Well-optimized content is crucial in terms of your website’s visibility.
On top of that, quality content attracts more visitors and generates more shares. Given that everyone aspires to represent themselves as established online experts, it is increasingly important to actually be one.
Quality content is not only more visible but also more credible. In the long run, that means that your repeat visitor base will keep growing, and you know that saying about word-of-mouth marketing? It’s as true in terms of online content as in other non-virtual matters.
Optimize your online content
The main issue with quality content is that it takes time, and we all know how busy we all are. Therefore, it is crucial to learn the art of content optimization, and if it works fast, even better!
Here are our top seven picks for optimizing your online content in just 15 minutes.
Keywords are what increases your website’s visibility in the first place. It is no wonder, then, that they have been in the spotlight. Both keyword types help Google identify your website. The better the keywords, the more hits your page will make.
There are two types of keywords: primary and secondary. Primary keywords are the most prominent while secondary keywords are there to help your page rank better.
In order to be successful, a primary keyword must be included in the title, the first and last paragraphs, and in the body text (your choice). Both primary and secondary keywords are used for linking, both internally and externally.
Internal, inbound, and navigational links should be monitored so as to further enhance your website’s performance. Finally, image keywords should also be optimized. This include file names and image alt attributes.
2. Headers and subheaders
A header (H1) both announces the content to follow and provides context to the piece. It should immediately inform the reader what the text is all about and should feature the main keyword. There should always be only one H1.
Don’t overdo keywords. The piece should be readable and flow well, so make those headers and subheaders worth it. An ongoing debate has it that the header tag is best optimized for a long-tail search keyword with the answer following immediately.
As mentioned above, image names and attributes should feature keywords (think in terms of image search). But that’s not the end to image optimization. A good image should be small and high-quality, so that the page will load faster.
Name your images descriptively and in plain language.
Optimize your alt attributes carefully.
Choose your image dimensions and product angles wisely.
Reduce the file size of your images.
Choose the right file type.
Optimize your thumbnails.
Use image sitemaps.
Beware of decorative images.
Use caution when using content delivery networks (CDNs).
Test your images.
To do this quickly, adhere to your image database or make a template for the images, changing the keyword accordingly.
4. Meta descriptions
Meta descriptions may be tricky at first, but once you learn what to pay attention to, you will do it routinely. Meta descriptions generate click through rates (CTRs) through search engines and are extremely important because of that.
A good meta description should feature up to 155 characters. Keep in mind that Google changes the rules of the game regularly, so always keep informed about the latest developments.
The truth is that there is no general advice as to optimum length; it depends on the message you are trying to get across. Shortly put, a good meta description should be concise, but don’t make it less informative for the sake of brevity.
Because they can make or break a business, meta descriptions must contain a primary keyword and match the content at the same time. Since the target keyword is also present in the title and H1, the task will be easier to perform. Your meta description should be content-unique. Don’t use generic text and templates or re-use meta descriptions for other pages.
If optimized the right way, links will keep a visitor browsing additional content on your website and partner sites. Both internal and external links are important, as they help the visitors find exactly what they need.
If satisfied, they’ll keep coming to your website for resources. On top of that, internal links improve SEO in terms of visibility.
There is a trick to making your links appear more attractive. The first one is to shorten them without using shortener tools, as the latter features random numbers and letters. Rather, make your URLs shorter at all times.
Why? Well, many visitors want to know where the link will take them as to rule out spam. Longer URLs get cut short, which often results in visitors not clicking it.
Unique content is the most important part of a successful website, so it is important to pay attention to small details as to prevent it from going to waste. Namely, on top of image, header, title, header and link optimization, there are also a couple of other factors to keep in mind.
First off, if you want your keywords to immediately attract attention, type them in a larger font size. This implies titles, headers, and subheaders, which are normally expected to stand out. Secondly, avoid bolds and italics for secondary keywords, as they are normally shunned (clickbaits, spam and similar practices are to blame).
If you tend to publish content on similar topics, be very careful to clearly separate each piece. Otherwise, it will be treated as duplicate content and be consequently penalized by Google.
Finally, maintain a consistent tone of voice for your brand. This makes your content more recognizable and trustworthy. An inconsistent tone is not only unprofessional but is also confusing to both your readers and to search engines.
TIP: Read our 12 hacks for content repurposing to make sure you're doing everything in your power to polish and perfect all site content!
7. Podcasts and videos
If your website features extras, such as podcasts and videos, you’ll want to make certain they are optimized as well. That basically means tapescripts. If these are not present, search engines won’t take note of them.
In a nutshell…
Everything considered, optimizing content is, more or less, all about keywords, links and meta descriptions. As many have noted, content is nowadays intended for Google, rather than the readers, but we’d beg to differ.
High-quality content rules supreme and quality sites will always have better rankings than lower quality ones. Therefore, make certain to not forget the visitors when busying yourself with optimization.
Curious how content optimization and the right content marketing team can help grow your site traffic and improve SEO? Read G2's 1 Million series where they outline just what steps it took to bring them up to over 1.5 million monthly readers in just 18 months!
Angela Ash is an expert content writer, editor and marketer, and she works with Flow SEO. She writes on a multitude of topics, but places a special importance on content marketing, SEO, productivity and business applications.