Content optimization is a refining process a content to make it readable and appealing for both users and search engines. Millions of websites compete against each other for numerous valuable keywords but just a few of them gets TOP 10 ranking in Google SERP.
When we produce content, we think that we have planned everything in detail and will get the best ranking, but there may be many things that we overlook. Sometimes the content we publish does not rank high in Google SERP and its performance does not meet our expectations. In such cases, this list will be very useful to update the content.
With the experience we have gained from the SEO projects we have been involved in for a long time, we have compiled all the points you need in the content production process in a checklist:
1. Pick a Target Keyword
Before you start writing content, it is necessary to determine which keyword you will target. In other words, you need to find out which keyword a content is searched for on Google SERP and what the correct keywords are.
Additionally, how much search volume the keyword to choose has is also a very important metric. At this point, you should also evaluate metrics such as the level of competition, the mid-tail, long-tail or short-tail versions of the keyword.
Although there are many tools on the market for keyword research, we can definitely recommend SEMrush for more comprehensive analysis.
Also, you can find more mid-tail and long-tail keyword ideas from Keyword Magic Tool in SEMrush.
2. Analyze Search Intent
The second important thing is what users hoping to find or what information they’re looking for in their search. So, while doing your keyword research, you should consider search intent which matters for both SEO and users.
Here you can find fundamental search intents:
3. Analyze Competitors
In order to create a TOP 3 great content that will beat competitors, you have to analyze your competitors. We’d recommend to check this list below:
- What is the length of competitor’s content?
- What subheadings/headlines did they use?
- Do competitors use different types of schema markup?
- Do these contents have FAQ?
- Did they add different type of content (e.g. video, infographic, image etc.)
- How did they utilize internal linking to boost this content?
- Did they get backlinks to boost its visibility?
4. Research Your Topic - Find Excellent Mid-tail & Long-tail Keywords
In addition to finding mid-tail and long-tail keywords, you should check the most popular questions about your topic. Also, you need to understand what users are searching for and popular trends in search engines.
There are 2 great tools that we highly recommend to analyze trend and popular questions.
One of them is Glimpse, which is a great Chrome extension, that tracks every topic across the internet.
The second tool we use is Answerthepublic. It helps to figure out most popular questions, comparisons and volume data. It also visualizes all data it provides.
5. Create a Proper URL, Meta Title & Description
You should keep the URL as short as you can and include your target keywords in meta title and description fields.
6. Optimize Internal Links
Linking to your content on your site is a great way to contribute to SEO and simultaneously keep users on your website longer. In order to make your content more relatable and increase its visibility among your website, you have to create internal links that leads to your new piece of content.
7. Optimize Images
Content without images is almost nowhere to be seen anymore. Because images make a content much more readable and attractive. For this reason, while you work in content creation, one of the things that must be done is to prepare an infographic that summarizes this content or to support the parts that are difficult to explain in text with images.
Although images and videos make a content more readable and at the same time more attractive, they can sometimes cause problems with page speed and loading time. That’s why you should be careful about the size and format of image files.
8. Mobile Experience is Key
In addition to providing great content, your website’s technical performance and good experience will ensure that you get high performance from the content produced. That’s why your web page must be mobile-friendly. You can use Google’s Mobile-Usability Test tool to check this.
9. Ensure Fast Page Load
Whatever you do for SEO, at the end of the day, you should definitely address the page speed issue. Because we guess you won’t wait for a content page to load in 10 seconds 😲
10. Make Your Content Readable
Here is a list to make your content more readable:
- There is nothing such a “perfect” paragraph length but we’d highly recommend to create short sentences and paragraphs.
- Structure your headings to tell a story
- Use imagery and graphics
- Add internal links to relevant pieces of content on your website
Making your content :
11. Use Schema Markups Efficiently
Before publishing your content, you should also use the required schema markup types. You should consider adding below schema markups:
- Breadcrumb Schema
- Article Schema
- BlogPost Schema
- Website Schema
- HowTo Schema
- FAQ Schema
- QAPage Schema
12. Pursue High Quality Backlinks
The more backlinks/external source that links your content, Google appreciates your content more. So, you should also consider getting more backlinks to increase its visibility and authority.
13. Add Social Sharing
Social sharing enables users to share their ideas on social media and it helps to increase its visibility too likely backlink acquisition.