Are your results not as you expected?
It's not enough to create great content in today's highly competitive and crowded SERPs. If you want your content to rank well and to sell, it must be optimized.
This doesn't mean just optimizing content for Google. Optimizing your content for readability, and conversions is also important.
Confused? This guide will help you. This guide will show you how to optimize your content. We'll cover:
- What is content optimization?
- why you need content optimization
- How to optimize your content for SEO
- How to optimize your content for style and readability
- How to optimize your content for conversions
- Common optimization errors
Ready? Let's begin.
What is Content Optimization?
Content optimization refers to the process of improving and updating your content in order to achieve its goals. This could be ranking on Google but could also include converting customers or building backlinks. It could be a combination of multiple of these metrics.
Why do you need content optimization?
SEO is key to ranking. Content optimization is crucial. From a reader's point of view, you might have the best article anywhere. If you don't optimize your content for Google, it will not rank.
There are many other benefits to getting your content to rank on Google. These benefits include:
- Earning backlinks
- growing your audience
- Increasing leads
- Building trust
Your content's readability can increase audience engagement and build trust with your readers. This can help position your brand as an authority. Trusting a brand that invests time in content creation is much easier than trusting one that produces poorly written content.
If you want to make the most of your efforts, optimizing content for conversions will be crucial. It's unlikely that you will ever write the most effective piece of copy, so it is important to tweak your headings, target new keywords, and improve your CTA. You should also keep in mind that conversion goals may change over time and your content should adapt accordingly.
SEO Content Optimization
Content optimization is all about improving your content's ranking. Let's begin by discussing how to optimize your content for SEO.
Keyword research is the first step in optimizing content for SEO. It is important to ensure that you are targeting the right keyword.
- Has traffic potential
- You can rank for
Ubersuggest is a great way to find keywords that are suitable. You can use the Keyword Ideas tool for a list of keywords that are relevant to your search.
img alt="Keyword research by Ubersuggest for content optimizing" class="wp-image-164735" height="375" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization3.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization3.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization3-350×188.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
The keyword you choose should best represent your content. It must also have a reasonable amount of traffic and be difficult to find. Optimizing for terms with a higher SEO difficulty than 50 is not advisable if your site is brand new. It's a difficult battle right from the beginning.
This tool can also be used to identify semantically related keywords you should use in your content. Search engines will understand your content if you include more topics.
Now it's time for you to check the current ranking of your keywords on Google. You must ensure that your content matches what users are looking for. It's easy to see why each top-ranking result is important. Take a look at them:
- What page type? Is it a blog, an ecommerce page, or another?
- What is the format? Is it a guide, a listicle or a review.
- The content – Do the top pages all write about the same topic? Are they all approaching the topic in the same way?
Do not try to be original here. Google may prioritize blog posts over ecommerce pages for a particular query. If this is the case, you will need to create a post. The same applies to the content's format, angle, and style. Google will help you understand what you want and deliver it.
However, don't create content that is too generic. Analyzing the content on each page will help you to see what is missing and where you can add your perspective.
Integrate Keywords Into Your Content:
While you edit your content to conform with Google's preferred format for content, ensure you are integrating keywords into your content.
Keywords should be included on the page:
- meta description
- H1 tag
- image alt tags
Your main and related keywords should be included naturally in your copy. Keyword stuffing is a serious problem. Keyword stuffing refers to when you fill a page with a particular term. This not only makes your visitors miserable, as they will have to scroll over it every sentence, but also penalizes your site.
Google's advice is to be cautious if you are unsure.
A negative user experience can be caused by filling pages with numbers or keywords. This can also lead to a lower ranking for your site. Make sure you create useful and informative content that makes use of keywords in the context.
Add External and Internal Links
When it comes to optimizing content, internal linking is a serious oversight. Search bots will crawl your site more easily if there are more internal links. This will make it easier for them to index the site and give you more authority.
Internal linking makes it easier for people to navigate your website.
Optimize a page by listing all pages that are related to it and finding a way to link to them in the copy. Next, go to each page and ensure that there is a link back.
How to Optimize Content for Style and Readability
Let's now look at improving your content from a human standpoint. If users don't spend their time reading your article, it's not worth having it rank well. Your rankings will improve if you have more people engaging with your content.
Enhance Your Content's Structure
Is your content a stream-of-consciousness or well-structured and easily scanned? You'll need to review the structure of your content if it looks more like the former than the later.
It is easy to improve the structure of your content and increase visual comprehension.
- A table of contents should be added at the beginning of each post
- Break up paragraphs with bullet points
- Use subheadings and headings
- At the end of each section, add a summary sentence.
Add Images to and Other Media
You can also add videos and images to your content to improve its structure. Images should be relevant and contribute to the content. Stock photos are not allowed.
When you add images, improve your SEO by adding keyword-rich,descriptive titles and alt tags to all of them. Be careful with keyword-stuffing.
Imagine that I am writing an article on choosing the right size moving truck. I would like to include this image.
img alt="A man helping to unload a truck" class="wp-image-164736" height="448" loading="lazy") sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px") srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization2.png 640w, https://neilpatel.com/wpng_Optmization2-350×245.png 350w class="wp-image-164736" height="448" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization2.png" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization2.png 640w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization2-350×245.png 350w" width="640"/>
This is a poor example of a title or description for the image.
Alt text – Moving truck
Both are not particularly descriptive, despite the keyword being included.
Another example of a bad situation:
Title – Moving truck.png
Alt: Moving truck image to determine the right-sized moving truck
This is an example of keyword stuffing. It is impossible to read the alt text because it contains too many keywords.
Here are the titles and alt texts.
Alt Text: Loading black crates into a moving truck
The title and alt text both accurately describe the image, and also include relevant keywords once. If someone were to use a screen reader to view this image, they would be able to see what it looks like.
Optimized for Readability
Your users will spend their time reading your content if they are satisfied with it.
There are many ways to improve your writing.
- Use a spellchecker to eliminate errors.
- Eliminate cliches, and words such as "that"
- Write in short sentences.
- Vary the length of sentences to ensure that your copy doesn't become monotonous.
- Use an engaging tone when writing.
When it comes to improving the readability of your content, tools like Grammarly, Hemingway, and Writer can be a great addition to your toolbox.
Grammarly and Writer both offer writing assistance that improves spelling, grammar, clarity, and organization. These programs can be compared to spell-checkers on steroids.
They will not only highlight spelling errors and suggest where to add an Oxford colon, but they will also provide style and tone suggestions.
Grammarly suggests that you substitute "very helpful" for "constructive" in the example below because it is a stronger, more concise alternative.
img alt="Using Grammarly for content improvement" class="wp-image-164737" height="359" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization5-700×359.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization5-700×359.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization5-350×179.jpg 350w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization5-768×394.jpg 768w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization5.jpg 1450w" width="700"/>
Both platforms come with their own apps and can be integrated into other writing tools. For example, Writer offers add-ons that can be used with Chrome, Microsoft Word, and Figma. Grammarly can be integrated with a wider variety of tools including Gmail and Outlook, Outlook, Slack (for LinkedIn), Notion, Google Docs, Salesforce, and Slack).
Hemingway is able to improve your grammar. However, it excels at suggesting ways to make your copy bolder and more concise.
It can help you find difficult-to-read sentences and suggest simpler phrases. Although it won't make you Heminway-esque, it can help you to write more style.
img alt="Using Hemingway for optimizing content" class="wp-image-164738" height="407" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization4.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization4.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization4-350×204.jpg 350w" width="700"/>
How to Optimize Content for Conversions
Content that converts is good content. Here's how you can create amazing content that converts.
Target Commercial Keywords & Topics
The first step in driving traffic to content is choosing the right topic. Similar to SEO optimization, ensure that the keyword you are targeting has high user intent. Ubersuggest can be used to analyze keywords. However, the following sources are great for finding suitable topics:
Bonus points for products or services that are relevant to keywords. We can use Quora's related questions tab to locate great blog topics for companies that sell kitchen knives.
img alt="Find the right keywords and topics using forums" class="wp-image-164739" height="310" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px") srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization7-768×155.jpg 350w, https://neilpatel.com/wp/uploads/2022/Content_Optmization7.jpg 768×340.jpg 1099w/Content_Optmization7.jpg 1099w class="wp-image-164739" height="310" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization7-700×310.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization7-700×310.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization7-350×155.jpg 350w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization7-768×340.jpg 768w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization7.jpg 1099w" width="700"/>
It is easier to rank high-intent topics like "Is it worth buying a chef knife?" or "What is the best kitchen knife?" than for a general keyword such as "best kitchen knife".
To make your copy more appealing, there are many persuasive strategies that you can employ. These are:
- Social proof can be used to prove that real people love your product.
- To make your reader feel good, write in a friendly tone.
- Case studies can show how your product works.
It is great if you can combine these points into one piece of content. As an example, take this blog post by BigCommerce about e-commerce website safety.
img alt="A quote by Jason Simmons about fraud protection." class="wp-image-164740" height="470" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization6-700×470.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization6-700×470.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization6-350×235.jpg 350w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization6-768×516.jpg 768w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization6.jpg 822w" width="700"/>
A section on fraud protection includes a quote from a store manager explaining how an app on BigCommerce helped reduce chargebacks after they lost thousands of dollars in merchandise.
It not only shows that BigCommerce apps work but also proves that they are being used by real retailers.
Increase your CTA
Each piece of content with high conversion rates has at least one call to action. CTAs come in many forms. There are many options.
- Promote a free trial
- encourage email sign ups
- Add links to related products
CTAs are usually placed at the end or middle of a blog post or landing page, but they don't have to. Buffer includes an email signup CTA right in the middle of every blog post.
img alt="A strong CTA by Buffer" class="wp-image-164741" height="654" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization8-327×327.jpg 350w, https://neilpatel.com/wp_Optmization8-768×717.jpg 768×717.jpg 717.jpg 862w.jpg 862w.jpg 662w.jpg 862w. class="wp-image-164741" height="654" loading="lazy" sizes="(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px" src="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization8-700×654.jpg" srcset="https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization8-700×654.jpg 700w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization8-350×327.jpg 350w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization8-768×717.jpg 768w, https://neilpatel.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Content_Optmization8.jpg 862w" width="700"/>
It is difficult to miss it and it is very far down on the page. This is intentional. You've probably read this far. There's a good possibility you enjoyed the content and want to be notified when a new post is published. The CTA would not be as effective if used at the beginning of the article.
Common Content Optimization Mistakes
After we have covered the three main methods for optimizing your content, let us now look at the top content optimization errors I see repeatedly.
- Content not aligned with search intent. Optimize your content not just for a keyword but for the intent behind it. If the query is informational, such as "How to groom my dog", make sure you create a guide. Don't just sell your grooming tools.
- Not improving the user experience. Site owners often spend hours improving the SEO of their content, but they don't consider the user experience. This results in a lot of traffic, but little conversions.
- Do not add internal links. Although they can be used to optimize multiple pages simultaneously, internal links are often overlooked.
- Not improving content. It's not about just adding keywords to your content. To rank well, you must cover the topic in its entirety.
- Not deleting irrelevant content. You should also delete outdated content.
- Over-optimizing content. You can go overboard and stuff your content with keywords. This is a bad idea. Google will penalize your website and create poor user experiences.
What's content optimization?
Content optimization refers to the process of optimizing your content so it ranks higher on Google and is easier for human readers.
How do I optimize my content?
There are many ways to optimize your content. It is possible to improve the SEO of your content so it ranks higher in Google. It can be improved in structure and readability to make it more engaging. You can also improve the CTA and other sales elements to convert more readers.
Why content optimization is important?
There are many benefits to content optimization. Content optimization can help you achieve higher rankings, reach a wider audience, build trust, and provide more backlinks.
If you want your content to be read and converted, optimizing it is crucial.
Optimize your content using the correct keywords. Use tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway to improve copy. Also, think about how you can increase your copy's conversion rate.
You'll be able to create a great piece of content that ranks high, engages readers and sells.
How can you optimize your content?
By: Neil Patel
Title: Content Optimization: A Step-by-Step Guide
Sourced From: neilpatel.com/blog/how-to-optimize-content/
Published Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2022 19:00:00 +0000