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Optimised content: It’s been called the key, the heart, the soul, the backbone, the cornerpost…of inbound marketing.

But what exactly is “optimised content” – besides a hot phrase that marketers have been using more and more the past couple of years?

The truth is, there is no specific set of rules that dictates whether a piece of content is going to be successful or not. Writers and brands have achieved success with multitudes of different methods – and the definition of success varies from company to company, piece to piece.

Optimised content is content that has been created by a professional, tailored to accomplish a specific task and put through a checklist to ensure that it has the highest chances of success.

Whether you’re trying to rank on Page 1 for Google, get more web traffic from your email newsletter or gain new followers on Instagram…every piece of content should be optimised.

Of course, each type of content will have a different set of optimisation guidelines – depending on medium and intent – but there are a few ways to ensure that you’re creating quality, deliberate content.

Here are 5 tips to make sure your content is always optimised:

1. Research and Strategise

Research and Strategise - CornerPost Creative Blog

The most important aspect of any content creation strategy is research. 

The best way to start is to do competitive landscapes across all distribution outlets in order to learn about your industry’s standards.

Start by searching for your main keywords in Google. The brands and individuals showing up on page 1 are doing something (SEO) right. Follow them on social media and find other brands with big follower counts and – more importantly – audiences that engage with their content. Subscribe to your competitors’ email lists.

Curating successful content references is a great way to start reverse engineering a content strategy.

2. Match Searchers’ Intent

Match Searchers' Intent - CornerPost Creative Blog

You need to understand who your target audience is and why they’re spending time on each of your assets – and adjust your content accordingly. 

This means that the content on your Twitter feed should be different than the content on your homepage. (Yes your brand voice will remain the same…but the context will be different).

This is especially important for SEO and blogging.

Google’s algorithms are constantly being updated and changed – but their goal remains the same: satisfy users’ needs by providing them with the best and most relevant content.

This means that the days of manipulating Google’s algorithms with keyword stuffing are over. The only way to make it to page 1 is to create a page that is the best match for a specific search term. 

SEO competition has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, so casting a wide net is a waste of time. That means you should only focus on keywords that are directly relevant to the products/services you provide.

This will also help you focus on the quality of your content – leading you to create content that provides real value, keeps your readers from bouncing and ultimately increases your authority and search ranking.

3. Quality over Quantity

Quality Over Quantity - CornerPost Creative Blog

As I just said, Google isn’t just looking for adequate content to show their users…they’re looking for the best…and web users operate the same way.

No one wants fluff pieces anymore. We’ve evolved past click-bait and don’t even bother to check our spam folders. We all have to sift through so many ads and daily communications that we’re losing patience when it comes to poor content.

If I feel like someone is wasting their time by sending me irrelevant information, I hit that unsubscribe or unfollow button without a moment’s hesitation. If I can see that a webpage isn’t going to answer my query quickly and accurately, I bounce.

If you want any sort of respect in your industry, your content needs to be top-notch. Your website, blog, social media channels and anywhere else you may be actively posting…all of them need to be constantly filled and updated with quality, relevant content.

Don’t waste your readers’ time.

4. Illustrate with Visuals

Incorporate Visuals - CornerPost Creative Blog

We all have different learning types. This affects the way we consume content.

Some people love podcasts, others love videos. People like me process content best through reading.

In order to make your content appealing for all types of learners, you need to add visualisations – in the form of images or videos.

Not only will this increase the likelihood of visitors staying on your page, it adds tremendous SEO value to your page.

Of course, the images or videos you create must be just as relevant and intentional as the copy on your page.

5. Analyse Your Results

Analyse Your Results - CornerPost Creative Blog

The most important aspect of any content creation strategy is data analysis.

I know…I said the same thing earlier about research…but this is research too. It just comes after you’ve already started creating and publishing your own content.

Take a deep dive into Google Analytics, utilise every tool your CMS provides you, check your social stats – and organise your results in documents that you and your team can use to track your successes and failures.

Focus on what works, learn from missteps and don’t be afraid to try something new. The internet loves innovation.