Even the most engaging content with all the right elements won’t serve the purpose if the search engines can’t find it. Before you hit that publish button, there are several steps you can take which will ensure that your content is properly optimized.
If you are ready to invest your time and attention to optimization, the following tips will show you how to do that effectively.
Create Content with Optimization in Mind
In order to optimize your content, you need to add some important and relevant links, as well as some keywords, to catch the attention of search engines.
Some writers make the mistake of creating the content and then placing the links and keywords where they think it fits. This is a BIG mistake!
Well, if you add search engine optimization elements after everything has already been composed, it will most probably stick out. Readers can’t overlook randomly added words and links that just don’t naturally fit into the flow of the content.
Writers used to stuff articles with meaningless words just so they can add keywords and links to optimize the article. Then in 2011 everything changed because Google established Panda Penalties to make sure that people would be penalized for low-quality, keyword-stuffed content.
If you want to write high-quality content with naturally embedded links, you need to know which optimization elements you want to add before you start with the writing process.
First, you should know your topic and your target audience. This will help you to search for corresponding optimization elements.
Find suitable keywords and valuable links and save them. Along the way, start brainstorming how you can form your content and which subtitles you can create by adding the keywords.
During the whole process of research and writing, you will already have your links and keywords ready which will inspire you to write suitable content.
By having the optimization elements in mind while you write, you will find a way to add them without sounding forced.
Apply Reader-Friendly Formatting
We live in the age of people with short attention span or skimmers, how they are popularly called. That is why you need to format your content so that they stay long enough to read through the article and hopefully click on some of the links.
There are several elements that every content should have if you want to optimize it in the right way and keep the reader’s’ attention.
For reader-friendly formatting, focus on the following:
- A headline with the main keyword
- Subtitles which consist of the main or relevant keywords
- Using H1, H2, H3 metatags for titles and subtitles
- The main keyword in the first paragraph (recommended)
- Images with ALT attribute (with main or relevant keywords)
- Placing keywords naturally and evenly in the text
Remember that you’re not writing a book but a text for a website
Pay Attention to Content-Length and Readability
Focus on the length of the article because you need to write just enough so that the content doesn’t seem stuffed with optimization elements but not too much so that you lose the reader’s attention.
The recommended length is at least 1,000 words when it comes to writing articles and having a readability score of 60-70 points. Keep in mind that these numbers depend on the niche, so don’t go to extremes. (Note: the HostGator blog team aims for minimum 2,000 words when we really want to rank!)
It can be very helpful if you can ask someone to read your article, web post, or blog post before you publish it. Having a second pair of eyes looking at what you wrote from a different perspective can ensure you that you will give the audience what they want.
The person who will read your content can tell you whether there is a natural flow or if some keywords or links pop out. This is a helpful way to find out whether you accomplished to create high-quality SEO content.
Add Social Media Elements
Social media is the perfect tool for raising awareness about your brand and what you represent.
It is also a very important element when it comes to content optimization.
If you want to optimize your content fully you need to be aware that the readers won’t spend their precious time trying to share your content with their friends and family.
Considering that social media is the most common place for sharing interesting findings, your content needs to feature convenient social sharing elements. That means that you should add sharing buttons and locate them strategically on a visible place which doesn’t distract the reader such as the top or at the bottom of your page. You can also set it up so that it follows your readers on the left or right as they scroll.
Adding social sharing buttons is good for SEO because it helps to generate more traffic, drive more links, and eventually increase SERPs.
Include Comments Section
Comments are a great way to connect with your readers, establish a certain relationship, and maybe give them some further insight into the subject you are writing about. But what may surprise you is that comment section can also serve as an optimization tool.
How is that?
Comments will keep your content fresh and updated and since they are part of the content that will matter to search engines especially if they consist of targeted keywords and high-quality links.
Your readers can ask you about a different content piece which will attract shares and backlinks. Also, when answering questions you can also add some relevant links.
In addition, you will signal Google that you care about providing value to your readers which is always a plus.
Veronica Wright, CEO at Resumescentre has shared a valuable piece of advice concerning this topic, “A comment section is great for SEO! However, you need to pay extra attention to unrelated comments, spam, and low-quality links because they can harm the process of optimization. Don’t hesitate to delete those comments.”
The usual steps of optimization such as adding the links and using the right keywords have been discussed million times, but these steps will take you a step further and help you to create high-quality content with just the right amount of optimization.
Dedicating your time to content optimization will certainly improve your ranking and provide you with some valuable clicks. That is why it is important to follow these guidelines and adapt them to the type of content you are creating.
Amanda Sparks is a professional marketer and blogger. She has been working as a marketer for seven years and is passionate about developing innovative and customer-friendly solutions for brand growth.