In this article, you’ll get a closer look at content optimization tips for better visibility, higher rankings in SERPs, and skyrocket conversion.
Having been in web content creation and promotion for 10 years already, I had the time and resources to develop a bunch of actionable tips on how to write, format, and organize it to get the most out of your content efforts.
Ready to get this ball rolling?
Content optimization is the process of crafting your text or any other content type so it would become more visible on the web and meet the goal you prescribe: high rankings in search engines, virality, more conversions, etc.
Optimization is about content improvement:
In 2023, content optimization goes far beyond writing 500-800 words of text with keyworded subheads and a few images inside. As a content creator, you now have many instruments to ensure your asset has the best chance of winning the audience’s hearts and search engine robots’ loyalty.
Proper optimization improves your content’s performance and helps you accomplish the marketing goal you put into it.
According to Zippia, more than six million posts go live daily now. With so much content available, users experience banner blindness: They don’t notice ads and any information that looks like direct selling in the content they expected to be educational, informative, or entertaining. Plus, there’s a content shock: the inability to consume the increasing content volume.
Add to this the ever-decreasing attention span, and you’ll understand why advanced content optimization is a must today. It allows you to swim out of the mediocre content ocean, make Google see you are worth ranking higher, and grab user attention.
Fully optimized content is about:
- Higher rankings: The strategic use of keywords and giving your content a purpose to solve a searcher’s problem is a surefire way to rank high.
- Better visibility: More than half of all clicks come from the SERP’s top three positions, and stellar optimization is your chance to place your content high enough for more people to see it.
- More backlinks: Original content, like that provided by Writing Help, comprehensive and optimized, encourages other websites in your niche to backlink to it. It signals search engines that your content is relevant, trustworthy, and thus deserving of higher rankings.
And now, to practice:
What can you do with content assets to optimize them for better performance and stellar results?
For your content to succeed, it should target a keyword with traffic potential (otherwise, no one will search for it) and align with the search intent (the reason behind a user’s query).
How to know if you choose a keyword with traffic potential for your content asset?
Keyword explorer tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or others can help here:
- Go to the tool, enter one or several keywords related to your content’s topic, and check the matching terms to see keyword ideas with all the data you need.
- Check a keyword’s traffic potential to understand whether it’s worth optimizing your content page for it.
If your website is new or has a relatively low authority (yet!), it’s also worth considering the keyword difficulty factor: It shows how challenging it will be to win SERPs with that particular keyword in your content.
Besides a keyword itself, Google prioritizes its search intent, aka the reason why users type it in a search. (What they expect to see in SERPs.) If your content fails to meet this intent, it’s a signal to Google that it’s irrelevant and doesn’t deserve ranking for this search term.
How to understand the search intent behind a particular keyword? Go to Google with it and analyze the top three results for content type, content format, and content angle.
- Content type: Are there blog posts, product pages, or landing pages ranking on the SERPs for your target keyword?
- Content format: Are there listicles, how-to’s, reviews, step-by-step guides, or other formats for that particular query?
- Content angle: Does it sell anything, share strategies, provide discounts, or navigate readers?
It will help you understand what content to create and how to optimize it to get the chance of ranking for that particular query.
Now that you have a proper keyword for your content, it’s time to craft it in the best way possible. Do your best to focus on the quality:
Your content should cover everything a searcher might want to know about the topic. It needs to be comprehensive and able to compete with other top-ranking posts similar to yours. In plain English, craft content that will be ten times better than the content already ranking for a given keyword or topic.
Examine the top posts in SERPs, find content gaps and potentially missing subtopics, and plan your content accordingly.
Also, ensure to follow Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines:
- Your content should come from an author who has Experience in what they are writing.
- The Expertise of the content creator also matters.
- The Authoritativeness of your resource and content author will influence the rankings, either.
- Finally, take care of Trustworthiness (content authenticity and credibility): Use references, expert quotes, social proofs, and other instruments to earn trust from the audience.
Content usability and readability do matter for its overall success: When crafting your content asset, ensure it will be easy and captivating to read.
Do you know that reading online is 25% slower than from print, and users don’t read your webpage from beginning to end? More than that, Nielsen Norman Group researched that users scan content (they read only 20-28% of the words on a page) and focus on the main points only.
With that in mind, format your content so that it’s easy to skim yet get the message you want to communicate:
- Add a table of contents where appropriate: It will offer easy navigation to tell readers what’s inside.
- Consider the rules of web writing: short paragraphs and sentences, no fluff (cliches, redundant adverbs, complex words), descriptive subheads, visual comprehension (bullet points, bold takeaways, relevant images, etc.)
- Prioritize the information: Put the valuable info at the top and the nice-to-know — at the bottom.
- Follow the rules of SEO writing specified at Writing Breeze: Use emotional headlines, pay attention to content structure, remember image optimization, and update your old content assets regularly.
Yeah, everybody knows it, but so many specialists still ignore it:
Meta titles and descriptions are still critical for content optimization. As Google itself says, well-written descriptions bring more clicks as they “sell” your content to users, explaining what they will find if they click.
The title and description are the first elements of your content users see in SERPs, so it’s critical to optimize them for searchers to understand if your asset is what they looked:
Make them engaging and descriptive.
For meta titles: make them short (70 characters max), sweet, super specific, and benefit-oriented (answer the “What’s in there for me?” question; why a reader should click and check your content.)
For meta descriptions: make them informative and structured as a sentence, not a bunch of keywords separated by commas. You have 120 characters max: Include your target keyword and ensure it explains how the content matches search intent. (Thus, users will know if they’ve found relevant information.)
This step is more about content promotion, but it’s still critical for optimization:
Backlinks to your content help it get higher in Google’s SERPs because they signal its high quality and relevance to what users want to see. How to get backlinks to your content from authoritative websites?
First, let them know about its existence: Plan the outreach campaign where you’ll share the content URL to relevant influencers and websites in your niche.
Share your content whenever possible for a broader audience to see it. (Sure thing, consider the relevancy and value of those resources.) Remember your network: Email the content to potentially interested contacts and partners and ask them to share it with their audience.
If you have resources, consider guest posting. According to SEMrush experts, it’s among the three most effective link-building strategies. (But please note that it’s a long game, and you won’t see the results of your guest blogging endeavors at once.)
Content optimization is a must to stand out from the crowd and get the most out of your marketing endeavors. Whatever your content goal — more visibility and traffic, virality, backlinks, or conversion — it’s faster and easier to accomplish if you optimize it right.
The above tips are your starting point when optimizing website content for higher rankings in SERPs, increased traffic, and better conversion.
About the Author
Lesley Vos is a professional copywriter and guest contributor with ten years of experience in web content creation. She writes for websites on digital marketing and professional growth, helping small and medium business websites to communicate their message to the target audiences.