The What, When, Why, and How of Content Optimization

Content optimization is a key part of driving organic traffic to your site. Here’s everything you need to know to start ranking higher in SERPs.

May 31, 2022
The What, When, Why, and How of Content Optimization
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As a content creator, you likely want your content to be seen by as many people as possible. After all, what's the point in spending time and effort crafting content if no one is going to read it? 

One of the best ways to get your content seen by more of your target audience is to optimize it for search engines like Google. When your content ranks highly in search results, you'll start to see more organic traffic coming your way. 

But how do you go about optimizing your content? In this guide, we'll give you some tips on content optimization and introduce you to some of our favorite optimization tools. By the end, you'll know how to make your content work harder for you with a few actionable pointers. 

What is content optimization?

Content optimization is when you create content in a way that’s optimized to be found and consumed by as many people as possible. 

 Making sure your content is formatted, written, and technically crafted in a way that’s search engine friendly, a practice otherwise known as SEO can do wonders to help grow your traffic.

When you optimize your content you’re essentially formatting the content that lives on web pages to ensure it can be easily indexed and categorized by search engines. This, in turn, makes your content easier to find and increases your click-through rate. 

Why is content optimization important?

Content optimization is a fundamental part of your content strategy that you shouldn’t overlook. Without content optimization, your content will have a much harder time being found by anyone online. 

It isn’t a stretch to liken it to not creating content at all. Creating and publishing content that lives online isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get traffic. Without the content optimization component, you won’t extract any value out of creating your content. Here are a few more reasons to pay attention to content optimization:

  • Rank higher in search engines (which generally means more traffic to your website)
  • Grow your inbound leads
  • Increase domain authority
  • Increase revenue
  • Create brand awareness
  • Establish a cost-effective content distribution channel that virtually runs on its own

How content optimization works

Now, you know why content optimization is such a vital component of content creation and all the benefits that come with it, but how does it actually work?

It helps to break content optimization down into its four main categories:

Technical

Refining the technical aspects of a website is part of the content strategy. This might mean optimizing your site for faster load times or adjusting how your website is structured so it's easier to crawl. 

Eliminating dead links and creating an XML site map helps your website establish authority. Plus, ensuring your website is responsive to different screen sizes so that content doesn’t run off screen is another positive technical signal search engines take into account. 

On-page

On-page content optimization is everything to do with the actual content. Is your content written using target keywords naturally throughout? Does it include internal links to relevant content? Is it formatted with clear subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs so that it’s easy for users to read? Do your visuals have alt text descriptions? Are you using the appropriate anchor text?

Ensuring your answer is “yes” to all these questions is a step in the right direction. For example, HubSpot was able to rank first as the featured snippet for the keyword “how to write a blog post” due to its immaculate attention to on-page optimization (among other ranking factors). 

Notice how it numbered each heading, optimized its page URL, and naturally included its target keyword throughout its content. 

Example blog post ranking

Still, things like keyword research are only the beginning. End-to-end on-page optimization is a multi-step process that’s longer than the scope of this guide. However, there are plenty of resources on the topic that can help you get started. 

Off-page

A large part of off-page SEO is creating a link-building strategy. Link-building is one of the most important ranking factors search engines like Google takes into account when deciding on search engine rankings. 

Though off-page optimization can also include a social media or email strategy to ensure your content is shared as widely as possible, it’s the backlinks that give it staying power by signaling value to search engine algorithms.  

Conversion

Finally, there’s content optimization around conversions. Now, while this type of optimization might not directly help you rank higher in SERPs, it is a way to monetize and put your content to work once it starts getting traffic.

Optimizing your content for conversions can take many forms, including:

  • Adding an email capture form
  • Adding affiliate links
  • Adding a CTA

Optimizing for conversions makes sure you start getting a return for all the time you’ve invested in creating and formatting your content to rank. 

Tips and techniques for Content Optimization

Use templates: Templates are lifesavers. Maybe not literally, but they do save you a ton of time and cut down the energy and resources you’d otherwise dedicate to creating content by at least half.

While you could create templates to write your own content from scratch, it’s worth taking advantage of copywriting templates that have already been created for you. For example, Jasper’s writing templates help you create new content in seconds. 

No need to start from scratch. Plus, Jasper’s growing library of templates has been created with a ton of different content needs in mind so that you can write content for: 

  • Product descriptions
  • YouTube video descriptions
  • Sales pages
  • Social media ads
  • SEO titles and meta descriptions
  • Real estate listings
  • Landing pages
  • Quora answers

Use free tools like Google Analytics: GA is widely used as one of the best tools to manage content optimization. Because content optimization is an ongoing process and long-term investment, it’s important to track your metrics over time. Using Google Analytics to check on your traffic numbers, sessions, new user count, and bounce rates is a great way to get an accurate picture of how your content efforts are performing. 

Check out Jasper’s free content optimization series: Did you know that Jasper offers a free SEO course? It’s a guided series of in-depth videos that walks you through the ins and outs of creating optimized content with the help of AI. If you want a refresher on all things content optimization, it’s worth taking the time to review.  

Use Google Search Console: It’s a great way to vet specific keywords, their search intent, and their search volume. While you could use paid tools like Semrush or Ahrefs as your keyword planner, Google Search Console can work just as well once you learn how to leverage it for keyword research. 

The best content optimization tools

Let’s look at some of the best tools you can use for content optimization: 

Jasper

Jasper AI writing assistant

Jasper makes it a breeze to create high-quality content that’s primed for readability, that’s SEO-friendly, and created with the user experience in mind. What does this mean exactly? It means that content creators no longer have to create a piece of content from scratch. 

With Jasper, you can create content snippets or complete keyword-optimized blog posts from scratch in minutes. Once you sign up to the platform, click on templates, sort them by use case, tap on your favorite one and start filling in your content metadata to get started. 

Plus, with Jasper, you don’t have to worry about keyword stuffing or plagiarism as its AI features create original content every time. Once you feel like it’s time to level up your content creation strategy, you’ll want to graduate to Boss Mode

It enables you to write blog posts five times faster as you dictate to the AI what you want to write. Entrepreneurs, content writers, and agencies use Jasper to speed up their content optimization process without sacrificing quality or risking plagiarism. 

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool that can help during the on-page content optimization process. It’s easier to use than more advanced tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, and it makes it easy to find long-tail keywords as well as high-volume search queries.

If you want to save and track keywords, you can opt for a paid plan. Though it’s still more affordable than many other SEO tools out there. 

Clearscope

Clearscope

Clearscope's primary goal is to help marketers include the appropriate keywords to increase their chances of ranking for competitive keywords. Unlike Jasper, it doesn’t write the actual content for you with the keywords already included.

However, if you’re looking for guidance on how to structure your content outline with the right headings and keywords, Clearscope can be a great tool to have in your arsenal. Clearscope is an investment. While it can help you write better keyworded content, its pricing is on the higher end. 

Do more with AI writing assistance

If you're not optimizing your content as part of a larger content marketing strategy, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to reach more people and drive more traffic to your site. So if you want to get the most out of your content, start optimizing it.

This doesn’t have to be a difficult or time-consuming process, especially with AI writing assistants like Jasper. By adding your preferred keywords, tone, and a short topic description, you can create better content faster that is more likely to rank in search engines and bring in traffic. 

And, because Jasper understands optimization, every piece you write is primed to rank high on search engines and bring in more leads. Ready to get started? Sign up for Jasper here! 

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Meet the author

Dave Rogenmoser
CEO of Jasper

Dave is the Co-Founder Jasper and Proof, a Y Combinator-backed tech company base in Austin, Texas. He is also a husband and father of 3 boys. You may be surprised to hear Dave once ate the beating heart of a King cobra & is 6'8" tall.

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