Content Optimization

Content optimization is creating and updating content that is for both the search engine and your target audience. It’s important to optimize web page content as it plays a key role in SEO, content marketing and user experience.

Table of Contents

What is Content Optimization?

Optimizing content means improving content so that it achieves your desired objectives. These could be to rank on the first page of Google SERPs, generate organic traffic to the site, increase social media engagement, or to drive conversions.

Different types of content include:

  • News Articles
  • Blog Posts
  • Landing Pages [including product, category & service page descriptions]
  • Social Media Posts
  • Images & Infographics
  • Videos and Podcasts


Keep reading to learn more about why content optimization is necessary for Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and User Experience (UX), and what best practices you can follow for content creation and optimization on your site.

Why is Content Optimization important?

When it comes to SEO, content creation without the right optimizations, may be the same as having no content. 

You might need to optimize your content for improving:

  • On Page SEO
  • Off Page SEO
  • User Experience

On Page SEO

High quality content that is optimized for relevant keywords helps improve your on page SEO. 

Without content optimization, your content can easily get lost in the clutter of many competitors trying to develop content for similar search terms and queries.

If you conduct thorough keyword research and then incorporate keywords with traffic potential and search volume, your content can have a chance of ranking on search engine result pages.  

When Google crawls your site and each webpage, having keyword based content will help it to better understand your content, and return it for the relevant search intent users have. 

Plus, optimising your content for the search engine can also improve your chances of making it into Featured Snippets and Google’s People Also Ask section, both preceding the organic search results.

SEO wise, content that is optimized is a definite ranking factor for Google which means it needs to be part of your on-page SEO and content marketing strategy, especially for pages you want to rank higher on Google.

Off Page SEO

Content Optimization isn’t just great for on page SEO, but plays a part in off page SEO as well.

What is off page SEO? 

It refers to any efforts you make off-site, for your website to rank better on search engines i.e. link building. Even though we refer to content marketing here as an on-site strategy, great content can also help you earn quality backlinks.

Backlinks are links from one website to another, using an anchor text. 

If a brand puts effort into content creation, the target audience may consider it an authority in that domain, and that adds to the audience’s trust. If your content happens to be good enough for other sites, then you might get some backlinks as well. The more quality backlinks your content generates, Google considers it a positive ranking signal and this could get you higher organic search traffic.

User Experience

Content that is well structured, complete, and relevant, makes for a positive user experience. 

This could mean dividing your content into smaller blocks of text, presenting a different sub-topic in each, in order of priority and with proper introduction and conclusion. It could also mean adding relevant images and videos, and optimising your content so that it is suitable for social shares as well.

When working on improving your site’s UX, tweaking your content to improve its readability can go a long way. Plus, once you have established yourself as the topical authority on top of that, your target audience may come back for more.

If your site offers good content and a simple navigational journey for your users, you could expect your traffic numbers to improve, and that means you can expect to rank higher on Google search.

How to Optimize Content for SEO

So what does it mean to optimize content for both the search engine and users? Consider the following key ways to help boost your content.

1. Keyword Research

Keyword research may be one of the first tasks you work on in both your SEO and content marketing strategy. When preparing content that ranks, prior keyword research is mandatory, and gives you an idea of both the target keywords as well as semantic variations of keywords you need to incorporate in your text [without resorting to keyword stuffing, of course]. 

Google is now smart enough to understand clusters of related keywords under specific topics, which means you don’t need to create content around one specific keyword. Instead, what works better is to identify topics relevant for your audience, and write content around those topics in a way that meets users’ search intent, and complies with Google’s requirements for keywords.

Tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush can be great for keyword research, while simply using Google’s search bar to evaluate existing search results for your related topics can also be a great help in preparing your content.

Once you have your keyword research out of the way, you will be left with a list of primary and secondary keywords, as well as some long tail keywords you will be targeting.

Semrush KW Research

2. Page Title & Meta Description

No content is complete without giving it a proper page title and meta description. This is the first thing users will see before they even arrive at your webpage, and is needed to generate organic traffic.

Your content on the web page might be the best ever, but if you do not follow Google’s guidelines on creating a good title tag for it, Search Engines may not be able to rank it higher. Make sure your page title incorporates a primary keyword from your content and sticks to the title tag length Google allows to prevent getting a truncated page title.

For meta descriptions, they are a great way to give searchers a glimpse of what your content will be about, so use it wisely to highlight additional keywords, as well as benefits for the user if they click on your webpage’s link. Similar to page titles, stick to Google’s preferred length and make sure the description is relevant, or else Google might replace the whole thing.

Tatcha SERP Example

3. Structured Content

When it comes to structure, header tags, small paragraphs, and bullet points are your friend.

Content that has been prepared in a structured way, with a H1 for an overarching theme, H2 for subheadings, and H3 onward for subsections, will be easily read by users, and contributes to a positive user experience.

If you create keyword optimized content, but forget to align your content in the right flow, or paste all your content as one big wall of text, users will not make the effort to go through it, and leave your web page as quickly as they arrived, worsening your bounce rate and other ecommerce metrics

Instead, try making maximum use of heading tags, and break your paragraphs into smaller chunks that discuss selected subtopics at a time. Even better, throw in lists so the reader has an even easier time finding the information they are looking for.

Content structure can also vary by business type. 

If your content involves food recipes, you may need to present your content in a different way, that involves listing ingredients, their quantities, as well as a step by step method for preparing the recipe. Here, using schema markup for structured data can help Google’s algorithm understand and better display your content.

Schema Recipe

4. New & Refreshed Content

Repurposing content, along with churning out fresh new content is a core part of any content optimization strategy. You may have plenty of content published for your site in the past. Even if it got you traffic back then, doesn’t mean that traffic will keep coming in. As more content is generated by competitors, you need to stay on top of your content as well. Any piece of text that did well in the past should be refreshed for the current year, while any content that wasn’t quite up to the mark might need to be repurposed for a different keyword group.

5. Compelling Call to Action

So you’ve created the perfect piece of content, added in all relevant keywords, but your conversion rates are still below par. Are you missing your call to action?

Content is often prepared with a purpose and a compelling call to action will help generate conversions. This could include words like Shop Now, Add to Cart, Get a Quote etc. Consider these examples for web page content:

  • Homepage: Gets you to browse the business’ products or services
  • Service Page: Asks users to book a consultation or get a quote
  • Product and Category pages: Ask to add products to your shopping cart and purchase them
  • Blog post: Convinces readers to download a template, or takes them to a product or service page. 


When preparing your content, make sure you know what that content is trying to achieve, and place appropriate call to action buttons through your text. For pages where immediate conversions are required, such as a product or service page, always have a call to action button above the fold, in the first visible part of the webpage.

6. Internal & External Linking

Working on your internal and external link strategy can often go hand in hand with content optimization. 

Internal links are links to different pages of your website, highlighted with keyword based anchor text. 

The more internal links your site has, the easier it gets for crawlers to understand and navigate your site. Linking to high authority pages, such as the home page or other high traffic pages can also spread link authority to other pages.

External links on the other hand are when you add links to other websites on your site, perhaps as a means to show Google how your content is related to other pages. It could also be to provide some supporting information to your readers to better understand your content.

Make sure though, that your external links are not to competitor pages, and are not placed on important money pages as that might lead customers to exit your site.

7. Images & Other Media

Images, infographics, videos, and podcasts are all different ways you can enrich your content. The best practice here is to add relevant media that supplements or summarises your writing. 

For Image SEO, make sure to utilise the alt text in the HTML to explain the image with relevant keywords. Text in the alt tags can help screen readers to understand images for visually impaired users. Plus, these tags help search engines to better understand those images as they crawl your site.

If your primary content is voice based, such as videos and podcasts, then adding keyword based transcripts for that content can help with SEO.

Alt Text Example

The Bottom Line

You can’t expect to have a successful SEO strategy without content optimization. So if you’ve learned a thing or two with these best practices, you could improve your on page SEO, off page SEO and UX.

Ready for SEO growth with content marketing that brings results? Consider hiring an SEO & Content Marketing Agency to get the search engine rankings and organic traffic numbers you need.

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