By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” a dozen times over. While the saying still rings true, it’s really how you use that content that matters.
According to WordPress, there was a spike of over 136 million blog posts published just on WordPress in December 2018. However, those posts require a few essential marketing strategies before they can reach readers and make an impact.
Are all of your blog posts going to waste?
With a content optimization strategy, you can make sure your website reaches your target audience. That way, you can use this content to attract customers and boost sales.
Here’s everything you need to know about website content optimization and why it’s essential for success.
What is Website Content Optimization
For successful website content optimization, you need to make your content relevant to search engines as well as your readers.
When someone runs a search on Google, they want to find content that either answers their questions or provides the information they’re looking for. Otherwise, what’s the point, right? They expect high-quality content that matches their search intent.
Google is all about offering users the content most relevant to their search. If it’s relevant, that content ends up getting a boost on search results pages.
For Google and other search engines, content optimization means using techniques that make your content discoverable.
That includes search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies that make your content easy for their machines to find and read. This is also knowing as indexing and crawling.
However, how search engines find your content and the criteria they look for is constantly changing.
Keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends doesn’t have to be a challenge. Instead, trusting an SEO expert can help you stay ahead of the curve—and ahead of the competition.
SEO Keyword Research
To make sure your website ranks in Google, you need to consider two areas:
- Choosing the right target search queries (SEO keywords) your customers use when looking for your product or service
- How to fulfill user intent by covering the best topics for your customers (content optimization)
The first of these, SEO keywords, requires a little research.
You can use tools such as Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, or Google Trends to determine what terms your customers are searching. These tools will include search volume, related searches, page authority, and competitive analysis as well.
That way, you can determine which keywords to use within your content to attract your target audience.
Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to actually create your content.
First, think about your customers. What answers or solutions are they searching for? This can help you determine which topics to cover.
That way, your content delves into discussions relevant to what your customers need.
For thorough content optimization, you also need to implement the technical aspects of SEO. These include:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- HTML markups
- Responsive mobile design
Good copywriting is important to ensure your content remains relevant and compelling. That way, your content attracts website visitors and boost your business, too!
Once your content is optimized, you can send it out into the world. However, constant content optimization requires monitoring and updates to make sure you maintain your search rankings.
Why You Need Content Optimization
According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s about 3.5 billion searches every day.
With content optimization, your website could show up in one of those search queries. However, that’s not the only way website content optimization can help your business.
Here are five of the reasons your company needs a content optimization strategy to succeed:
1. Search Engine Optimization
Content optimization and search engine optimization go hand-in-hand. Once you’ve optimized your content for your target audience’s search intent, you need to optimize the content for search engines, too.
Otherwise, your target audience won’t be able to find your content.
When your content is SEO-ready, Google will reward you with a higher search engine ranking.
This first-page (or better yet, top-of-the-page) position will help you attract more website traffic. According to Forbes, websites on Google’s first page captures 71 percent of traffic clicks. If you’re on the second page, however, you’re getting less than six percent of all clicks.
To reach the top of the page and gain this website traffic, you need to optimize your website for both keywords and content.
Otherwise, Google will penalize your website and drop your ranking. As a result, your website traffic will drop, too.
Customers are more inclined to trust a website that’s at the top of a Google search page. After all, Google prioritizes these websites for a reason.
Content optimization can help you develop brand trust and loyalty with your customers. By showing your website at the top of a search page, you’re also showing customers your company is relevant.
A high search ranking implies you’re offering quality content, too. Remember, Google likes website content that reflects the user’s search intent. If you’re at the top of a Google page, that tells people you have the answers they’re searching for.
As searchers visit your website and actually find those answers, they’ll begin to trust your company.
The more that trust grows, the more brand loyalty develops as well. A top-of-the-page position tells people you’re a credible resource within your industry. If people know they can trust you to answer their questions, these searchers and customers will choose your company time and time again.
4. Long-term Strategy
Content optimization isn’t a one-and-done deal. Rather, the combined efforts of SEO and content optimization can help you achieve a high search engine ranking for a long time.
However, effective content optimization strategies also require you to stay up-to-date with any changes to Google’s algorithm. If you’re making regular updates to your content and website strategies, you can maintain your ranking. That way, you’re staying in front of customers and offering the relevant content they need.
If you can maintain a first-page ranking, you can increase visibility as well.
According to Fit Small Business, it takes five to seven impressions for a company to develop brand awareness. The more often people see your company name and website appear in their searches, the stronger that awareness.
This repeat exposure can help you stand out from the crowd and attract repeat customers, too!
When you rank at the top of a search engine results page, you’re also ranking above the competition.
Remember, people are more likely to click on websites that show on the first page of a search. However, they’re also more likely to click the first websites that display on that page.
Content optimization helps you advertise your website before a competitor can. As you gain these clicks and traffic to your website, you can excel ahead of the competition for the long-term, too.
6. Leads & Sales
That influx of website traffic can also help you boost leads and sales!
People will begin to realize you have the answers they’re searching for and start to trust your company as a relevant resource. Then, they’ll trust you to help their company as well. This can help you produce new leads and prospective sales.
Offering visitors relevant, informative content can help you convert these leads into paying customers as well.
Once visitors realize you know your stuff, you can leverage your brand credibility to make a sale. As a result, website content optimization is helping you boost your brand and your revenue.
Steps to Content Optimization in 2019
Now that you know the importance of website content optimization, let’s get you going!
That way, you can start raising your ranking and attracting those website visitors.
With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, more companies are working to stay ahead of the curve. It’s important to have a content optimization strategy that reflects Google’s criteria.
Otherwise, you’re falling behind.
One of the many benefits of outsourcing your content optimization is you don’t have to worry about struggling to catch up. An SEO expert can offer their expertise and experience while you focus on your business.
Here are seven steps for an effective content optimization strategy in 2019.
1. Create the Pillar Page
Before creating any new content, it’s important to recognize the structure of your existing content first.
A pillar page covers a singular main topic, usually determined by a short-tail keyword. Then, your website branches off by connecting to more detailed, related subtopics, called clusters. These are your long-tail keywords.
When choosing a pillar, consider a topic that connects to one of the core areas of your company.
These pillars should also remain evergreen, so you can promote the content year-round.
Pillar pages allow your readers to find everything they need on a single topic from one main page. It helps keep your content relevant, too. That way, your content covers any of the questions or concerns your readers have about a given topic.
This strategy also helps Google and other search engines crawl and index your site. With this strategy, you’re showing search engines you provide readers with the relevant content you’re looking for.
2. Find the Clusters
Clusters cover the subtopics that all relate back to your main pillar page.
These posts are in-depth articles that help answer specific questions. When writing these articles, it’s important to consider your target audience and their search intent.
Think of clusters as breaking your pillars down into little chapters. These chapters make it easier for readers to jump to the content they want to read.
For example, a dentist can have a pillar page for braces, then break this page into clusters such as:
- “pediatric braces”
- “how to maintain your braces”
- “what you need to know before getting braces”
By updating your pillars with new cluster content, you’re also ensuring your content remains fresh and relevant to industry trends. This will benefit your content optimization and help you bring in new leads.
As an added bonus, these clusters can help you generate more blog post ideas, too!
3. Competitor Analysis
Now that your search engine optimization content is structured, let’s check out what the competition is up to.
Search for your content cluster long-tail keywords on Google or Bing. Then, take a look at the posts at the top of the results page.
Exploring these articles can give you a lot of information moving forward, including:
- New topics (pillars and clusters) to cover
- Content quality (word length, clarity, authority)
- How the writer addresses readers
- How the page content is structured
These answers can help you produce content that’s even better than what competitors are currently offering your customers.
Before creating brand new content, review what you already have. You might recognize an older article needs refreshing.
You can boost traffic to these articles by adding them to pillars.
This can save you time and effort. Instead of writing from scratch, you can update the content, benefiting your entire content optimization strategy.
5. Topic Coverage
Once you’ve organized your pillars and clusters, you might notice areas you haven’t covered yet.
Recognizing these gaps can help create new content that answers more questions for your readers.
As you’re updating content, make sure to look at:
- Including compelling headlines
- Using your target audience’s language
- Shortening sentences and paragraphs
- Making it easier to skim content with headings and bullets
- Adding visuals
Updating your SEO optimized content is important as well. This includes using internal and external links and meta tags. That way, search engines will boost your website to the top of their results pages.
Check out this article for more actionable SEO tips.
Your Guide to Effective Website Content Optimization
With this guide, you have everything you need to get started on your own effective website content optimization strategy.
Remember, search engine optimization can help you reach more customers. It also helps you boost your website ahead of the competition so customers see you first.
Don’t lag behind and let your competitors snag your sales!
Instead, you can speak with an expert to develop an SEO strategy that benefits your business.