Content creation is integral to any successful marketing strategy. Great content is a gateway to your brand; it’s how potential buyers find you and learn about you.
But writing content is only part of the equation. Content creation isn’t a slap-dash affair where you write a few hundred words, hit publish, and relax while you reap the rewards.
You’re doomed to fail with this approach because it’s missing one vital ingredient: content optimization. Don’t believe me? 90.63% of content drives zero organic traffic.
Numbers don’t lie. Without content optimization, the content you poured your blood, sweat, and tears into will never rank. A shame considering good content has potential.
According to SEMRush, 47% of content writers struggle with finding a balance between creativity and search engine optimization, while 38% fail to understand their target audience and its problems. This is why content optimization is so important.
What Is Content Optimization?
Content optimization ensures you create content that reaches a wider audience, drives more search traffic, and helps you hit your business goals.
When we break it down, there are several steps involved in effective content optimization:
- Keyword research to uncover what your audience is searching for
- Writing meta descriptions and title tags
- Matching content to searcher intent
- Optimizing content headlines
- Incorporating relevant visual aids
If this all seems overwhelming, trust me you’re not alone.
There are many content optimization tools that offer a tickbox process you can run every blog post through. Optimize content quickly, effectively and drive better results consistently. All at the click of a button.
Further Reading: What is Content Optimization? How to Optimize Content
Benefits Of Using Content Optimization Tools
Think of content optimization software as a trusted helper that polishes your content until it shines with expertise and information your audience wants and needs.
Content optimization software can:
- Help you write content like a subject matter expert: it provides specific keywords and topics to cover that prove your expertise and increase your status in the industry.
- Increase organic traffic: it uncovers high-volume keywords that match user intent you can include in your content. The result? More traffic without the keyword stuffing.
- Highlight content issues: it uses advanced technology to pinpoint any issues with your content that might be preventing it from ranking higher.
How Content Optimization Tools Fit Into Your Workflow
Let’s take a look at a typical content creation workflow:
- Keyword research to identify the content topic
- Creating a content outline
- Drafting the piece of content
- Optimizing the content
- Publishing the content
This is a barebones account of what most content strategies involve. Optimization starts at the beginning. By weaving it in right away, you stand a better chance of getting better results rather than quickly optimizing a few bits here and there as an afterthought.
With this in mind, optimization starts when you choose the right topic and build a solid outline.
This means using content optimization software to:
- Research popular topics and identify accompanying keywords.
- Draft a solid brief that answers the common questions and topics your audience is expecting you to cover.
- Create a structure that hits every major search term.
Once you’ve done this and written a draft, you can dive straight into optimizing it again.
To do this, you can use content optimization software to:
- Include LSI keywords and terms you may have missed.
- Incorporate keywords into your meta descriptions and title tags.
- Optimizing the headline to reflect the piece and incorporate the main keywords.
- Add visuals, like images, videos, and infographics to engage readers.
- Comparing your piece to similar pieces to identify any gaps or missing topics.
SEO Content Optimization Tools & Software
Now you know how content optimization tools create a seamless workflow at every stage of the content creation process, let’s take a look at the best tools available:
Topic was specifically designed to speed up the research process when creating content.
More often than not, this is the part where marketers end up stumbling the most. Knowing what to include, what topics to cover, and what audiences actually want to read is tricky.
Topic makes it easier than ever. No more blank page woes or writer’s block!
By the time you’ve finished planning with Topic, you’re ready to create an amazing piece of content. This is because we believe that research is the most crucial part of content creation.
Producing high-quality content involves having a deep understanding of user search intent, the competition that’s out there, and identifying common questions your audience is asking.
Topic combines all this in a powerful tool that saves time and produces better content. We automate the research process (which can be a massive time-suck) so that you can spend more time actually creating content that’s engaging and gets results.
The content you create with Topic will have a bigger impact by providing your audience with information they’re actually interested in. On top of this, we offer guidance that will help you outrank your competition and keep your content library fresh.
Here’s how Topic improves the content creation and optimization process:
- The Outline Builder Tool lets you scan competitor outlines so you can build your own in a matter of minutes, incorporating major topics and filling any missing gaps.
- Topic shows you exactly what your audience wants to know by aggregating common consumer questions from top sources like Answer The Public, Quora, and Google’s People Also Ask.
- Topic clusters subtopics by semantic similarity, making it easy to create a streamlined structure for your pieces.
- The Content Grader tool grades your content in real-time so that you can publish with confidence knowing your post is better than the competition.
Topic is an easy and cost-effective way to create effective content briefs. In minutes.
Marketmuse is an end-to-end content solution suitable for enterprise-level businesses that need help with planning, auditing, and optimizing their content.
It uses automation technology and machine learning to score content based on the competition and identify topics that will work well on your site.
Rather than providing you with the tools you need to create personalized outlines, Marketmuse lets users order content briefs within the platform. This is great if you’re pinched for time, but not so good if you want to improve the uniqueness of your content.
These content briefs include topics to cover, average word counts, and KPIs for writers to aim for, creating standard plug-and-play outlines that match what’s already out there.
Here are ways Marketmuse improves the content optimization process:
- Personalized difficulty scores compare your content to competitor pieces and provide a ranking for the topic you’ve covered
- Machine learning software analyzes content already published on a topic and determines important subtopics and the ideal word content
- A natural language generation engine analyzes large quantities of content on a similar topic and brings it together to create an original piece of content
Marketmuse is a better solution for enterprise-level companies that need help with end-to-end content marketing strategy. If you have a strategy but need an easy-to-use content optimization tool to grade your drafts and ensure you cover the right subjects, Topic offers the best bang for the buck.
3. SEMRush Writing Assistant
If you love Google Docs and hate switching, SEMRush’s Writing Assistant might be a good option. It’s a Google add-on rather than a standalone tool, but it still offers some great features. Writing Assistant is also available for WordPress.
It works by providing instant recommendations for keywords and tweaks to optimize each piece of content based on the top 10-ranking pages for your chosen keywords. A helpful checklist offers key places to incorporate keywords, allowing your content writers to get a quick top-level view of the quality of content.
When you start typing in Google Docs, it checks your content for SEO-friendliness and serves recommendations to improve each piece. All in real time.
Here’s how Writing Assistant improves the content optimization process:
- A content score compares your pieces to other similar content out there, marking it against readability, text length, and target keywords
- Keyword recommendations help you target main topics your audience is searching for
- Ensures that your tone of voice is consistent throughout each piece and is on-brand.
If you’re getting started with content optimization, SEMRush Writing Assistant is a good place to start. It provides basic information on keywords, topic themes, and readability so you can improve the quality of each piece of content.
But, it does have limitations. There’s little guidance on how often competitors use a search query. There’s no sign of how your content compares against similar pieces. On top of this, their recommended terms are weak compared to other optimization tools.
Frase focuses on user intent, helping you create effective content based on common questions your audience is asking across different channels.
Using AI-powered technology, Frase automates the content research process so you can better understand your audiences’ needs and offer them the best solution.
The tool summarizes articles and recommends topics, bringing together a wealth of information on your chosen keyword so that you can create comprehensive content.
Here are three ways Frase helps you optimize content:
- It uses in-depth question research capabilities to identify the common questions your audience is asking on Google, Quora, and other forums.
- Automatically generates content briefs based on competitor content.
- Scores your content against similar content and identifies any major gaps.
Frase is particularly useful for uncovering common questions your audience has about a specific topic, allowing you to create content that taps into their needs.
But, the product is an amalgamation of different tools and doesn’t focus on content optimization. As a result, users can end up feeling lost and confused.
Writing Tools That Complement Content Optimization Software
Content optimization platforms are great for comparing your content against other pieces. They provide strategic insights into key subtopics and identify any gaping holes in content that’s already out there.
But when it comes to writing content, you might need a little help.
Luckily, there are a plethora of great writing tools that keep your pieces tight and engaging. Here are a few we we swear by:
Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant finds grammatical errors in your content and suggests better alternatives. It’s great for tightening up your writing and creating bold, clear pieces with minimal mistakes. The plagiarism checker feature is also helpful.
The best part? Grammarly offers a Chrome extension so you can get grammar help on any document at any time. The plugin also works in Google Docs and Microsoft Word.
2. Hemingway Editor
Write like Hemingway himself and create sentences that are not only beautiful but grammatically correct.
With Hemingway Editor, you can find weak sentences and turn them into compelling phrases to keep readers engaged till the end. The tool helps you pinpoint the overuse of passive voice, pesky adverbs, and hard-to-read sentences.
Optimize Content To Boost Quality And Rankings
Content optimization is key to getting your content in front of the right people. It helps you pick the right keywords, include the right subtopics, and ensure you’re not missing key information.
Above all, it gives you the insights you need to create high-quality content consistently.
When you include an optimization tool into your content workflow, you’ll see your content inch up the SERPs, drive more traffic, and hit your content marketing goals.
You don’t need to do it alone. Create better outlines and optimize content with Topic!