Gartner defines content optimization as the process by which a content provider is able to use a variety of techniques to improve search results and ranking. It extends the value of core content by automating the content management process to develop new Web pages on the fly.
Content optimization has two parts- optimizing for audience and optimizing for bots.
Ensures the content you create is visible and wins through the online clutter. Basically, it's all about creating valuable content in a way that your audience can easily find, consume, process and benefit from.
Optimizing for Audience
Includes better readability, user interface, and interesting unique content to satisfy a consumer's quest for knowledge.
Did you know that incorrect sentence length reduces content effectiveness by as much as 75%?
An Atomic Audit can show you write in shorter paragraphs helps to make your articles scannable. This makes it easier to consume.
Optimizing for Bots
On the other hand optimizing for bots includes ensuring that elements like title tag, meta tag, meta description, image tag, alt tag etc., are in place. You also need the right keywords used in the right places.
So why is promoting content that is not optimized a waste of marketing dollars?
Here are the primary goals of content marketing:
- Increase brand awareness
- Building brand loyalty
- Improve customer engagement
- Educate the consumers / potential consumers
By promoting low quality content with catchy advertisements you can generate traffic only for a very short duration.
Users who see catchy advertisements may click on it, but if they find the content boring or of low quality, they would immediately bounce off the page.
The dollars spent in bringing users to the website becomes a waste.
If your content is not engaging, even paid channels like Google Adwords will penalize your content. As a result the number of impressions your ad generates drastically falls.
On the other hand quality content would be a strong foundation for each of the above listed content marketing goals.
When a user comes across quality content there is more of a chance that they will engage with it or even share it with their peers.
A brand which educates users creates a long lasting impact on its potential consumers.
78% of consumers believe that organizations that publish custom content are interested in building good relationships with them (McMurry/TMG). Engaging content is ranked higher by search engines. This also results in a higher rating for the ads which promote high quality content.
Benefits of Content Optimization:
Brand awareness- When your brand educates consumers with quality content over a period in the long run, your brand awareness and brand recall value improves significantly.
Customer engagement- High quality content automatically interests customers and drives engagement with your brand. Engagement over a period builds a base of loyal consumers.
Growing consumer preference for content- Consumers prefer content which educates them over advertisements which sell to them.
According to the Custom Content Council, 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content.
Higher search engine visibility- Content which is optimized also gets higher ranked on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
SEM performance- Quality content not only gets ranked high in search engines but also impacts search engine marketing ads. Google Adwords factors in user engagement while showing ads. So quality content ensures higher number of impressions on adwords.
Tools of Content Optimization:
Now that we have understood why content optimization is important let’s learn about a few tools that can help in optimizing content:
Let’s start with your heading.
1. CoSchedule’s Heading Analyzer
HeadingAnalyser uses proven research to enable you to write the best headlines. The tool is very simple to use. All you have to do is key in your headline on CoSchedule's HeadingAnalyser and you'll get a report analysing your headline.
The tool gives:
- A score out of 100 which is the overall score of your headline
- Word balance- is an analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline
- Heading type- tells you if your title is generic or unique
Length- shows you whether your heading is too short or long or optimal
- Sentiment analysis
- Keywords used
- Google search preview and email subject line- how your headline looks on different interfaces
Moving onto your body content.
After optimizing the heading, you could move to the article’s body. Grammar and readability are two important factors for optimizing the body of the article.
Focuses on making sure that everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.
Key features include:
- Correcting over 250 types of grammatical mistakes
- Eliminating contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary usage
Working wherever you write online. Whether you type in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and nearly anywhere else on the web.
Helps you write with power and clarity by highlighting adverbs, passive voice, and dull, complicated words. The tool cuts the dead weight from your writing.
It highlights wordy sentences in yellow and more egregious ones in red. Once installed the app can be used anywhere and no internet connection is required.
After optimizing for readers, now it’s time to look at optimizing for search engines
This plugin shows a search engine preview snippet and checks for simple things you're bound to forget like:
- If you have images in your post and whether they have an alt tag containing the focus keyword for that post
- Whether your posts are long enough
- If you've written a meta description and if that meta description contains your focus keyword,
- If you've used any subheadings within your post
You can also write meta titles and descriptions for your category, tag and custom taxonomy archives. This gives you the option to further optimize those pages.
Combined, this plugin makes sure that your content is the type of content search engines will love!
The comprehensive tool which integrates most of the above features and much more!
Enables marketers to produce the “right content, in the right format, to target the right audience at the right time.”
Atomic Reach not only ensures good grammar, readability and writing style but also analyses your specific target audience and gives insights tailor-made for them.
Here’s a list of some of their amazing key features:
- Uncovers how writing patterns impact your audience
- Analyzes your content data patterns to identify the key drivers of your audience’s reading behaviour
- Provides audience insights to find out who is your most engaged audience to drive content consistency every time you write
- An adaptive linguistic analytics engine to match words, sentences and structures best suited for your audience(s)
Try testing it by analyzing your some of your own blog posts
This free report gives you details about:
- How complex or simple your articles are for your specific audience
- Which headlines can be improved to get more readers
- What your sweet spot is when it comes to article length
Optimizing content for both audience and bots are equally important. However it’s not possible to optimize for both simultaneously.
It is difficult to write while remembering to fit in the keywords, instead it’s advisable to write your article with natural flow first, and then scan through to see where the keywords would be a perfect fit.
The best practise would be to first write engaging content, keeping in mind the preferences of your target audience and then optimizing for bots.
About the Author:
Soupa Soundararajan is a digital marketing professional with over four years of experience. She is a gold medalist in marketing management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management. Prior to MBA, she has done engineering in electronics and communication. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, photography and reading. Follow her on Twitter:@ssoupa