What good is your content if it can’t be found? It probably won’t be very successful in helping you achieve your goals will it? This simple concept is what makes content optimization such a critical phase in your content marketing playbook.
There are five key components to content optimization:
- Content Attractiveness
- Content Consumability
- Content Effectiveness
- Search Findability
- Social Media Shareability
Focusing on search while ignoring the other factors guarantees your content will fall short of its goals.
5 Key Factors in Content Optimization
Before you can get people to actually read your content, you must compete against tons of others’ content. A split second is all the time you have to capture people’s attention before they move on. Does your content provide quality information and entertain your audience? In order to do that, create content that your audience craves. By analyzing your content, you’ll gain insights into these preferences.
Other ways to increase the attractiveness of your content is to include an elegant image. People by nature are visual. We see images 60,000 times faster than text so use it to your advantage.
If people can’t see your content, they won’t read it. Too small of font or font that’s too tricky to read will cause your readers to move on without a second’s thought.
Tips to creating content that’s easy to consume:
- Use legible fonts
- Use 12 point font size in your blog posts
- Use colors that are pleasing on the eyes
- Write with short sentences
- Write short paragraphs
- Outline your content to guide readers through your content
- Bold important statements
You also need to consider the user experience people have when viewing your content. Is there something in your content that’s distracting them from seeing the big picture, the main goal of the piece? Take out all unnecessary buttons and images that just take up space. Easily consumable content offers a great user experience as your readers’ eyes move through the piece of content.
How effective is your content at keeping people’s attention? Make every page of your content a doorway to your business. According to Jakob Nielsen, you have 10 to 20 seconds before your average visitor leaves.
Effective content does the following:
- Link to other relevant information on your website
- Includes a powerful call-to-action
- Make it easy to contact you
- Is responsive to the device it’s displayed on
- Encourage additional actions such as sign up for your newsletter or a search box to explore your site further
Optimizing your content for search engines like Google is at the core of content optimization. The more you think this as a science and less than an art, the easier it is to replicate best practices in your own content marketing.
Ways you’ll want to optimize your content:
- Include one keyword (phrase) in each piece of content
- Include the keyword in the content title. Use roughly 55 characters.
- Add the keyword to the content’s URL. Using custom URL’s such as this helps search engines pick up on the purpose of the content and can mean shorter URL’s for people to remember.
- Use the keyword in your opening paragraph.
- Write a meta description. This is a short summary of what your piece of content is about. Again, include your keyword in it. It should be between 150 and 160 characters in length.
- Include links to credible sources. Doing so will help add trustworthiness to your content.
- Optimize images with alt tags to describe the image for search engines to tell what it is about.
- Optimize videos by including the keyword in the title and description.
- Eliminate any duplicate content.
Social Media Shareability
Social media has long become a critical piece to growing your brand online and optimizing your content for social networks is a must.
Optimizing your content for social could be as simple as making it easy to share. Include social sharing buttons in your content or try including your Twitter handle or links to your social media profiles.
Include click-to-tweet statements in your content like the one above. If you’re using WordPress, there are free plugins you can install that allow you to add this customization to your content.
Understand that certain types of content perform better on certain social media networks. Cater your content to the platform you are sharing on. Facebook needs a light, conversational theme to posts whereas it’s perfectly acceptable to post headlines and informational statements on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Always, always encourage conversation whenever you can. The more people talking about your brand on social media, the better…unless it’s bad publicity then you need to learn proper brand etiquette! This can be as simple as asking a question at the end of your blog post or posting an image on Facebook with a question.