Are you tired of creating content that doesn’t rank as well as it should? Are you looking for ways to make your content stand out? Do you want to increase conversion rates for your website?
Content optimization is what you need. Contrary to previous belief, there’s more to improving rankings and conversion rates than consistent content creation. Search engines have gotten smarter over the years and old content creation techniques have lost their efficacy. Therefore, you need other effective content optimization techniques to meet the current standard of high-ranking content.
The content optimization techniques discussed in this article have helped hundreds of websites build relevance, rank higher and record higher conversion rates.
What is Content Optimization?
Content optimization is defined as the process of optimizing content for search engines and readers. In simpler terms, content optimization refers to all techniques used to make content interesting, engaging and useful to both search engines and visitors.
In today’s world, content optimization is vital to the growth of manufacturing companies. Why? The most important stage in the sales process, the consideration stage, happens online. Potential customers now seek information about products on the internet instead of meeting with salesmen in showrooms. So, long before they visit showrooms to physically make a purchase, the purchase decision has already been made.In today’s world, content optimization is vital to the growth of manufacturing companies. Why? The most important stage in the sales process, the consideration stage, happens online. Click To Tweet
As a result of this, manufacturing companies need to aggressively compete online as they do offline to secure sales.
Why is Content Optimization Important for Manufacturing Companies?
Two words: Brand awareness.
Even manufacturing companies need brand awareness. In today’s world of search engines and search engine crawlers, content optimization is the way to build that awareness.
Beyond increased brand awareness, content optimization offers businesses other advantages as well.
Improves SERP rankings
Every company dreams of ranking on the first page. But getting to the top organically isn’t an easy feat. Using a mix of organic and technical content optimization methods will improve your rankings on search results pages and reach a larger pool of potential customers.
Increases Organic Traffic
An increase in organic traffic is an offshoot of improved rankings. Organic traffic increases when users visit your site by clicking on your content. But to significantly increase organic traffic, your content has to rank high enough to be on the page one results. Content optimization strategies can help place you on that page.
Builds Relevance and Trust
Well-optimized content that provides valuable information builds credibility, relevance, and trust for both search engines and users. The algorithm of search engines is designed to look for relevant answers to queries. Optimization makes your content look relevant to search engines. Users also trust that search engines place the most relevant content on the first few pages. If you rank high on SERP enough, users will start to trust your brand as well.
Furthermore, consistently creating high-quality, informational, relevant and optimized content would make you an authority in your industry.
How to Optimize Content
Technical optimization, also known as on-page optimization, employs techniques that help your page to rank high on SERP. Technical optimization strategies include link building and optimized HTML tags. Technical optimization rarely has anything to do with improving the quality of your content but it makes your content easy to rank.
Tools for On-Page Optimization include:
- Mobile-friendly Website
- Optimized Page Speed
- Link Building
A Mobile-Friendly Website
Smartphones are everywhere. Almost everyone has one – and that includes your target audience. With Google processing 70,000 searches every second, it isn’t a far stretch to realize that a good amount of searches are done on mobile phones. Therefore, it is important for your website not only to look great on a desktop computer, but to be optimized for your mobile device as well.
If your content isn’t optimized for mobile phones, your page would have a high bounce rate from people who use mobile phones. Bounce rate is something that search engines take into account, so websites with high bounce rates will not rank as well.
How can you make your website mobile-friendly? Here’s a simple checklist:
- Make your website responsive
- Have a simple website design
- Have simple, easily accessible menus
- Use large font sizes
- Have a search button
- Do away with pop-up ads
- Increase Website Speed
- Set up screen width in percentages
Google can help you check whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. Search “Is my website mobile-friendly,” and put the link to your website in the space provided. Then, click run the test and wait for your results.
Optimized Page Speed
Page speed is the time it takes for a page to load. It spells bad things for your website if your page takes an eternity and some minutes to load. In a study by Google, it was found that 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load.
Page speed is an important aspect of content optimization because it affects both user experience and page ranking. Search engine algorithms prioritize page speed when determining page rank. This is why slow loading pages rank low on search results pages.
Even if search engine algorithms didn’t rank pages on SERP by page speed, the user experience aspect of page speed can hurt rankings as well. No one is going to wait for a slow-loading page when they can easily click on ten other different pages with the same information. Low page speed equals higher bounce rate and, as said before, bounce rates can and will hurt your page’s ranking.
You can help optimize your page speed by:
- Limit redirects from your page
- Optimize Images
- Compress codes larger than 150bytes
- Take advantage of browser caching
- Improve server response time
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to yours. The idea behind link building is to position your website as an authority. It’s basically website PR.
Here’s a little analogy to show how it works. Imagine that you’re listening to an interview of Beyoncé. The interviewer asks her who her favorite artist is and she mentions an obscure band. Fans would rush to the internet to learn more about this band, just from Beyonce mentioning them.
If Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Drake mention this same band in different interviews or on their social media pages, even more fans would check them out. Why? Because credible artists are authority figures giving the band relevance. Because fans trust and value the opinion of these artists, they are more likely to give this obscure band attention.
This is what happens in link building.
The search engine crawlers read multiple links as an endorsement that your content is relevant to users. As a result, search engines will rank you higher in SERP. Although link building might seem simple enough to manipulate with purchased backlinks, this technique will have grave consequences for your website. Search engine algorithms are smart and if purchased backlinks are discovered, your website would be banned from SERP. Building links organically is a long and difficult process but its effect on organic ranking is worth the effort.
There are two types of links you can build to improve your rankings – backlinks and internal links.
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. All backlinks aren’t equal. Google rates backlinks according to the quality and relevance of the website linking back to yours. When ranking your page, a backlink from Forbes carries more weight than a backlink from your friends new website. So, how do you get high-quality websites like Forbes to link back to your page? High quality content is the trick.
Websites like Forbes or Business Insider would only link back to your page if you have good content. They have a reputation and an audience that expects the best from them. The better your content is, the higher your chance is of getting a backlink from them.
Creating good content is only one half of it, content promotion is the other half. Promote your content well by getting popular bloggers and influencers to like your work and share it.
Internal linking is another way to build links for some of your pages. With internal links, you are linking to other pages on your website. Internal linking is important because:
- It increases traffic to your website
- Directs visitors to high converting pages
- Improves ranking
- Reduces bounce rate
When building internal links, it is important to put effort into the anchor text to make your content more accessible to search engines. If your anchor text contains keyword phrases, it’ll boost your rankings for that keyword. Furthermore, when linking to internal pages, your anchor text should be relevant to the content on the page you are linking to.
The Internet exists for the demand and supply of content.
It is literally a marketplace for content. Searchers use search engines to find informative content while brands use optimized content to build their brand and establish authority in their industry.
The components of content creation are:
- Keyword Research
- Title and Meta Description
- Content Creation
- Readability and Structure
Keyword research and use is an important part of creating optimized content.
What is a keyword?
In simple terms, keywords are phrases or words that users enter into search engines when making a query. A keyword is a search marker that search engines look for in your content when a query is made. An optimized content contains these markers in the right frequency.
Now that you know what keywords are, how do you know what keywords your target audience use in their queries? You can obtain quality keywords by asking relevant questions like:
Who is my target audience?
Know everything there is to know about your target audience. Pay special attention to their demographic data. This information would help you write content that speaks directly to them.
What is my target audience searching for?
Information? Services? It’s important to know exactly what they are looking for. You can’t provide relevant content if you don’t have a point of reference for what your target audience is looking for.
Why are they searching?
A well-optimized content provides solutions to a searcher’s intent. There’s a reason why your target audience is looking for your services or information that has to do with the services you offer. Know their pain points and your content would stand out as relevant and trust worthy.
Here you might have to ask more pointed questions to understand the intent behind their searches.
When are they searching?
Does season have an impact on what your audience searches for? Are certain services in higher demand than others at particular times. The answers to these questions would help direct your keyword research.
How is my target audience searching for my service?
How is your target audience typing their search queries? What words and phrases are they using? What devices are they using? What questions are they asking?
With these questions answered, you most likely have a list of keywords set up. But they aren’t ready to be used yet. There’s still some more work to be done on them.
Use Keyword Research Tools
The next step is to use keyword research tools like Buzzsumo and Google AdWords to find out the search volume of your keywords. These tools are also handy for looking up similar keywords which is also an important step in keyword research.
Search volume refers to how many times a keyword is used in search queries. Keywords with high search volume are used by too many websites making it very competitive. Your chances of ranking higher on SERP reduces when you use competitive keywords.
Use keyword research tools to:
- See more keywords that would expand your cache of keywords
- See similar keywords that would enrich your content and give you a better understanding of your audience’s needs.
Set Up Long-tail Keywords
Keywords like ‘jacket’ are competitive because they show up in almost every query for jackets. It would take years of consistently putting out the best content to rank on the first search results page. But you don’t have to put in years of hard work when you can achieve the same results in less time with long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords are specific phrases that searchers use when making queries. Think, ‘buy cheap XL blue bomber jacket with pockets’ rather than ‘jackets’. Long tail keywords don’t just make it easy for you to rank high on SERP, they have a higher rate of conversion. A person who is searching ‘buy cheap XL blue bomber jacket with pockets’ knows what they want and is more likely to purchase it.
The easiest place to get long tail keywords is from Google. Type your primary keyword, in this case, ‘jacket’ in your search engine and take note of the suggestions that come up. Those suggestions are the most searched for queries with ‘jackets’. Another place to check for long tail keywords on Google is related searches.
Other sources of long tail keywords are keyword research tools and Q&A sites like Quora and Reddit.
In the past, people would write content that appealed to search engines alone. Most often than not, this meant creating somewhat insensible content and liberally sprinkling the keyword of choice in it. This is called keyword stuffing and while it might have worked in the past, it is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot today.
With updates made to search engines, web crawlers have gotten smarter and can now ‘read’ your content. One of the parts of your content that web crawlers ‘read’ is your keyword density.
Keyword density refers to the concentration of keywords in a content. An optimal keyword density is 1-2%. This means the primary keyword should be mentioned a maximum of two times per 100 words.
Staying within the bounds of optimal keyword density would keep search engines from seeing your website as spammy or irrelevant.
Optimized Title and Meta Description
When you buy a pack of chocolate from the grocery store, the first indication of its quality is the packaging and product description. Content is a lot like a pack of Kit Kat bars. The title and meta description is the packaging and product description. If they don’t look good, no one is going to want to ‘buy’ your content.
When you put in a search query on Google, it displays a results page that shows a list of relevant results. You’ll notice that each result shows the title and meta description which is a brief description of what the content is all about.
The title and meta description of your content determines if the searcher would visit your page. This is why they play a big role in content optimization.
How to Optimize Your Title
In this competitive game of relevance and rankings, you need every trick in your bag and optimizing your title is one of them. An optimized title does two things for your content. It makes your content look relevant to searchers and it makes your web page rank higher on SERP. For these two reasons alone, optimizing your title is important.
What are the steps needed to optimize your title?
Create a Title Tag
The first step to optimizing your title is creating a title tag. A title tag is a HTML component that highlights what the title is in the search results page. It shows up as the clickable title on each result.
Title tags give your target audience an idea of what your content is about. An optimized title tag is relevant to search engines and searchers.
For example, if the title of your blog post is “Top Solar Panels for Big Businesses,” in the HTML backend, the title tag shows up like this in the <head> section.
<title>Top Solar Panels for Big Businesses</title>
Pay Attention to the Length
Search engines only display the first 60 characters of your title on search results pages. This means that no matter how scintillating your title is it must fall between 50 -60 characters. Exceeding this limit would hurt your chances of ranking high. Most importantly, searchers will be less inclined to visit your webpage.
Coin an Exceptional Title
“Honesty is the best policy” especially when you are writing your title. Your title should reflect what your content is all about. If your content is about steps to optimize content for SEO, let your title reflect that. If your title fails to do this, the high bounce rate that is bound to follow would negatively affect your rankings.
Keywords are there to make your content palatable to the search engine and they should never be forgotten in your title. With the 60 character limit, start your title with your keywords.
If your keyword is “optimize content”, your title should start like this “Optimize Content with these 5 Quick Steps!”
Include Your Brands Name
Your brand just like every other brand strives for credibility and authority. Most of the time, searchers will go for web pages associated with trusted brands. If you have already built credibility with your brand, adding your brand to your title improves your click rate. Searchers are more inclined to click on your content if your brand shows in your title.
Here’s an example: “Optimize Your Content With these 5 Quick Steps – SEO Experts”
How to Optimize Your Meta Description
Meta description is a HTML tag that shows up alongside the title tag on search results pages. In the backend, it looks this way.
<head> <meta name = “description” content = “
It is important to keep the following in mind when creating an optimized meta description.
Just like the title tag, search engines have a limit on the number of characters that will show per result on search results pages. For meta descriptions, it is 155 characters.
So, although a meta description could be more than 155 characters, only 155 of them would really count. Make sure that the most important information falls within the first 155 characters.
Always use the language of the query in your meta description. Search engine crawlers and searchers alike would zero in on that, making your content look relevant.
Write a Powerful Meta Description
A meta description is a mini sales copy. In just 155 characters, convince the searcher to click on your content. When put that way, it seems like an impossible task but it isn’t. Writing a powerful meta description is quite easy. An effective meta description is unique, compelling, and actionable. Duplicate, flat, and passive meta descriptions don’t draw searchers to a webpage.
Create Compelling Content
There is content and there is compelling content. You should strive to create the latter. The hallmark of powerful content is conversion and engagement. Create content so cogent that visitors to your page can’t help but complete the action you want them to take. They should also engage your content by sharing on social media platforms. Creating compelling content can be done by following the steps below.
The introduction to your content should be captivating. Write in such a way that visitors to your page get lost in your work from the beginning. Your introduction is so important because it influences your visitors to stay or leave. Draw your readers’ attention by highlighting their pain point and offering a solution.
If the introduction affects bounce rate, the body of the content affects retention rate. No one would waste time on content that isn’t informative. Create a content body that matches the title and introduction.
A few tips to help you create quality content are:
- Avoid fluff
- Use paragraphs
- Use active words
- Provide information
Call To Action (CTA)
A call to action is a statement that gets your visitors to perform an action. CTA’s have a big impact on the conversion rate of a page. Your content might get visitors to stay but a CTA gives them the extra nudge they need to complete an action.
To write an optimized CTA, be sure to:
- Use Active words
- Be specific
- Use command words or tone
- Include a visual
Readability is a measure of how clear and understandable your content is. No one really knows exactly how search engines rank content but we have smart guesses of what search engines are looking for. Readability isn’t one of the requirements for ranking but it can affect your ability to rank high on SERP.
The following analogy helps explain how readability affects your ranking:
A few minutes ago when you opened this webpage, the first thing you did was scan through the content right? You aren’t so different from your target audience. They too would scan through your content first to know if you have the answers they need. Readability makes it easy for visitors to get the gist of your content when they scan.
How does this affect your SERP?
If readability is low, visitors to your page find it difficult to scan your content so they leave almost as soon as they visit. When this happens, search engine algorithms consider your content irrelevant and stop ranking you well on SERP.
Although search engines don’t consider readability when ranking pages, a poor readability can affect your rankings on SERP.
How do you optimize readability?
For your content to be at optimum readability, the structure and writing style must be optimized. Although they focus on different facets of your content, they work together to optimize readability.
Is your content broken down into paragraphs? Are significant points highlighted in bullets? Does your content have subheadings? What are the rules for content structure? Let’s look at paragraphs, subheadings and bullet lists to know why they are important.
Paragraphs make it easy for visitors to your page to scan your content.
Each paragraph should contain one main idea which makes it easy for visitors to understand what your content is about. A hack for writing readable paragraphs is length. Keep your paragraphs short and concise.
Not every information should be in a block of text. Content that discusses product features, number of advantages and disadvantages, or any defining points can be listed in bullet points for easier readability. When a user visits your page in search of information, they are looking for the defining points of the subject matter. These significant parts are highly informative and should be made visible.
Headings are important because:
- They break down your content into named sections and improve its structure
- They also draw the attention of readers to important parts of your content
In content optimization, there are two important headings – H1 and H2 although in general, there are 6 headings. These headings don’t just make your content readable, they provide an extra avenue for using keywords. H1 is used for the title of the content while H2 headings are used for important subheadings.
Make your content easy to scan, read and understand with headings, paragraphs and bulleted lists.
The elements of writing style have a strong influence on the readability of your content. How are you writing your content? What words are you using?
The following features play a huge role in determining readability.
In measuring readability, sentence length plays a big role. As a rule, longer sentences are more difficult to scan, read and understand. The average length of sentences in your content has a direct link to your bounce rate and retention rate.
What is the best sentence length for optimized content? The optimal sentence length is below 20 syllables. Anything more than 20 syllables is more difficult to read. However, you don’t need to count the syllables yourself to determine whether or not your sentence is optimized. Read your sentences out loud, and if you find yourself having to catch your breath, that sentence is too long.
Choice of Words
In optimized content, wordiness is a sin. An optimized content passes information in a clear and concise way using direct language. If it can be said in two words, it shouldn’t be said in three or more words. Why should wordiness be avoided by all means?
It dulls the impact of your content and makes it tough for readers to find what they are looking for.
When considering your choice of words, think simple. Be as simple as possible in your words and expressions. Ask yourself if there’s a simpler alternative to that big word. To help with this, imagine that your content is going to be read by 6 graders and write simply enough for them to understand.
The Tone of the Content
How do you sound in your content? Informative, formal, educational, or conversational? There is something very impersonal about written content. There is seemingly no connection, just a disembodied voice spitting out facts. In a world where people appreciate vulnerability and connection, a conversational tone is the way to go.
Visitors to your site want to feel like they’re talking to an old friend. Don’t just write, converse. Without fail, visitors to your page would get hooked on your content.
Use Active Words
Concise, action-inducing content is what you should strive for. Passive voice doesn’t encourage action. On the contrary, it makes your content fall flat. Your content should always be in Active Voice.
Spelling and Grammar
It goes without saying that the spelling and grammar of your content should be checked thoroughly. It’s difficult to trust a brand that conveys information in a grammatically incorrect manner. Asides that, wrong grammar and misspellings make reading an unpleasant chore.
Content optimization is incomplete if your audience doesn’t read your content. Even if your content is unique and informative, visitors to your page wouldn’t be able to read or skim through it if it has poor readability. When in doubt of how readable your content is, use tools like the Hemingway app and Textmetrics to check the readability of your content before publishing.