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9 Content Optimization Guides to Boost Traffic & Visibility
Cover image: Illustration of content optimization to boost article performances in the SERP.

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Have you ever felt like you put your all into writing awesome web content, but it's just sitting out there on the internet unseen? It surely happens to a lot of SEO writers who don’t know what content optimization is, yet.

But first, why does such a thing happen? Well, maybe the “keyword” you used within the content is not targeted enough so it becomes like whispers in a busy place. In this case, your content needs a clearer “sign” saying, "Hey, I'm what you're looking for!".

If search engines can't find your content, or if it's not reaching the right people, then it is time for you to start optimizing your content.

Content optimization is important to make sure people can find your content so that your words get to the right eye.

Hence, let's make content optimization less mysterious! Explore its definition and the complete guide on how to optimize content to elevate your digital presence below.

What Is Content Optimization in SEO? 

Illustration of Someone Doing Content Optimization for SEO
Figure 1: Illustration of Someone Doing Content Optimization for SEO

As a passionate SEO content writer, I've come to realize the importance of writing content that not only captivates and is relevant to readers, but also aligns with search engine algorithms by optimizing my content. 

So what does optimizing your content actually mean?

Content optimization is a strategic approach to fine-tuning digital content to enhance its visibility and appeal to a broader audience. 

This process involves some significant adjustments to ensure that the content is not only well-written, but also aligns with relevant intent and search queries

In order to have optimized content, one should ensure some targeted keywords have been strategically placed within the text, metadata, and title tags to boost the content's discoverability in the SERP

However, there are other critical elements that also contribute to the process of content optimization. Discover more about the complete set of elements necessary for optimizing content and how to do it in this blog. 

Why Can't Content Appear in The SERP?

There are some reasons why carefully built content might be elusive in the SERP weeks or months after it was posted, such as:

  • The use of inadequate keyword selection with minimal search volume. 
  • Failing to address user intent.
  • The page is not mobile-user friendly. 
  • Lacks substance or fails to delve deeper into the subject matter with sufficient details.
  • Categorized as thin content.
  • Has some disorganized heading structure. 
  • Neglecting the local SEO elements such as location-specific keywords.
  • The title tag does not precisely represent the content which decreases the click-through rate (CTR).

Why Content Optimization Is Crucial? 

Illustration of Search Engine Optimization and Its Elements
Figure 2: Illustration of Search Engine Optimization and Its Elements

When someone searches for information, search engines definitely want to provide the best and most relevant results. 

In that case, content optimization helps your writing stand out and get the recognition it deserves. This strategy also ensures that your content speaks the language of search engines. 

If you don't optimize your content, search engines might have a hard time figuring out what your article is really about. 

Producing content and doing the optimization work hand in hand to ensure your message not only reaches but also helps your intended audience in some stances.

Just a few years ago, the focus of content optimization was primarily on impressing the search engine algorithms rather than the people reading the content. 

This meant a heavy reliance on keywords, sometimes at the expense of making the content less readable and enjoyable for humans.

However, as times have changed, so has the approach to content optimization. Now, search engines, especially Google as in the E-E-A-T guideline, prioritize content that is authentic, trustworthy, and demonstrates genuine human expertise. 

The emphasis has shifted from merely tricking algorithms to creating content that is engaging, valuable, and relatable to real people.

Semrush discovered that 34% of the 24.000 highest-ranking articles in the top 10 results have measured perfect scores (on a scale of 9-10 out of 10) based on several main pillars. They are:

  • Great SEO strategy
  • Relevant tone of voice
  • Readability
  • Consistency
  • Originality

Study Case Examples of Content Optimization

To get a better understanding of optimization in SEO, learn the study case below and identify which content is effectively optimized and which is not.

1. Well Optimized Content

A blog post entitled: 10 Healthy Living Tips for Busy Professionals

  • Strategic use of relevant keywords in the title, meta tags, and throughout the content. 
  • Clear and coherent heading structure aiding readability and SEO. 
  • Engaging multimedia elements, such as images and infographics. 
  • Mobile-friendly design, catering to a diverse audience. 
  • Prominent call-to-action to increase conversion rates.
  • Regularly updated with fresh and valuable information. 

2. Less Optimized Content

Example: A Product Page of Smart Fitness Tracker

  • Limited use of targeted keywords in the product description and meta tags. 
  • Lack of detailed information about product features and benefits. 
  • Unclear and vague heading structure.
  • Inconsistent publishing schedule. 
  • Missing call-to-action that hinders conversion opportunities.
  • Absence of customer reviews or testimonials impacting trustworthiness. 
  • Minimal integration of multimedia elements.

How to Optimize Content for Better Visibility?

As 70% of marketers believe that Search Engine Optimization is more effective than PPC in generating sales, then how can we optimize our content? 

Please note that the content optimization process requires you to strike the perfect balance between user engagement and search engine visibility to achieve content marketing success. Here’s how!

1. Ensure The Targeted Keyword Has Traffic Potential

Search engines like Google now focus more on how websites comprehensively cover a topic, rather than focusing on a single keyword. Why?

This is because keywords represent individual search queries by users. Meanwhile, topics serve as connectors that establish semantic relationships between those keywords.

After deciding the topic you believe is relevant to your target audiences, you then can project target keywords with traffic potential. 

You can choose the targeted keywords based on your business size and its domain authority. Then, decide whether your content will have informational or transactional purposes based on the diverse needs and expectations of your audience.

There are a lot of approaches to projecting your keywords based on certain topics, one of which is through Keyword Planner in Google Ads. There, you can see how often people search for specific keywords, giving you an idea of their popularity. 

It also provides insights into the competition for those keywords which helps you gauge how difficult it might be to rank for them.

Remember! It's not just about picking the most popular keywords. Sometimes, choosing more specific and less competitive keywords with higher potential in the future can bring in a more targeted audience. 

Example of Keyword Research through Google Keyword Planner
Figure 3: Example of Keyword Research through Google Keyword Planner

2. Speak The Language of Your Audience

It is not about English, Indonesian, Greek, or anything else. Speaking the language of your audience goes beyond just the words they use. It means understanding their interests, needs, and the way they express themselves.

Instead of solely focusing on metrics like traffic volume and difficulty, you should broaden your approach to include search intent in generating keyword ideas. 

To truly connect with your audience, you need to use the kind of language they resonate with. This includes using words, phrases, and tones that feel familiar and relatable to them. 

If your audience is casual and prefers a friendly tone, avoid sounding too formal. On the other hand, if your audience is more professional, adjust your language to match that level of formality.

If you require more assistance in “predicting” the queries of the target audience on your business website, I suggest you try to:

  • Imagine you don't know much about the topic/product that you're selling. This helps you think like an ordinary customer and figure out how they might look at what you offer.
  • Next, pretend what you're selling isn't there at all. Think about how you'd explain it if it was completely new. Explain what it is first and don’t directly jump into presenting some hard-selling phrases.

Learn the table below for more detailed examples:

Topic

Content Purposes

Don’ts

Do’s

Best FlowerInformational

- buy flowers nearby

- buy cheap flowers

- brand “A” flowers delivery

- best flower for the first date

- best flower for mom

- best flower for celebration

Table 1: The Do’s and Don’ts in Choosing Keyword for Informational Content

Within the content optimization process, you should not be too focused on certain keywords alone as it is crucial to use some additional semantically related keywords. 

Semantically related keywords are phrases that are connected in meaning to your main keywords. 

For example, if your main keyword is "healthy recipes," semantically related keywords could include "nutritious meals," "healthy cooking," or maybe “balanced diet ideas.”

Why does this matter in content optimization? Well, search engines have become smarter in understanding the context of content. 

Thus, by incorporating semantically related keywords, you provide a more comprehensive and contextually rich experience for both users and search engines.

So, next time you do content optimization for a more SEO-friendly article, you should also think about the various terms or phrases someone might use when exploring a topic related to your main keyword. 

If you find it hard to project those keywords, you can try the Keyword Permutation Tool by cmlabs to make your research time more efficient!

4. Optimize The Heading Structure

Sometimes, it is not merely about the keyword. The way you organize your content matters too! 

Heading structures are like signposts for both readers and search engines. They provide a roadmap, guiding people through your content and signaling the hierarchy of information. Proper heading structure not only makes your content more readable but also enhances its SEO scores. 

With a well-generated heading structure, search engines can break down all information in your content into sections with code for easier crawling

Hence, start with a clear and concise H1 (Heading 1) that encapsulates the main topic of your content. Then, follow it up with relevant H2 (Heading 2) subheadings that break down the main topic into sections. Under each H2, you can use H3 (Heading 3) sub-subheadings for further organization.

5. Upgrade with Supporting Visualization

Doing content optimization means that you should also consider adding relevant images, infographics, charts, or videos to complement your written content. 

According to Semrush, web content with visual elements can increase organic traffic. It was found that one video in a page can attract 83% higher organic traffic, while three or more videos in content can attract 55% more backlinks. 

Visuals not only break up the text, making it more digestible, but they also serve to illustrate your points and contribute to a more enjoyable and informative user experience. 

When search engines recognize that your content is not only informative but also engaging, it can positively influence your rankings.

Remember! Make sure the visual elements on your optimized content are provided with descriptive file names, alt tags, and proper captions with targeted keywords to increase accessibility and provide additional context for search engines.

When we talk about optimizing internal links, we mean making the links between different pages on your website work better for both search engines and the people visiting your site.

When you optimize anchor text and linking to related content, you make it easier for both search engine bots and human users to explore related topics within your website. 

This can significantly improve the visibility of your optimized content in SERP and enhance overall user satisfaction by providing a logical and well-connected journey through your site.

Therefore, you need to regularly review and update internal links as you create new content.

7. Do Research But Be Unique

To secure a prominent ranking in highly competitive niches and high-demand keywords, you need to ensure the content has updated data and entirely addresses the search query.

You can begin by researching what your competitors are offering for the targeted keyword to help you identify the current state of the topic and opportunities for creating something even more valuable.

Next, make sure you differentiate your content by avoiding the repetition of points covered in other highly-ranked articles. 

Instead, you may strive to provide unique value. Elevate your content by generating original ideas, proposing new methodologies, highlighting innovative problem-solving approaches, and incorporating practical case studies. 

8. Optimize the Metadata: Title, Meta Description, and More

You may produce nearly perfect content inside, but its effectiveness can be hindered by technical aspects that impact user experience (UX) and overall accessibility.

The content optimization process also requires you to build well-structured metadata, most importantly title and description tags. It will contribute to the clarity and relevance of your content in search engine results, thus influencing click-through rates.

In addition, you need to also ensure a detailed management of links. The absence of broken links is imperative for increasing positive user experience, as encountering broken links can lead to frustration and negatively impact your site's credibility. 

Regularly auditing and maintaining the integrity of your internal and external links is essential to ensure a smooth navigation experience for both users and search engine crawlers.

While you optimize the links, don’t forget to also make sure you have put the correct placement of alt tags for images on your website so that your web content can provide valuable information to search engines and improve search engine rankings or overall visibility.

9. Equip and Update the Data Comprehensively

Look at the table below and choose which content attracts you more!

Title

Date Published

Last Updated

The Ultimate Guide to SEO Strategies

Jan 15, 2021.

Nov 23, 2023.

Mastering SEO Trends in 2022

Mar 5, 2022.

Dec 10, 2022.

Navigating the Latest SEO Trends in 2023

Aug 10, 2022.

Nov 27, 2023.

2022's Top SEO Trends to Rank 1st in SERP

Apr 2, 2022.

Nov 30, 2022.


 Table 2: Illustration of various content titles along with their dates of publication and last update.

As we are currently in 2023, take a moment to consider which piece of content would likely grab your attention. 

As you can see, the "Last Update" column provides crucial information about when the content was last reviewed and revised.

For instance, "The Ultimate Guide to SEO Strategies" was published on Jan 15, 2021, but it was recently updated on Nov 23, 2023. This update ensures that the content remains relevant, provides accurate information, and reflects the latest developments in the fast-paced field of SEO.

This transparency in showcasing the last update not only enhances user trust but also communicates your dedication to delivering content that stands the test of time. 

This is why you need to regularly equip and update your content comprehensively to ensure that your audience receives the most accurate and up-to-date information so that your authority can be reinforced in this digital landscape.

Writer Tips for Better Content Optimization

Writing content that is informative, unique, and up-to-date can sometimes be a real challenge, even for some professionals and experienced writers. 

However, after several years immersed in this field and conducting extensive research through practical experience, I am confident to say that certain strategies can significantly enhance content optimization, especially for SEO writers. They are:

  • Stay informed: Regularly update your knowledge on industry trends, changing algorithms, and emerging topics. This ensures your content remains relevant and valuable to your audience.
  • Speak like you are one of the audience: Adopt a conversational tone that mirrors natural speech rather than adopting a dense, textbook-like approach. Use shorter words and sentences, as they are easier to comprehend and can save your audience time in extracting the information they seek from your articles.
  • Maintain a rhythm in your writing by varying sentence lengths: Semrush found that 43% of low-scoring articles suffer from overly long sentences. Hence, you need to strive for a balanced mix, alternating between short and long sentences, and validate the flow by reading your copy aloud to ensure it sounds natural.
  • Use a consistent tone throughout your writing: Define your brand's tone of voice and apply it consistently across all your content. It will not only enhance your company's image but also solidify your presence in the minds of your audience.
  • Deliver a user-centric approach: Understand your audience's needs, preferences, and pain points. Tailor your content to address these aspects, fostering a deeper connection with your readers.
  • Keep it fresh with consistent flow: Enhancing your content optimization involves the regular publication of new material. Search engines like fresh, original, and updated content, and so do your readers.

In conclusion, how to optimize content involves a mix of simple yet powerful strategies. This approach makes your content more accessible and enjoyable for a wider audience. 

Think about what your readers are interested in, and tailor your content to their preferences. Considering the use of keywords is another smart move. Optimizing keyword placement within your content helps it show up when someone is looking for related queries.

The overall presentation of your content, from short paragraphs to visually appealing layouts, also further contributes to a positive user experience that encourages readers to stay and explore.

If you find content optimization to be a complex task or simply want expert assistance, you can use SEO Services by cmlabs, as we guide you through the intricacies of optimizing your content. We ensure your content meets industry standards and delivers the best possible results for your online presence. 

Or you can use the SEO Content Writing Service by cmlabs to ensure that your content is optimized and written with expertise. 

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Risca Fadillah

Risca Fadillah

Thank you for taking the time to read my article! At cmlabs, we regularly publish new and insightful articles related to SEO almost every week. So, you'll always get the latest information on the topics you're interested in. If you really enjoy the content on cmlabs, you can subscribe to our email newsletter. By subscribing, you'll receive updates directly in your inbox. And hey, if you're interested in becoming a writer at cmlabs, don't worry! You can find more information here. So, come join the cmlabs community and stay updated on the latest SEO developments with us!

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