No matter the scale of your company or the industry you operate in, content optimization plays a major role in your overall online visibility and conversion rates. According to research, only 22% of businesses are fully satisfied with their conversion rates. It’s also worth noting that Google accounted for 79% of total search engine traffic in 2017, meaning that content optimization does matter in the scheme of organic ranking.
This goes to show that content optimization and SEO aren’t as straightforward as many would lead you to believe. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several steps which can help you optimize your content for better ranking, engagement, and subsequent conversion, as well as why you should care about the process in the first place.
Benefits of Content Optimization for Search Engines
To start off, let’s take a look at several benefits of content optimization and why you should invest time and resources into the process. Brand recognition is very difficult to obtain, especially in the age of social media and numerous startups that pop up constantly. By introducing well-optimized content with your company’s name on it, you will teach the audience to associate your brand with quality, professionalism, and trust.
Since your brand isn’t the only one on the market, quality content marketing can help you stand out from the crowd. Your competitors will pay closer attention to your business model, marketing methods and overall product/service portfolio. You can even attract potential investors and partners through said content if adequate CTAs and incentives are present in each content piece.
Finally, digital content is built to last. Any content piece you publish will bear your URL, company name and keywords for as long as you keep it online. Don’t look at content optimization as a necessary evil – instead, look on the bright side and the high RoI that comes with it.
Investing in outsourcing of content creation and optimization bears long-term benefits for each brand. There is no downside to content publishing as long as the topics and target audiences are aligned – quite the opposite in fact.
Take Trends into Consideration
Once you decide to create content for your brand’s followers and future customers, make sure to take notice of popular trends. Each industry has certain happenings, yearly events, competitions and other discussion-worthy topics to consider.
All of these can serve as a backdrop for your content creation and attract a hefty following to your side. The reason for chasing trends (at least at first) is simple – search engines favor trending topics and original content in equal measure. Writing about a popular topic from your brand’s point of view can net you a lot of favorable points both from industry stakeholders and curious onlookers on the internet.
Write First, Optimize Afterward
Stop-and-go writing won’t lead you anywhere anytime soon. Whether you write personally or delegate content to your coworkers, make sure that content creation comes first and foremost. Don’t optimize content as you go, instead opt to do it afterward. Make sure that your point comes across in the writing itself before you start optimizing the content, formatting your writing or editing out unnecessary parts.
Brian Markey, SEO specialist at Resumes Centre shares: “I see too many writers and bloggers make the mistake of writing with keywords in mind beforehand. This leads to very robotic, stilted writing which makes it obvious that the writer wrote the content with optimization in mind, rather than quality and originality.”
Headings and Subheadings for SEO
When it comes to the content optimization process itself, the rules are set in stone most of the time. Google, Bing, and Yahoo (among others) follow a general set of SEO rules governed by Google’s tools such as Adwords and Keyword Planner.
Your content should have clearly defined headings and subheadings (tagged with H1, H2, etc.) in order to make them legible to search engines. If your content contains headings and subheadings paired with popular keywords and phrases, your search engine ranking will already receive quite a bump upward. Remember that it is not enough to simply increase the font sizes of your titles and call it a day – tags are an important part of the process.
Content Optimization Platforms
In terms of manual content optimization in SEO, you should never rely solely on rudimentary text editors such as Microsoft Office. While some basic copywriting, title optimization and editing can be done through services such as Blog Ideas Generator, Grammarly or EssaySupply.com, you should still look for ways to objectively optimize your content.
It’s a good idea to expand your tools arsenal with specialized platforms dedicated to content legibility, SEO and formatting. Platforms such as Online Writers Rating, Hemingway, and others offer plenty of opportunities for you to make your content easier to read and more viable for search ranking. Once you figure out which tools and platforms suit your content in the best way, you will be able to easily streamline the optimization process and publish more content, more quickly as a result.
Technical Multimedia Optimization
While multimedia content (such as images, videos, podcasts, etc.) are a welcome addition to your content plan, you should never directly host them on your website. Multimedia files are far bigger than plain text meaning that they take longer to load and have a large impact on the visitors’ bandwidth.
Even well-optimized images and videos can drag your search engine ranking through the mud if you’re not careful. Pay close attention to file size over quality ration when you consider the option of adding multimedia to your written text as a welcome but often problematic addition.
In this instance, it’s a good idea to use third-party platforms such as YouTube and Imgur to host your multimedia and link it back to your site for good measure. You will not only have a varied content plan to look forward to but also a fast and reliable website which more people can access in its entirety.
Balance your Backlinks
Links within your content prove that you have added value to add to your already high-quality content. External links are a great way to network with other content platforms, brands, and stakeholders whose content you will add as additional resources. Internal links, on the other hand, can lead your visitors to other parts of your website, product pages and contact forms which will allow them to engage your company on a bigger level.
Content pieces without any links, however, fare poorly in the SEO department because it comes off as isolated from other quality content sources. Check your links’ sources and weigh whether or not you want your brand to be associated with them. If so, you can add links to your content in hyperlinks and footnotes to add to your overall search engine appeal.
Calls to Action Make a Difference
Engagement rates can easily be inflated by adding calls to action to your content. CTAs or calls to action are a popular marketing tool which allows marketers to spark interaction with the audience. You can ask your readers to “subscribe”, “buy now” or conduct any form of interaction within the bounds of your client-customer relation.
“Content without CTAs is bound to fail in engaging the reader because it will come off as passive,” states Ethan White, co-founder of Citatior. The information contained in your content should be a catalyst for some form of action on the readers’ part. Whether that action is conversion into subscribers or customers is up to you and the goals you are trying to reach with your current content calendar.
In short, there are a lot of elements at play when it comes to content optimization before publishing. However, it’s worth noting that you can always optimize your content retroactively with new tools and methods you pick up later on.
It’s generally advised to optimize your content in a certain way across the board in order to make it a part of a whole. That way, any piece of content that comes out of your company will have a distinct look and feel to it, allowing you to grow your reach and reputation online organically as time goes on.