It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of using blogging to improve your website’s ranking in search engines.
But many people don’t realize that websites contain much more content to optimize than just the article itself.
Let’s take a look at nine types of website content you can’t forget to optimize.
- Podcast and video transcript
- Product page
- Category and tag landing pages
- Header tags
- Meta description
- Meta titles
1. Podcast and video transcript
Do you host a podcast or create videos and share those on your website? Great!
But don’t just let your content exist in audiovisual form. This is the perfect scenario for repurposing your content and using it in more ways than one.Podcast and video transcript are perfect for repurposing your content and using it in more ways than one. Click To Tweet
Write out a transcript and copy-edit it into a valuable and easy-to-read blog post. Yes, it will take more time and money, but you’ll reap the rewards.
First of all, Google bots can’t watch videos or listen to podcasts. So video SEO relies on what they can read; video titles and descriptions. Turning your transcript into a blog post gives Google and other search engines the chance to crawl and index much more of your content.
Secondly, perhaps even more important than Google, sharing a transcript is an excellent way to make your content more accessible and reach potential customers who prefer to read or are hard of hearing.
2. Product page
Many e-commerce websites feature plenty of images for their products but not a lot of written content.
And websites offering services sometimes just describe their services with a short paragraph, instead of creating a page for each service.
Creating a product page with written content for each product or service gives search engines much more content to work with while giving your potential customers more information.
For example, I included a few sentences about each of my services on my homepage and services page. I also created a specific page for my services (blog posts, email marketing, custom content). I can go much more in-depth than on a general page, and through Google Analytics, I can see which page is more popular and brings me better results.
3. Category and tag landing pages
More overlooked pages on a website are category and tag landing pages.
Categories and tags make it easier for your readers to find more posts on a similar topic.
On my Budapest blog, I link to categories in my header, such as public transport in Budapest and food and drinks in Budapest. Clicking these links will take readers straight to an archive with all the relevant posts. However, besides linking to all blogs in that category, the page is not (yet) optimized for SEO or visitors.
Most category and tag pages are just an archive of posts in that category or with that tag. But you can optimize that page. Include a description of what to expect from posts in that category or even a 101 on that topic, for example. By doing this, the page will have an increased chance of ranking on search engines, and you’re offering your visitors more value.
To go back to my Budapest blog, I’m currently working on optimizing my category pages. On the public transport category page, I want to include a quick overview of public transport types and a breakdown of the tickets. I’ll link to the most important posts for visitors to start with before readers scroll to the archive.
4. Header tags
Header tags are HTML codes used to create subheadings. Besides making a text easier to scan and read, search engines also use subheadings to evaluate and rank your page.
A <h1> tag is almost always used for the title of the page. On this page, that’s “Content Optimization: Here Are 9 Types of Website Content You Can’t Forget”. Then you can use the H2 to H6 tags for your subheadings.
You should include your keyword in (some of) your subheadings. Using them in every single subheading can be a bit of overkill. Can you imagine this blog post with ‘4. Content optimization: Header tags’ and ‘5. Content optimization: Images’ as subheadings?
If you’re working with a content writer, their final deliverable should include optimized titles and subheadings.
Remember how I said Google bots don’t read video and audio? They also can’t view images.
That’s one of the reasons you provide a descriptive file name and alt-text. This is where you add a description of the image and how it fits your blog post or web page. Try to include the keywords so searchers can find your image through Google Images.
Another reason to use the alt-text is to make your website more accessible to visually impaired visitors. Technologies like screen readers will use the alt-text to describe the image. So don’t keyword-stuff the alt-text and only add it to images to add value, like graphs and screenshots, not decorative photos.
When working with images, also pay attention to the size of the image file. Images can significantly impact loading times, so resize the image to make it easier for users and search engines to load your website.
Both internal and external links are essential for your SEO. Without links, search engine bots don’t know these pages exist.
Internal links are links to pages on your own website. They connect your content and help establish a hierarchy on your website. Important pages are linked to more often, which helps give Google an idea of your website’s structure. Internal links also make it easier for your visitors to browse through your website and find relevant content. And the longer a visitor is on your website, the better for your ranking too.
External links are links to and from other websites, and they help search engines decide which websites are trustworthy, authoritative, and valuable. I like this metaphor on external links from Moz: “If you went on vacation and asked three people (all completely unrelated to one another) what the best coffee shop in town was, and they all said, “Cuppa Joe on Main Street,” you would feel confident that Cuppa Joe is indeed the best coffee place in town. Links do that for search engines.”
Use external links in your content to provide more value for your readers.
You’ll also want other websites to link to your website (backlinks). Companies used to pay for links or exchange links for a while, but this is now a big no-no and will harm your ranking. Instead of paying websites to include a link to yours, focus on creating quality content that people will want to share.Focus on creating quality content that people will want to share and the backlinks will happen. Click To Tweet
When using links, make sure to pay attention to:
- Anchor text – linking keywords and names is better than ‘click here’ or ‘this article’. For example, when including a Read More-list, don’t link to this and this article, but write out the titles to use as a link.
- Destination – when linking to another website, link to the specific page you want to share with your readers, not merely the homepage. This will make your link more valuable for your visitors (who don’t have to go looking for that specific page) and search engines.
A good content writer will include relevant internal and external links in the content they create for you.
7. Meta description
Your page’s meta description is a summary of that particular page. Search engines display it in their search results, and social media channels show the meta description when sharing a link.
The meta description will inform the searcher if your page includes the answer they’re looking for and should entice them to click through to your website.
Google says that keywords in your meta description don’t impact your ranking. However, having a compelling meta description will make searchers want to click, and a higher CTR (click-through-rate) will affect your ranking.
Meta descriptions can be as long as you make them, but Google only shows the first 158 characters, so try to keep it short and sweet. Note that whatever you provide is only a suggestion to search engines. In some cases, they may still create their own meta description.
If you don’t provide a meta description, search engines will create a meta description with your page’s text. This can sometimes be advantageous: When search engines generate a meta description, they display the keywords and surrounding phrases that the user has searched for.
The screenshot above shows the results for ‘mooiste plekken wereld’. Ranked at #3 is a blog post I wrote for Explorista.nl. As you can see, Milou hasn’t provided a meta description, or Google ignored that and pulled one from the blog post.
8. Meta titles
The meta title is the title of a page displayed in search engine results, social media snippets, and even the page’s browser tab.
It’s usually recommended to keep your meta title under 60 characters. There’s no exact limit, as Google displays 600 px, and some characters take up more space. If your title is too long, it’s cut off and an ellipsis will be added (see screenshot above).
Most meta titles exist out of the pages title and a brand name. Including your brand name will help with brand recognition, but you can choose to remove your brand name. This will give you more space for your title.
I recently wrote a blog post about using mobile tickets in Budapest’s public transport. I omitted the website’s name to display the full title, which I think is more relevant for searchers.
The English result shows the meta description I specified, while the Dutch version has a meta description pulled from my blog post. However, if I search with ‘boedapest mobiele ov kaart’, which matches my meta description, it shows the text I provided.
Unsure if optimizing your meta data will help your website, especially when Google states they won’t use keywords in your meta data for your ranking? Check out this case study from fellow-freelance writer Elise Dopson, who increased her search traffic by 54% after optimizing her meta tags.
“What am I going to optimize in a URL?!” Is that you right now? Well, there’s more to keep in mind than you think!
A URL is simply the address of a page. You can optimize the slug (what comes after the .com/), which is important because it’s a ranking factor. Just like your visitors, search engines read URLs to understand what your page is about.
- Keep your URLs short and simple and avoid keyword stuffing
- Use your primary keyword for that page
- Don’t use URLs like http://petradesiree.com/?p=123 but include the page name
- Make sure to remove irrelevant words to keep your URL short
A lot of automatic URLs are the root domain (petradesiree.com) and the page title. For this page, that would be petradesiree.com/content-optimization-here-are-9-types-of-website-content-you-cant-forget/. But this is too long, so I adjusted it, and now it’s petradesiree.com/website-content-optimization.
Don’t forget to set up a 301 redirect if you’re changing URLs!
Fun fact: I struggled with naming my Budapest blog for months until I talked to a colleague. She wasn’t the first person to tell me to start a blog “with all my recommendations about what to do in Budapest.“ It was like a light went on in my head, and I thought, that’s exactly what people search for on Google, and it describes what my blog would be about!
Ready for more content optimization?
Hire a content writer with experience in SEO writing to create your content and they should take care of at least the titles and subheadings and links.
A content writer can also:
- Copy edit a podcast or video transcript
- Write a product page
- Create a category or tag landing page
If you want your content writer to take care of images, meta data, and URLs, it’s best to discuss if they provide these services as well.
In need of a content writer who can help you optimize your existing or new website content? Get in touch now.
P.S. You can also pin this post so you can easily refer to it later: