Ever came across this widely acclaimed saying “Content is the King”
Well as it just turns it, it really is
But there’s a decent chance that the King doesn’t end up seeing the light of the day because your content strategy while getting other things right fails to get one thing right & that is “Content Optimization”
Read on to learn content optimization tips that will help you rank incredibly well.
Bonus: You will learn about some tools here that you may not have known about
What is Content Optimization?
Content optimization is a process of making your content receive maximum exposure on the internet by optimizing your content for both search engine bots & humans. An optimized content will receive maximum reach because the search engine bot catches all the relevant signals necessary to be found on a page that should reach maximum people.
Before reading this guide any further, answer this question
Does the content that ranks on page 1 is great or the content that ranks on page 10 is great?
This may seem like a no-brainer
The correct answer is both & sometimes either of them
It is possible that the content that ranks page 10 is actually better than the content that ranks on page 1, the only reason that the content on page 10 didn’t make it to page 1 was because the content wasn’t optimized for search engines.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you optimize for bots and ignore humans. My strategy is counter-intuitive.
I write content that humans like to read and bots qualify it to be reached to humans. Achieve both goals at once.
Killer Content Optimization Strategies to rank on page #1 of Google
1. Churn out Good Content
The first one is a no-brainer!
But it still takes reminding people that it takes good content to rank well.
One thing above anything else that Google likes to deliver is awesome user experience. Something tells me that they will fail at it if god awful content ranks higher.
What’s good content?
A content that helps people and adds value to their life.
What’s bad content?
A content that doesn’t isn’t directed towards the reader but is rather directed towards the writer. Where the writing goes something like, look what I did or goes on a spree of shameless self-promotion without adding any value.
A good content is the content that helps people allow them to acquire knowledge about the subject matter entirely. If you have written a piece about “instagram marketing strategies” then it is expected of the readers to also look for the resource for “social media marketing” you should have that resource there as an internal link.
He shouldn’t have to leave your website to find that resource someplace else.
2. Introductions matter a lot
As unbelievable as it may seem but intros matter a lot for content optimization. It isn’t obviously a ranking factor but it indirectly factors in.
Google’s RankBrain Algorithm ranks a web page that has been well received by the user. I.e. when users landed up on that page from search they didn’t bounce back right away.
They stayed on the page for long, perhaps they scrolled all the way down and finished reading the content.
If more visitors have that kind of experience with the page then RankBrain understands it that the page must be good. Let’s show it to more people.
Introductions can act as a hook that gives readers a summary of what value they will get if they read the whole article. Never give away too much information in the introductions. If users get the complete gist of what the article is about then perhaps they may choose to bounce back. Keep some suspense that makes them wanna scroll down.
Just doing this one little thing can dramatically increase the dwell time on the page.
You can tweak your existing blog post and even before tweaking the blog apply a scroll depth trigger using Google Tag Manager & gauge the performance of the blog post for a week. After one week passes then make your intros awesome.
A week later you can head over to your Google Analytics & check the scroll depth compare it with a week before when you hadn’t optimized the intros to see if there is any progress.
3. Content Length
There is not a thumb rule for content length like write 1500 words article and thus you shall rank on page 1.
No rule of SEO can be generalized like that. The content length should be inline with the topic.
There are topics that require content length as high as 6,000 words and then there are topics where a 800 words writeup does the job.
Mostly it is pillar content that requires more word count on topics that are vast and demands topical depth.
A good example would be “On Page SEO Guide” for this topic. You cannot get away with writing just a short 6-800 word writeup and even rank well on that.
This topic demands depth, analyze the first 5 search results to see how long their content is. That would give you a clue of how lengthy your content needs to be.
Don’t go about word count length in a crude way. Google doesn’t care about the length as much as it does for the value that you add to the user who is reading it. If you write 6,000 words gibberish then that doesn’t do any justice to the reader he will be disappointed having wasted his time clicking your result.
4. A perfect mix of keyword research
A traditional keyword research requires you to find a seed keyphrase which will be the topic of your article and just write about that, going with the flow.
It would take more than just the traditional keyword research to outrank your competition.
A perfect mix of keyword research is the one where you are using the combination of seed keyword, long-tail keywords, mid-tail keywords, question keywords, synonyms & LSI (Latent Semantic Keywords).
But don’t go all in just for the sake of putting these keywords as per your research from your favorite keyword research tool.
There is a decent chance that you will unknowingly create content cannibalization problems & moreover confound the search engine as to which topic should it rank you for.
The mix of keyword research has to be mild instead of being aggressive.
To find semantic keywords there is an amazing tool called “Text Optimizer” it uses Machine Learning in conjunction with NLP (Natural Language Processing) to determine additional keywords that search might want to see on your page to see the semantic signals.
5. Don’t under optimize your content
We are very careful of not over optimizing the content with keyword stuffing but in pursuit of that sometime we end up under optimizing our content as we rely on tools rather than logic.
Now what I’m gonna say might flip you off but I’m saying it anyways.
You can repeat your seed keyphrase a couple of times instead of just once. This is backed by real-time data by the way.
The search engine needs to know what’s the topic that you want to rank for & it cannot seldom determine the same by just taking the look at the keyword from your title tag. It’s a bot after all.
Your seed keyphrase for which you want to rank the content needs to be repeated an appropriate number of times to the extent where it is still not keyword stuffing. Seeing the keyphrase being repeated so often the search engine bot understands what the topic is for which it shall rank you.
6. Get the link signals correct
When I talk about link signals, I am talking about 360° here.
An often less talked about part of links is external links to your page that you need to add.
To validate the facts it is very important that you add the external links, Google needs to know whether the stats & facts that you are throwing around are deeming true or not. Always validate your facts with external source links. It adds credibility to your content.
Another signal that I am talking about is internal links signal. Your website is itself a power house of authority signals.
Leverage the inbuilt authority & navigate that juice to the pieces that you want to rank.
Two internal links to a page is equal to 1 dofollow backlink that you generate from an external website.
That’s how important internal links are.
You need to identify the authority pages from your website that are relevant to the piece you are publishing. A quick way to find that out is heading straight to Google Analytics → Behavior → All Pages report and finding the page with maximum pageviews from Organic source/medium
Find the interconnected content and interlink the two to navigate the link equity. Doing this one thing alone will infuse authority in your new page.
7. Tweak with Title Tag
Title tag is the most important aspect of on page seo because that is the first thing users see in the SERP (search engine result pages) that is what compels them to click your website instead of your competitors.
Crafting a title tag that is clickworthy is an iterative process, it’s not a onetime task. At least until the point where you know the secret recipe of it.
One tool that will help a great deal with this is Google Search Console → Performance
Head over to Google Search Console performance report and find all your pages that are ranking on page 2 for their seed keyword search.
Those are the pages whose titles need work. They are anyway not ranking on page 1 of your targeted location so there’s very little to lose.
Tweak their titles, make it appear catchy, Coshedule’s headline analyzer will help you with ideas.
Doing just this one tweak can move the page by as many as 10 positions or even more.
What it means for your page being on the 2nd page is that users are seeing your page but are not clicking that means it’s not catchy enough to be clicked; maybe your title is very boring.
Spice it up and move the needle.
Move over from the traditional way of creating content cover all angles of optimizing content with modern tools & techniques to claim higher rankings.