Do you feel you deserve a better ROI from your existing content? More visitors, and more conversions? You’ve crafted your content with tender, loving care but nobody’s actually reading it. That’s a shame, right?
In this article, I’ll show you the two-step process for optimizing your content and getting better returns.
The first step is to create a content inventory, essentially making a list of all the content on your website. And the second step is to actually optimize the content.
Before you can optimize, you need to know what content you have and what state it’s in.
Put all your website’s content in a spreadsheet, and for each page fill in:
Your web analytics suite should be able to give you the traffic and conversion numbers.
How do you actually map all your website’s content? A tool such as ours can do this for you. It lets you build an overview of all the content on your website, which you can then export to a CSV file.
Soon you’ll see there’s plenty of work to do! If you’ve got a lot of content, it’s likely that some pages won’t have a clear goal or target audience. Other pages may need to be optimized because you put little to no thought into what keywords they should be ranking for. And you’ll also encounter pages that are over-optimized to the point that they are barely readable to humans.
Fill out the spreadsheet so it’s abundantly clear what role each page plays in your website.
Thanks to the content inventory, you now know what pages need your attention most. Let’s get to work!
Get more organic traffic from existing content: incorporate the right keywords and increase your click-through-rate (CTR).
It almost goes without saying, but let’s emphasize it anyway: if you don’t incorporate the right keywords in the right pages, these pages will not rank well for these keywords. But how do you do that effectively to increase the findability of these pages?
Make these elements your priority:
Be sure to use your keywords in singular and plural form. Don’t be afraid to use related words and synonyms in the same page. That’s normal, so that’s what search engines expect to see.
An example of what NOT to do
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Don’t force in keywords. If incorporating (more) keywords leads to readability issues, then always choose the user over the search engine.
Another common issue: your pages rank well in the organic search results, but you’re getting a low CTR. You’ve already put in all that effort to rank well, but you’re not reaping the benefits.
Follow these best practices to increase your CTRs:
Do you know what your pages look like when they’re shared on social media? 99% of the time there’s a lot of room for improvement. Many website owners don’t realize that they can influence the appearance of their page on social media platforms. This can be done using Open Graph (Facebook and LinkedIn) and Twitter Cards (Twitter).
To make sure you stand out on Facebook and Twitter, pay close attention to:
A lot of content management systems provide support for Open Graph and Twitter Cards. Many SEO plugins already support them—adding them is as easy as filling in a title and meta description. Since it’s hard to check manually whether you filled in your Open Graph and Twitter Card data correctly, automating it with a tool such as ours is a huge timesaver.
Search engines will never buy anything from you. Users do that, so focus on them. Make sure they have a great experience on your website.
Is your page answering a user’s search query? Search engine users are often searching for the answer to a specific question. If your page doesn’t provide the answer (quickly), visitors will hit the “Back” button and check another website. Objectively look at your page to verify that you answer the user’s search query in a quick and easy way. If you don’t, adjust the page. If you do, then see if you can make the page even more useful to your users by using any of the content ideas below:
Sometimes, less is more. This holds true for content too. The process of removing unnecessary, bloated content is called “content pruning”. The idea is that you create more focus and readability by removing distracting and irrelevant content. Keep the user in mind, and prune away!
There’s tremendous value in rewriting and updating content. Think about important trends and development that may make your content outdated. Rewrite and update it to retain and increase its value over time. This also gives you a good reason to promote that content again.
Take this example: in the Netherlands, the minimum wage is adjusted twice a year, on January 1 and July 1. How valuable is your content about the minimum wage after the minimum wage has been adjusted? Slate that content for update twice a year and put it on your editorial calendar so you don’t forget. Also, use it as an opportunity to re-evaluate the content. In this specific case, think about adding a calculator that converts the minimum gross wage to net wage and factors in age. Wouldn’t that make this page more valuable?
Imagine this: you’re searching for something on Google, you click on one of the results and the next thing you know, you’re squinting at a huge chunk of text, without paragraphing, headings, or images. Would you want to read that, or would you quickly jump ship and go to one of the other results?
Prevent this behaviour by:
It’s an absolute waste of your content if it doesn’t give you a good ROI. With a little effort, you can turn it around and have your content work for you.
Optimize. Analyze. Repeat. Remember: your content is never done.
Here at ContentKing, we are striving to take the guesswork out of SEO. ContentKing is a real-time SEO auditing and change tracking suite. Optimizing your website from more organic and social traffic is a continuous process, and your tooling and work-flows should be continuous as well.
We're interested in knowing your opinions on or experience of the topics raised in this article. Or maybe you've gained other experience we didn't touch on. Either way, we'd love to hear from you.