Your website could contain the most informative, functional, and engaging content in the history of your industry, but without content optimization, no one will ever see it.
Google, Bing, and other search engines handle billions of queries every day. Where does your website rank in search results? How will people find you if your content is buried under dozens or even pages of results from your competitors?
Advantageous search engine rankings don’t happen by accident. They’re the result of a deliberate process of optimizing all types of web content, from text and keywords to images and video. If that sounds complicated—we have some good news. It’s not. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on professional content optimization, no programming degree required.
What is Content Optimization
It starts with three letters: SEO.
SEO is short for search engine optimization. This term covers a wide range of tools and techniques that help search engines notice your web content. Search engines like Google are known for their expansive scope and precise results, so you may be wondering why they need help finding your website.
While search engines are incredibly observant, they lack all comprehension. They know the exact text, images, and video contained in your web content, but they don’t know what any of it means. Content optimization assigns meaning that search engines understand, enabling them to match your website to relevant queries.
Once optimized, your audience won’t have any trouble finding you in their search engine rankings.
Why Content Optimization Matters
Your goal isn’t simply for your audience to find your content. It’s for your audience to find the exact content they’re looking for right away. If, after connecting to your website, they have to click through page after page of irrelevant content, chances are they’re going to give up and go somewhere else—and they won’t be back.
Content optimization applies to every part of your website, not just the homepage. You can generate search engine results that link to landing pages, such as:
- Blog posts
- Directory and contact pages
- Social media
Content Marketing Optimization Guide
It takes just a few content optimization tools to enhance your online marketing strategy and search engine standing.
If you don’t know where to start, start with tags. Tags are exactly what they sound like. They describe a specific piece of content. This tool’s effectiveness is multiplied by its versatility. Here are a few ways to employ tags.
This tag provides a brief description of your content. Search engines use title tags for the headline of every search result. We’ve all seen headlines that run too long and are cut off by ellipses. That’s why it’s essential to keep title tags concise. Your title tag is the first thing anyone will read about you in their search results, so don’t give them any reasons to skip to the next.
When you move your mouse pointer over an image and a little caption of text appears, that’s an image tag. Not only are they a great way to provide details or context to an image, but they’re also an opportunity to employ keywords. We’ll tell you why keywords are so important in just a moment.
Sometimes, due to a user’s web browser settings or slow internet connection, images aren’t displayed. This is where alt tags come in. They provide a text description of the missing image. Since search engines lack eyes and can’t see online images, they use alt tags to determine which images correspond to each query. If you want your content included in any search engine’s image results, alt tags are the key.
Keywords are any words or phrases submitted to a search engine that produce results. Your target audience has targeted keywords. These are the specific terms that anyone searching for your type of content will enter. Keyword specificity elevates your content’s ranking in a user’s search results. Be as specific as possible when describing:
- Service Area
You’ve already got the perfect title tag to serve as the search results headline. Now you need a meta-description, a summary of your content that appears beneath the title tag. Anyone reading it has found you in their results, and they’re looking at a link to your website, so give them a reason to click.
Meta-descriptions also offer another opportunity to employ targeted keywords. They usually run about 150 characters because, as with title tags, you don’t want them running so long they get cut off.
Google regularly shows a box containing an excerpt from a particularly relevant piece of content at or near the top of its search results called a featured snippet. Getting your content into a featured snippet is one of the most effective ways to direct traffic to your website.
Featured snippets often contain answers to questions. Your content optimization should provide answers to your target audience’s most frequent questions. If you’re not sure what questions they’re asking, trying typing some of them into Google and seeing what auto-complete suggests.
There are numerous techniques to increase your likelihood of achieving featured snippet status.
- They’re a great way to present a lot of information in a small space visually.
- Q&A pages. A comprehensive Questions and Answers page is full of potential featured snippets.
- Be concise. As with title tags and meta-descriptions, you don’t want your answers getting cut off. Extremely lengthy answers won’t even be considered for featured snippets.
Optimize from the Outset
Don’t wait until your content is finished. You’ll achieve the best results with a natural flow by incorporating content optimization tools while creating content rather than applying them to a finished product.
Connect with a Wider Audience
Even stellar content can get lost amidst so many online options. Give your content a greater audience with these content optimization tools.
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