Creating really high-quality content is not an easy task, especially if the goal is to write texts that are well received by search engines. As the volume of content grows, so does the level of competition. Only high-quality, optimized content brings maximum benefit. How to make the process of its creation painless? We have compiled a list of recommendations for content optimization, affecting technical and other aspects.
1. FINDING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS FOR TARGETING
Let’s take our article as an example. Why are we writing about content optimization? This topic is relevant to a wide audience of users. It has a high potential for attracting customers, contains a key phrase for which you can rank highly.
Ahrefs, a keyword reviewer, reported the following results: 300 searches per month for “content optimization” in the US. The potential traffic is even higher as there are many related keyword phrases and there are countries other than the US. The service also gave this keyword a 7 on a difficulty scale. It is based on the average number of links to articles included in the TOP 10 search results.
Note: The maximum difficulty score is 100 points. 7 points mean there are links to 8 sites. If the score were 70 out of 100, this would indicate there are hundreds of links.
Provided that good content is created, the author of the article will receive at least 8 good links, providing a good chance of high positions in the search results. It’s not difficult to compete for a specific keyword with sites with similar authority indicators. The situation changes dramatically if the competitor is a super-authoritative resource. Domain name authority is an important attribute of successful project promotion. With the right approach, it can be created in about 90 days.
2. OPTIMIZATION FOR SEO
Search engines are using ever smarter content analysis algorithms. Therefore, the presence of key phrases in the direct entry in the meta-titles, description, URL is not a prerequisite for a successful promotion. If the site is new and has a low ranking, it is better to use direct keyword matches in all of the listed places.
Not sure if all your published content is SEO optimized? You can find out using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool. It analyzes the site, identify various problems: duplicate titles, long or missing descriptions, missing alt attributes, etc. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is capable of finding broken links.
By eliminating the problems of search engine optimization on the pages, you can achieve higher positions in the search results.
3. OPTIMIZING CONTENT FOR SHARING
Are you working hard to create quality content and want it to stand out from the crowd every time someone shares it on social media? To accomplish this, you need to “tell” social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) what information to display when a link to your site is posted.
Content optimization on Facebook is done using the Open Graph protocol. In fact, Facebook gets snippets of code for interpretation later:
- Title (title) tag tells Facebook what your page is about and how it should appear in the Social Graph.
- The description tag provides information about your page and encourages people to click through.
- The image tag is for hosting the URL of the image that represents your page on the Social Graph.
All of these tools will help you optimize your content for posting on Facebook, but in the case of Twitter, there is more work to be done. Twitter Cards can help you with this. These are summary cards containing the title, description, and page thumbnail that are displayed every time someone shares your content on Twitter.
All this takes time and effort. If your site is built on the WordPress platform, the Yoast SEO plugin can help simplify things with built-in parameters for defining Open Graph and Twitter Card tags. You need to go to SEO> Social Networks in the WordPress dashboard and select the appropriate tab (Facebook, Twitter, or another social network).
After enabling the Open Graph metadata for Facebook, the plugin will automatically fill in most of the tags. For pages without images, you can choose a default image. In the case of Twitter, you need to enable card metadata, then select the default card template.
At the end of all the settings, it will not be superfluous to check the correctness of content optimization. The special tool Knowem.com will help with this.
4. OPTIMIZATION FOR READING
Many webmasters put so much effort into optimizing content for SEO that they sometimes forget to structure it to be readable. Structured content is better and easier for site visitors. You can improve the readability of texts in the following ways:
- Write in short sentences and divide the text into paragraphs. Many readers scan the text in search of a quick solution to the problem. Therefore, you should write in essence, paragraphs should consist of a maximum of four sentences, contain a complete thought.
- Make subheadings to break down text blocks. If the reader likes the subheadings, they will most likely read the entire article.
- Use copywriting techniques. There are techniques and tricks to grab and hold the reader’s attention.
5. IMAGE OPTIMIZATION
High-quality, relevant images draw the audience’s attention to your content. You need to make sure your images are optimized for search engines. Google is unable to view images. In order for the search engine to understand the meaning of the posted images, you need to add “alt” attributes corresponding to the page content. The image is also given a name that is displayed when the mouse is hovering over the image.
To load images correctly, you need to make sure that they are of the correct size (resolution). Overly high-quality images take up a lot of disk space and take a long time to load, ruining the overall impression of your content. For fast loading, the image compression mechanism is used.
Tinypng is one of the best image compression tools out there. Able to reduce the amount of memory (occupied by an image) by 30% or more, it does not degrade image quality.
6. PLACEMENT OF RELEVANT LINKS
Relinking is important from a CEO’s point of view. It also improves your overall site experience by making it easier to find relevant content on your site or third-party resources. For example, this article contains a link to a similar article published on the same site.
Internal links have a big impact on SEO by helping to distribute link power across all pages on your site. It will not be superfluous to post links to articles published on other authoritative resources.
7. OUTREACH TO ATTRACT EVEN MORE TRAFFIC
Once you have posted links to relevant articles on other sites, you should request backlinks. The bottom line is that the more authoritative domains link to your site, the higher the chances of getting into the top of search results. Links from popular sites have a lot of authority and attract the most relevant traffic to your site. The search for links is performed as follows:
- Connect and configure Brand24, a tool for tracking mentions of key phrases your content is targeting.
- Get notified of new posts with these keywords.
- Make a list of sites and find contact emails using special services.
- Use Zerobounce to validate email addresses.
- Build link building with email outreach tools.
The content for each site or contractor must be personalized. This contributes to more effective outreach.
8. SPEED OPTIMIZATION
While website load speed optimization may not be directly related to content optimization, it does have a huge impact on the overall user experience of your website. If the site is loading for more than 2 seconds, the user is likely to leave it without waiting for the content to load. In addition, search engines also factor in page load speed in their search rankings.
Download speed is an important parameter that is controlled by GTMetrix and other online services. If the site is loading slowly, this problem needs to be fixed.
There are many factors that affect the page speed of a website. GTMetrix will demonstrate the loading speed of each item. Speed optimization is to speed up the loading of all items that are loading too slowly.
The main reason for “slow pages” is too large image files. You need to go through all the image files and compress them if needed. If your site is powered by WordPress, you can use the EWWW Image Optimizer or other plugins that scan site images and compress their size to improve site performance.
9. OPTIMIZATION FOR MAILING LISTS
Content marketers always strive to get the user’s email address – this is the most important target action for them. The bottom line is that email allows them to return leads, direct them through the sales funnel. First of all, you need to learn how to request an email address. The most effective way is to upgrade the content.
Content Upgrades are offers to familiarize yourself with a particular content posted on blog article pages, which also include a subscription offer at the top and bottom of the article. You can offer any upgrades in exchange for an email address. The main thing is that these upgrades (checklists, reports, manuals) are closely related to the topic of the article on the page where they are posted. Getresponse Autofunnel is one of the best tools for getting your email subscriber into your sales funnel.
The subscriber enters an effective sales funnel containing a product page, an order form, a webinar (if required). The tool allows you to track analytics at every stage of the sales funnel.
10. ADDING STRUCTURED DATA AND MICRO-MARKUP
Micro-markup not only contributes to the growth of a site’s ranking in your search engine but also increases the degree of its user-friendliness. What is micro-markup?
In simple terms, micro-markup is a way to help a search engine understand the context of a page on your site using specific attributes. It also helps to increase the relevance of search results.
The micro-markup of the site is checked using the Structured Data Testing Tool. To check, you need to enter the site URL or paste a code snippet into a special field. Adding structured data markup to WordPress sites is done using the Schema plugin.
This list of items to optimize seems overwhelming at first glance. Once you start optimizing each piece of content before publishing it, you quickly get used to it. Optimizing content is an integral part of the creation process, not a side task or routine that you do from time to time.