Content optimization is part of search engine optimization. However, texts, pictures, and videos on a website are not primarily addressed to Google and Co., but to human readers. What people like to read usually also achieves good rankings in the search result lists. For website content, therefore: The human being is in the foreground.
Good texts for the website
Search engines like Google want to offer their users relevant search results that match their search queries. Special algorithms analyze the contents of a website and how well they answer the question of the searchers. Since Google rolled out the Panda update for the first time in 2011, quality content has become more relevant.
High-quality website texts offer readers first and foremost added value. This means that they answer the specific question posed by the website visitor in as much detail as possible. At best, the text also addresses related issues that the reader was not even aware of. Good website texts also fulfill further criteria:
- unique (unique content)
- adapted to the target group and objective of the website
- Well researched and expertly written
- do not contain spelling or grammatical errors
- meet the expectations of the readers
- treat a topic as comprehensively as possible
- offer new, previously unknown information
- are subject to quality control
- take into account different views on a topic
- follow a clear structure
Headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings are the most important means of structuring a text. They show readers as well as search engines what topic is in the text and what points they can expect in a particular paragraph.
The main heading is the main heading, identified in HTML with the tag <h1>. If appropriate, the subheading <h2> may be followed by the main heading. Longer texts are divided into a subheading. As a rule of thumb, it has proven useful to set a subheading about every 150 words. More important than a certain number of words per paragraph, however, is the contextual relationship of the sections under a subheading.
What makes a good headline?
- It fits the objective and tonality of the text: emotional or factual, funny or serious.
- It shows readers if a text meets their need for information.
- It is short and concise but has high information content.
- It does not raise expectations that the text can not fulfill.
Headlines should also contain important search terms (keywords). In the main heading, the main keyword is relatively at the beginning, subheadings contain alternately times the main keyword, sometimes minor keywords and synonyms.
The text body
Headlines give a text its basic structure. The outline of bulleted lists, tables, and formatting such as bold or italicized text will further make it easier for your readers to capture important content. Mark particularly relevant points You can use bold, italic text, for example, for quotations:
“When you design content, give the best answer on the internet.”
Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media
The content structure of longer texts follows the classic journalistic structure as much as possible: A teaser tears the text and shows the reader what he can expect. The first paragraphs answer the W questions <Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? By which?
Short sentences are easier to capture. The linguistic style should also be adapted to the objective and target group of the text. If the text is to trigger a transaction, you also include a clearly visible call-to-action button, for example, “Buy Now” or “Book Here”.
Myth Search Term Density & Term Weighting
People who think about content optimization usually think of keywords. These are the search terms that searchers enter into Google and, if possible, should lead them to your company’s website. If the search engines find the entered search terms on a web page, classify them as a relevant answer to the search query. Website phrases should, therefore, include all keywords identified as relevant, the main keyword more often than the minor keywords.
The keyword optimization used to be “Much helps a lot”. Even today, many website operators still aim for the highest possible search term density or want to accommodate a certain percentage of keywords in the text. That should suggest relevance. However, many keywords in the text quickly seem unnatural and offer readers little information. Search engines rate an above-average number of search terms in the text as keyword stuffing and thus as spam.
In addition, search engines today no longer analyze just how many keywords appear in a text, but also in what semantic context they are. For example, they check to see if the text also contains terms that are often searched along with the keywords. Readers should thereby be able to find the websites with the greatest added value.
In the course of the semantic analysis, a formal has become the focus of search engine optimization: WDF * IDF.
WDF * IDF is a term weighting formula. WDF stands for Within-Document-Frequency – the number of terms (terms) in a document in relation to other terms. IDF stands for Inverse Document Frequency – the number of relevant documents in a database in which the term (term) occurs. The complicated calculation of the WDF * IDF takes over SEO tools. The tools also make suggestions for additional terms that should appear in the text so that it is recognized as being particularly relevant.
However, the term weighting is not suitable for all text types alike. Longer texts can thus be optimized well, but for shorter product descriptions, it offers little advantage. Factors such as structure, the tonality of the text, and requests for action are also disregarded.
Text analysis with WDF * IDF tools is certainly not a disadvantage. Anyone who writes texts with a view to the actual reader uses related terms and synonyms, but usually automatically creates such optimized text.
Negative criteria can lead to a devaluation of the website, resulting in a worse position in Google’s search results and harder to find.
- Among the most important negative criteria include
- duplicate content (duplicate content) content verbatim appear already on another website or bottom of your website.
- hidden content (Hidden Content): as white text on a white background, contains many keywords.
Neither duplicate nor hidden content offers website visitors added value. Duplicate content should be avoided if possible. If Google detects duplicate content, the search engine first tries to find out which URL has the highest relevance to a search query. If Google suspects that duplicate content has been fraudulently copied, the search engine rates the page lower in the search results pages. Eventually, the website will even be completely removed from the index.
Hidden content can today recognize all major search engines and evaluate them as a manipulation attempt. As a result, the bottom is punished with a poorer placement or even removed the entire website from the search engine index.
Even perfectly optimized website articles are not very appealing as pure text deserts. Each web page text should, therefore, be fanned with at least one image. Most of the attention is given to websites with a meaningful mix of text, images, and videos.
Images should be optimized as carefully as the text. To ensure that all browsers can display images correctly, use common file formats such as .jpeg, .gif and .png. Equally important is the right image size. The recommended minimum size is the width and height of 300 pixels. Landscape (16: 9) pictures are best for most website designs.
To avoid long loading times on large images, you should optimize the file size for the web. The optimal resolution is 72 dpi.
Images also assign three attributes to the description:
- alternative text, in short, alt text, let the reader see if the image can not be displayed
- Image title that provides additional information on mouseover
You should assign all three attributes uniquely for each image. For an error-free representation write the file name exclusively in lower case letters, without umlauts and special characters. Spaces replace with hyphens.
If possible, the picture is accompanied by a short, descriptive caption. This should contain a relevant keyword. Search engines analyze the text surrounding images and capture the keywords from it.
Videos often achieve good rankings on Google. They also increase the length of stay on the website. The same content criteria apply to good videos as to good texts: they offer added value, fit in with the information needs of website visitors and are tailored to the target group and the objective of the website.
For example, upload videos to services like YouTube or Vimeo and link them to the website. Alternatively, you can also host videos directly from your website. But check if videos are still running smoothly when viewed by many website visitors at the same time.
Provide videos with a unique, meaningful title. Upload the video to third-party providers, create a descriptive text and assign keywords that contain relevant search terms.
Search engines want to offer their users not only high-quality but also up-to-date information. Google, therefore, analyzes websites based on different freshness factors:
- The releases date
- Number and frequency of updates
- The frequency with which new subpages are added
- Changes to relevant content
- incoming links from current websites
If a website regularly offers fresh, new content, it’s more interesting to seekers in the eyes of Google. Accordingly, it can achieve better placement in the search result lists.
But that does not mean that older content needs to be constantly updated. Many contents are static and do not change much. Often, however, you should check frequently viewed content from time to time and check that all information is up-to-date. It’s also worth creating an area where fresh content is regularly published. This can be a corporate blog, a news page or a page with ever-new guidebooks. Of course, the content should fit with the industry and the direction of the company as well as the targeted audience.
A goal of search engine optimization is that the website is seen by as many people as possible. It helps when readers share content on social media. Divisible content is above all current and exciting. It is particularly popular to divide competitions, but also helpful guides, tips & tricks, bizarre messages and pictures, and videos spread readers in the social networks.
Sharing should make it as easy as possible for your readers. Include so-called social media buttons on your website. With a click on the corresponding button, readers post the page on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. This increases the reach of the website and generates so-called social signals, social signals. Social signals are not Google’s ranking factors. However, when your content is viewed on social media, it gets more attention, maybe linked by others, and attract more traffic to your site.
Conclusion: This is what good website content looks like
Good website content is not aimed primarily at search engines but at human readers. Web site visitors value content with added value that provides them with new, useful and reliable information. When creating text, images, and videos, always keep an eye on who you want to engage with web page content – and what information you want to convey.
However, content optimization is only one part of search engine optimization. Other factors such as load times, web page structure and the links pointing to your page also determine the placement in the search result lists.