In the past, content optimization came in the form of focusing on singular keywords and writing and optimizing your content for the search engines. This mindset is not correct in today’s world. Today, it’s all about what the searcher is typing into the search engine. The focus is on the search’s intent and typically longer tail keywords. This is known as semantic search. The idea here is that Google will focus more on searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms. We have to create content that provides real value to your audience and offers the solutions they are searching for to answer their problems. Since it’s all about what the searcher is intending and what they are looking for, we have to focus our content on the audience it will attract. In plain terms, content should focus on engaging your audience and relevance.
Here are some tips for content optimization for semantic search:
- Examine all supporting terms, synonyms and modifiers when you are doing your keyword research.
- Use these terms throughout your seo strategies, like in your titles, content, h tags, descriptions, alt tags, etc.
- In offsite efforts, keep all of these in mind as well when you are contributing content to other sites, in social and even in your PPC ads.
By focusing on content experiences alone, we can hone in on three key areas for testing and optimization:
- The User’s Entry Point – What attracted your visitor to click on your content? The goal here is to improve site traffic metrics.
- The User’s Experience – What about your content keeps your users engaged and reading? The goal here is to improve your content engagement metrics.
- The User’s Actions – What is it that your content encourages your users to do next? You want to think of this in terms of the actions they are taking, not just conversions. Too often, we miss out on a lot of positive user behaviors simply because a user didn’t immediately convert. The goal here is to understand what users are likely to do after engaging with your content. Do they go on to read more? Do they move further down the funnel towards becoming your client? Or do they simply leave your site?
You have to be in the practice of constantly examining and testing your content to ensure you’re matching the expectations of your audience. The benefit of optimization and testing isn’t each adjustment you make, but the collective effect of a critically thinking content marketing team that’s willing to consistently self-evaluate over time.