How do you optimize content for search engines and social media?

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How do you optimize content for search engines and social media?

If you want your business to be found online, you need to take time to optimize your content.

No doubt you’ve read and heard a lot about content creation, perhaps you’re learning about the saturation of the online world whereby a simple google search produces millions of results! For example, there are an estimated 2 million blogs posted every day according to Marketing Profs! That’s a lot. Not-to-mention the content uploaded to social channels like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc. With such saturation, you may be asking yourself ‘why bother?’ Here’s the thing, just because there’s a ton of content being produced each day doesn’t mean it has the substance that your audience is looking for. There are a couple of ways to consider the benefits of a strong and balanced content strategy: (1) good content is a way to connect with your audience; give them what they want and expect and (2) good content written with search engines in mind will help you be found.

What is content?

  • Audio
  • Blogs
  • Quotes
  • Testimonials
  •  News
  • Articles
  • Images
  •  Memes
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Newsletters
  • Presentations

What makes content good?

(1) Produces Valuable Outcomes For The Audience.

  • Educates
  • Entertains
  • Informs
  • Inspires

(2) Produces Valuable Actions.

  • Sign ups
  • Opt ins
  • Contact forms
  • Comments
  • Shares

(3) Produces Valuable Effects

  • SEO
  • Visibility

What is content optimization?

If you’re just starting out and your products or services are relatively unknown, among other advertising and marketing, you’ll rely on search so that your ideal audience can find you. Whether it’s using search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo or within social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – a solid content strategy can bring the right people to you. Content Optimization helps you to help search engines find your stuff, rank it and make it easy for others (your ideal audience) to find it. By optimizing your content (making sure it meets standards of search engines) you can increase your rankings and the ability to show up in search.

To optimize your content, you need to balance the valuable outcomes for your audience vs. valuable actions for you vs. technical requirements from search engines.

Content Optimization Tips:

Choose words carefully. Think about your audience – what kind of language do they expect from you? Depending on who you’re speaking to, you may use technical terms but avoid jargon. Remember that your goal with content is to assert yourself as an authority, as well as build trust. Choose headlines that make sense and words that they can relate to. There are actually entire lists of ‘trust’ words used in high-performing content.

Put your audience first. Think about their intent when writing content.  What were they looking for? Was it transaction-based? Information-based? Navigation-based? If your audience was researching your product or service, they may not be ready to transact – so having a pop-up asking for a sale may prove to be ineffective.

Think about Flow. Take into account the readers experience. Try to break your content up into chunks of information so that it is easy to digest. I was reading a blog recently that had really intrusive visuals and it made it difficult to read from mobile. It really affected the flow of the article and made it a frustrating experience.

Don’t Play Games. How many times have you googled something, clicked the top result because it appeared to answer your query but wasn’t at all what you were expecting? Think of that annoying experience when you’re putting together your content plan and content. Make sure your content is high quality and relates to queries. Example: if someone is searching for commercial insurance and you optimize ALL of your insurance pages (Life, Personal, Auto, Home) with commercial tie ins, how frustrating will it be for the user to think they’re clicking through to commercial but they land on ‘Life’? They will bounce. And Google will wonder what happened.

Don’t sacrifice quality. I’m not the right person to talk about grammar. But good grammar is important I’m told. Same with spelling.

Don’t keyword stuff. Historically to optimize content meant to pack keywords. But now that search engines are more focused on intent and queries, stuffing content with keywords is essentially useless. Example: you may rank for the term insurance, but that doesn’t mean you will land in front of your key audience. Now search takes into account your location and intent. Such as ‘car insurance Alberta’.

Get Technical. There are specific technical steps you can take to optimize your content. Update your Title tags, Meta Description, Optimize Images, check your content load speed, as well as ensuring it plays well on mobile. Example: if you create a beautiful infographic but it is impossible to view on a mobile, you risk frustrating your audience and they may bounce from your site without taking a valuable action.

Social Media Activity. Social Media makes sharing easy, so if you’re creating really great content that compels people to share, your message will be amplified. Therefore it’s important to be consistent with both quantity and quality.

After you begin publishing content, don’t forget to analyze it via big data (Google analytics), Native Analytics (Facebook Insights etc.) and small data (what are people actually saying and doing – are they commenting? sharing?) Be patient. Your content strategy won’t produce immediate results but it will pay off in the long-term. Ultimately, your goal should focus on being Visible, Valuable, Vertical so that the right people find you!

Examples Of Image Optimization:

Other Blogs:

Goal setting and social media for business owners who are feeling lost
Get Started With Social Media Management
What is a social media competitive analysis and why does my small business need one?
How should businesses create a plan for social media and how will they track their success?
Social media training: where to start

Do you need help with social media? Give me a buzz!  🙂

Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data and insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.