hat content optimization is
why you need content optimization
how to optimize your content for SEO
how to optimize your content for readability and style
how to optimize your content for conversions
common optimization mistakes
Ready? Let’s begin.
wWhat Is Content Optimization?
Content optimization is the practice of updating and improving your content so it has the best possible chance of achieving its goals.
That goal could be ranking in Google, but it could also convert readers into customers or acquire backlinks. In many cases, it’s a combination of several of these metrics.
Why Do You Need Content Optimization?
From an SEO standpoint, content optimization is essential if you want to rank. You might have written the best article in the world from a reader’s perspective.
But if you don’t optimize content for Google, it won’t rank.
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You’ll never write the best-converting piece of copy the first time, so tweaking your headings, targeting new keywords, and improving your CTA is vital. In addition, goals for conversion may change over time, and you want to ensure your content adapts to them.
Getting your content to rank in Google has many additional benefits. These include:
growing your audience
Optimizing your content for readability improves audience engagement and helps your brand to build trust with readers.
It can also help to position your brand as an authority. It’s much easier to trust a brand that puts time into content creation than one that puts out barely readable content.
Optimizing content for conversions is critical if you want to squeeze as much money out of your efforts as possible.
To Optimize Content For SEO
Improving your content’s rankings is the primary reason for content optimization. So let’s start by looking at how to optimize content for SEO
Keyword Research – Optimizing content for SEO starts with keyword research. You need to make sure you’re targeting a keyword.
has traffic potential
you can rank for
Ubersuggest is one of the best ways to find suitable keywords. Use the Keyword Ideas tool to enter a seed keyword and get a list of relevant keywords along with their potential volume and SEO difficulty. Keyword research from Ubersuggest for content optimization.
You’ll want to choose the keyword that best represents your content but also has a decent amount of traffic and realistic keyword difficulty. If your site is new, there’s little point in optimizing for a term with an SEO difficulty above 50. You’re fighting an uphill battle from the start. You can also use this tool to find semantically related keywords that you should also use in your content. The more of these topics you include, the easier it will be for search engines to understand what your content is about.
Competitor Research – Once you have your keywords, it’s time to see what’s currently ranking on Google. In particular, you must ensure your content aligns with what users are searching for. Luckily, that’s pretty easy to understand by analyzing each of the top-ranking results. Open them up and look at
s the page type a blog post, an e-commerce page, or something else?
The format: is it a listicle, a how-to guide, or a review
The content: Do the top pages write about the same thing? Do they all come at the topic in a similar way?
Don’t try to be unique here. If Google is prioritizing blog posts over e-commerce pages for a certain query, then you need to create a blog post. T
The same goes for the content’s format and angle. Understand what Google wants and then deliver it. Don’t just create cookie-cutter content, however. By analyzing the content for each page, you can see what’s missing and find places to add your perspective.
Integrate Keywords Into Your Content:
At the same time, you’re editing your content to align with Google’s preferred format, make sure you’re integrating your keywords into your content.
You should include keywords on the pages:
image alt tags
You should also naturally include your main and related keywords throughout your copy. Be careful of keyword stuffing, however.
Keyword stuffing is when you fill a webpage with a specific term. Not only does this provide a terrible user experience for your readers —
who have to trip over the phrase every other sentence — but it will also penalize your site by Google.
If in doubt, err on the side of caution and follow Google’s advice:
“Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful,
information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.”
Add Internal and External Links
Internal linking is criminally overlooked when it comes to content optimization. The more internal links you have on your site,
the easier search bots can crawl it, and the more link authority will be passed between pages.
Internal linking also makes it easier for humans to navigate your site. When optimizing a page, list all related pages on your site and find a way to link to them naturally in the copy. Then go to each of these pages and make sure there is a link to the page you’re optimizing.
How To Optimize Content For Style and Readability
Next, let’s look at how to improve your content from a human perspective. There’s no point in having an article that ranks well if users don’t spend time reading it.
At the same time, the more readers engage with your content, the better your rankings will be.
Improve Your Content’s Structure
Does your content look like a stream of consciousness, or is it carefully structured and easy to scan?
If it’s more the former than the latter, you will need to reassess your content’s structure.
Luckily, improving your content’s structure and increasing visual comprehension is easily done:
Add a table of contents at the start of the post
Use bullet points to break up paragraphs
Use headings and subheadings
Add a takeaway sentence at the end of the section
Add Images and Other Media – Another way to improve your content’s structure is to add images and videos to your content.
Make sure the images are relevant and add to the content — in other words, limit the use of stock photos. When you add images, improve your SEO by adding keyword-rich, descriptive titles and alt tags. But again, be careful of keyword stuffing.
Imagine I’m writing an article about choosing the right-sized moving truck, and I want to include the following image:
A man in a truck is helping unload it.
Here’s a bad example of a title and description for this image.
Alt text: moving truck image to find the right sized moving truck
This is a classic example of keyword stuffing. The alt text has too many keywords that it becomes unreadable.
Here’s what the title and alt text should look like
Alt text: Loading a moving truck with black crates
The title and alt text accurately describe the image and include a relevant keyword once. If someone uses a screen reader on this image, they could easily imagine what it looks like.
Optimize for Readability
If your users spend valuable time reading your content, ensure it’s a great experience.
There are lots of ways to improve your writing:
Use a spellchecker to eliminate errors.
Eliminate fluff like cliches and words like “that.”
Use short sentences and write as you speak.
Vary sentence length, so your copy isn’t monotonous.
Write in an engaging tone.
Tools like Hemingway, Grammarly, and Writer are fantastic additions to your arsenal to improve your content’s readability.
Grammarly and Writer are writing assistants that will improve your spelling, grammar, and clarity. Think of them as spellcheckers on steroids. So they will highlight spelling mistakes, suggest places to add an Oxford comma and offer style and tone suggestions.
In the example below, for instance, Grammarly suggests you replace “very helpful” with “constructive” because it’s a stronger and more concise alternative. We are using Grammarly to improve content. Both platforms have their app and can be integrated into common writing tools. Writer, for instance, offers add-ons for Chrome,
Microsoft Word, and Figma. Grammarly can be integrated into a wider range of tools, including Gmail, Outlook, Slack, LinkedIn, Notion, Google Docs, and even Salesforce.
Hemingway can also improve your grammar, but it excels in suggesting ways to make your copy bolder, more concise, and more engaging.
For instance, it highlights hard-to-read sentences, suggests simpler phrases, and gives your content a readability score. It won’t turn you into Hemingway, but it can certainly help you write with more style. I am using Hemingway to optimize content.
How To Optimize Content For Conversions
Good content converts. But here’s how to create great content that converts.
Target Commercial Keywords and Topics
Choosing the right topic is the first step to driving sales with content. Just as you did when optimizing for SEO, ensure the keyword you’re targeting has a high user intent. You can use Ubersuggest to analyze keywords, but the following sources are also a great way to find suitable topics:
Bonus points if your product or service is relevant to the keywords. For instance we can use the related questions tab on Quora to find a great list of blog topics for a company that sells kitchen knives. Find suitable keywords and topics by using forums.
“Is a good chef knife worth it?” and “what is the best type of kitchen knife?” are great high-intent information-based topics that may be easier to rank for than a more general keyword like “best kitchen knife.”
You can use several persuasive strategies to make your copy much more enticing. These include:
Add social proof to show that real people love your product.
Write in a friendly tone to get on your reader’s good side.
Show your product works through case studies.
Suppose you combine several of these points in a single piece of content. Even better. Take this blog post about e-commerce website security by BigCommerce as an example:
A quote from Jason Simmons about fraud protection. A section about fraud protection includes a quote from a store owner explaining how a specific app on he BigCommerce platform helped them reduce chargebacks after losing thousands of dollars in merchandise.
Improve your CTA
Every piece of high-converting content features at least one call-to-action. CTAs can take many forms. You could:
promote a free trial
encourage email signups
add links to relevant products
CTAs typically come at the end of a landing page or blog post, but they don’t have to. Buffer, for instance, includes an email signup CTA in the middle of their blog post.
An example of a strong CTA by Buffer.
Note how hard it is to miss and how far down it is on the page. That’s on purpose. If you’ve read this far, there’s a good chance you enjoy the content and will want to be updated whenever a new post goes live. This CTA wouldn’t be half as effective if it were used at the start of the article.
What Are Common Content Optimization Mistakes?
Now that we’ve looked at the three major methods you can use to optimize your content, let’s repeatedly cover the most common content optimization mistakes I see. You were not aligning content with search intent. Don’t just optimize your content for a specific keyword. Optimize for the intent behind that keyword. If it’s an informational query, like “how to groom my puppy,”
make sure you write a how-to guide and don’t just sell your grooming tool. They are failing to improve the reader experience. Many site owners spend ages improving their content’s SEO but give no thought to the reader experience
.The result is much traffic but a huge bounce rate and no conversions.
They are not adding internal links. Internal links are an easy way to optimize many pages simultaneously, yet they are criminally underused. You are not improving the content. Content optimization isn’t just about adding keywords. You also must ensure you cover a topic in its totality to rank well. I am not deleting irrelevant content. At the same time, you should delete outdated content. Over-optimizing content. It’s possible to go too far and stuff your content full of keywords. Avoid this at all costs. Not only will Google penalize your site, but it will also create a poor user experience.
What is content optimization?
Content optimization is improving your content to rank better on Google and be more digestible to human readers.
How do I optimize my content?
There are several ways to optimize your content. You can improve your content’s SEO to rank better on Google.
You can improve its structure and readability so that it’s more engaging. And you can improve its sales elements like the CTA so that it converts more readers.
Why is content optimization important?
Content optimization offers a ton of benefits. It can bring better rankings, a larger audience, more backlinks, and help you build trust.
Optimizing your content is essential if you want it to be read and drive conversions. A well-optimized mediocre article will always perform better than a poorly optimized but well-written article. So make sure you optimize your content for the right keywords, use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway to improve your copy, and think about ways to improve your copy’s conversion rate. Do all three, and you’ll have a killer piece of content that ranks well, engages readers, and sells.