Optimize for relevance: How to optimize your content without manipulation

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

We won’t be talking about black hat tips or strategies that annoy consumers here. We want to be found through authentic storytelling and relevant content marketing.

As content marketers and business people, yes, we want to be found and we want people to buy from us. Even if we are “just” blogging and have no actual product to ship out, we are still selling an experience. People pay by consuming our content, sharing it and talking positively about us. Some of us have ads and affiliate links on our sites.

In the content marketing (aka authentic storytelling) world we should focus on optimizing our content. Yes. I mean it. We should.

But we should optimize it to be more relevant. How do we make the content as clear as it can be, use the words our audience uses and actually help them solve their problems?

And don’t make people jump through hoops. An example? Sure: Making visitors using smart phones fill out a form that’s not optimized for mobile so they can download a PDF – also not optimized for mobile. That’s a hoop and it’s a hoop that doesn’t even work on mobile.

The best ways to optimize your content for the chance at maximum impact? Here’s my list:

Figure out the topics that you actually have something to say about. (Potentially required) Bonus: Are you passionate about this topic?

Make a list of topics.
Research what people are Googling that is related to your topics. Nope, you are not going to use this data to keyword stuff articles. Use this to find out what articles could solve problems that people are actually searching for on the web. Then write those.

Be honest, human, truthful, responsive and authentic. Offer personal stories that offer value to the people you are trying to reach.

Get on a schedule. Share blog posts on a schedule. Maybe start with once or twice a week.

Promote your content. Print business cards for your blog. Hand them out at events – anywhere offline! Share your posts and more on social media. Don’t just post links. Make sure your site has share buttons on every post so others can share them. Content spreads when others share it. Allow people to get posts by email. Don’t forget to share your site offline. Only when it’s relevant, though!

Look at your metrics and see what’s working. But don’t check them every two minutes. These strategies take months or longer to take off.

Optimizing content is important. Doing it right helps people find it.  Get there by sharing authentic stories that can help, inform and educate.

Of course these stories need to be shared in a constant, consistent and relevant way.

What’s your topic? Tell me on Twitter at @ctrappe.