Every organization, regardless of industry, should optimize the digital content that they release. If you fail to optimize the content you put out, you're losing valuable members of your audience before they've even had a chance to find you. It's essential that you make your content accessible to as many people as possible; and that's only achievable through content optimization.
But what is content optimization? The short answer to this question is that it's a process designed to ensure that content is written in a certain way. This "certain way" essentially boils down to content being valuable and readable – it should be written in a way that allows it to reach the largest possible target audience.
The process itself is comprised of several steps. Throughout the content optimization process, writers can leverage SEO by working critical keywords into their writing, adding tags to the content, and including relevant links in whatever they write. Headlines, too, must be optimized – optimized headlines are catchy and inspire readers to actually click on an article.
Why Have Content Written if You Can Pull it From Your Association?
This question is asked by well-meaning organizations all too often. It's a fair question, too. Your resources (manpower, time, funds, the list goes on) are limited– why should you spend them on creating brand new content when you can just snag some copy from corporate?
Workers on the ground in many sectors, like the medical field, have access to content written by higher authorities in the field. A medical practice looking to beef up their website content surrounding new procedures or technologies could probably just get in touch with your medical sales rep or go to the main organization, get some copy of their provided resources, and throw it up on your website.
Food For Thought: If your sales rep is sending you resources to use on your website, they are sending it to every other one of their accounts to use as well! They want their product promoted; they are not worried about your content optimization scores.
This is a critical error that countless businesses (not just medical practices) make every day. If you simply insert copied content into your website, you're actually lowering your chances of being found by searchers who are looking for you. Search Engines (yes, we are talking about Google) will consider what's written to be duplicate content and your website isn't likely to rank very high for duplicate content.
Why You Should Be Optimizing Your Content
Search Engines can Classify Your Content More Easily (You'll Rank Higher, too)
When you've properly optimized your content, search engines have a much easier time of classifying that content. Platforms like Google have begun raking through entire posts and articles in order to provide searchers with the most relevant results; getting displayed as a search result is now about much more than just keywords.
You need to stay focused and on-topic throughout your writing in order to appear higher in search rankings. Search engines are on the lookout for consistent and on-topic content; that means part of your optimization process will hinge on separating the wheat from the shaft and only holding onto what's valuable and relevant in your writing.
The Content Will be More Engaging
If you've put in the time and effort that it takes to thoroughly optimize your content, there's a very low likelihood that what you've produced is of low quality. SEO optimized content is good content – and good content is valuable and engaging to your readers.
Holding your audience's attention and calling them to action is much simpler when you've written compelling content. People want to read content that's focused and targeted to their specific needs and interests, and writing in this matter is all a part of a greater optimization effort.
You'll Attract High-Quality Visitors
Everybody is concerned with how many visitors their sites receive; but do those numbers really matter if virtually none of those views are advancing your brand? Having thousands of people read your articles every day is meaningless if none of them are ever going to follow your call to action.
Optimizing your content will help you attract more high-quality visitors. Because your writing will begin to shift into answering specific questions and targeting specialized needs, it'll become more valuable and draw interest from the parties who really need it.
Three Quick Tips for Website Optimization
1. Create a Sense of Trust
You should be as objective as possible in your writing in order to prove to your audience (and to search engines) that you're a trustworthy and knowledgeable source of information. As many as 74% of consumers have expressed that they trust educational material put out by a business providing the information seems objective.
What do I mean by "be objective?"
Don't write your content as a sales pitch for your product or service. Prove that you are an expert on the topic related to your product or service, just a salesperson. Of course you're an expert on what you're selling, but a first-time visitor to your website doesn't know that they should trust you.
Here's an example: If I searched "How can I promote my new restaurant?" I'm likely not looking for an advertisement for a service that someone can sell me. I want some ideas that I can use to promote my business. However, if I find myself coming back to your website because you have some really great content in your blog or a downloadable, I begin to start trusting you and your company. Which begins my path down the sales funnel.
Another part of building this trust is working valuable data, research, and metrics into your writing. Your audience won't need to worry about your trustworthiness if you have verified facts backing up what you're saying.
2. Implement Basic SEO Strategies
There are a number of strategies that have traditionally formed the backbone of most SEO efforts.
- Your page descriptions and titles should be logical, concise, and filled with keywords.
- Backlinks should be healthy and lead to valuable sources of other content.
- Internal links should be included to other relevant content that you've created on your website.
Not only do these things make reading your content more enjoyable for an audience, but some of them will also help you rank higher in search engine results.
3. Fine-Tune Your Calls-to-Action
Your call to action (CTA) may just be the most critical component of the digital content that you create. Even the most well-written, thoroughly-researched content is useless to a business if there's nothing driving readers to take action. The way you craft your CTA plays a huge part in the success of your optimization efforts.
Content that's been perfectly optimized will be action-oriented and provide readers with a clear picture of what they should do next. Whether you're trying to convert users into sales, subscribers on an email list, or anything else, it's not going to happen if you don't provide a compelling push towards action.
Go Forth and Optimize Your Website Content!
Those who want to make the most of their digital marketing efforts should SEO optimize the content on their webpages, blog, and anywhere else on the web where their writing is present. Having content created specifically for your practices and your purposes makes a world of difference in who visits your site and how likely they are to be of value to you.
For some people, the world of content optimization may be a little intimidating, but the fact of the matter is that the process is easy and intuitive once you establish a workflow and an understanding of your target audience. With the implementation of a few simple tips and tricks, you'll be pulling in more page views in no time.
Since you're driving more traffic to your website, be sure you are prepared to start moving people through your sales funnel! Setting up your sales funnel will allow you to capture leads from your web visitors that found your fantastically optimized content.
Learn more in our free eBook about how to use your content marketing strategy to drive more visits and leads through your website. Click below to download it now.
Originally published May 2019. Revised January 2020.