Online content is being consumed at a higher rate than before, the average online engagement among millennials stands at 11 hours per day. If you are looking to capitalise on that attention share, the content needs to be compelling enough along with functional site architecture.
Content still reigns as a key ranking factor
Today, content needs to have a purpose and contribute towards it. Consumers are looking for and are attracted to content that benefits them. Once you identify a way to provide tangible value that your consumer wants, you can set about catering to those needs. 90% of successful content marketers are focused on providing information rather than making sales. And almost 82% of consumers have made purchase decisions based on the online content marketing of a company.
Importance of effective content optimization
Optimization gets you higher rankings in search results, in turn affecting your organic traffic. This is how you get to serve your purpose of greater sales and revenue generation, brand exposure, and growing authority and reputation. Optimizing your content for users boosts your search rankings which is crucial for business success.
Your site can be one of the four sites that 38% of buyers visit before making a purchase. Each piece of content in your pages is an opportunity to make a positive impression on a visitor. The visitor is then motivated to continue exploring, building a foundation of trust needed to turn them into customers.
Content in place, another factor is user experience as web rankings are directly influenced by it. A whopping 45% visitors abandon sites that load and display poorly on their devices. Thus, optimisation of content to adapt across devices becomes a key SEO component.
Here are the 10 must have elements that you need to get right for that.
The content should be new and unique, informative, and long enough to delve in-depth into the topic under discussion. The quality of content is pivotal to score SERP rankings, especially when 4 million new blog posts come online every day. When visitors enjoy the content in a web page, they end up spending more time, this metric is picked up by search engine algorithms to boost rankings.
Create content in accordance to keywords so that they are read and can contribute towards page ranking. A good keyword research is the initial step in this regard. It is like spotting an opportunity of demand and creating content to fulfil that. Ideally, the keywords should be targeted in the first paragraph itself. Optimizing the keyword into URL, title, subheading, meta descriptions, and ALT tags or image title is also recommended. This guides search engines to understand the post and rank it accordingly.
Furthermore, include semantically-related keywords to demonstrate relevancy. Ever since Panda and Hummingbird updates were released the obsession with keyword density has given way to using words or phrases that are semantically related and comes through when writing content naturally.
Search Engine friendly URL
Create URLs that your target audience wants to click on, with words rather than codes. This means that visitors can see, from the URL, what the content relates to. A clean structuring of URLs consists of avoiding complex and confusing codes, opting for shorter, keyword-optimized words.
According to Google’s John Mueller, ‘when we have two URLs that have the same content, and we are trying to pick one to show in the search results, we will pick the shorter one.’ This is also evident in this Backlinko study which found that shorter URLs tended to have a slight ranking advantage over longer URLs.
Besides, optimizing the canonical tag to the web page’s code helps search engines to prefer the original URL in rankings. A canonical URL is search engine friendly and is treated as authoritative. In addition, keep the URL short and include keywords so that both users and search engines are happy.
Tag Optimization—Title, H1 and H2
One of the most important on-page SEO elements, an optimized title tag can start with your target keyword. Google’s title tag display currently maxes out at 600px, therefore, place keywords at the start of the title tags and limit it to 60 characters approx. Headline optimisation has to be attractive, because over 90% of website visitors who read your headline will also read your call-to-action copy. Similarly, target keyword and other important modifiers in the H1 and H2 tags. These are your headings and sub-headings contextually carrying the same weight and logical order. Include keyword variations to avoid crowding.
Images and Video
Here’s an interesting statistic, a video on your landing page can mean 34% higher conversion rates. Your competition is probably using it already! Visitors spend more time on a page that has images including infographics and charts, and videos within content. Fully optimize the ALT tags and alt text of these visual content with keywords to increase visibility of your content. Compressing images before loading them allows for better loading speed of pages.
The most up-to-date information is always consumed in preference. Optimizing content with a date timestamp draws visitors to engage with your page with reassurance that your content is up to date and current. In the SERP, between a topic that is dated and one that isn’t, visitors will click on the most up-to-date content that exists when they clearly see that. On the other hand, without clicking they will have absolutely no idea when the other one was published. Display the date when the post or page was last updated in SERPs next to the content.
Links In and Out
Internal Cross Linking increases the possibility of search engines finding your content and is vital to growing your website traffic.
Links within the website enhances continued engagement and contributes to better dwell time, which will dramatically impact your search rankings.
Outward links are good for citation flow, that helps users to access further information, and search engines determine relevance through content linking. Keep your sources authoritative.
The speed at which your web pages load is a critical ranking factor for search engines, and also for retaining organic traffic. Nobody wants to wait for pages to load. A slow loading site makes visitors switch to a competitor’s site. Time is a valuable resource these days, and wasting it is like letting go of money. Certainly not the best way to build a successful online presence. Some interesting page loading statistics include facts that can be alarming for SEO professionals. For instance, 1-3 seconds in loading time see a very low bounce rate probability – only 32% while adding another second’s delay makes the chance for users to bounce triple reaching at 90%.
Optimizing the page speed reduces bounce rate, and makes users stay longer thereby positively affecting page rankings. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix analyses the content of a web page and suggests opportunities for improvements on page speed.
Social media isn’t a ranking factor, however, organic traffic is a great profit derived from content sharing. Organic search is one of the reasons behind creating content and in the end more views on it is what converts it into business. Social share buttons within content ultimately make it easy for readers to share with their network. Social signals indicate content quality. Including social share buttons within content is an effective way to optimize the maximum exposure of content. Make sure to optimize social meta tags so that content display stays correct across all platforms.
Analyse and Test
Track your visitors and analyse visitor behaviour while on your site. Always keep testing your metrics to measure outcomes. There are many SEO content analysis tools for text analysis and content optimization. This is one way to know what is working in your on-site optimisation and what isn’t. This will help to make strategic and tactical refinements to your SEO and content strategy.
Keep a tab on performance metrics like bounce rates, dwell time on the web site, content themes and topics that work in favour. This helps to compile right actionable feedback to your content team. All these data points help in fine-tuning your content marketing strategies in the long run.
Try these content optimization strategies because it’s a fundamental part of organic search rankings in SERPs and of increased conversion rate optimization. The traffic you generate with high-ranking content, can bring in significant revenue with minimal financial investment.