8 Content Optimization Tips
If you’re looking for ways to boost traffic to your website, you have a few options. You can pay for ads, potentially driving users to your site during a specific campaign, or you can optimize your site’s content, to boost your organic search results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) relies on principles of clean coding, clear content, and strategic keyword use. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with content optimization tips to help you prioritize your website tactics.
Why is SEO so important? As you’ve likely discovered, with so much competing clutter online, it can be difficult to help users find your site. Many business owners turn to SEO after struggling to help their sites get found in organic results.
To help you get started, here are 8 content optimization tips to keep in mind as you plan your SEO strategy.
Put a Stake in the Ground
Before you jump into content tactics, it’s important to capture your current metrics. Start by recording details such as:
- Current organic search ranking for specific keywords
- Number of pages on your site
- Monthly traffic volume to the home page
- Most visited pages
- Time spent on pages
- Sources of current traffic
With these details recorded, it’s important to set new goals for each metric. Be sure to set realistic timelines—it can take months for Google and other search engines to crawl and categorize your site.
Take a Strategic Approach
When you start a project like content optimization, it’s important to step back and take an inventory of what you’ll need to do.
Common site elements that will need to be adjusted in an SEO upgrade include:
- Tags, headers, and descriptions
- Website copy and other content
- Heading structures/code cleanliness
- Links to and from your site
Content optimization tips often overlook this step. Only by laying out the big picture of what needs to be done, will you know how to assign tasks and set a realistic timeline.
Get the Keywords Right
Within your SEO efforts, it’s critical to understand which keywords you should be targeting. One of the most common content optimization tips is to target the right keywords or keyword phrases for your organization.
For example, say you run a pet grooming company in Detroit. You might assume that you should target “pet grooming Michigan”, but a closer look might reveal that “dog groomer Detroit” is a less competitive, more effective phrase.
Thankfully, there are useful online tools to help you narrow down which keywords you should target. You can also pay for more advanced tools or hire experts to help you determine which keywords will be most effective for your site, given current competition and search trends.
Adjacent Content Matters
When it comes to content optimization tips, this one is often overlooked. Adjacent content helps search engines verify the credibility of a given subject matter. Adjacent means ‘next to or adjoining’; when it comes to content, it means words and phrases related to your keyword phrases.
In other words, on your page targeting “dog groomer Detroit”, do you also have content that talks about dogs in general, dog treats, dog leashes, and specialty dog shampoos?
While it’s hard to pinpoint the adjacent content that search engines will value for a given term or phrase, a genuine, well-written copy will naturally result in deeper, richer content. Your best strategy for creating valuable adjacent content is to write authentically, with your specific user in mind.
Talk to Humans
Similarly, genuine content that dives deep into a given subject should also speak to readers with a tone they recognize. Humans and search engines alike are skilled at recognizing tone within the written copy. Be sure to match your writing tone to the subject matter you are describing.
For most sites, you’ll want to aim for friendly, professional, and optimistic. For some, you’ll want to sound confident, while others can target a more playful tone.
Most lists of content optimization tips overlook the value of tone. Whichever voice works best for your site, make sure you use it consistently and with intention.
Similarly, as you write content for your site, it’s critical to be original. Yes, there are only so many ways you can describe dog grooming services, but Google and other search engines reward original, relevant content with better search results.
In other words, if you’re not comfortable writing original content for your site, be sure to hire someone who knows how to implement the keywords or keyword phrases that will help your SEO. For now, it’s critical to avoid using AI to write your content. Not only do you risk it sounding impersonal and off-brand, but you also risk being penalized by search engines for not using original content.
Go Deep and Provide Value
As you plan content for a given page, be sure to think about the value you offer your readers. Do you go deep into a given subject, offering information they might not be able to find elsewhere? Is the structure and content of your headers well thought out and helpful? Do you offer relevant external links, to help guide your visitors to related content?
Going deep with your site content means taking a step back, analyzing the value you’re providing, and offering more than just the basics. One of the most common mistakes site owners make, when they’re considering content optimization tips, is thinking they need to do what others are doing.
The more generous you can be with the value you provide, the more users will return to your site and the longer they will stay on a given page—key hints to search engines that your site is worth visiting.
When it comes to having an internet presence, it’s almost impossible to ‘set it and forget it’. Organizations that fail to make regular site updates will find themselves sliding down the list of organic search results.
Adding fresh copy, videos, and other content can let search engines know that your site is up-to-date, with relevant content. One of the most effective ways to update your content, while injecting strategic keywords, is to use a blog.
When weighing which content optimization tips will deliver the most value, maintenance is one of the most critical. Not only is it important to update your content regularly, but also to make sure your tags, headers, and code get a refresh once in a while.
Keep up with Your Competitors
As you can probably see, translating a list of content optimization tips into a boost in search engine results takes effort and time. Not only will you need to plan out a strategic approach, but you’ll also need to rewrite and/or create original content, keyword-rich and offers value to your visitors.
Is it worth the time and commitment to make these changes? When it comes to search engine results, it’s important to realize that standing still means falling behind. Your competitors are likely thinking about ways to improve their search engine results, too. In other words, yes, it is worth the time and effort to optimize your site, with one caveat—it needs to be done well.
The last thing you want to do is invest your time, or the time of your employees, into an ineffective site overhaul. Chasing the best practices in content optimization can feel futile without a plan and a level of expertise.
If you don’t have the in-house expertise to optimize your website, it’s important to find an experienced SEO team. Look for vendors with excellent ratings and strong client reviews. Ask about their success rates and how they might make a difference for your business.