What Is Content Optimization?
Content optimization is the process of understanding content performance and finding ways to optimize content to engage with audience intent, rank higher in Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), and improve your content’s readability.
Optimizing your blog content and web pages are vital to your content strategy because you need to keep a finger on the pulse of your online marketing efforts. This means that you can’t just focus on making epic content and hope to rank because you need to optimize content to address changes like:
- Customer Needs: Your customers’ needs are constantly changing, and your content needs to adapt to stay ahead of the competition to provide the best solutions.
- Search Intent: Once published, you need to optimize content to meet user intent at each stage of the customer journey. Content creation is more than just writing words and hitting “Publish” because you need to ensure your content aligns with customers’ intent to get them to convert to your site.
- Competitors: Your competitors want to push you off SERPs, so they are constantly updating their digital marketing strategy to get found by customers and boost organic traffic. You risk falling behind your competitors if you don’t update content for search engines and people.
- Search Engine Updates: Search engines like Google and Bing are constantly updating their algorithms to provide the right content to the right people at the right time. Static content will lose relevance as search engine updates make a piece of content irrelevant.
- Market Trends: Your products and services serve the needs of a target audience, and the perceived value of your solutions will fluctuate throughout market changes. Whether seasonal or current events, your content needs to stay current if you want to rank above your competitors.
It takes a lot of time and effort to write SEO content, so content marketers know it’s important to optimize content around robots and readers. You are wasting your time and resources if you do not plan to identify, optimize, and track performance across your site and individual blog posts or web pages.
Top 10 Content Optimization Tools For SEO
The process of research, optimize, and track existing content on your site can take a lot of time and resources. While consistency is key for content marketing, it’s not the only ingredient to create great content found in google and resonates with your target audience.
There are hundreds of content optimization tools on the market to help you write quality content on your blog or landing pages. We have spent years writing great content for the web, and during that time, we’ve tested the best tools on the market, so you don’t have to.
Here are the top 10 content optimization tools that you can use right now to research, identify, and optimize content for your blog or web pages right now!
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool offered by Google to optimize existing content on your site. You can think of Google Search Console as a behind the scenes look into how search engines like Google understand your content.
This free SEO tool helps content creators understand how algorithms work and how to create the highest quality content possible based on what Google uses to grade the web content.
GSC can be overwhelming when you first use it, but you’ll find it one of the most important content creation tools in your SEO tool belt with a little practice. Here are a few says GSC will supercharge your content marketing strategy:
- Keyword For Each Page: See what search terms people click for each web page and blog post on your site.
- Content Popularity: Understand the popularity of target keywords based on search volumes, page clicks, and average position.
- Find Content Gaps: Identify content gaps based on organic traffic vs. search volume and keyword performance.
- Customer Search Intent: Optimize content around search intent by looking at Click Through Rate (CTR) and comparing to the average position of target keywords on individual blog posts and web pages.
Marketers need the right metrics to inform their content strategy. The only way to understand how to improve a piece of content for organic search for individual blog posts and web pages while also looking at the larger Search Engine Optimization picture.
- Great tool for analyzing the SERP performance of your site and individual pieces of content.
- Advanced features to help you understand how page speed and structured data could be impacting your online performance.
- Understand user intent and organic traffic with impression and click data of certain queries.
- It can be difficult to drill down to granular data across your site.
- Can’t filter multiple search query terms to identify keyword cannibalization or misspellings easily.
- It does not show a complete backlink profile, so you can’t reverse engineer how link building impacts your content performance.
Google Search Console is the first stop when optimizing existing content on your blog or website. With Google Search Console, you can identify optimization opportunities for individual pieces of content.
There are many other tools on the market to help you optimize content. Still, it would help if you used Google Search Console as the “source of truth” when evaluating existing content and using other tools to improve content around this data.
Ahrefs is one of the must-have SEO tools because it provides unmatched keyword research, backlink analysis, and competitor research capabilities.
Ahrefs is an essential SEO tool because you can use it to understand your target audience and pull back the curtain to make high-quality content based on several data points.
- Site Explorer: Plugin a competitor page or blog URL to see the keywords that piece of content ranks for. Use this information to reverse engineer the differences between your content and competitor content that ranks high in SERPs for the desired keyword.
- Keyword Research: No keyword planner is as comprehensive as Ahref’s Keyword Planner tool. You can plug in a specific keyword to learn search volume, competition, and related keywords to help you build high-quality content.
- Backlink Profile: Unlike other SEO tools on the market, Ahrefs provides a complete backlink profile for your competitors’ blog posts and pages. Enter a specific URL to learn what sites link to your competitors, and then build an outreach plan to grow your own content.
You’d be hard-pressed to find another content optimization tool with the level of detail and range of use offered by Ahrefs. You can use this SEO tool to see exactly what needs to be worked on for SEO and understand the biggest impact on your search visibility.
- Launched a free version called Ahrefs Webmaster Tools so you can audit your own site for free. AWT does not allow you to gain competitive insights, but you can use AWT to review your own content quality.
- Find featured snippet opportunities in the Organic Search section of the site. Use this information to optimize content around user intent and claim featured snippets to build organic traffic.
- Keyword research is a breeze with the Keyword Explorer tool. You can boost your SEO efforts by discovering common questions and integrating related keywords right from the advanced keyword tool.
- There are lots of features so that the tool can be overwhelming at first. Also, the tool doesn’t do a great job of helping users understand the context of data.
- The cost can prevent smaller agencies or freelancers from buying the monthly subscription. The tool may not be worth it unless you have a handful of SEO clients and publish content throughout the month.
- Domain Ranking (DR) and Ahrefs Ranking (AR) are not the most accurate metrics to determine a site’s authority. Other tools like Moz and MajesticSEO do a lot better with high-level evaluations of a site’s authority.
Along with one of the best SEO tools on the market, Ahrefs is also an amazing writing tool because it provides you with the data you need to guide content optimization. The whole complex process to identify target keywords is made simple, and the ability to peek behind the scenes to understand why competitor content ranks are invaluable.
It can be easy to get swept up with SEO tools, but content optimization needs to focus on the content and consumers. Clearscope helps marketers write high-quality content for robots and readers in less time.
As the top SEO copywriting tool, Clearscope is a must-have for any content strategy. You plug in a target keyword and let Clearscope’s artificial intelligence get to work to find contextual keywords to include in your content.
- Keyword Diversity: Use a target keyword to generate a robust set of keywords and entities (related concepts) to make your content SEO-friendly.
- Writing Guide: Sometimes, you can hit writer’s block, and Clearscope provides a nudge in the right direction to guide your research and writing process.
- Machine Learning: Use machine learning and Natural Language Processors to write high-quality content that will get found in search engines and engage customers in a fraction of the time.
Optimizing content is no easy task, and you need all the help you can get to address the needs of algorithms and people. Clearscope is one of the best writing tools on the market and can be used with Ahrefs and other SEO tools as part of your content creation stack.
- Excellent data sources and advanced artificial intelligence means you can be confident that Clearscope’s recommendations are accurate.
- Combines the analytical insight from other SEO tools with the unique writer-friendly features like keyword counting and highlighting that content marketers need.
- The Google Docs plugin is amazing because you can keep all of your documents in Google Docs while still having access to the powerful writing tools offered by Clearscope.
- The modest pricing structure of the tool could price out smaller agencies. Each brief costs around $8, so you need to have enough high-paying clients to justify the price.
- There’s a small learning curve when running reports, but Clearscope offers great product training videos to help newcomers through this struggle.
- Limited briefs displayed and difficult to manage several projects at once. This can be overcome by using a spreadsheet or other content management tools, but it would be nice if Clearscope offered a connection with Asana or other tools to manage larger content projects.
Writing content for the web is tough because you need to hit the right keywords for search engines while also making the content sound natural for readers. This process involves a lot of brainpower, but you can write with more confidence with Clearscope, so you don’t have to wonder if you are missing a key part of the content strategy.
SEOTesting.com is one of the best SEO content optimization tools on the market because it automates several tedious tasks throughout the entire content optimization process. SEOTesting gives you the ability to run powerful reports to understand the context of your current content and track changes made so you can show value to your clients.
Google Search Console is the most powerful tool that you can use for content optimization, and SEOTesting will help you get more value in less time for all of your content marketing efforts.
SEOTesting takes the mental work out of content marketing because it provides advanced tools to bake SEO and first-party data right into your content. Plus, there are several reports that extract even more value and insight from Google Search Console so you can gain confidence that recommendations work for your customers.
- Powerful Reports: Data is beautiful, but it can be difficult to know the data you need, how to interpret that data, and how to apply it to your project. This tool automates the process through several reports that you can use to jump-start a content optimization project.
- SEO Tracking: Ever wonder how to see detailed results and track content optimizations? This tool makes it easy to track performance by individual URLs. No more guessing, now you can show clients exactly how your optimizations impact their performance!
- Pull More GSC Data: Google Search Console limits the amount of data that you can pull and how far back you can pull the data. This can hinder your ability to get a full picture for optimization recommendations. SEOTesting pulls up to 25,000 rows of data over a longer period of time because it connects to the GSC API.
- Low cost tool. SEOTesting starts at $19/month, making it one of the most affordable SEO tools on the market.
- Automated reports with detailed results. Use AI-powered tools offered by SEOTesting to pull in-depth reports to help educate clients and drive your content optimization strategy.
- Powerful testing tools. SEO is a difficult channel to track because it is asymmetrical and input to output is not always directly connected. Track individual URLs over a period of time with ease!
- There can be a steep learning curve if you don’t have a basic understanding of GSC.
- The tools in SEOTesting are easy enough to use, but it can be difficult to figure out what reports you need.
Grammarly helps marketers improve their communication and makes the content optimization process a lot easier. This is because Grammarly provides detailed suggestions in real-time to help you improve the quality of your content.
Don’t let a simple typo or grammatical error undermine the time and energy you invest in the content creation process.
- Readability: Use AI-powered edits to improve your word choice, refine your tone, and make your sentences clearer. SEO content takes a lot of focus, and you can simplify the process by letting Grammarly fix your spelling and grammatical errors.
- Context & Tone: Search engine algorithms use contextual cues and writing tone as a ranking factor. You can improve your content’s authority by optimizing how readers will consume and understand your content.
SEO has matured past just using keywords and trying to game search engines for rankings. Marketers need to create high-quality content to drive organic traffic through search engines, but that content needs to have near-perfect readability to engage with the target audience.
- Grammarly integrates with some writing tools that you already use, like Google Docs, Clearscope, and Topic (listed above). This means you can streamline your workflow and focus on your content instead of project management.
- Pro version offers advanced options like clarity-focused rewrites, plagiarism detection, and formality level.
- Provides clear recommendations to improve content readability, grammar, and spelling issues before you publish optimized content.
- There is no way to accept several suggestions at once. Instead, you have to accept or reject suggestions manually, and this can be time-consuming if your article has many of the same mistakes.
- You will find that Grammarly offers suggestions that are just plain wrong or not contextually relevant. The tool is getting better at this, but you need to keep an eye out for irrelevant recommendations.
- The tool will highlight passive voice as an incorrect word, so it can be unclear if you look over your document and see words highlighted even if they are correctly spelled.
Improving content from your target audience’s perspective is an essential part of content marketing and the content optimization process. Nothing kills conversions faster than typos or grammatical mistakes. You can use this tool to check content as a final “green light” before publishing content to your blog or landing pages.
6. Hemingway Editor
Optimizing content is tough because you have to make sure every sentence is polished for readers and optimized for robots. You can have the best content globally, but if your content is hard to read or overly complex, you risk losing your readers and tanking your marketing strategy.
Don’t let unclear sentence structure prevent you from reaching your target audience. Hemingway Editor can help you write better content and convert more website visitors.
- Improve Readability: Check your content for common errors like adverbs, passive voice, and sentences that are difficult to read. This information can help you make your message clear and concise.
- Fix Common Stylistic Errors: Use the Hemingway App to fix common stylistic, tone, and grammatical errors that can plague online content. This is a great tool to use along with Grammarly to make sure your content is optimized for your readers.
- Check Reading Level: Easily check how difficult it could be to read your content. Typically, you want to keep this metric to an 8th-grade reading level to ensure your readers don’t get lost in the content.
The Hemingway Editor is a readability checker that goes beyond just looking at individual words and phrases like Grammarly. This is because the Hemingway Editor acts as a second set of eyes by proof-reading content to find complex, passive, and hard to read sentences.
- You can use the online tool for free to see if it has everything you need to make high-quality content.
- Find common grammatical issues and sentence structure that can distract your readers.
- Checks reading level and estimated time to read.
- Lacks a widget for Chrome and Safari, so you have to manually copy/paste content to the online or desktop program to check your content.
- The AI-powered tool only uses a handful of grammar choices when grading your content, so you could be missing other mistakes if you rely on this tool.
- Most errors highlighted by the tool don’t offer suggestions for how to fix the problem. This can be annoying since you want to fix issues as quickly as possible.
Hemingway Editor is a great tool to keep in your content optimization toolbelt because it can speed up the content creation process and publish content that will read great. However, be aware that the tool won’t provide recommendations to address issues it finds in your content, so you’re on your own to fix problems.
7. Google PAA, Autocomplete & Related Searches
One of the best ways to optimize content is to study SERP results to understand how each search engine positions your content. You can also use Google’s autocomplete, PAA, and related search features when optimizing content along with watching SERP rankings.
- Common Questions: The people also ask feature appears near the top of organic listings and outlines common questions people ask related to a search query. This information can help to build out a piece of content and guide FAQ.
- First-Hand Recommendations: Many SEO tools scrape results from autocomplete, PAA, and related searches, so you can save money by going right to the source.
- Find Relevant Topics: You can use autocomplete to improve the scope and depth of a piece of content in no time.
- Free, real-time results from Google SERPs means that you can trust the information because it comes right from the top search engine.
- Predict upcoming trends and user intent based on Google’s insights with autocomplete results.
- Supercharge your SEO content with questions and related keywords that people actually use when searching for target search queries.
- No way to open all PAA results or track them over time. We need to use a tool like Ahrefs to track autocomplete and PAA results.
- Google results are customized based on user history, so results that appear to you will not be the same for everyone.
- Need to use other tools like Ahrefs to build out content from specific keywords found in related searches and autocorrect.
Many SEOs and marketers spend big money on fancy SEO tools to help them write content but fail to utilize Google’s insights right in SERPs. Instead of relying on third-party data that is often incorrect, you can use featured right in search engine results to build great content to trigger algorithms and customer engagement.
8. Keyword Tool Dominator
Like other keyword research tools, Keyword Tool Dominator (KTD) uncovers a list of keywords related to each other to use in your marketing strategy. This information can be used to generate H2 and H3 content and uncover powerful terms on several platforms.
The one thing that really makes KTD shine compared to other tools is that it allows you to look at keywords on platforms like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. This means that you can use the tool to optimize product pages, review pages, and other content types that rely on transactional keywords.
- Multiple Platforms: Use KTD to unlock search power on various platforms like Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, and eBay.
- Free Version: You can use the free version of KTD to do two searches each day. This is not enough to support a large-scale content optimization effort, but you can use those daily credits to optimize key content pieces on your site.
- Long Tail Keywords: Quickly find contextually-relevant and valuable keywords to trigger Google results. KTD uses the Autocomplete databases from Google, Walmart, and Bing to offer great suggestions.
Having real-time access to keywords across multiple platforms is a powerful addition to any content strategy. KTD gives content creators the information they need to power content beyond Google and outrank their competitors!
9. FAQ Schema Tools
Adding a FAQ section to the bottom of each blog post is a great way to make your content more relevant. You can go one step further by adding FAQ schema to your blog posts and landing page pages to spoon-feed Google more information about your content and improve visibility in SERPs.
An FAQ section and the accompanying FAQ Schema should be added to each blog post you optimize because it can improve SERP visibility, increase clicks, and boost impressions. These factors make FAQ Schema one of the easiest and most powerful additions to any content optimization project.
- Online Presence: Improve your online visibility in SERPs with FAQs’ additional listings below your listing.
- Competitive Advantage: FAQ rich snippet data takes up more real estate in search engines so you can push your competitor listings down in SERPs. This benefit is even more pronounced on mobile devices, where FAQ schema can push competitors off the screen.
- Enhanced SEO: FAQ schema helps categorize your content in search engines and provides quick answers to your customers. You can also link to informational (non-sales) content on your site, like blog posts right from the FAQ Schema. This has been shown to boost impressions and clicks to your site.
When working on a WordPress site, I like to use the Schema & Structured Data plugin to streamline my structured data needs. This plugin is easy to use and helps me focus on the content, links, and SEO instead of worrying about coding or bug fixes.
You will need to input HTML to trigger the FAQ snippet in Google, so I use an online tool called Online HTML Editor to make the coding part of the process easier. Type the content in the tool’s easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor, and it will convert the text to HTML.
Use the online JSON LD Schema Generator if you’re not optimizing the content on a WordPress site but still want to avoid hand-coding JSON. This online tool makes it easy to copy/paste HTML code and build FAQ Schema through JSON is just a click of the mouse.
Make sure you include FAQ Schema to your content optimization checklist because adding this bit of code to your blog posts and landing pages can have a big impact on SEO and help drive more qualified leads to your site.
10. Google Docs
Content creators need a way to manage multiple projects at once. Whether you keep a list with dozens of topics that you want to expand, or you need to manage writers, you will find what you need to help you and your team produce the best content possible in Google Docs.
Choose The Best Content Optimization Tools
You put a lot of time to create awesome content, but are you giving the same time and attention to optimize content after you hit “Publish?” Believe it or not, you can get a lot of miles out of content after it is published because you can use Google Search Console and other tools to get actual performance metrics. Choose the right content optimization tools to grow your business and get the most out of your marketing budget today!
Content Optimization Tools FAQs
Content optimization is the process of understanding content performance and finding ways to optimize content to engage with audience intent, rank higher in Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), and improve your content’s readability.
- Google Search Console
- Hemingway Editor
- Google PPA, Autocomplete & Related Searches
- Keyword Tool Dominator
- FAQ Schema Tools
- Google Docs