Approximately 90% of businesses are already using content marketing or content marketing to connect with their audience and approximately 4.4 million blog posts are published every day and that means more than 3,000 blog posts are published every minute. With so much new content being produced every day, the chances of “redundant content” increase.
Google applies several filters with the help of its ranking algorithm to present only the most relevant results to searchers. Hence, every business, it becomes essential to reach the top rankings for the content you publish every day or week.
There are about 71% and 92% of web traffic going to the first page of search results.
Not much has changed since Google’s launch, as most Internet users don’t skip the first page:
How To Get Position On The First Page Of Google
This is why the role of content optimization is so important: It can help increase the relevance of your content, beat similar content produced by your competitors, and get your blog posts on the first page of the SERP.
In this article, let’s learn how content optimization concepts are, content optimization techniques, and also discuss some very useful tools that can help improve the content preparation process.
What is Content Optimization?
Content optimization or Content Optimization is a technique in making your blog posts SEO friendly which aims to get more traffic and maximum conversions.
Content Optimization is concerned with how to make changes to blog posts or articles, such as:
Inclusion of primary keywords and synonyms of seed keywords
Add appropriate meta tags
Write a compelling meta description
Increase the readability score
Increase your keyword relevance score
Inclusion of relevant internal links
Optimized content will have a much greater chance of ranking higher in search results – and ranking higher to generate more traffic, increased sales, and additional profits.
Why is Content Optimization So Important?
Now that you understand content optimization, your next question might be “Does it really matter?” The answer is yes. As previously stated, content optimization is essential for increasing the visibility of your content.
Here are the main reasons why content optimization is so important to the success of your blog or website:
This improves the overall quality of your content so that each article on your site is targeted at a specific segment of users.
This makes it easier for search engines to understand your content so that it ranks first in Google, Bing, and other major search engines.
This increases the content relevance for your seed keywords. Hence, you can get targeted traffic which results in higher leads.
Optimized content targets users at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
This makes it easy for readers to scan your content so they can take the action you want (download, register, buy, etc.).
This helps you decide on the ideal frequency to post new content on your site. Because the performance of every piece of content you produce is measurable, you can generate the highest ROI from your content marketing campaign.
Content Optimization Goals
Before you plan a content optimization strategy, you need to make a list of your content goals. Your action plan should then match the goals you want to achieve.
Content optimization goals can fall into one of the following four categories:
Achieve the Top Ranks: This is perhaps the most common goal of any content optimization strategy. You should list these goals if you want to achieve the very top organic rankings for your target keywords.
Improve Branding: Another goal of content optimization is branding. This goal is when you want your brand to stay highlighted in the SERPs for every significant keyword in the buyer’s journey.
Increase Traffic: Another common goal is to increase traffic to your website. These goals help increase branding and conversions.
Increase Revenue: The ultimate goal of any content marketing strategy is higher conversions. You should list these goals if you want to get relevant traffic that converts easily.
How to Get Started with Content Optimization
By now, you are sure that content optimization is an indispensable part of your marketing strategy, right?
You have also written down the goals of your content marketing.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with the content optimization process.
Following are some of the top strategies to follow to optimize your content for higher organic rankings.
1. Optimize Content Decay
Content decay occurs when you stop revising, or updating, old content on your website and, as a result, traffic to this page starts to decline.
Content decay can occur for any of the following reasons:
Your competitors regularly publish fresh content
There are new updates happening in your niche that you haven’t included in your old content.
You have stopped promoting your old content, which has resulted in the loss of new links.
All of these factors contribute to content breakdown, which is a major factor in downgrading.
One of the easiest ways to find pages that have lost traffic is to use the Content Decay tool by ClickFlow. This tool has been specially designed to win back traffic from rotting pages.
After you connect your Google Search Console account to ClickFlow, it will automatically generate a list of posts that have decreased in traffic over the past 12 months.
About 24-48 hours after linking your GSC account with CF, you will see a report showing a list of the posts with the most drop in content, or decrease in traffic:
You can see the percentage and number of sessions that lost traffic since their peak.
Here are some actions you can take to regain lost traffic:
Check the current ranking of the pages that are in decreasing rank. Start with your top 10 – 20 ranking pages and analyze them for decreased traffic.
Update the content by adding around 1,000 – 2,000 words of fresh content after analyzing the top ranking content in that category.
Add videos to increase the time spent on your site or page by your visitors.
Improve page speed because loading time is one of the most important factors of Core Web Vitals, which is an important part of Updating Page Experience.
Faster loading pages offer a better browsing experience, and Google promotes pages that load instantaneously in search results.
Apply the pillar technique to add something unique to your page that the top ranking pages don’t have. This can be a table, infographic, video, some new examples, etc.
Research some of the latest developments around the topic and update the posts with new and relevant information.
Start promoting the page again to get new links. Remember, links remain one of the most important ranking factors.
2. Do Competitor Research
Competitor research is a core marketing strategy where you observe your competitors to learn what content marketing tactics they are using, as well as their strengths and weaknesses, to improve your own content strategy.
Research is an important aspect of content optimization. Just enter your seed keyword into Google and check the top 2 – 3 competitors.
Here are the things you need to pay attention to:
The Domain Authority (DA), Page Authority (PA), Trust Flow (TF), and Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR)
Quality and completeness of content
The word count of the post
Freshness of content
The use of keywords in the title, description, headline and main content
Number of backlinks
Number of social shares
E.A.T score (here is a useful E.A.T. checklist covering all major factors), which stands for:
Expertise: Pages must have quality content written by expert writers with proven experience, knowledge or qualifications.
Authority: The site itself needs to have authority on the subject.
Trust: The site must have other authoritative links pointing to the site from similar and trusted websites in their industry.
3. Follow the Blog Update Guide
You always want to extract the full ROI value of your content. Hence, every post on your blog should be updated regularly to start gaining new traffic or regain lost traffic.
Several proven methods are successful in increasing traffic to your website by simply updating your existing blog posts. This method has been compiled by our Ask Digital, its six step blog update guide is:
Rewrite the intro and conclusion as these two sections offer a summary of what’s in the article. This section should be interesting and actionable.
Choose weak sections in the article and replace them with stronger variations that are useful to readers. You can also combine 2 – 3 points under one point to make it stronger.
Write as much as needed depending on the topic. There is no specific word count, just make sure your article is completely fair and offers complete, accurate, current, unique and complete information.
Update all references used in your article and indicate sources that are no more than 2 years old.
Replace all old or irrelevant images with new ones.
Replace old examples with new ones.
Hence, content marketing isn’t always about preparing new content. Great results can be achieved by updating your existing content. This is what is meant by content optimization.
4. Try Entering the Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are special content boxes that answer user queries. This is basically to reverse the order of a regular organic list, showing the description snippet first and then the website URL.
Getting your content ranked as a featured snippet can drive additional traffic to your website because Google displays your URL more than once – as a featured snippet as well as a regular list.
The featured snippet is known as “zero position”, which means that it is higher than position 1 of the organic search result:
In experiments conducted by Moz, it was proven that opting out of the featured snippets resulted in a 12% loss in traffic. Which shows they’re useful for getting extra clicks, improving branding, and beating out your current organic competitors.
There is no special Schema markup which you can use to mark your page as featured snippet. The Google system automatically selects the best results depending on the search query and displays them as answer boxes.
But there are strategies you can employ as a content marketer to increase your chances of having your content listed as an answer box.
Here are some of the best methods for getting your content ranked as featured snippets:
Create content that specifically addresses the user’s intent.
Follow the Q&A pattern to answer questions to make it easier for Google to select the Q&A section within the content and display it in search results.
Improve your content with query keyword optimization. Over 19% of Google searches are inquiries. Try to find relevant long-tail question keywords using a tool like Answer The Public and prepare in-depth content on the topic.
Prepare high-quality content that is comprehensive, unique, entertaining and user-focused.
Improve the readability score of your content by using sentences that are simple and easy to understand. Make it easy for readers to scan your content using bullet points, short paragraphs, visuals, and videos.
Use SEMrush to find out how many featured snippets your competitors have. Create new content or optimize your existing content to take snippets
5. Improve Internal Links
Google uses links as the main factor for ranking websites. External and internal links are essential to your content strategy. You can’t control external links but you can definitely control internal links.
If there is one best method for increasing the visibility of your site’s content, it is internal link optimization.
The right linking strategy can improve the performance of the content on your site. Here are some of the best methods for improving your internal linking strategy:
Follow the site structure so that no resource on your site is more than 3 clicks away.
Add contextually relevant links to other pages on your site from your content
Use the related content sections and link to closely related pages on your site from each thematic content section. For example, if you have six pages on your site about “digital marketing”, these pages should all be linked to one another.
Remove links from pages that are not important.
Link to your cornerstone content from the top navigation. Cornerstone content consists of the most important pieces of content on your site.
Repair all broken internal links. Using a tool like Ahrefs makes this easy:
Ahrefs – broken link
When you add relevant internal links to your cornerstone content, you make it stand out to Google. The content with the highest links (both internal and external) has the best chance of reaching the top organic search positions.
6. Improve Your Content SEO Score
You can’t ignore SEO if you want to master content optimization! Search engine optimization is the foundation of content writing and marketing.
Here are the best tips for making your content SEO friendly:
Add relevant titles and meta descriptions to make it easier for search engines and users to understand the content of your page. For example, if your content is about “SEO techniques 2021”, your page title should be something like “SEO techniques 2021 Most Powerful”.
Use seed keywords, synonyms and related phrases to increase your keyword’s relevance score.
Follow a smart internal linking strategy as discussed in point five above.
Improve your content regularly by removing old information and adding new data as discussed in point one above.
Leverage the power of SEO copywriting to add words and phrases in your content that increase content relevance and persuade users to take action.
User-focused and action-oriented content helps increase page time and reduces bounce rate, which is an important metric for measuring user engagement.
Add accurate alt tags to allow search engines to understand the content of the images used in your content. For example, if you are adding a horse image, add a descriptive alt tag such as “running horse” instead of a generic name like “image1.png”.
Reuse existing blog posts to get the extra mile from your existing content.
Build an AMP version of your content to load faster.
Please review the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to make your content reader friendly to those with disabilities.
Optimize your content for updated page experience by increasing site load speed and fixing all UX issues.
Use schema markup to improve the way search engines read and understand your content.
Apply this strategy to make your content both search engine friendly and user friendly.
7. Optimize Voice Search
Always think about the future when optimizing content as voice search will soon become the new normal.
Voice search is the future of the web, and you shouldn’t ignore it in your content promotion strategy.
Follow these tips to optimize your content for voice search:
Include long-tail keywords and questions in your content to make it rank for voice search queries. Use natural language phrases that people use when speaking.
For example, for a query like “where to buy cheap iPhones in denpasar”, Pages from the ESR blog
Follow a conversational tone to prepare your content as this is usually how users interact with voice search assistants like Google Voice or Alexa. Head to Quora and see the conversations that are taking place around the topics you are targeting. You can easily find the right tone for your content along with the questions people ask the most.
Optimize local search queries because voice searches are three times more likely to be locale-based than text searches. For example, if you wanted to rank for the query “delicious bakeries in denpasar”, you could create a page that displays the top three bakeries in your area and lists reasons why they are the best.
Apart from ranking your business as a Google My Business listing, you can even rank your site as an organic listing and double your chances of getting additional traffic and conversions.
Try to have your content listed as featured snippets because the answers listed in the answer box are read by the voice assistant. For example, for the query “wallet under Make sure your website is mobile friendly and loads at high speed. The ideal loading time for your web page should be 1-2 seconds. Improve your hosting, optimize images, fix load time issues, and improve your website UX / UI.
Answer several similar search questions to generate in-depth content. This will help you rate the same content for multiple thematic questions. The “People ask questions” section on Google is the best way to find such questions.
Content Optimization Tools
Tools are your best friends as they help you be productive and also reduce the chances of human error.
Content marketers who use tools can get their work done faster and in a more perfect way than their counterparts who still use manual methods to write and promote content.
There are several useful writing tools that make your content optimization task easier. Some of the top content optimization tools are:
1. Hemingway application
Readability scores are a great way to analyze the level of education someone needs to read and understand your content. Remember, for most content on the web, a readability rating of 5 – 6 is required.
The Hemingway app lets you do a quick check on the readability and tells you the overall rating of your content. A good 6, meaning that your content can be read and understood easily by most people on the web.
In addition, the tool highlights all complex sentences in your content and suggests easier alternatives to those sentences.
Sentences marked in red are considered “very difficult to read”. You have to simplify it by breaking it into two or more easy-to-read sentences. You can also try replacing complex words with simpler synonyms. Anyway, here’s a great article on writing the perfect blog post (and it comes with a free template!).
The Hemingway app is free to use. Every content writer should make use of this excellent writing tool to ensure their content can be read easily by the majority of their audience.
Grammarly is an online writing assistant. As the name suggests, this tool checks your content for spelling and grammar errors and offers suggestions for correcting them, such as adding proper punctuation, removing redundancy, improving vocabulary, and making your content concise and easier to read.
Grammarly rate your content on a scale of 0 – 100.The higher the rating, the better the quality of your writing. You have to choose a score of 95+ to get the best results. Because it clarifies your mistakes (and not just corrects them), you can actually improve the quality of your writing and feel more confident about your writing.
Just go to Grammarly and paste in the content to check. On the right side, you will see a list of suggestions divided into four categories:
Clicking on the Accuracy section displays all grammar errors along with suggestions for fixing them. Keep in mind that not all suggestions are accurate (you might take a poetry license or choose a more casual style), so you should accept only those that make sense.
The Clarity, Engagement, and Delivery sections offer suggestions to make your content engaging, effective and easy to understand.
The basic version of the tool is free to use. However, to receive all the suggestions, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version of the tool which costs $ 29.95 a month.
ClickFlow is content intelligence software for content marketers. These tools are designed to help make your content stronger from an SEO perspective.
There are tons of useful features ClickFlow has to offer to make you look like a content genius.
For example, the Experiments tool allows you to test meta titles and descriptions so you know which title + description combination results in a higher click-through rate (CTR):
The second best feature of this tool is the Content Editor. It exhibits a similar readability level to the Hemingway App, but also displays the exact keywords you should add to your content to be SEO friendly and maximize organic traffic on that page:
ClickFlow’s ranking tracker and featured snippet tracker show you the current ranking of your site for a variety of keywords. It also notifies you if you have lost rankings.
The Change Monitoring feature allows you to track all changes in your content and the results they bring to your site. Hence, you remain fully aware of any changes that lead to conversion.
Hence, ClickFlow is one complete tool that lets you manage everything needed for effective content writing, testing and monitoring.
ClickFlow offers special prices depending on your needs. You can contact the team for more information.
Copywritely is a content optimization tool to check for keyword inclusion, keyword redundancy, grammar errors, and overall content readability.
Paste your content in a text editor, and the tool will show you the main readability and SEO issues in it.
Copywritely analyzes content on six important parameters:
Uniqueness: Checks what your content has in common with other resources on the web. You must have unique content over 90.
Entering Keywords: Most writers make the mistake of entering content with too many keywords. With this tool, you can quickly check if your content includes certain words more than the recommended frequency.
Readability: This tool checks your content for the Gunning Fog index and Flesch Index scores. The higher the score, the better the readability of the content.
Keyword Check: This feature allows you to check if you have included all keywords in your content.
Grammar: This tool also checks for grammar errors and offers suggested fixes.
This free plan lets you check four pages of around 2,500 words each.
Every business is busy preparing content. Today, companies have separate content writing and marketing departments to help them get traffic, leads and conversions through content. With so much competition, you have to create superior content to gain an edge over your competitors.
Follow the tips suggested in this article and use the tools discussed to stop producing mediocre content and become a content optimization expert!