Our Blog

25 Apr 2011

How to Properly Optimize Your Content

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.

Page Optimization

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.

SEO Page Optimization Search Results

How Properly Optimized Pages Appear in Search

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.

Image Optimization

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:

SEO Image Optimization

How Properly Optimized Images Appear in Image Search

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 Optimization

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.

SEO Video Optimization

How Properly Optimized Videos Appear in Search

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.

SEO Video Responses

How to Show Up Under Popular Videos

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.

Social Sharing Buttons

Popular Social Sharing Buttons

The following are official sharing buttons of the most popular networks, especially for just about any topic.

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.

<a name=”fb_share” type=”button_count” href=”http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php”>Share</a><script src=”http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/connect.php/js/FB.Share” type=”text/javascript”></script>

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.

6 Comments

  • TrafficColeman Apr 25, 2011

    Just keep keywords in the title and on the page at least 4 times..the rest is just link building..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Chuck Reynolds Apr 25, 2011

    This is good basic info for people… the image optimization thing… #2… it’s good to do that but I’ve found better results with alt and not using title text… using both seems to push towards over optimization. It’s good to know about them both and your implementation & rank WILL vary but… just sayin.. don’t go crazy on alt w/ title text in images.
    Good post overall tho.

  • Kristi H Apr 26, 2011

    Is that the magic formula? :) Thanks Coleman!

  • Kristi H Apr 26, 2011

    Do you know if it makes a difference between using a different title and ALT text? I just started using title because WordPress offers the field… seems to help on my site.

  • Chuck Reynolds Apr 27, 2011

    @Kristi no reply buttons on this blog? yell at Arnie for me! lol. There’s no formula… typically alt text is required for more valid code and is used to describe images to text readers. Titles are more like a caption type of thing. typically I never use titles other than the default thing WP puts in. Test it out, see which one works better for ya :)

  • Martin May 02, 2011

    Thanks for this good SEO 101. What most people forget, is to write content for humans, not for the googlebot. if you have bad content, no SEO will help. on the other side, great content will keep you on top of the list, even if you don’t invest much time in SEO.