Do you optimize your website content for users and search engines? If not, you might not stand a chance against your competitors.
After all, without a content optimization strategy, your competitors can easily outrank you in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Your target audience won’t see your web pages, and you’ll lose opportunities to drive website traffic, conversions, and sales.
The catch is that creating SEO-optimized content for your site can be time-consuming and complex.
Fortunately, you can hit the ground running and set up your content optimization efforts for success by following the four time-tested tips below.
1. Nail your keyword research
Keywords can make your content easy to discover. These can also help your content rank higher in SERPs (even outranking your competitors).
Start with specific phrases and keywords your target audience looks for in search engines. The keywords should also be relevant to your content, campaigns, and business. Consider the following factors when choosing keywords to target.
- Search volume. Know the average number of monthly searches for a specific query. The search volume can help you determine a keyword’s potential traffic and competitiveness.
- Keyword trend. Discover and target keywords that are trending in your industry (or niche) and among your audiences.
Trending keywords can show your audiences’ interest in the term or topic, and you can weave it into your content to optimize it for organic search.
Use tools such as Google Trends to find trending keywords over a specific period.
For instance, if you offer content marketing services and see a rise in Buy SEO articles searches, create a blog post optimizing the keywords.
- Keyword difficulty. Learn the keyword difficulty of the keywords you want to target. Ideally, stick to keywords with low competition but high search volume.
- Long-tail keywords. Try to target more specific search terms (long-tail keywords) since they have less competition, making them easier to rank.
For instance, ranking for the “Top ERP systems for businesses” may be easier than “ERP systems.”
2. Use header tags
Well-structured website content with topic headings helps optimize your web pages for search. Add header tags to organize your content. The tags can also improve your content’s readability, user experience, and SEO efforts.
Each header serves a specific purpose, as shown below.
- H1 tags describe the main topic and introduce your page titles.
- H2 tags introduce your content’s primary topics. Use H2s to organize and break down your content into sections. H2s can also make it easy for your readers to scan your content and find the section they want quickly.
- H3s to H6s are additional subheadings under your H2s. You can use these to add new sub-sections, answer questions, list things, and help break down your content further.
For example, use H2 tags for each tool introduced in your blog post about the “Best Resource Tracking Software” and H3s to list each app’s features.
Follow these additional tips to use header tags properly for content optimization.
- Include only one H1 tag on each web page to help readers identify the main topic. Avoid using H1s for your subheadings, so you don’t disrupt the content’s structure.
- Ensure your H1 tag has your target keyword (or keywords).
- Use as many H2s as you need to keep your content’s sections separated. Try to use H2 tags for every 200 to 500 words.
- Maintain a proper header hierarchy and don’t skip any levels, such as using H4 tags right after H2s.
- Create descriptive headers and include your target keywords.
- Ensure your headings align with your content.
3. Add internal and external links
Link building is crucial to help your pages rank higher in SERPs. It can optimize your content, boosting your SEO efforts.
Internal links help direct your visitors from one page to the other across your website, including the following benefits.
- Help your visitors navigate and find more content on your website. Internal links help improve the average time on site, increase conversions, and reduce your bounce rate.
- Send page authority to your relevant pages and give value and credibility to your pages, improving your SERPs ranking.
- Help search engines crawl your website and find your content.
External links direct your visitors to other relevant content and websites. These can also:
- Encourage backlinks from websites you linked to within your content.
- Add value to your content while helping you gain trust from potential customers.
- Improve your content’s relevance, giving visitors more valuable information.
Learn from these best practices for optimizing your links and, in turn, your content.
- Avoid using naked links. Instead, optimize your anchor texts by linking descriptive text with relevant keywords. Doing so helps your visitors and search engines get an idea about the link’s content.
- Ensure your links are relevant. Don’t link to pages not relevant or related to the anchor text or content. It can ruin the user experience and might get your page bumped off the top SERPs rankings.
- Link to authoritative websites. Search engines are known to reward pages that link to reputable resources.
- Keep your links to a reasonable number. For instance, adding five internal links is often enough for a 1,000 to 1,200-word post. Also, spread your links evenly, so they appear more naturally across your content.
Additionally, use reliable link-building tools such as Linkody.
The tool’s Top Pages feature shows the exact pages that get the most links. Use the information to double down on what’s working for your efforts.
Image source: linkody.com.
4. Refine your images
Optimizing your web images can help drive traffic, improve your site’s performance, and enhance the user experience.
Follow these tips to optimize your images.
- Compress your images with large file sizes, so they load faster and don’t slow down your site’s performance. Consider keeping your image’s file size to 150 kb or smaller.
- Scale your images to actual display sizes. For instance, if your blog page’s display area is 720 px wide, resize your images to 720px before uploading them to your page. It can help reduce the file size and improve your page load speed.
- Use appropriate image file names. Optimizing the titles make your images more discoverable in image searches, helping you bring in more traffic. Include relevant keywords in your short but descriptive file names.
Supercharge your content optimization efforts
Ensuring your content and web pages outrank your competitors in search results is no easy feat.
While gaining an edge over your competitors can take a bit of blood, sweat, and tears, you can improve your chances of succeeding with the content optimization tips in this guide. If you are running a site built on Wordpress, using a dedicated hosting provider such as Cloudways can boost your site’s speed and overall SEO performance.