Content is king. Chances are you’ve heard this phrase if you work in an online business. Bloggers, marketers, and other people writing for web use it a lot because well, it’s true.
Even though content is not the only thing to focus on, it’s certainly one of the most important ones because it’s one of the first things the Internet audience sees on your website.
Therefore, using the latest optimization techniques to ensure the most visibility and the highest possible Google ranking is a must if you want your content to sell.
Here’s how to take a holistic approach to content optimization.
What is content optimization?
In this post, the term “content optimization” refers to a set of practices aiming to update and modify web content to make it more appealing for both human consumers and search engines. This set contains a number of specific practices (which we’ll review in the next section) and is an absolute must for everyone wanting their content to make an impact.
Google’s content quality guidelines have made it very clear that following the latest content optimization techniques will go a long way in improving readership, and therefore, revenues.
The research totally supports this. A recent study by Conductor, for example, found that online shoppers who consumed quality educational content from a brand were 131 percent more likely to buy from it.
This means that the content was interesting, useful, relevant, and credible. To achieve similar results and optimize your own content in the right way, remember the following:
- A high ranking is not the end goal. Your primary purpose should be to deliver engaging and useful content to your target audience.
- Understand the search intent behind your targeted keywords. This means answering the following questions: “what problems your target audience may be facing?” and “what needs or concerns may be the reason why people use these keywords?”
- Always put your readers first. If you had to choose between your readers and SEO, choosing the latter would not the best choice because Google and other search engines work to meet the needs of the online community.
Now that you know the most important principles of content optimization, we can move on to specific techniques that drive sales. Stay tuned for part 2!
How to produce content that sells
Step #1: Choose a Topic Your Target Audience Cares About
An effective content optimization process begins long before a single word is written. The reason? Well, if you want your content to perform well in the long-term, you need to know why your readers begin looking for it.
For example, they may have a particular problem that they may resolve using the guidelines in your content.
To know what content to produce, you should ask your target audience. Use:
- The page of your business on social media
- Customer and audience surveys
- Internet research of popular topics using websites like Reddit, and research the most shared content using BuzzSumo.
Step #2: Come Up with an Amazing Content
“Producing engaging and high-converting content doesn’t require you to be a superb writer,” says Martin Bledsoe, an expert writer from SupremeDissertations. “To connect with your target audience in a meaningful way, you need to apply some basics of content production.”
Here they are:
- Write about a problem that your target audience faces and offer an effective solution (e.g. make a detailed how-to guide).
- Capture attention by an engaging, thought-provoking headline. According to the research of 100 million online articles by BuzzSumo, the top-performing headlines contained the following phrases.
These are results for English, but the same rule applies to any other language. If some parts of your content need to be translated, you can use IsAccurate to select the translation services that deliver quick and accurate translation.
- Use the four Cs of content optimization: clear, compelling, concise, and credible. “This means that your content should be easy to read and understand, describe only relevant information, be interesting, and provide only reliable information,” explains Anthony Hale, a content analyst from Citatior.
- Use visuals. The vast majority of people are visual learners, so try to include appropriate images where they can enhance a reader’s understanding of your content.
Step #3: SEO
Content optimization for SEO applies to the entire page, not a single part like keywords. That’s why a comprehensive approach is the best.
Here’s how to do it.
- Begin by researching keywords that your audience uses to search for your content (assuming that you’ve done everything described until this point you should have some ideas for topics). For that, you can use free tools like Adwords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer.
- Choose long-tail keywords instead of short-tail keywords. They have a higher conversion rate because they are a better representation of how people talk. For example:
Short-tail keyword: laptops
Long-tail keywords: affordable Dell laptops for students in Boston
- Write effective meta description. For the best results, write a concise, enticing, and click-worthy text in a natural language.
Here’s an example of a great meta description.
- Aim for the best-performing content length. Although there’s no universal formula, content with a certain length tends to perform better than others. For example, a study by SEMRush found that the average length of a high-performing content was about 800 words. Here are the complete data.
Step #4: Always Use Calls to Action
Now that you have most of your content completed, it’s time to reinforce the purpose behind creating it by including a call to action. It’s the concluding part of your content that seeks to persuade the reader to take a certain action.
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Rules of Effective Calls to Action:
- No obligations! People are much more to try for free than buy right away
- Don’t demand information you don’t really need (gender, age, industry, etc.)
- Use actionable language like “discover,” “find out,” and “take advantage.” Avoid salesy words like “act now.”
Content Optimization Tools
One of the most important rules of content producers is to automate everything and increase the efficiency of content creation. For example, a process they often automate is proofreading because only one mistake can completely ruin their image.
There are a number of great online tools available, including HotEssayService, GetGoodGrade, RewardedEssays, and RatedbyStudents. The advantage of these tools lies in the fact that they offer human proofreaders as well.
Other widely used helpful tools include Google AdWords (keyword research), CoSchedule Headline Analyzer (improvement of headlines), Meta Tools Analyzer (improvement of meta tags), and Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test (for testing your website for responsiveness).
The information here is applicable to any kind of content produced for online businesses. It’s your turn now, you’re now equipped with the knowledge you need to optimize your content like a pro!