Content Optimization And Amplification Strategies: The Ultimate Guide

Content Optimization & Amplification: The Complete Guide

Improving on what you’ve already done is generally easier than starting from scratch—which is why it’s vital to develop solid content optimization strategies for your business.

Sometimes, small and mid-sized business owners can feel pressured to constantly create new content for their websites or social media platforms. But that’s a recipe for burnout and contributes to the already overwhelming noise of the digital space.

In reality, staying relevant and visible to your audience does not require perpetually reinventing the wheel. 

an illustrated person looking stressed while typing on a laptop and phone at the same time

By optimizing and amplifying the content that’s already gotten some traction with your audience, you can conserve your energy for creating new content that is high-value and impactful.

Start by reviewing the strategies below. Then, devote about 30 minutes a day to content optimization and amplification. You’ll see more sustainable results that expand your reach and leave you feeling awesome about your work in the world.

Do you love checklists? Download our free Content Optimization Checklist here. And, be sure to bookmark this page as a reference as you work through these content optimization strategies.

Content Optimization: Helping Your Best Content to Shine

Effective content optimization strategies require the same expert eye as a gardener tending to their plants.

a smiling gardener watering their plants

Like the flowers, trees, or vegetables that make up a garden, your website’s content has variety—and we’re not (only) talking about variation in topic or intent.

Some of your content has done well. It’s had some initial traction, resonated with your audience, and gotten some clicks. With some strategic pruning and the proper support, it can have the chance to truly flourish—like when you water and fertilize your prize flowers. That’s optimization.

Other pieces of your content have not done well. They were a flop with your audience, you’ve changed your view or business goals, or they’re simply outdated. You either need to completely rework these pieces or remove them—like when you repot or discard a struggling plant. This is also optimization.

Content optimization strategies improve the overall health and effectiveness of your website so that your best content can thrive.

With a bit of work here and there, your content can fulfill its purpose: expanding your reach in unexpected and incredible ways. Get started by downloading your free Content Optimization Checklist here.

Content Amplification: The Secret Weapon to Maximize Your Reach

If content optimization strategies are like helping your garden to flourish, then content amplification is akin to posting pictures of your favorite plants on social media, hosting a garden party, sharing home-grown vegetables with friends, or entering a flower-growing competition.

You’ve done all that work—now it’s time to show it off!

Amplifying your content means sharing it across various channels so that it reaches more people and expands your impact. Amplification can look like…

  • social media posts
  • email blasts
  • paid advertising
  • influencer outreach
  • and more!
illustrated photos of a gardener showing of their garden

Sometimes, even our most compelling content can get lost in the digital ether unless we tell people where to look. So, be sure to have a plan for amplifying your content once you’ve worked through your optimization strategies.

Beyond Search Engine Optimization: Why Content Optimization Is Crucial for Your Success

Most businesses think of search engine optimization (SEO) when developing content optimization strategies. And while SEO sets the baseline, we must remember that we are writing and creating for people first, and search engine bots second.

After all, the audience using those search engines is human, with very real human goals and desires.

The best SEO strategies put people first.

Illustrated people sitting and standing with speech bubbles above their heads.

When we choose keywords to integrate into our content, we should consider both search volume and the users’ search intention when entering that word or phrase.

Then, we expand our optimization strategy by remembering who we are creating content for, factoring in our business values, and adapting the content type for different purposes.

Strategic content optimization helps you serve a real purpose for your audience while maximizing your reach and conversion.

Ultimately, content optimization strategies are about providing value and attracting people who resonate with your work and the impact you’re working to create.

What is User-Generated Content, and How Is It Changing the Content Optimization Game?

One often overlooked type of content businesses should integrate into their optimization strategies is user-generated content, or UGC.

UGC is any content created by people not associated with your brand who have used your product or service.

User-generated content can be social media posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, online reviews, and more.

There are several benefits to user-generated content:

Some companies have gotten creative about encouraging UGC that they can incorporate into their content optimization strategies. 

Some ways to encourage UGC include…

Don’t underestimate the power of engaging with user-generated content and its creators.

Acknowledging and celebrating your customers’ contributions can ignite an enthusiastic community of raving fans. 

How to Optimize Content for SEO: Our Guide for Beginners

Understanding basic SEO can form a solid foundation for your overall content optimization strategies. We always ensure each of our clients has a comprehensive keyword strategy. Then, we work on creating an intentional structure for the content to incorporate all the factors that will improve its online visibility.

Click from the list below to explore each feature of effective search engine optimization:

Strategize Your Website Content Production with Keyword Data

When someone searches for a word or phrase, the search engine bots look for the best answers to that query. That word or phrase is called a keyword. 

Having an idea of the keywords your audience is using can help you create content they will find valuable. You optimize your content for this keyword by using it in key elements of the page—such as the title, subtitles, and metadata—and sprinkling it throughout the content.

For example, if you know your audience would benefit from an article about composting, you may look into keyword phrases like:

The exact phrase you choose should be based on two things: your understanding of your audience and keyword data.

Examining the data around keywords can help you determine how to make your content more visible to your target audience.

Tools like Google Search Console and Semrush can help you decide the best keywords for your particular brand. 

Some factors to consider about each keyword include…

Having only one primary keyword (called a target keyword) for each page of your website is essential.

This way, search engines know exactly which page to pull for the search result. You avoid keyword cannibalization, which is when two or more pages on your website target the same keyword. Search engines do not see either as the authority, and they will rank lower than if they each had their own keyword.

Understanding Search Intent to Validate Your Content

The search intent of your chosen keywords is another critical component of your content optimization strategy.

When people enter a query into a search engine, they are looking for a specific kind of result. These results can be categorized as…

If you create a page designed for people ready to invest in a service you offer, but you are using a keyword that people use when they are simply looking for information, you will get the wrong kind of traffic for your page—and very few conversions.

So, be sure you investigate the search intent of a keyword or phrase to ensure you are putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.

Outlining and Structuring Your Content to Cover All the Gaps

Before you start writing—or when you’re optimizing already published content—take a step back and consider the overall structure. 

People engage with digital content similarly to how they engage with newspapers or magazines: Rarely do they read every word, page by page, cover to cover.

Instead, they assess the cover to decide if they want to even start reading. For online content, the cover is equivalent to what viewers see before they have to start scrolling. 

Then, people will quickly check out headlines, images, bolded text, and perhaps short bulleted lists. Many will move on after that, though a few will go back to engage with the content on a deeper level.

an illustrated magnifying glass hovering over a stack of papers

When outlining or restructuring your content, be sure that the most important and compelling points are present in your headlines and provide easily digestible details in the body text.

This type of structure respects your readers’ time. They can quickly determine if you’re providing what they’re looking for. If it is, this structure helps them more easily engage with your content.

Readability, Uniqueness, and Engagement

When planning your content, it’s critical to pay attention to what your competitors are doing—especially those that appear in search results under the same keyword.

To an extent, you want to provide similar content to match the search intent.

However, the ease with which users can engage with your content and your brand's unique spin will help you stand out from the competition.

With all of your content, be clear from the beginning who the content is for and what value you are providing. Use plenty of white space, contrasting colors for text, image alt text, and other features that make your content accessible to a wider audience.

And, lean into that thing that differentiates you from everyone else.

Maybe you provide additional features in your service that others do not. Perhaps you have a unique perspective that others can’t offer. Maybe how you engage with customers resonates with a particular audience.

Illustrated people sitting around chatting over coffee.

When designing your content optimization strategy, be aware of what competitors are doing—so that you can provide even greater value.

How to Deal with AI While Considering Content Optimization Best Practices and Your Brand Values

There’s no question that AI is changing the game on content creation and search engine rankings. However, while AI-generated content has the potential to rank in search results, what ultimately matters is the value each piece of content offers.

Google and other search engines are primarily looking to provide the best answer to a user’s search query, no matter how the content is generated. (Dive deeper into how Google views AI-generated content here.)

Remember, even with content optimization strategies, we create for people first and search engines second. That means keeping your brand values top-of-mind.

Ultimately, the ways you do or don’t use AI—and exactly how you implement any content optimization strategies—will depend on what you stand for as a business.

We highly recommend outlining your company’s AI use policies now so that as you become more skilled at optimization strategies, you already know your line in the sand.

Optimizing Your Pages’ Metadata

Metadata is what appears when you search for something in Google or another search engine. Each result typically has a blue, linked title, followed by a description explaining the page’s purpose and how it answers your search query.

Realign Consulting homepage with the menu showing links to various pages on the site
The Realign Consulting menu links to the major pages on our site, including trending
blog posts and case studies. This is just one way to create internal links on your website.

While it’s ultimately up to each search engine how it fills in the metadata for each page, we can influence the text they choose to use by writing our own meta titles and descriptions.

The key to effective metadata is to write something that will convince someone to click. Use your keywords and be clear about what visitors can expect from your content.

If you’re trying to write your metadata and coming up blank, consider these three things:

Adding Internal Links to Help Users and Search Engines Find Your Content

A  common mistake we see when evaluating a client’s website for optimization is “orphan” pages. These are web pages that have not been linked to the website in any way, either in a menu or in the body text of another page. 

When a search engine bot analyzes your website to determine how to answer user search queries, it starts with analyzing the main pages. Then, it accesses the other pages through your internal links. 

If there is no link connecting your page to the rest of your site, it is practically invisible to search engines—and, therefore, your audience.

Realign Consulting homepage with the menu showing links to various pages on the site
The Realign Consulting menu links to the major pages on our site, including trending blog posts and case studies.
This is just one way to create internal links on your website.

Be sure to check your internal linking structure when designing your content optimization strategy. Also, keep in mind that not every page on your site needs to link directly to your menu. Linking the new page to text in an existing one (called a contextual link) is often enough.

Keeping Your Content Updated (When Applicable)

One of the biggest perks of optimizing your content is that it takes less time and resources than creating something new.

Before adding new content to your site, be sure to take the time to review what you’ve already created.

Sometimes, our content is “evergreen,” meaning it holds true no matter the season or year and does not need much, if any, updating.

However, much of our content can become outdated, especially if we refer to technology, systems, guidelines, etc. that can change over time.

illustrated calendar with a date starred

For example, we’re pretty proud of our list of DIY Business Tools because we know it’s so hard to find things that work like they claim to. 

But, technology changes, business needs change, and sometimes we find something new and awesome we want to share. So, we take a few minutes a few times a year to review this page for any necessary updates.

If you know a piece of content will need regular updating—or at least a semi-regular review—set up an alert in your calendar so you don’t forget.

Working with structured data and backlinks is a more advanced element of SEO than what we’ve covered above. If you feel confident with most of the other content optimization strategies, consider looking deeper into these features.

If you’re not ready for this part of SEO right now, that’s fine. If you are, including these elements in your content optimization strategy can definitely maximize the chances of your content ranking well in Google and other search engines.

Local SEO Considerations: Creating Content for a Local Business

One of the most common types of online searches people conduct involves the words “near me.” If your business serves a local community, your content optimization strategies should include elements to support local search.

This type of optimization looks like…

Each of these steps can help the people you are working to serve find you.

Does your website have what it takes? Experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness.

And, more than making your location clear, local search optimization contributes to your E-E-A-T—a key factor in how Google assesses your content’s Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Get more tips on how to boost your E-E-A-T rating here.

How to Optimize Content for Engagement and Conversion

Search engine optimization strategies help your content rank higher in search results. But once a visitor has clicked on the link to our content, you want them to be engaged and, in most cases, take a specific action.

Review the content optimization strategies below to better equip your content for engagement and conversion.

Decide What Type of Conversion You’re After and How That Connects With Your Target Keyword(s)

We’ve talked before about understanding the search intent behind your chosen keywords. 

When creating or optimizing content, be sure to have realistic expectations for how each page will perform based on the type of conversion and the target keyword.

Some conversion types you may use include…

That last conversion type can be tricky when it comes to measuring the impact of a piece of content. If you create a “How To” blog post, you should use an informational keyword. However, informational keywords do not typically convert. Instead, they increase traffic and influence your website’s overall E-E-A-T score with search engines.

If your primary goal is to boost conversions, you should focus on transactional keywords. But, well-rounded content optimization strategies create the most sustainable impact. Be careful not to discount other types of keywords just because they may not demonstrate an immediate, measurable result.

Include Conversion Elements with Strategy and Empathy

One of the most common issues we’ve encountered with our clients is knowing how and when to use calls to action, or CTAs.

No matter how compelling our content is, our audience won’t know what we want from them unless we ask.

It is essential to understand what kind of action our audience is ready for, and then present them with an opportunity to take it.

For example, let’s say you’ve created an FAQ page answering detailed questions about your most popular service. Chances are that people who land on this page and read it are ready to take the next step: speaking to someone on your team about making the purchase.

Ensure your CTAs are clear and appropriate. Examples: learn more, start here, take the quiz, contact us

If you have not included a clear way for potential customers to contact you, they will click away, and you will have lost that conversion.

If you have included some CTA buttons, but they ask people to subscribe to a newsletter, you’ve also lost a conversion opportunity.

Effectively optimizing that page for conversion would look like…

Your goal is to make taking that action as easy as possible for the people who want to take it. Check out our popular podcast episode for detailed information about designing CTAs that work.

arrow pointing to linked text as an example of a contextual CTA

Analyze How Users Are Interacting With Your Content

To better understand how visitors engage with your website, consider using behavior analytics tools like HotJar as part of your content optimization strategy.

These tools can provide a clear visual of where visitors spend most of their time and where they begin to lose interest. This information can help you identify opportunities for optimization to make your content more engaging and effective. 

For example, you may decide to move certain sections of content higher or lower on the page, expand them, or eliminate them altogether. You could also pinpoint topics your audience would like to dive deeper into.

To ensure you are putting people first in your marketing, be careful not to over-optimize into manipulation.

Before engaging in optimization tactics, it’s critical to decide what is “good enough.”

illustrated person writing on large surface covered by various shapes

For example, it might be an anti-human tactic if your goal is to keep someone on a page (or even on an entire site) for more than a few minutes at a time.

When the CEO of Netflix says its biggest competition is sleep, we know they’ve veered into unethical, anti-human over-optimization. That’s obvious. It’s the less obvious over-optimizations—that often come first—which are the gateways to this sort of behavior that a values-driven business seeks to avoid.  

So, get clear about your minimum viable actions—what the “good enough” engagements are—and where you’ll be content to quit optimizing. Extracting as much as you can from every user should never be the goal of your optimization strategy. 

Use Ethical A/B Testing to Increase Your Conversion and Engagement Rates

A/B testing can be a powerful tool for content optimization strategies because it can help you learn more about your audience and increase conversion rates.

It can also be misused, leading to misleading or biased data and negatively impacting user experience.

Simply put, A/B testing is when you compare two versions of an element of your content marketing to determine which performs better.

For example, you could test two versions of an email subject line, an article headline, the wording on a CTA button, an ad image, and more. 

This tool always has the potential to be used for emotional or behavioral manipulation without our audience’s consent.

However, when we prioritize providing value and enhancing our audience’s experience—with boundaries in place about how far we’re willing to go—we can gather powerful information that strengthens our connection with the communities we’re looking to serve.

How to Expand Your Reach by Using Content Amplification

Content optimization strategies help your content appear organically in search and perform better with your audience. 

Content amplification expands that audience and increases traffic, engagement, and conversions.

Once you’ve invested precious resources into creating content and optimizing it to better fit your audience, be sure to take the time to celebrate your work by distributing it across the various platforms you have access to.

Content amplification can look like…

Before you share your content on social media, be sure to optimize it for the platform.

When you share your content on social, you want to present it in a way that encourages people to share it with their own networks. Some strategies to help with this include…

Content optimization strategies are a small business owner’s best friends for making the most out of limited resources.

Creating engaging content for your business should balance between creating fresh, new content and optimizing what has already worked.

Commit to spending about 30 minutes a day on the content optimization and amplification strategies covered in this guide.

Small steps are still progress, and you may be surprised at how quickly they add up to create sustainable results that don’t leave you feeling burned out.

Content optimization strategies don’t just help you make better content—they also shine a light on the work you’re doing and expand your impact.

Conserve your energy for the work you love by outsourcing for the work you don’t.

We love to see business founders thriving, doing the work only they can do. That’s why we’ve created a boutique selection of digital marketing solutions customized to meet the needs of our unique clients.

If you’re looking for help developing a keyword strategy, analyzing your internal linking structure, or developing backlinks, check out our services today.

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