Content optimisation is one of three search engine optimisation (SEO) pillars, and some argue it’s the most important. Search Engine Journal’s 2022 State of SEO report found that 13.5% of participants spent most of their time on keyword research, and 12.9% spent it on on-page optimisation (h1s, meta data, body copy). And with the recent Google Helpful Content update, it’s clear that it is an important factor to growing your organic visibility.
Now that we know how important it is, let’s go through how we can implement optimised content on your website.
What Is Content Optimisation in SEO?
SEO friendly content is on-page text that is optimised to provide quality, user-friendly content that Google’s robots like. The aim of optimised content is to have it rank top on Google’s search engine results page. The higher a site or page can rank, the more people are likely to click on it which increases the amount of organic traffic to the site.
Since Google’s Helpful Content update has been implemented, they not only want content that is optimised for the keywords you’re targeting, but the content should be of high quality, and be as helpful for the users as possible. If you’re not providing enough useful information for the search intent of your targeted keyword(s), then Google may choose another website that does.
How On-Page Content Should Be Written
Understand what the purpose of your content is going to be and consider what queries or questions consumers may be searching for that relate to your topic.
You can do this manually by searching the type of content that appears at the top of Google’s search results when you research or you can use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush.
You are looking for keywords that have a high search volume, meaning more people are searching these queries, but that is still actually relevant to your content. A keyword with a high search volume that has nothing to do with what you’re talking about will result in your page being penalised by Google.
Metadata is the content that appears in Google search results providing searchers with an inside snippet to your content before they click.
The meta title should be between 55 and 65 characters and include one of your target keywords. Certain phrases such as “top 5”, “how-to” or “top tips” have proven to improve rankings, too. Ideally include the keyword as close to the start of the meta title as possible, a template meta title would be: [Target Keyword] | [Relevant Category] / [USP] | [Brand]
The meta description should be 156 characters in length to avoid it being cut off by Google in the search engine rankings. You should also naturally include targeted keywords within the sentences as well as a call to action such as, “Shop today for next day delivery.” Include USP and call to action (CTA) where relevant in meta description too.
H1 tags are important because they help Google to understand what your content is about.
They should be easy to tag in most content management systems and it’s best that you tag the page title as your H1.
Keep your H1s short
Use title case
Include your target keyword
Making them attractive to your audience
Use Other Subheadings
Headings make your content skimmable and easy to read, which is likely to engage more users. Making good use of H2 and H3 tags will also help Google to scan your content, understand it and work out which are the most important parts.
They’re also another good opportunity to include keywords where necessary.
You can add an H2 tag to your subheadings by:
Clicking on the ‘Text’ tab at the top of the content block.
Adding <h2> at the beginning of the title and </h2> at the end.
When you click back to the ‘Visual’ tab you will see this has become a subheading.
Key things to remember about making your body content SEO-friendly:
Use small, scannable paragraphs
Write catchy headlines
Make sense and use accessible language
Write with a friendly user experience in mind
Create content that helps the user achieve their end goal i.e. answer a question, find a product etc.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
It may be tempting to stuff your target keywords wherever possible in your content, but this isn’t SEO-friendly. In fact, doing this can cause more harm than good and the page may be punished in the Google rankings.
Instead, ensure keywords are included naturally, where relevant so that the piece is easy to read and accessible to all.
Avoid Duplicate Content
When creating content ensure you don’t just copy text from another website or from another page on your site. This will be seen as duplicate content and Google will penalise your page, causing rankings to be lower.
Also make sure you don’t target the same keywords on multiple pages, this is known as cannibalisation and can confuse Google which page it should rank for the keywords.
If you can’t avoid duplicated content then implement a canonical tag to the original version or the page which you want to hold most authority.
Keep Content Up To Date
If the piece of content is not an evergreen page, it’s important to keep it regularly updated and relevant so a site is not penalised for out of date or duplicate content.
Keep the structure of your URL simple and clear and include your high-value target keywords.
Search engines are clever enough to examine whether imagery is relevant to the content. Make sure any imagery you use within the content makes sense, including alt text, image captions and file names. Whilst these may not be visible when you’re on the site, they’re important when Google is crawling.
Be aware of using image files that are too large, too, as this can slow the page speed down and have a negative impact on SEO. Resizing and compressing them before use is the best practice.
Using your on-page content as an opportunity to link to other onsite content is an easy way to drive traffic to different pages. Make sure these links open as new tabs for a user-friendly experience.
Consider the goal (purchase, subscription etc) for each page to help inform the design of the page; as this will help direct your customers in the right direction.
WordPress tip: Write your content in Google Docs and upload it with Wordable if you’re uploading a bulk load of content and need a time saving plug in.
Compress media files before uploading them, tools include: Tiny PNG, compressPNG.com.
Optimise your digital performance with our guide to writing SEO content. If you need more support with onsite content, get in touch with us today. Still unsure? Take a look at our SEO case studies to see how the content we create attracts traffic.