What is Content Optimization?

 

 

 

What is Content Optimization?

 

As a beginner in online marketing, phrases such as “content optimization” might want to make you run the other way. Although it sounds intimidating, the truth is content optimization is a technical term for a process that is based in common sense. It is the process of improving the quality and relevancy of your website content. Think about it: you want to attract the right visitors to your site and provide them with quality information in an easy-to-use format – that’s content optimization. It’s an ongoing task which will help your website rank higher for pertinent keywords and will also better engage visitors to your site.

Content must serve two masters: It must be valuable to the users of the content (website visitors) and it must “play nice” with search engines. As we publish content over time, we constantly fine-tune it to best serve both visitors and search engines. So, what makes content good?

What Are the Characteristics of Good Content?

When we think about content optimization, keep in mind that we are optimizing our content so that it benefits both users and search engines. And we’re focusing on themes and building trust.

Themes

Let’s imagine that we searched on “flight cancellations due to Hurricane Sandy.” We choose a search result near the top of the list, click through and begin reading. But instead of information about flight cancellations we read about the extensive damage in heavily populated states including New York and New Jersey; we learn about power outages in the affected areas; we see pictures of the storm’s devastation; and perhaps flight cancellations were briefly mentioned. All important, accurate and informative, but…

Even though there was a great deal of information in the article, there was really no central theme and the information was not relevant to our search topic: “flight cancellations due to Hurricane Sandy.”

Both website visitors and search engines expect a theme – the more specific your focus, the better. No one wants to wade through layers of generality when they are seeking specific answers. More importantly, both website visitors and search engines want content that is trustworthy.

Trust

If we are searching for a resource about “flight cancellations due to Hurricane Sandy” and we end up with details of the storm, but nothing helpful about flight cancellations, we will mark that resource off our list. We will not trust it to provide similar information in the future and may therefore never visit the site again.

On the other hand if the website gives us specific and relevant content that helps us find out if our flight has been cancelled, how to apply for a refund, alternate forms of transportation between points, that’s a website that we will remember the next time we have similar questions. And we trust the answers we’ve found. We will return to the site.

When people find content that they like, they also share it. Search engine programs can detect the sharing of information and view it as a sign of trust. The more they see that visitors trust your site, the more they reward your site with search engine visibility. But search engine rankings also take into account the content of blog posts and pages.

Blog Posts and Pages

In WordPress, there are both posts and pages. Each is used for a different purpose. Posts are for composing blog entries. A blog post is like a newspaper. The content of a blog is updated frequently.

Pages, on the other hand, are for content that does not change frequently – in short for all non-blog content. Pages titled such as “About us,” “Contact us,” etc. provide a way to quickly navigate your website. Together, they communicate the reason your site exists, and the kind of customers or readers you want to serve. Just like blog posts, pages have keywords and the content of pages can be optimized.

As you begin to build content around keywords, you will be developing content for multiple pages on your website. It is important to structure these pages in a meaningful way, so that search engines understand how the pages relate to each other.

The job of the search engine is much like going to a new shopping mall for the first time. You don’t have a clue where shops are located and you must learn its layout. You are looking for the newest gadgets for phones, tablets and laptops. Fortunately this mall has a great directory to show you where the Apple store is located. Once inside the Apple store, you’ll need to be directed to the section that has what you are looking for.

Now, imagine that you repeat this process to learn the entire layout of this new mall. You figure out the location of every store, what store it is next to, what items each sells, the closest restaurant, and even where the restrooms are! You know this mall inside and out.

This is exactly what a search engine does. It crawls and navigates your entire website to know what’s there, where it is located within the site and how it relates to the other things on the site. So, you see, effectively optimizing the content and organization of your website is critical.

Content Optimization: Not Just For Text

We generally think of content as text, but it also includes images. On my website, the “Meet Olga” page has not only text, but also a picture of my husband and me. The image helps you, the reader, to understand who I am, where I live, what I do and why I built this website. While the text on this page tells you some things about me, it’s likely that when you think about my website you might remember the image more than the text. Feelings and emotions are better communicated through images. Video is another form of content that can be used to optimize a webpage. I don’t YET have videos on my website, but we all have experienced the immediacy of a video. The rich visual experience and sound of videos can communicate at a level that images and text alone cannot.

The key to content optimization is using the type of content that will be effective, useful and helpful for your specific audience. While the search engines may bring visitors to your website, once they are there, you must engage them and ultimately convert them to your business goals. Using a mix of the most effective content type will surely help the experience of your visitors.

To Sum It Up

• Content optimization is an ongoing task

• Content must be valuable to the users of the content (website visitors) and it must “play nice” with search engines

• Good content is organized around a theme and builds trust

• Blog posts and pages must be optimized

• Texts, images and videos are ways to optimize your content

Are you new to content optimization? Let us help you get started! We are here to serve you.

 

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Comments

  1. Excellent article, Olga! Great info! I always learn something new when I visit your blog! Thank you!

  2. I just recently discovered the incredible SEO value of pictures in content…how I had overlooked this until, I don’t know but i swear no one told me….it was like I found some secret info when I realized it but WOW the difference! :-)

  3. jean says:

    Great tips Olga – good explanation of the difference between post and page.

  4. denny hagel says:

    Excellent information! You are a natural born teacher! Love the way you break this down!

  5. Estelle says:

    Thanks for this great info Olga!

  6. Great article, Olga! Thanks for the wonderful tips, I will be sharing this on my social networks.

  7. Great information Olga – especially for beginners swimming a sea of new lingo.

  8. Kerry Postel says:

    Great post and information that I need as well! Thank you!

  9. Sherie says:

    Excellent tips, Olga, thank you for the clear and detailed explanation…I learned a lot about content optimization!

  10. Great simple tips Olga. Something so easy can make such a huge difference as to whether your site gets seen or pushed further down.

  11. These are great tips Olga! All of them are dead on and what I preach Too! I try to work a good Picture in to make my post work!

  12. Great article Olga. Any beginner needs to hear this to get started right. Good job!

  13. Julie says:

    Olga, thank you for putting blogging into perspective and giving great tools for getting organized for SEO optimization from the start. Great discussion!

  14. Really enjoyed this article. Well organized and easy to understand explanation on the importance of creating well optimized content.

  15. Sara Nickleberry says:

    Awesome information Olga, thank you for the tips!

  16. It can be misleading when directed to some sites due to their keywords that are irrelevant. I think I did this not knowing the effects. Great reminders and information Olga!

  17. Wonderful post Olga! SEO is so powerful in the online world we live in today. Thanks for such a great post!

  18. Excellent article packed full of tips to help us keep our site fresh and fully optimized, thanks Olga.

  19. Edmund Lee says:

    Informative post Olga! Text, with the addition of both images and videos can really make your brand pop and stand out from the rest.

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