Your blog, website, and social media have a direct purpose: to reach potential consumers. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just putting something up there and waiting. You should optimize your content for search engines and for readers when they find your content. Not only does it make your content easier to find, according to Forbes, it also boosts your credibility to consumers. Here are simple ways to optimize your content for both without driving yourself insane.
It’s All About Readability
Readability isn’t just about grammar and spelling, though those are important. When it comes to internet readability, we’re also talking about the structure of your content and its length. For good reader optimization, you should remember,
- Keep your posts short – 500 to 750 words for most topics
- Break up the flow of text with subheadings, pull quotes, and images
- Vary sentence length and structure
- Avoid too many long, complex sentences
- Use bullet points and lists to condense information
Readability isn’t just about grammar and spelling.
Optimize Your Keywords Naturally
In the early days of the internet, you had to match keywords exactly. This usually meant that common search phrases were awkwardly inserted into the text. Over the past few years, however, search algorithms have improved. Now, you don’t have to keep keyword phrases together or even have them match exactly. Instead, build context into the webpage, blog post, social media post, or other content you’re creating.
Say, for example, you are writing a blog post with the keyword phrase “coloring books for adults.” You can use the phrase once, maybe twice without it becoming clumsy. You can also break up the phrase. Build context for the keyword “coloring books” (easy to use repeatedly in a post about coloring books) by referencing “adults” in various places throughout the text. This tells the search engine that your post talks about coloring books in reference specifically to adults, which is exactly what the newer algorithms look for – because it is what people look for.
You can do this with any kind of multi-word keyword, including those that include locations.
Invite Readers to Engage with Your Content
Search engines like to see that readers engage with content on a website and stay around to read it. Engaging, readable content (see above) helps this. You also want them to click through to other places on your site, driving up your click ratings and improving your overall search engine optimization (SEO). Some ways to do this include,
- Enabling comments on posts
- Enabling email subscriptions for your content (most blogs offer plugins for this)
- Including links for related content
- When appropriate, including a clear call to action
- Provide an easy way for readers to share content on social media (social sidebar or share links on the top and bottom of posts are good examples)
Don’t Forget Your SEO Touch-Ups
While you want to optimize for search engines and readers as you write, you also want to remember optimization when you edit and as you post your content. Some important SEO touch-ups to help bring your content up in rankings include,
- Adding external links in your content to trusted sources
- Write the meta description you want search engines to display
- Ensure your keyword is in your first paragraph
- Give images a description in their alt attributes
- Include internal links in your text
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