Your content is worthless if no one can find it. (Okay, maybe not totally worthless, but darn near close.)
Content optimization is usually discussed in terms of SEO, but that focus leaves out two other very important optimization techniques: readability and social optimization. You can optimize a piece of content all you want for search engines, but if it’s not easy to read and doesn’t have a good hook for getting shared, that piece of content isn’t going far.
Readability: Make your content skim-able
People consume information online quickly, which entails them skimming content until something catches their eye. Take big ideas and break them out into sections so they can be consumed easier. Break up sections with sub-headlines, bulleted lists, or imagery.
Creating content that is easy to read will engage your audience in the moment.
Social optimization: Get your audience to share it
After engaging your audience by making it easy to read, you want them to share it and for others to notice it on social media. Shared posts with multimedia get 50% more Likes on Facebook and over 100% more comments than an average post, so include multimedia in your content whenever possible. Another great way to get people to share content is to include stats and figures.
Optimizing your content for social media will get your audience to take the next step in getting your content seen by others.
SEO: Get your content to live on
We’ve written before about SEO mistakes a lot of people make. Following basic SEO best practices will help your content live on and continue to get views long after you’ve posted it. How effective is this practice? So far in 2013, 4 of the top 5 most viewed posts on this blog were actually written in 2012. Those posts, though over a year old, are still relevant to a large search audience that we would have missed if we hadn’t optimized those posts for search.
SEO enables your content to live on in the long-term, helping pull in new audiences that may not have seen your content when it was initially published.
So how can you start working on optimizing your content?
Our latest tipsheet “10 Tips for Optimizing Your Content” includes tips that you can use right now to begin optimizing your content for readability, social media and SEO.