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11 Content Optimization Tips For Boosting Your Blog Performance

Date published: June 13, 2024
Last updated: June 13, 2024

Content marketing is much more than creating assets. As you generate different kinds of content for your growth marketing strategy, you want to optimize that content. This is especially true for owned media (i.e. content you have control over). 

Posting on a company blog to “see what sticks” isn’t going to get you far. If you want to get in front of the right audience, your content strategy requires optimization. Some of this can take place during creative, but the vast majority of the work will come after that process. 

Once your assets are live on your site, use these content optimization tips to polish their SEO and turn them into quality content not just for readers but for search engines, too. We’ve split the tips into three categories:

  • Technical SEO: This is the back-end stuff. It’s out of sight, but don’t underestimate its value!
  • Keyword optimization: This is deciding what keywords to use and when, where, and how often to use them.
  • Optimization balance: Some extra advice to maintain a balance between catering to customers and helping your content rank in SERPs.

 Let’s dive in.

Technical SEO: The Back End of Your Optimization Efforts

Technical SEO is a critical part of a successful content strategy. It is your most direct avenue to tell each search engine what your content is about. 

Most metadata, for example, is out of sight and out of mind for human readers—but it provides key information for a search engine to understand what you’re talking about. Let’s take a look at a few areas of technical SEO that you should address with every piece of new content you create:

1. Create Short, Clear URLs

Your URL should always be short and to the point. They should also neatly encapsulate what a piece is about. For instance, an article on customer service training could have a URL that reads: [].

2. Craft Headers With Care

Your headers send signals to search engines. Don’t bold a header and call it a day. Use heading tags to differentiate between H1s (only one per piece), H2s, and H3s. Whenever you can naturally fit a relevant keyword in a heading, do it!

3. Use Image Alt Text

Adding images spruces up a blog experience for a reader. It can also help with content optimization. Every time you add an image, make sure to include alt text on the back end. As with URLs, be succinct and clear. Also, include a keyword if it fits.

4. Optimize Meta Descriptions

Metadata is your chance to talk directly to the algorithm. Fill out meta titles and descriptions for every content asset you make. Include keywords and, with meta titles, try to put those keywords closer to the beginning. Keep in mind that a meta description will also appear on Google (where humans can see it), so keep it readable and enticing.

Meta description example in Google

You can learn more about technical SEO here.

Keyword Optimization: Connecting Content to Search Intent

Keywords are the connecting point between your content and your customers. They come from search queries, and can be determined through keyword research. When keywords are included in your content, they help search engines categorize that content as a potential solution to a query. 

That said, you can overrun your content with too many keywords. That’s called keyword stuffing, and it will hurt your digital marketing. Instead, use the tips below to integrate keywords in a thoughtful, effective manner.

1. Focus on One Keyword Per Piece

Don’t spread your net too wide. Focus on a single “target keyword” for each piece. This should relate to an area where you want to establish authority, such as a SaaS company focusing on the keyword SaaS vendor, SaaS onboarding, or even business efficiency. From there, support that keyword with semantically related keywords throughout a piece. The goal should be to create an article with an obvious topical focus that holistically addresses that point of interest.

2. Remember Keywords in Headers

We already mentioned this, but we’ll go over it again—because it’s a quick, easy, and powerful optimization tip. Integrate keywords into your headers whenever it is a natural fit. Organic keyword-optimized headers are one of the quickest ways to tell Google, Bing, and other search engines what your content is about.

3. Research Keywords in the Right Places

There are many keyword research tools out there, and they can provide powerful benefits. If we’re being honest, though, there is one (FREE) spot where you can get some of the best, most relevant keyword ideas: Google’s PAA. PAA (or the “People Also Ask” box) is a search engine-powered databank that reveals valuable insights into what people are searching around a keyword you choose. Use it to inform your piece, your headers, and even FAQ sections. To find other keywords that your existing content is utilizing well, look at your Google Search Console data.

Example of Google's PAA

You can learn more about keyword optimization here.

Content Optimization Tips: Additional Ideas for Success

Along with technical SEO and keyword optimization, there are a few other areas of content optimization that you don’t want to miss. Things like linking and UX can help your existing content perform at a high level. 

Let’s take a look at how you can use these optimization techniques and others like them to boost your blog content performance and search engine rankings.

1. Link Strategically

Everyone says you should use internal linking in your content—and that’s true. This can unify and elevate your site. However, the way you link matters. A good rule of thumb is to always link to the pillar that your new content connects to. In addition, aim for between three and five internal links for every 1,000 words of content writing. These should be relevant to that content and the area of topical authority it addresses.

2. Don’t Forget External Links

You also want to prioritize the domain authority (DA) of external sites. Try to include one or two external links from reputable sites in every 1,000 words. (If you aren’t sure what sites are reputable, always aim for major publications like Forbes, Inc., or Entrepreneur, as well as .edu and .gov sites.) Put these lower in your content to avoid siphoning traffic away before the reader engages with your piece. Well-placed external links will associate your content with high-quality third-party resources and publications. 

3. Address UX and Don’t Over-Optimize

User experience impacts SEO. Use things like subheads, bullets, and numbered lists to make sure your content reads clean. Tailor your reading level and word choices to your target audience. As you review your text, make sure you haven’t over-optimized things, either. Always prioritize readers first and search engines second.

4. Be Helpful With Your Content

As you consider optimization, don’t underestimate the power of simply being helpful. Google’s Helpful Content Update in 2023 put a major emphasis on ensuring quality content provides real value for readers. Read through your piece and make sure it educates and demonstrates your E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness). Always offer unique insights and actionable takeaways for your readers, too. At the end of the day, be sure to write for readers and not search engines.

Learn more about how to build a helpful content strategy here.

Optimizing Content to Boost Blog Performance

A piece of well-crafted, owned content is only as valuable as you make it. Once your blog content is live, it’s up to you to ensure that you get the most out of each piece. Use the lists above to set each piece up for success. 

Track your data, too. Google Analytics (now called Google Analytics 4) is a great way to see how each piece is performing. After you optimize content, give it a few months and look for initial momentum. Then, tweak and tailor depending on what you see. 

If you can invest in this ongoing support for your content strategy, you can maximize your chances of seeing the best results possible.

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