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May 29, 2015

Four Content Optimization Skills You Need to Use

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Photo Credit: andercismo

If you have ever advanced to a high level of a sport or hobby, you might find yourself in an interesting predicament. You go to learn a new trick or skill, and you just can’t seem to get it. You question why it isn’t working for you as you get more and more frustrated. Everything else had come so easy, so why not this?

If you meet with a coach under these circumstances, then you might get some very specific advice. Step back, take a rest, and go back to the basics. It’s the basics that are easy to forget when you’ve advanced to the big league, but yet they are the basis of every higher skill you will ever learn.

Let’s compare that to Internet marketing. After several years in the game, by this point you might consider yourself a content expert. Yet, somehow your efforts still feel stagnant. Maybe you aren’t getting the results you used to get. What should you do?

If you’ve been reading what I’m writing, then you know what I am about to say: go back to the basics. Double check to make sure you haven’t forgot one of those tried and true practices that used to be the backbone of your strategy.

Four Content Optimization Practices to Keep Doing (or Start Doing Now)

Here are four such content optimization skills that you should still be doing.

1. Spiders Aren’t Scary: It’s Good to Work to Please Them.

It’s important to remember how optimization works – or at least to have a working definition. It all starts when search engines send spiders to crawl your content for indexing purposes.

Later, when someone is searching the search engine, the site will have a lists of sites and pages that use the words in the search. Ergo, you get a list of search results. These spiders not only aren’t scary, they are incredibly useful.

If you want to get ranked high, just make sure you please the spiders. While every search engine has its own spider with its own crawling process, there are certain places that you can guarantee the spider is going to pay attention.

While spiders generally start with well-known, popular pages and then move through the links on those pages, they will eventually get to you even if you are not currently top-tier. Spiders likely look first at headlines and meta descriptions, so it is extra important to accurately word these areas.

Once you have the basic idea of how spiders work, you can move on to optimizing your content for them.

2. Keywords are Still Key (Within Reason)

Remember back when you used to pay way more attention to keywords than you should? Go back to that. I mean, don’t spend more time on it than you should, but make sure you are checking it. Creating good keywords is a great way to ensure you are being picked up on Google.

There are many ways you can find good keywords, but since Google is likely to be the major player for the foreseeable future, you might want to focus your keyword optimization for it. That being said, you might want to take advantage of Google Adwords and Google Analytics.

The former is intended to help with a Pay for Click campaign, but if you have an account, you can use it to find keywords for all of your content, not just your ads. Similarly, Analytics allows you to find out what other people are searching for so that you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

(Alternatively, I suppose you could just start typing in phrases to see what Google autofills for you.)

3. Forge a Common Link (Correctly)

Remember when I said that spiders use links to crawl and also that they like popular content? What this should tell you is the importance of including links in your content especially if you are linking to popular, trustworthy sources.

Let’s say you have a blog for your company but the only links you include go back to your site. Google might determine, based on this, that your blog is merely meant to be an advertisement and is not what people are searching for when they are looking for information.

Linking to reliable sources is a good way to show that you are generally trying to help people and that you can back up what you claim with facts. It also lets the search engine know that you are really putting yourself in the market as an expert.

However, even more important than linking to others is to have others link to you. If you can get good quality pages to link to your content, then search engines will think there is a reason these good, quality pages are referencing you.

And to put both of these together, there is some evidence that by linking to others, you are more likely to get linked back to in return.

4. That’s So Meta Tags

You cannot see meta information, so you might forget to put any importance on it. However, this would be a mistake because, while you might forget it, the search engines won’t.

When you write meta tags, you actually get to communicate with the spiders. Think of it like Wilbur teaching Charlotte how to read instead of vice versa. You get to put some messages up on the web that only you and the least-scary arachnid ever get to read.

When you write out your meta title, description, and keywords, you are telling search engines that this is what you want them to get out of your page. Who are you trying to attract? What is the point? You tell it.

There are many ways to create great meta tags. Find a method that works and then turn it into a formula you can consistently use throughout your posts. It just takes a little practice.

Back to the Basics for These Four Little Skills

Sometimes it seems like we know everything already, but when we stop seeing results, it is time to step back, take a breath, and start back at the beginning. When we do this, positive results are almost guaranteed to follow.


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Julia Spence-McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers, an online copywriting agency that began in 2011 with thousands of web content pages written to date and more than 50 talented writers on the team. Her passion is copywriting and all that pertains, including the ever-changing game of Google algorithm updates.

24 Responses to “Four Content Optimization Skills You Need to Use

    avatar bharat says:

    nice tips, thank for sharing sir….

    avatar Greg says:

    Thank you for sharing content is king

    avatar Ketut says:

    The information and tips you wrote on this article was useful for me, thanks for sharing this part

    avatar SAMEX4RILL says:

    Concerning meta data.

    Why is it that sometimes on Search Results Page the meta tags you assigned to your post don’t always show up below it, but instead Google auto chooses for you.

    avatar SAK says:

    Great Tips for optimizing content

    thanks

    avatar SAK says:

    Great Tips for optimizing content
    thanks

    I thought meta tags were demoted years ago? At least by Google? Matt

    avatar haris says:

    Very useful post. Thank you. You have been added to my watch list!

    avatar rajkumar says:

    It is very useful tips for everyone before promoting the content and to get the best traffic

    Thanks for sharing good informative Articles !! Always

    avatar M Head says:

    Great article. We have never stopped using these basics. Seems some have, which I find shocking!!!

    avatar nick sharpe says:

    not only is this great advice for your own website (or blog posts) but also a great income stream for clients’ websites that are a couple years old or older.
    I’m doing that now – getting “back to basics” really does pay off.

    avatar Saad says:

    Great information about content optimization skills.

    avatar Jason Brown says:

    I have seen so many websites get destroyed during redesigns when the url strutured gets changed and 301 redirects are not put in place. Make sure that you check your website for broken internal and external links too.

    avatar Ashwin singh says:

    Awesome peace of content .. quite usefull optimization tips

    avatar Aventura12 says:

    Thanks for sharing a great article and found some good knowledge about content optimization. Always use fresh content.

    avatar Soowec says:

    This is a good article worth sharing. It is easy to leave the basics while one struggles to get to the top. What you have shared is no doubt the some of the basics basics required for SEO and this can easily be ignored if not paid attention to but they are required to keep getting results. It will then pay off if one has a checklist for all SEO requirements update including the ones you just mentioned for any content optimization requirement.

    avatar James says:

    some really great optimization tips there, thanks for sharing Really love them !

    avatar Mitra says:

    finally some genuine and great tips, thanks for sharing

    avatar akshay says:

    what do you prefer, long content with proper keywords? short one or a content divided on multiple pages in series ? which works best for SEO

    avatar Greg says:

    Thank you for sharing

    avatar olivia says:

    wow nice tips..thank you for sharing

    Hi Julia,

    Thanks for really great optimization tips, I will try your methods on my blog.

    avatar coursecrown says:

    Well said..Spiders are not scary.
    This is truly a great post.

    avatar Seema says:

    This is a good article. It is easy to leave the basics while one struggles to get to the top.thanks for sharing…

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