Why do I need to optimize my content?
Optimize your site for Google so the search engine understands your content.
— Google needs to know if your webpage is relevant to a searcher’s query.
Optimize your site for your audience so they’ll engage more fully with what you have to offer.
— Visitors to your site come to find answers, information. If they’re engaged, they may make a purchase, come back again, and/or tell their friends.
Writing good, search-optimized content that Google can crawl and searchers find relevant is not easy. That’s why you hire a Content Writer or a company that edits and optimizes web content. But if your analytics is telling you your pages have a low engagement rate, take a look at how the content is organized and written for the page.
What is search engine optimized content or “SEO” Content?
Starting at the top, here’s what to look for:
- Keyword in the Title of the page
Google says that Titles:
…are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.
We’ve written a blog post about GA4 replacing Universal Analytics, a big change for Google Analytics and for all us Analysts. The title of this blog post is, “BuhBye UA. Hello GA4.”
— The Keyword here is, “GA4” which I’ve used throughout the article, too.
— It’s a fun, catchy title that’s click-worthy but not click bait.
- Descriptive URLs
We use WordPress which automatically creates the url from the Title. The url for my blog post shows you the Keyword in the Title: https://wholesumagency.com/2022/05/09/buhbye-ua-hello-ga4/
(Your url may be structured without the date. For example: https://yourwebsite.com/blog/buhbye-ua-hello-ga4 ) With the Title and the url, search engines can get a good idea of what this content will be covering.
- Heading Tags on the page
The text in your content or articles needs to utilize Heading Tags such as H1, H2, H3, etc, so that:
search engines can understand the topics covered under each heading.
These headings also make the content organized and easier for your audience to read.
- Use of Keywords throughout
It is natural to use the Keyword in the content of a page. Try using its synonym or a variation, too, since repeating the keyword over and over is not good writing. Not good at all. Plus, the keywords/variations are what people use when they conduct a search.(What keywords should you use? Oh lordy, that’s a whole other blog post!)
- Keyword in the Title of the page
Heading Tags’ role in search engine optimization
When Google crawls a page, the Heading Tags indicate what to expect and what topics will be covered. When a searcher puts in a query, Google retrieves the relative web pages that can answer this search. Considering there are nearly 4 billion searches a day, the better optimized your pages are, the better chance you have for Google to grab yours, and consequently, get your pages ranked higher on the search engines results pages.
Google’s John Mueller said in 2020:
And when it comes to text on a page, a heading is a really strong signal telling us this part of the page is about this topic.
- Use the H1 tag only once on a page.
Most content management systems like WordPress use H1 tags for the Title. Good; you won’t have to specify it in the <title> element.
Be sure each page on your site has its own unique Title.
- Use the H2 tag to head your opening paragraph.
This heading tells a bit more of what to expect and should be enticing. The paragraph(s) that follows can set up what the rest of the page is about.
- Use the H3 tag or continue using H2 tags to head each section.
Each topic or section of the page should use a heading tag to organize the content for your audience. So long as you use Heading tags for each topic in a section, Google will be able to crawl and understand the page, and your audience will have get a better visual layout of the page.
- If you can, if it makes sense, use the keyword or synonym/variant of the keyword in these heading tags.
Again this clarifies what this section is about, but the keywords within it are or should be what people used in their search.
Engagement begins with the Heading
Are Heading Tags high up on the Ranking factors for a page? Well, a page can rank without them. However, using Heading Tags organizes your article for your readers.
This makes the page easier to skim and understand.
This provides a better user experience.
A better experience = better engagement.
Engagement is a “key performance indicator” in Google Analytics.
So don’t neglect the Heading Tags.
Images should be optimized, too.
Add images, such as photos or charts, or other graphics to your page. They’ll draw the eye to them, and they’re a good way to explain information. Images need optimization, too: don’t keep “DSC000239.jpg” as the image’s file name. Rename it using at least a description of the image. Be sure to include the alt text for your Images, too. Search engines cannot see what’s in an image and neither can people with impaired vision.
…when it comes to images, that’s something where headings and the context of that image helps us a lot to understand where we should be showing that image in search.
Is the content on your site optimized for Google? For your audience?
Style your content for increased engagement
The body of your article or content is optimized when you include Heading tags and Keywords plus its variants. Google thanks you for that. But your content will be more engaging for your audience when it is more visual and easier to read when the layout and format include:
- Bulleted list – a favorite among those who skim
- Bold to highlight important words.
- Italics for emphasis or to quote someone.
- Links to other parts of your website, if you can.
BONUS TIP: Optimized Content is like a Newspaper Article
Write your content like a newspaper article. Think about how you read a piece in a newspaper: Headline catches your eye, you see a picture, take a look at the short paragraphs, you skim. You may go back and read the whole thing.
The same goes for the content on your website:
- Big headline at the top. That’s your Title H1 tag.
- A cool picture
- Another headline, that’s your H2 tag, above a short paragraph.
- Well-organized paragraphs with their own Heading tags, bullet points, etc
- Wrap up
And a Wrap — close your content with a brief Summary or a Takeaway or a Bottom Line. I tie it up with something like this:
Google needs to be able to find/understand our content, and so our audience engages with the site.
Your content needs to be analyzed if engagement on the page could be better. Be sure the Title of the page includes your Keyword, Heading tags are used for each section to indicate what that topic is about, and the content is written like a newspaper article: enticing headline, sub headlines of what to expect, section after section of relevant easy-to-digest content, and a nice wrap up. This will help you write engaging content that is optimized for search engines so that these search engines rank your pages higher.