There’s a familiar saying in online marketing—content is king. There’s a lot of truth to that statement; when it comes to enhancing your brand, there’s simply no substitute for engaging, value-adding content. With that said, there’s more to content than the messaging itself. For the best results, it’s important to create content that engages readers, but also fulfills all the prerequisites for high Google search placement. This ensures that your content receives the visibility it needs to connect with its audience.
But what does it really mean to optimize your written content? There are many considerations to make here, and in this post we’re going to run through some of the basics.
Optimizing Your Written Content
Start with the title. It’s important that your content have a headline that grabs attention—but also that complies with SEO best practices. For one thing, we’d recommend using at least one focus keyword in your title, as naturally and organically as possible. We also recommend keeping your title to 60 characters or less. The reason for this is simple: It ensures that Google can fit the entire title into the SERP, without needing to truncate it.
Have a relevant URL. So-called “vanity” URLs aren’t mere vanities at all; they are SEO essentials. A URL that’s just a random string of numbers isn’t going to do you any favors, so instead make the URL something relevant to your title and keywords.
Structure your page. Your written content should lead readers (and search algorithms) from top to the bottom, using a series of H1, H2, H3, and possible H4 headings that divide the content naturally into different sections. Each heading is also a great place to include another keyword!
Be judicious with keywords. Speaking of which, what are the best strategies for keyword optimization? Rather than try to hit a magic number, we’d advise employing keywords as naturally as possible. Remember that titles and headings are the best places to position keywords. And remember, too, that keyword stuffing—that is, throwing in so many keywords that the content is hard to read—is a big SEO faux pas.
Be readable. Optimizing for the search algorithms means making it easy for people to read—period. Your headings help with that, as we mentioned above, but we’d also encourage you to use shorter sentences and concise paragraphs. Bullets and numbered lists are helpful. Passive voice is not.
Don’t forget your meta description! Providing Google with a meta description—150 characters or less, including a clear summary of the content, a keyword or two, and a call to action—is a critical SEO activity.
Remember to optimize for mobile users. Your content should be easy to read on any and all devices. Check your page for mobile optimization on a number of different devices—and if you don’t like what you see, call your Web developer. Alternatively, note that the most common content management systems, including WordPress, provides an easy way to switch on mobile optimization.
Include links. Both internal and external linking can help you with optimization, just so long as you keep them genuinely helpful and relevant. Random or paid-for links, meanwhile, will do more harm than good.
Make Your Content Shine
For your content to pack a punch, you need it to be original, compelling, and actionable. You also need it to be well formatted, structured, and keyword-rich. That’s a lot to think about, but our team can help. Talk with us about what it takes to truly optimize your content. Reach out to the Driven2020 team sooner rather than later!