If you’re the owner of a business, small or large, then you’re aware of how important marketing your brand is. Successful marketing leads to customer retention, new customer acquisition, and ultimately more sales and profits. As such, you probably also know that content on your website or blog is an extremely important aspect of marketing, and you may be working hard to consistently create perfect content. Unfortunately, if a search engine can’t find your content, then even the most comprehensive content will be rendered useless. For tips on how to make your content as effective as possible, refer to the following as a guide to content optimization:
The Difference Between Content and Optimization
The first thing that needs to be understood is that there’s a big difference between content and optimization, and each term applies and appeals to two entirely distinct audiences. Content, for example, is targeted to readers—great content will attract readers, keep them interested, and encourage them to invest in your product or service. Optimization, on the other hand, has very little to do with readers and instead is meant for the machines, or search engine robots, that use your text to improve your SEO ranking. As such, content that isn’t optimized might go unnoticed by a search engine, and therefore unread by the masses.
How Content Optimization Works
Essentially, content optimization, or SEO (search engine optimization), is the process of optimizing your content to make sure that it’s more visible through the web. Search engine robots will rank highly optimized content higher on a search engine page than non-optimized content. Optimizing a website involves many nuanced details, and search engine robots are weighing everything from content to HTML to backlinks.
Tips and Techniques on How to Optimize
As complicated as it may seem at first, optimizing content doesn’t have to be difficult. While websites that pop up first on a search engine’s page may have a professional working behind the scene to optimize content, even a beginner can improve their search engine ranking by referring to the following:
- Write Great Content: While content alone isn’t everything, it is a big part of the picture, and great content can dramatically improve your chances of a great SEO ranking. When writing content, make sure it’s relatable to the user/reader, is original, and is written for your website and your purposes. Since you know your business better than anyone, writing content that describes your product, your services, or your business updates should buy right up your alley.
- Keep New Content Coming: Another tip for optimizing your content is to be constantly posting new content. Search engine robots love new content, and your readers will, too.
- Use Headings: Another thing that search engines love is big text, so make sure you use headings and subheadings in your writing and make sure you make the text larger or bolded. Another tip: use keywords within the heading, which will kill two birds with one stone.
- Optimize the Text: You can optimize existing text simply by adding a few key content optimization devices. Title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords, and URLs are all a great way to get your content noticed by search engines.
- Optimize Images: People love images, and consumers often spend as much time searching for photos as they do text. As such, make sure you’re up to speed by optimizing all images within your content. Add alt tags, which serve as alternate text; use image tags, which are the words that show up when a user scrolls over an image; and make sure the file size of your images has been adjusted properly to ensure that all images load and view properly.
- Optimize Videos: Like images, great headings, and other graphics or bold colors, videos grab the readers’ attention and help to keep them hooked. If you don’t have your own videos to upload, you can use websites such as YouTube to find great clips that can be embedded into your site. As always, use good keywords in your videos’ title, descriptions, and tags; share videos on social media sites; and use a video as a call to action or another way to drive sales.
- Stop Writing for Search Engines: Believe it or not, most search engine robots can tell when you’re writing content specifically for search engine optimization and not for the user, which hurts your ranking. Instead of focusing exclusively on keywords, over-linking, or creating content that’s low quality just for the purpose of publishing, relax, take a breath, and back-off from over optimizing. Focusing on content that is natural sounding and useful will get you a long way, and then optimizing after that by doing the things mentioned above is key.
- Use Social Media: If you posted your blog to Facebook or Twitter once and then gave up on it, you’re not doing your best to optimize your page. Social media is very important when it comes to content optimization, and simply posting a link isn’t enough. Rather, build relationships with relevant users and connections through social media sites, share other users’ content too, provide feedback, and use your social media site for more than just posting.
- Keep it Clean: Finally, know that a search engine won’t publish anything that’s hard to find or illegal to post. As such, make sure you keep your code clean and organized, using HTML and CSS layouts, which help search engines, find your content efficiently. Additionally, know that anything illegal (unlawful use of copyrighted content) won’t be published. For best results, use your own content, and be creative to avoid raising any red flags.
What It’s All About
To sum it up, content optimization is about making sure that search engines can understand what your business is about; if they can’t, they won’t be able to help search engine users find you. Through content optimization, you are providing essential data that search engines will use to determine what your content—and, by extension, your business—is all about. After that, they’ll be able to send users directly to your website by ranking your site higher than others.