On-page SEO: optimizing content for search
Content optimization means making our quality content easy to find and understand for both human users and search engines.
In other words:
- creating relevant, useful and well-edited content, and
- taking into account how the internet works and uploading the content in a way that makes our site and its pages easy to crawl and understand.
Content optimization is carried out when
- writing, creating and
content to the website.
1. Writing, creating optimal content
Content and its quality determines for which search queries we appear and how we rank in the search results.
A website usually has a narrower or broader but well-defined subject matter. Site owners want the pages of the website to rank as high as possible in search results for queries related to this subject matter.
Thus, pages that are related (relevant) to this subject matter will help the site in SEO. Unrelated content will "dilute" the site's relevance to the topic.
Inbound and outbound links can also make or break relevance. Links are what make the internet the internet, so it's natural that what we link to means something.
For example, the websites of web design companies often receive inbound links from the websites they have created, and they also link to them on their references pages. For example, they get a link from a baby shoe ecommerce site, a gardening blog, a DIY store website, etc. This is not necessarily a good thing, as these sites have nothing to do with the topic of web design.
Useful and Well-Edited
Just like content published on any other medium, content on a website does not have to be of a certain length (it does not have to contain a certain number of words or characters) to be successful.
The important thing is that what we publish is useful to our visitors.
To achieve this, we first need to know what is the purpose of the content: to inform? To answer a question from a prospective customer? To inspire visitors? Providing help with something? Entertainment?
For example, if the purpose of the content is to educate, then the content should aim to provide real information. It should not be a mere repetition of knowledge found elsewhere, but should at least add some unique insight, conclusion, approach, etc.
Depending on the topic, a piece of content of 100 and 100 000 words can be useful. Quality does not depend on length. It's not the number of words that authors should look at, but whether the topic promised by the page title is covered. Content should be
- as long as necessary to explain the subject defined by the title,
- as short as possible without compromising comprehensibility.
Being well-edited also means that the text is enjoyable to read, and there are no typos or factual errors.
If the content is meant to be evergreen, will be frequently visited, if it is a website of high prestige or if it is a website offering high value products or services, it is definitely worth having your content edited.
If you are interested in tips on what is quality, useful content, how to create it, and what does it mean that a piece of content is user and search engine friendly, check out the page Quality Content: What Is It, Why It Is Important and How to Create It?
2. Uploading Content in an Optimized Way
The content you write and prepare should be uploaded with the internet as a medium in mind.
Online content is read not only by human visitors, but also by machines (search robots, assistive software), and machines see, crawl and use pages differently from human users.
Optimized uploading has a positive impact on findability and loading speed as well. This means that ranking is affected not only by the quality of the content itself, but also by the way it is uploaded.
Content uploading optimization tasks include
- optimal uploading of text elements and images, and
- performing technical SEO-related settings.
If you want to get the most out of your content, it's probably not enough to just copy and paste the written content from a text file (e.g. Word or Google doc) into the HTML text editor.
It's important to provide machine-readable tags for headings and other text elements, and to strive for optimal performance for other content elements.
As this is online content where navigation is based on links, it is worth taking advantage of the most relevant linking opportunities.
For optimized content uploading, we have put together a checklist on the page What to Keep in Mind When Uploading Content.
Once you've done that, you can further optimize your page by performing technical SEO settings. These can be done by site administrators using various modules and plugins in content management systems.
Such settings may include changing the automatically generated page title or URL alias, adding a meta description to the page, managing redirects, etc.
These technical SEO settings are explained in detail on the page SEO Settings in Content Management Systems.
Content Optimization and SEO
One (albeit the most important) part of SEO is content optimization. If you get that right, you should have no problem with organic link acquisition.
The other part is technical quality, i.e. a website that is technically optimized in terms of structure and functionality. You can find more about this on the page What is technical SEO?
If you need more comprehensive information and an overview to understand what search engine optimisation is, what it is for and what areas it covers, we recommend our page What is search engine optimization, or SEO?