When an SEO talks about ‘optimized content’, what does that even mean? If you’re not familiar with the terminology, it can be hard to fully understand what they’re referring to. For starters, optimized content is a jam-packed term: There’s a lot that informs what it actually is and entails. Optimized content refers to content that is written with the intention and effect of reaching the largest possible audience. That means writing for both users and search engines, including relevant keywords, and properly tagging and linking your content, as well as images. Whew—if that seems like a lot, then you’re absolutely right, it is. Let’s break optimized content down to size a bit, shall we?
A Closer Look at Optimized Content
When we’re talking about optimized content, we’re talking about content that speaks to both page visitors (users) and search engines. But how does content do that? Thankfully, it’s not as counterintuitive as it may sound. First and foremost, the content on a webpage is there to help a user learn more about something, solve a problem, or generally get something out of it. Content that does its job in this way is already on the right track and will likely be rewarded by Google and other search engines; Google likes it when content is seen as valuable by users.
But that makes pretty obvious sense, doesn’t it? We’re writing for (talking to) other humans—no matter if we’re a bakery, industrial supplier, or pet groomer. Google recognizes this. If your content is speaking in a way that’s beneficial to users (i.e. users are clicking to it, staying on your site, and otherwise interacting with your content) Google will take notice and give a higher ranking on SERPs. As a search engine, Google is trying to find the best way to answer a searcher’s query. If your page seems to fit that bill, expect better rankings in SERPs.
We should also mention that Google isn’t fond of what’s known as ‘thin’ content. Thin content is low-quality content that essentially says the same thing on multiple pages. This practice was more pronounced in years past (especially for businesses or retailers with very similar products offered), but should still be counted as a BIG ‘no-no’ today. As we talked about earlier, you should produce content that’s as rich, valuable, and relevant as can be.
Optimizing Content for Search Engines
Now, we’d be remiss to ignore the fact that there are some more technical aspects to optimized content—specifically for search engines. Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought otherwise up until now.
As we’ve noted, yes, we are writing to users. However, we are also writing for search engines, which means we need to do things to our content that makes it more easily crawlable for them. Utilizing relevant keywords in our on-page content, headings, title tags, and metadata allows for search engines to more readily understand what our content is about. Ideally, you’ll want to incorporate keywords intentionally throughout your content—without resorting to bad practices like keyword stuffing. How do you come up with keywords to use? You’ll have to do some research first. There are multiple keyword search tools that can help in this endeavor. However, it’s not a simple copy/paste or plug-and-play. A good SEO who knows their stuff is invaluable here.
Optimized content doesn’t just cover on-page elements either. You’ll want to go “under the hood” of your page(s) as well. Properly tagging your metadata (title, on-page headings, meta description, etc.) is essential for both SEO and accessibility purposes. Additionally, to lend even more credibility and authority to oneself, you’ll also want to internally link throughout your content. This gives search engines like Google an even greater idea of who you are and what your content is trying to convey to users. Finally, optimized content doesn’t just deal with what’s being written: It covers other integral visual elements as well, including images. Properly alt tagged, file-named, and compressed images are also a must, and shouldn’t be seen as a second thought when it comes to content.
Get Expert Help
To say that optimized content covers a lot would be an understatement. But it’s beyond essential for your SEO—and your business’s ongoing online success. Get in touch with our SEO experts to see how we can help optimize your content, increase your rankings on SERPs, and bring in more ‘bang for your buck’ marketing!