As more and more content positions move online, more and more writers are beginning to realize the importance of optimization. Companies want content that is ready to go for an online audience as well as search engine bots, so learning a little bit about optimization is the next step. Once you understand what goes into content optimization, there are really three different ways to make it happen: Write first and then optimize, optimize as you write, or write and let someone else optimize it for you.
Optimizing a Piece of Content: A Quick Overview
It’s important to first understand what optimizing content even means and how to even begin. In short, optimizing content just means that you’re going to do a few basic things:
1. Add in a few keywords so that search engine bots will know how to rank and index that webpage. In other words, help them know on what type of search engine results page (SERP) your content belongs. For example, if your content has the word “web design” in the titles and in the text, it’s safe to assume that your article should show up when someone types in the search query “web design.” You can learn more about using keywords correctly here.
2. Add in a few internal (and external) links. Internal links help readers navigate around your website and find other related articles. Not only will it help keep readers on your site, but Google will also like it because it improves navigation and therefore overall user experience. External links work in the same way, however internal links are usually more popular in the way of optimization.
3. Update your Meta data. This data is usually added in after you write a piece of content. For example, the description about the webpage that you will see under a SERP listing is called Meta data.
There are of course other aspects that go into optimizing your content, but these are the most basic. Visit here to learn about more advanced content optimization tactics.
The Pros and Cons of Different Optimizing Content Decisions
A third option would be to have someone else optimize the content that you write. I once wrote an article discussing whether or not it was the writer or the Webmaster’s responsibility to optimize content. If the Webmaster decides that he/she will optimize the content, then the “after” is going to have to suffice. This is generally the way it works when you have a large website with a lot of writers bringing in articles.
As you might imagine, there isn’t necessarily a right way of doing things. You have to see what works for you and go for it. However, I do recommend trying both strategies first. Optimizing content as you go generally has a more natural feel and ensures that you’re not stuffing in keywords for the bots (remember, content is for readers!). Either way, you’ll likely find that your content is more or less optimized already, but it’s always something you need to consider.
If you’re a writer, which optimization strategy has worked best for you? Why? Was there another strategy that you found to work better? Let me know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small businesses and entrepreneurs SEO advice raging from keyword research to local SEO strategy. She is the online content editor and lead writer for HigherVisibility, a nationally recognized SEO company that offers national and local SEO services to companies across the country.