How to Properly Optimize Your Content
When it comes to content development and marketing, it is easy to get caught up in producing a great piece of content, placing it online, and then going out to tell the world about it. Between the placing it online and the going out to tell the world about it, there are a few additional things you need to do, depending on the type of content you have developed and where you are placing it.
The following are some content optimization tips to help your content get found.
If your awesome piece of content is placed upon a page on your website or blog, you will also want to be sure that the page itself is optimized properly so search engines can find it.
Particularly, you will want to focus on adding these pieces of information so your content comes up at the top!
1. Create a Strong Title
The title tag plays an important role in helping search engines identify the content on your page. Be sure to include a good 70-character description of your page. As you can see in the above example, five out of six of the results for SEO infographics includes those words in the title.
2. Write a Great Meta Description
Now that you’ve created a good title, extend that title out to 160 characters within the page’s meta description.
I know you’ve probably heard that the meta description doesn’t count for much, and you can see in the example above that those sites aren’t really using them: it’s auto filled from the page’s content. The reason I still include it is because Google bolds the keywords someone searches for in the search results. Hence, if you have the keyword in the title and the description, your page in the results will standout above others, even if it’s further down.
3. Use a Descriptive URL
Just like you shouldn’t have DCS-1245.jpg as the filename of your images (you’ll see why in the part about image optimization), you shouldn’t have a URL that is yourdomain.com/p=?1124.
Talk with your web designer if you must, but try to get your site to have better URLs such as yourdomain.com/page-optimization-tips/ so that Google can better see what your page is about. Think of it as additional confirmation to search engines that the title and meta description are right on the mark of the page’s content.
Whether you are inserting just a random image to supplement your content, screenshots, or infographics on a webpage, you must do the following for the optimum search optimization of each image. That way you can show up in image results like this:
1. Create a Descriptive Filename
Don’t just upload your pictures with DCS-1245.jpg, image1-15.jpg, or other filenames that lack good descriptions. Instead, rename them to include your keywords, such as seo-image-optimization.jpg.
2. Add the ALT and TITLE text
In your <img src=”seo-image-optimization.jpg” />, don’t forget to add descriptive ALT and TITLE attributes. The ALT is probably the most important, but adding the same thing as your title does not hurt. So take the above and make it <img src=”seo-image-optimization.jpg” alt=”SEO Image Optimization” title=”SEO Image Optimization />.
3. Add Captions
The text nearby an image also counts towards its optimization, so for both search engines and your readers, you should include a short, descriptive caption for each of your images.
4. Use Compressed Images
Since Google is all about quality and making sure visitors get the best experience when finding a website in their search results, they may already or will eventually be taking note of load times. Hence, you should make sure you have compressed your image down to web-friendly size and not upload huge, 1MB images that will make your page take a longer than usual time to load.
Video is an extremely popular form of content to develop, and if you can get your video optimized properly, you just might find yourself in a special section of the search results.
Here are some of ways to optimize your video for the best search performance.
1. Upload It to YouTube
It might be tempting to host a video on your own site or other popular video sharing sites. You can certainly upload it to as many places as you want, but if you are concerned about Google search results, then you will also want it placed on YouTube, as that is owned by Google and therefore looked upon highly over other networks.
2. Have a Descriptive Filename
Not sure if this actually helps, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Tell Google what your video is from the moment it is uploaded by naming the file with your desired keywords such as seo-video-optimziation.mov over movie.mov.
3. Include Keywords in the Title
Be sure to include your keywords in the title of the video when you are uploading it, as close to the beginning as possible.
4. Include Keywords in the Description
Again, you will want to include your keywords in your video’s description. I would suggest doing it within the first line of the description as, once you are on YouTube’s site, you only get to see the first line of the details. Alternately, if you are trying to drive traffic to your website, include your website link first and then your description with keywords in the following paragraph.
5. Include Keywords in the Tags
YouTube allows you to add tags to your video. This is a great place to put in different keyword variations that people might use to search for your content.
6. Make Your Video a Response to Another
Chances are your video isn’t going to be a hit overnight, but there is probably another video out there that is. Find a video ranking well for the same keywords and see if you can add your video as a response to theirs.
Then it will show up just on the same page as theirs and hopefully will gain some of the traffic from that video’s visitors.
Social Sharing Optimization
Last, but not least, if you are placing your content on your own website or blog and want that content to go viral on social networks, you have to make it easy to be shared on social networks.
The following are official sharing buttons of the most popular networks, especially for just about any topic.
- Official Twitter Retweet Button
- Facebook Like Button
- StumbleUpon Badge
- LinkedIn Share Button
- The Digg Button
Although the Facebook Share Button has been retired and the Like Button supposedly has similar functionality, it is missing the ability to choose a thumbnail, change the text, and add a comment to the share on your Facebook profile. So I still use this code in addition to the Like Button so people can do the automatic or more controlled way of sharing.
Be sure to add these onto the page your content is placed upon, or within template files of your website’s theme so that they appear on every page you want others to share with their fans, friends, and followers.