Looking for the best ways to optimize your content for SEO in 2020? You’re in the right place.
Content optimization isn’t as complicated as you may think. It’s actually one of the easier elements of SEO to understand.
However, search engine algorithms continue to evolve every year, making thousands of improvements. To make your content competitive in 2020, you’ll need content optimization techniques that reflect those changes.
Here’s how to optimize your website content in 2020:
Optimize your website
Optimize your headlines and subheadings
Check your SEO keyword usage
Optimize your visuals for SEO (images and videos)
Conclude with a call-to-action (CTA)
Content Optimization Tip #1: Optimize Your Website
You may have valuable and top-notch content, but if your website isn’t user-friendly, few people will read it.
If you run a business, you know how important it is to have an up-to-date website. All businesses are now turning their focus to digital marketing, and if you don’t have a website, you may be losing more money than you think.
You must optimize your website to full functionality to make it more useful to your target audience, help you grow your monthly organic traffic, and even retain the traffic you already have.
Here’s how to optimize your website:
Make it mobile-friendly
Speed up your website
Incorporate social share buttons
Reduce the number of plugins
Improve site navigation
1. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Since more people use their mobile phones to access the internet than they use computers, you must make your website as mobile-friendly as you can. This way, your mobile visitors won’t have a hard time navigating your site.
Making your website responsive means that your website’s content is displayed and arranged according to the screen size of the device being used.
It may be worthwhile to use a standard font as this will help the page load much faster. You should also make sure that your page has large buttons to make it easy for users with smaller devices to navigate your website.
2. Speeding up Your Website
With the huge number of online resources available today, you can’t expect a visitor to remain on a slow page. Having a quick loading time not only improves your SEO ranking but also increases your conversions.
Your website may be slow for several reasons, including having a slow server load time, large image sizes, and having too many redirects on your page.
You may be tempted to start with the cheapest hosting options, but as you start to gain more traffic, these options may fail to keep up. While such hosts may save you a few bucks up front, they’ll cost you much more in conversions. It may be a good idea to switch to more reliable hosts as you progress.
Enabling compression on your website will also help your pages load faster since there will be less data to be downloaded before the page is ready. Additionally, compressing images will allow your page to load quickly without compromising on the image quality.
3. Incorporate Some Social Share Buttons
It’s important for readers to share your content to boost your conversions. By including social share buttons within your content, you’ll make it easy for readers to share it to social media platforms.
Don’t forget to include and optimize social meta tags like Twitter Card and OpenGraph. These meta tags will ensure your content looks good when shared across all social platforms.
4. Reducing the Number of Plugins Your Page Uses
Most new website owners install many plugins to enhance their site’s appearance. However, it may prove difficult to maintain all these plugins on one site, especially if they are from different vendors.
To reduce the number of plugins on your site, you’ll have to analyze your website’s needs and eliminate all unnecessary plugins. As a result, your site will load faster.
5. Improving Your Site’s Navigation
Your site’s ease of navigation dictates the experience your visitors have on it.
To enhance the navigation, consider integrating a search button within your site. This will make it easier for your customers to make specific searches instead of having to wade through numerous links. If possible, include a filter option for the searches to make the results page more functional.
Optimizing your website is a step-by-step process, and you may have to tweak a few things before you eventually get it right. Once you do, you’ll be surprised by just how much more traffic your site will generate. Don’t forget to create valuable content to accompany the user-friendly website.
Content Optimization Tip #2: Optimize Your Headlines and Subheadings
Headlines help grab the readers’ attention, build their confidence and trust, and link the readers to the content. They also contribute to your content’s effectiveness.
Heading tags have a significant influence when it comes to ranking as they communicate to search engines about the content of a page on your site. The H1 tag is the main headline and should contain your SEO keywords. H2 is a subheading for your H1 and should also contain similar keywords. Your H3 is a subheading for the H2, and so on.
So, how can you optimize your headlines?
Call for attention
Use emotional words
Use practical formulas
1. Use Numbers
Including specific numbers in your headline makes it enticing to the readers, getting them to click on your post. Headlines with numbers tend to perform better in building post engagement.
Numbers also arrange information in a logical order and help in recalling and digesting information more easily.
2. Call for Attention
The primary purpose of a headline is to grab the reader’s attention for the rest of the content.
A good headline convinces the reader to read on. It should be followed by an enticing introduction and a compelling body that’ll turn a one-time reader into a loyal follower.
You can write headlines that call for attention by:
Writing specific and precise headlines
Including a sense of urgency in your headlines
Instilling the fear of missing out
Making your headline practical
Depending on your niche and type of blog, you can find other more specific ways to call for attention on your headline.
3. Use Emotional Words
Using power words in your headlines can trigger various emotions of the reader and prompt them to change their actions or thoughts.
Ensure the emotional words you choose naturally fit in your headline. Power words aim to build engagement and increase the conversation rate on your post. Be careful not to use these words to deceive readers as you may lose credibility.
Appealing to your readers’ emotionally helps you build a good relationship and trust.
4. Use Practical Formulas
Identify the headline methods that have, over time, gained a higher success rate, and use them.
Learn when to use your chosen formula effectively to avoid overusing one – this could irritate your readers. Ideally, your preferred method should identify the reader’s problems and offer a solution.
5. Use Questions
Questions trigger the reader’s curiosity, emotions, and leaves them desperately seeking answers in your post.
Carefully choose your questions – avoid misleading questions that could put off your readers or cost you your credibility. Readers are unlikely to click on a headline that triggers the automatic answer “No”.
Additionally, avoid using questions that instill fear to your reader. Stick to being positive and fulfill your promise in the rest of the content.
Content Optimization Tip #3: Check Your Keyword Usage
Keywords are words that people type on search engines that best describe their needs. Using keywords correctly makes you write compelling content that addresses your readers’ needs, attracting them to your site.
Once you have researched the most relevant keywords for a particular blog, you should place them appropriately within your blog.
Where do you place your keywords?
Title tags and content
Link anchor text
1. Title Tag and Content
Title tags describe the contents of your page and are visible to the reader on the search engine results.
Insert your keywords as naturally as possible in your titles, subtitles, and content – avoid overstuffing. Keyword density should best range between 0.5-3% of the total number of words.
But even as you optimize your keywords, keep the reader in mind. Remember, the main focus to provide valuable information to the reader.
SEO keywords on the URL give the reader an idea of what’s on the page. Therefore, make them as informative as possible.
One or two keywords on your link will build credibility and boost the click rate. Separate the words with hyphens and remove extra words.
3. Meta Descriptions
The meta description shows up on the second part of the search results. Google uses them to determine the relevance of your content to your reader.
Using the right keywords on the meta description helps the reader decide on whether or not to click on the site. Make the meta description as enticing as possible to make readers more interested in reading your content.
4. Link Anchor Text
Links are some of the most significant ranking factors for SEO content.
For external links, choose reliable websites that will add valuable information to your content. Carefully place your keywords on the anchor texts to give users an idea of where the link is redirecting to.
Search engines analyze the keywords on your anchor text and the content of the destination site to get a deeper understanding of your post. Therefore, only link to relevant and credible content.
Be careful not to use the same anchor text several times on your blog post as this may attract a penalty from Google.
Images undergo search engine indexing, enabling people to find your content easily. Images and infographics can attract many people to your site as they are easy to digest.
Use images that are relevant to your content and assign them names that reflect their relevance. Add your keywords to their description to ensure your readers can easily find them.
Content Optimization Tip #4: Optimize Your Visuals for SEO (Images and Videos)
Image and video optimization in SEO helps to build reader engagement and makes your content more appealing.
Here are some of the best practices for visuals (images and videos) for SEO:
Optimize the file names
Use original visuals
Optimize the visuals’ size
Provide transcription for videos
1. Alt Text
Alt text accurately describes your images giving the search engines and users a context of your work.
You can include a few keywords on the alt tags to make them as descriptive as possible. Ensure your image is relevant to your content and provides the reader with additional information.
Don’t use too many words, keep it below 125 characters and avoid keyword overstuffing.
2. Optimize File Names
Choosing the right file names helps your images and videos rank well on search engines.
Before uploading your visuals, assign them relevant and descriptive keywords, separating them with hyphens. Ensure your file names make sense, both to the reader and the search engine.
3. Use Unique Visuals
Unique visuals are just as important as original content for SEO. Original visuals including pictures you take yourself or videos you shoot give your work the much-needed authority and SEO value.
Original visuals draw readers to your site and enhance their stay. Visuals that educate users like infographics give you brand credibility and make your content stand out.
4. Optimize the Visuals’ Size
The size of images and videos on your page affects its loading speed. Pages that load slowly due to large-sized visuals are likely to put off visitors, and could affect your website’s performance and search engine ranking.
For images, aim to find the optimal size without affecting its quality. You can resize or compress larger images, but ensure it doesn’t lose pixels in the process or become distorted. Software such as the Adobe Photoshop is a useful tool for this.
5. Use Sitemaps
A sitemap is a file that shows the search engine the contents of your page, including images and videos. Include all the visuals within your content on your sitemap to ensure the search engine doesn’t miss anything.
Be sure to include titles, visual descriptions, URL location, and captions for image sitemaps. For video map entries, add thumbnail URL and raw video file URL.
6. Provide a Transcription for Videos
Because search engines can’t watch videos, transcriptions can help rank your videos. Transcriptions also give users an alternative to watching videos as well as allows screen readers to relay the information to users with visual impairment.
Content Optimization Tip #5: Conclude With a Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action is an encouragement to the reader to take immediate action.
How do you create good CTAs?
Use words that trigger emotions
Keep it short and precise
Customize it to your audience
Add a sense of urgency
Test your CTAs
1. Use Words That Trigger Emotions
Be enthusiastic to trigger the readers’ enthusiasm and earn a strong response. A good way of achieving this is by offering the reader something of value such as a considerable discount.
Put yourself in a reader’s shoes and identify their needs. With that in mind, put more emphasis on creating your CTA on those needs.
2. Arouse Curiosity
Use enticing words that leave the reader dying to know more.
Learn what their interests are and touch on that. Make your offer as irresistible as possible. You can use a question that your readers are dying to find answers to and offer a solution to the same.
3. Keep it Short and Precise
Be straight to the point – let your readers know what exactly is required of them without beating about the bush. Lengthy CTAs are less likely to trigger the reader’s desire to act. Keep it at no more than two lines.
4. Customize it to Your Audience
Needs differ from one reader to another and so should your call-to-action. Take time to know your target audience. This way, you can meet their needs better.
Have your readers in mind and continuously work on better strategies to reach them. This is especially important when targeting higher sales. If possible, create different CTAs for different stages of sales for the buyers.
5. Add a Sense of Urgency
When you add a timeline to your request, readers will prioritize their decision, knowing they have limited time to act.
The readers are more likely to act on the fear of missing out on an opportunity. The deadline of your request is an effective motivator that will get your readers moving, and earn you some extra clicks.
6. Test Your CTAs
Regularly run tests to see which of your CTAs generates the desired results. Study it keenly and apply the same technique to other CTAs in other content. Remember to continually update your CTA to make it as effective as possible.
Boost Your Site’s Online Visibility With Content Optimization
As a final takeaway, don’t take your content for granted. It’s pretty easy to post a blog and forget about measuring its success. Treat every blog post like a landing page and try to incorporate all the content optimization tips above.
Content optimization is an integral part of your marketing process and content development, and should be treated as such.
For more information on how to optimize your website content, browse our latest content marketing blog posts.