10 Content Optimization Tips to Improve Results
The Complete Content Optimization Checklist
1. Start with Keyword Research
Keywords make your content discoverable in search results and help your content outrank the competition. Target specific keywords and phrases your audience is searching for in Google.
Next, optimize your content by adding your target keyword in the meta title, meta description, URL, subheadings, and body copy. However, avoid keyword stuffing and don’t force the keywords in the content. Place your keywords in areas that make sense.
- Search Volume: The average number of searches per month for a specific query. Search volume helps assess the potential traffic and competitiveness for a given keyword.
- Keyword Difficulty: Determines how difficult it is to rank for a keyword. Ideally, you want to find keywords with high search volume and low competition.
- Keyword Trend: Visit Google Trends and enter your keyword. This tool will show if your keyword is trending or not. Target keywords trending upwards.
- Long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are a more specific search term. They’re often easier to rank for than broad “head” terms. They have less competition but generally have a lower search volume. For example, targeting “SEO Tips for Beginners” might be easier to rank than targeting “SEO Tips.”
2. Identify Search Intent
Search engines provide users with the most relevant result for their search query. If your content doesn’t match a user’s search intent, it will not rank. That’s why it’s essential to write content that matches the user’s search intent.
For example, say your target keyword is “how to do keyword research.” The user is looking for a step-by-step guide on how to do keyword research. Therefore, you would write a tutorial or guide and not review the best keyword research tools.
How to determine search intent? One way to determine search intent is to research the SERPs. Type in your target keyword and review the search results. See what search intent types Google deems the most relevant.
- Navigational: The user wants to find a specific page or site. The search query is often a branded keyword. For example, the user will search “Facebook” instead of going to facebook.com.
- Informational: The user wants an answer to a specific question. These queries include “how to,” “what is,” “where is,” “why do,” and similar searches seeking information.
- Commercial: The user is interested in a product or service but wants additional information. They’re most likely looking for reviews and comparisons. For example, “Best laptops,” “Mac vs. PC,” or “Best lawn service near me.”
- Transactional: The user wants to make a purchase (conversion). Often, they know what they want to buy and are looking for a place to buy it. An example query is “buy MacBook Pro” or “iPhone cheapest price.”
3. Optimize Your Title Tags
Title tags are the clickable headlines that appear in search results. It’s what users see first to determine which result to click. That’s why it’s critical to write a compelling title that attracts clicks and meets user intent. A lousy headline could hurt your SEO efforts.
6. Add semantically related words (LSI Keywords). Terms related to your target keyword add relevance and increase ranking potential. For example, if your target keyword is “car,” then “automobile” is an LSI keyword. (Use this free tool to find LSI Keywords)
4. Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
5. Attract clicks by writing compelling copy. Compel users to click the link. Describe what they’ll learn, the problems the content solves, or the benefits they’ll receive.
7. Avoid misleading copy to attract attention. Writing incorrect statements about the page can negatively affect your SEO efforts. Users will click off the page, which will affect your bounce rate.
8. Don’t include quotation marks. They interfere with the meta description HTML. Google cuts off the description at the quotation mark. To prevent this, remove non-alphanumeric characters from meta descriptions.
On-Page Content Optimization
Good content and SEO work hand in hand. Without one, you won’t have much success with the other. If you don’t have the high-quality content that search engines want , your SEO rankings and readership are likely to be low. At the same time, even the best content doesn’t do you much good if your target audience isn’t able to find your website.
That’s why it’s important to consistently write SEO-friendly content that people enjoy reading. With that in mind, here are a few tips and best practices to create great content and improve your SEO.
Focus on Keywords– But Not Too Much
Keywords still have a place in your SEO strategy , just be sure to use them thoughtfully and organically in your content while trying to use keyword phrases in addition to individual keywords. Using a keyword phrase in your title might not make for the most exciting or witty headline, but it will make your article more likely to be viewed by your target audience.
Use Headings Properly
Headings are an essential but often overlooked aspect of good SEO. Header tags are the HTML tags that range from H1 to H6 and are used to create an outline and add structure to an article or blog post. Using headings wisely can help Google gain a better understanding of the main topic of longer articles.
For example, it’s critical to include an H1 tag on each page, but only use one. Multiple H1 tags can confuse search engines by implying that the content is about several main topics. Also, don’t use the same text in the header for every page.
Optimize the Length of Your Posts
While it’s not necessary to churn out a post of that length each time you update your blog, you’ll probably have better luck if you tend to create longer posts in general. Breaking up your lengthy posts into manageable chunks for your readers (using bullet points, subheadings, and lists) can help prevent the dreaded “wall of text” while also improving readability.
Use Location-Specific Phrases
If you have a local company, make sure to include geo-specific terms in your keyword phrases to ensure that your content shows up prominently in those searches. Use these location-specific keyword phrases in your titles and within your H1 tags, and you’ll see your local SEO improve rapidly.