine rankings and increase your visibility online.
Optimizing your website for search engines can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. In this blog post, I’ll discuss how optimizing your content can help improve your website’s SEO and provide you with some tips to get started.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of content optimization, provide a content optimization checklist, and include software tools that can help you generate some great content for your blog or website.
Table of Contents
- Why is Content Optimization Important?
- How much time and effort is required?
- Strategy #1: Optimize content for social sharing
- Strategy #2: Optimize content for mobile devices
- Strategy #3: Optimize content for user experience
- Existing Content Optimization
- Mistakes made when optimizing content
- Content Optimization Checklist
- Content Optimization Software
- Final Thoughts
Why is Content Optimization Important?
Content optimization is the process of creating and optimizing your website’s content to make it more search engine friendly. By doing so, you’ll increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more traffic to your site.
When search engines crawl your site, they look for specific signals to understand what your site is about and how relevant it is to a particular search query. By optimizing your content, you make it easier for search engines to understand your site and rank it accordingly.
How content optmization helps your SEO:
- ensures you are targeting the right keywords for your website
- checks your keywords are placed throughout your content
- checks your content is structured correctly (headings, subheadings, lists etc)
- includes sufficient number of internal and external links to help readers find more relevant information
How much time and effort is required?
We only have a limited amount of time to devote to working on content each day. A natural question is how much time is it going to take?
Well, many SEO techniques to improve your content can be done relatively quickly. A full audit will obviously take some time. I recommend using an automated SEO audit tool to check your website. More on software later in the article.
Here are some quick ways to improve your SEO:
- Check your blog titles are 60 characters or less (ideally 50 or less)
- Check you have a meta description and it’s length is 160 characters or less
- Check you have included subheadings in your content
- Bonus: include related keywords in your subheadings
- use an image compressor tool to optimize your images
- ensure every image has an alt tag
Title and meta description length will affect the visual appearance of your links in Google search engine results pages so it is worth quickly fixing any issues you find.
Image compression will affect how quickly your web pages load. This will affect the bounce rate and user engagement of your website. Users are not patient and will leave a slow loading website.
Missing subheadings or missing keywords will affect your ranking position resulting in less traffic to your website.
Let’s examine various ways you could optimize your content.
Strategy #1: Optimize content for social sharing
One way to get a lot of views and traffic to your website or social media profile is by optimizing your content for social media platforms.
To maximize the shareability of your content:
- craft attention grabbing headlines (think BuzzFeed)
- prompt your readers to share your content at the bottom of all your articles
- add social media sharing buttons to your content
- add a plugin to make a tweetable quote from your article with a “Tweet this” button
- add a plugin to add pins to your images so they can be easily added to Pinterest
- engage on social media about your content, respond to comments and messages and build relationships with your audience
Make your content shareable to increase the chances it goes viral.
Focus on making your content shareable
Strategy #2: Optimize content for mobile devices
Everyone has mobile devices today. Prioritizing your content for mobile devices can give you a competitive advantage.
To prioritize for mobile devices ensure the following:
- choose a fast, lightweight theme for your website
- ensure theme is responsive and mobile friendly
- don’t use popups or other annoying widgets that take up a lot of screen space
- compress and reduce image sizes so they load quickly on mobile devices
- find and fix mobile usability issues (use Google Search Console to identify issues)
- add plenty of white space around content, buttons and links
Building a fast loading, mobile friendly website can give you a competitive advantage. Mobile friendly websites will benefit with higher ranking positions as Google uses your mobile layout for crawling and indexing purposes.
Focus on a mobile friendly layout using a fast, lightweight theme
Strategy #3: Optimize content for user experience
Focus and prioritize the user experience when using your website.
To use this strategy prioritize the following:
- high quality, engaging content (look at bounce rates and average time on site)
- conversion rates (how often users “convert”, e.g. download a PDF, buy something, signup for a newsletter
- use an easy to read font, ensure font size is big enough for readers of all ages
- ensure theme colors, buttons and links have high contrast
- focus on value to your users (useful, relevant, actionable content that helps your readers)
- use visual (images, infographics, charts) to make your content more engaging
- make your content scannable (subheadings, table of contents, lists, bold and italic for emphasis)
- know your audience – produce content aimed for your target audience
This can be a time consuming strategy as you will have to find, research and produce high quality content consistently. The rewards are high traffic to your website and good user engagement leading to high conversion rates.
Focus on producing high quality, engaging content
Existing Content Optimization
If you already have content on your website, you can still optimize it to improve your SEO. Here are some steps you can take to optimize your existing content:
- Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords for your content
- Update your content with relevant keywords and phrases
- Optimize your meta title and description to include your target keywords
- Use header tags to structure your content
- Include internal and external links to relevant content
Use Google Search Console or your analytics software to find content that is not performing well. Review the content for SEO issues and opportunities for improvement.
You can use the widget below to quickly find keyword ideas. Type a keyword phrase, e.g. “keto diet” to see a report for similar keywords including monthly search volume and difficulty.
Mistakes made when optimizing content
Beware of some common pitfalls when optimizing your content. Google makes it clear your content needs to be people-first, not written primarily for the purposes of ranking highly on search engines.
Don’t use unnatural titles or subheadings to fit in a keyword phrase. Use natural language, Google will still rank you for keyword phrases even if you modify the wording to fit more naturally into the sentence.
Over-optimization, don’t optimize too much. Adding too many keywords can actually hurt your rankings more than help them.
Not using enough internal links. This is easily done, I do it myself. It can be hard to remember all your previous content and what other content would be useful to link to. Internal links are powerful, to the reader, and help search engines understand your website better.
Focusing on quantity over quality. Don’t write 1500 or 2000 words just because you think that is the correct number for an article. Some articles can be 1000 words or less and still rank well. Just write the appropriate amount of content for the topic. Long form content is not always the answer, see this article: Short form vs long form content. Which is better?
Content Optimization Checklist
Here’s a quick content optimization checklist to ensure your content is search engine friendly:
- Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords for your content
- Use keywords in your page title, meta description, and URL
- Use header tags (H1, H2, H3) to structure your content
- Use descriptive alt tags for images
- Ensure your content is mobile-friendly (read here on how to fix mobile usability issues)
- Include internal links to relevant content
- include external links to relevant websites (to provide more information and context to the reader)
- Use social media sharing buttons to encourage social sharing
Content Optimization Software
Content optimization can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a lot of content on your website. Fortunately, there are several content optimization software tools available that can help make the process easier.
Use SEO software and tools to perform a web audit on your content. In a few minutes you can have a complete audit of your website content and any SEO issues found. To see what a web audit report looks like click on the banner to check out your website for SEO issues. Enter your website domain to generate the report:
Here are some popular content optimization software tools:
- All in One SEO (read the review here: All in One SEO Plugin will make you better at SEO)
- SE Ranking (reviewed here: SE Rankings Review – Affordable SEO tool that’s surprising good)
- Google Search Console
Optimizing your content is an important part of improving your website’s SEO. By making your content search engine friendly, you can attract more traffic to your site and increase your online visibility.
Actionable steps to improve your content:
- Title length 60 characters or less (include primary keyword)
- Meta description 160 characters or less (include primary keyword)
- Subheadings (H2 and H3) added with related keywords
- Add images – use image compression and ensure width and height are not too large
- Add internal links to other relevant content on your website
- Add external links so the reader can research related topics or the main topic in more depth
Remember to conduct keyword research before writing your article. If you’re struggling to optimize your content, consider using content optimization software to make the process easier. I use SE Ranking, it covers all your needs for creating content, including:
- automated SEO web audit – schedule weekly reports emailed to you
- keyword research including monthly search volume, difficulty and competition
- competitor research
- keyword tracker
- affordable (customize to your needs)
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