4 Content Optimization Tricks to Make a Significant Impact
For the better part of the last decade, content marketing has been one of the most (if not the most) popular forms of brand promotion, and nearly all organizations are doing it in some form or another.
However, the majority of businesses are still unsatisfied with their results. One of the main reasons for this is due to the lack of a clear strategy. Nearly two-thirds of companies report they have no documented content strategy in place. This means that there is virtually no rhyme or reason behind the content they post – they simply create and hope for the best.
Obviously, this sort of approach can stand in the way of how your content strategy performs. If your brand’s content is not making the kind of impact you would like to see, you’re probably searching for a solution. Marketers will look for easy ways to improve their efforts through optimization tricks and strategies that are easily found with a quick Google search. While some of this advice is sound, there are tons of tips out there that simply have no merit.
Instead of trying out new strategies that have no guarantees, a smarter approach is to try things that will optimize your content by improving its visibility in search engine result pages. Here’s how.
1. Understanding the Importance of LSI Keywords
Keyword inclusion is an obvious top priority for good content, but capturing all of the possible search options is tricky. The English language is particularly tough because of the large number of synonyms it contains. For instance, say that someone enters the word “Amazon” into a search engine. Amazon could refer to the largest rainforest in South America or the biggest online retailer in the world, and both of those options also have thousands of related case scenarios associated with both meanings.
These associations are known as Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI keywords. So, these are not necessarily synonyms, but rather words that share the same context but have very different meanings and associations.
One way to optimize your marketing content is by incorporating LSI keywords in the correct way. Unfortunately, most marketers try to compensate by including lots of long-tail phrases which can lead to major mistakes like keyword stuffing. This actually hurts your content’s ranking if it is blatantly full of repeated keywords. Instead, follow a more strategic approach by taking a look at LSI keyword associations that already exist. This can be done with Google’s predictive search as well as the Keyword Planner tool.
See what kind of phrasing is generally associated with a keyword search from your audience and look for ways to naturally incorporate the phrasing into your content to match up with the searcher’s intent.
2. Re-Optimizing Top Performers
There is always room for improvement, even when it comes to the top-performing content on your website. If there are certain pieces or pages that are driving in the vast majority of your web traffic, take a look and see if there is any room for re-optimization.
For example, simply updating a piece with more recent research and updated statistics can actually boost its visibility. HubSpot conducted an experiment with this on their own content. Older posts were drawing in 92% of their leads. Once these older posts were re-evaluated and optimized with fresh data and title tweaks, the monthly lead numbers doubled.
Google prefers to display more current content in the results page, so each webpage is given a “freshness” score based on how recently it has been updated. However, just putting some small changes in old pieces is not going to trick Google’s algorithm. Google pays attention to details like the amount of content that has been changed, how often it is updated, and how frequently new content is added to the website. Therefore, this should be used in addition to more optimization strategies.
Take a look at some past content pieces and re-evaluate where things can be improved. For instance, are there places where you can link to newer research or include more recent examples? You may also want to re-optimize the titles to match up with more recent keyword trends and phrases.
3. Do a Complete SEO Audit
Another way to optimize is to figure out where your weakest content links already exist through an SEO audit. Essentially, this is an analysis of your website’s content and technical infrastructure, as well as your site’s on-page and off-page links. This is extremely beneficial if your business has a lot of external links from other sites. If any of these links are broken or if duplicate pages exist, it could hurt your rankings.
Audits should be performed fairly frequently to make sure that any broken links are resolved quickly. SEO audits can also help identify the biggest internal SEO issues in your current content, such as competing sub-domains or problems with mobile optimization.
4. Be Sure Your Bases Are Covered
Finally, be sure that you haven’t missed the most basic optimization tips that could make significant improvements to your site’s visibility. This involves going back to some ranking basics.
- How are your page loading speeds and are there any ways to improve those numbers?
- Is every single page of your website totally optimized for mobile screens?
- Does each piece of content include proper Meta tags and H1 tags?
- Are visual pieces tagged with keywords (alt tags)?
Google has over 200 ranking factors that generally qualify as “easy fixes” – which can make a big difference in your content’s optimization. Be sure that you haven’t overlooked the basics.
Content optimization doesn’t need to be complicated or overly technical to be effective. There are plenty of small changes that can influence the ranking factor and improve its visibility. Remember, your content often forms the connection to your target users. Be sure that both your customers and the Google bots are able to find exactly what they are looking for.