Content-Based Optimization Tips for SEO

Dec 08, 2017


BEST PRACTICES SERIES

Article ImageThere has been a lot said about the importance of website content and blog posts. Not only does good content reduce your site’s bounce rate, but it also comes in handy for optimization. SEO specialists spend days and nights working to master Google’s algorithms trying to rank first. Let’s leave aside all the other means for a second, and focus on one very important SEO component: content. I don’t intend to bore you with pointless side talk, so let’s get into some tips:

Mobile First Indexing

Digital marketers tirelessly chase after trends, and we wouldn’t dare miss out on the mobile revolution. That’s why website design is increasingly taking a mobile-first approach. Yet, design is just one side of the story. Once the initial design is done, we run to content writers and work on the text to optimize it for mobile. One thing that I tell writers is that the first paragraph matters THE MOST and if it isn’t good enough, then go back and fix it—over and over again if necessary.

Why? “Above-the-fold” real estate is limited in the mobile environment, you have only one shot and 8 seconds to grab the reader and have them scroll for more.

Okay, let’s say you’ve done a good job and have earned the attention of your visitor--now what? Let me share a secret with you. People hate long sentences. They just do. Short sentences and paragraphs are your key to winning them over.

You may be saying, “Okay, if people don’t like reading long sentences, they must really hate long articles.” Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. You shouldn’t reduce the length of your content for mobile users. Instead, make it laconic, to use the fancy word.

Keep in mind that Google still appreciates long posts and you don’t want to harm your rankings while improving the mobile version. Create a logical flow with short paragraphs and bring your ‘A-game’ with the first paragraph.

Relevance of Content

The other day my eight-year-old cousin asked me if I knew the people at Google that make her cartoon pop up when she searches for it. I wish I knew them, so I could ask them to explain exactly how certain websites rank high. Unfortunately, algorithms can’t talk, so we have to figure it out on our own. And we do know some of the criteria that Google employs. Ladies and gentlemen, meet relevance—one of the most important factors that will take you to the top or the second, third or tenth page (yes, there is more than one page).

Let’s say you have a website about comic books. First of all, congrats, you have your first reader:  me. The meta title and description highlight that your main focus is comic books. But then, for some unknown reason, you decide to post an article about water resources (and it doesn’t have anything to do with Aquaman).

Mr. Smartie Pants Google catches your irrelevant content immediately. One thing that you have to know about Google is that it can’t stand lies. With a water resource article you’re deceiving the reader and to punish you, the almighty Google drops your ranking.

Moral of the story, the content on your website has to match its profile. Write applicable blog posts or have related landing pages and Google won’t blacklist you.

Visuals

I know, I know! You’ve had enough of the visual talk, so I am going to be really brief on this point. People LOVE visuals, it’s much easier to absorb information from images than from a text. Why else do you think infographics created such a big buzz around them?

Numbers and words make much more sense when they’re beautifully visualized. Smart marketers can capitalize on the fact that vision is humankind’s dominant sense. Whether you’re a writer or a designer, you need to include eye-catching and, again, relevant (it’s the magic word) images in your content to keep readers entertained.

Linking

You know how they say, your friends make you who you are? The same goes for content--backlinks establish your credibility. (Maybe that's not the best analogy, but you got the point.)

Internal linking should take the reader to either sales-related pages, or elaborate more on what you said. External linking, on the other hand, gives value to your content. Those links usually serve as evidence to prove your statement.

Just any link won’t work. Choose non-commercial websites with higher domain authority, which of course, are not your competitors. When it comes to content, linking depends on the anchor text. Don’t just randomly cram in links, Google reads both the anchor text and the content of the link. If they don’t match, you can say bye-bye to high rankings.

Page Speed

Can you guess what the most used word is in this article? Google. And I am sorry if it makes you dizzy but here goes another one. Google doesn’t like pages that are slow to load. Neither do users If your page takes forever to load, users will just move on.

For content, Moz suggests using Content distribution networks (CDNs). CDNs allow you to distribute the load of delivering content by storing it in different data centers. This way users don’t have to wait an eternity to read that excellent article you wrote about SEO tips.

Schema

Structuring your content will help search engine better understand it. Sometimes the problem with Google is that it only understands what the content says. You want it to also understand what your content is. A schema can spare you some trouble and bear that responsibility. If you need further information check out the Kissmetrics’ article about SEO and schema relationship.

Google Schema

CMSs have plugins that assist you in ordering your content. WordPress, for instance, has Schema Markup. This doesn’t do much for the reader but helps Google do its job.

Title and Meta Description

By now you should have the content and visuals ready, and before you let the content writers and SEO specialists go, work on the meta title and meta description. You’re writing them so that Google knows what your page is all about. A common length for a meta title is 50-60 characters, and 160 characters for the meta description. In this context, Google can read a maximum of 500 pixels—and it considers the size of letters. So for instance, I and W are both just one letter, but Google reads them differently because of the discrepancy in their sizes. So keep this in mind while writing your meta title and description.

YouTube Meta Title and Description 

Don’t be surprised to see a slightly different meta description appear in your search results, Google loves twisting it around a little. And if you skip this part then Google will generate a meta title and description from your content. Please, don’t count on it, write your own.

The main takeaway is that even in the context of SEO, content is kind, and if you practice some of these tips, you’ll be on your way to higher rankings.


Related Articles

Apple's latest version of Safari in macOS High Sierra includes Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which prevents first-party cookies from being used in a third-party context beyond one day, and purges them completely after 30 days. No matter your industry, attracting return visitors through increased engagement will ultimately build your revenue stream. Here are three engagement strategies to keep visitors on your site and draw them back in after they've exited.
Many businesses struggle to get their blogs going because they believe their industry doesn't have good potential to craft interesting posts. In reality, it all comes down to how creative you get with your writing. The more unique and compelling your posts are, the more powerful your blog is in growing your brand. Regardless of what line of work you are in, there will always be ways you can use your content to stand out among the competition.
It's getting harder and harder to "game the system" with exploitive linkbuilding strategies and blackhat SEO. In short, it's not just about keywords; it's about creating a cohesive and appealing user experience. This is known as organic optimization. A strong linking structure and other internal SEO best practices can provide that. Here are four considerations to keep in mind when optimizing the internal SEO of your website.
Not all online shopping experiences are created equal. Poor web and mobile experiences like load time delays, error messages and lost shopping carts can damage a company's reputation and turn customers away. Here are four strategies e-retailers can use to optimize their websites to meet peak demand not only during the holidays, but throughout the entire year.
As "always on" audience-driven engagement further infiltrates marketing consciousness, those brands that want to create high quality content more efficiently-and strategically take into account the diverse interests of their audience-are starting in-house content studios. These operations generate a variety of content forms and types and are led by trailblazing, first-generation content leaders. In 2018 content studios will continue to flourish, but there will be some things to watch out for.