6 ways to optimize content for SEO in 15 minutes or less


By Joe Cardillo

April 6th, 2021


6 ways to optimize content for SEO in 15 minutes or less


By Joe Cardillo

April 6th, 2021

We look at how SEO works in 2021 plus tips to increase your visibility in search engines.

We look at how SEO works in 2021 plus tips to increase your visibility in search engines.

Let’s keep it 💯. As a business owner, time is your most precious resource.

So when people talk about search engine optimization (SEO), at best it sounds complicated but most of the time it’s boring and hard to focus on.

There, we said it. Feels better doesn’t it?

Here’s the truth: SEO does not have to be awful.

We’re about to explain how it works AND show you how to increase your visibility in search engines by improving each piece of content on your site in 15 minutes or less.

First things first, we’ll talk about how SEO works in 2021. But we’re going to do it in a no-nonsense way. Then, we’ll

How did SEO become a thing?

SEO is actually pretty simple.

Tl;dr people created a bunch of web pages in the 1990s and search engines like Google, Alta Vista and Lycos sent bots to find them, categorize them, and match them to what people were searching for.

In the old days getting your content to show up in a search engine like Google consisted of repeating keywords several times on a webpage.

If you were advanced, your content checklist might have included emailing sites to ask for a link back to your website and using copy/paste to repeat a block of keywords in white (“invisible”) text at the bottom of a page in hopes that search engines would be impressed.

Pretty sneaky, huh?

Amazingly, some people will still try this trick even in 2021, but rest assured that Google and other search engines not only don’t pay attention to it, they almost certainly penalize sites that try it.

How does SEO work in 2021?

While the tech and algorithms have evolved and those kinds of tricks don’t work anymore, the principles of human psychology search engines depend on haven’t changed much at all…

  1. Provide value to your audience
  2. Answer questions based on intent – why did they enter a term, what are they looking for
  3. Structure content for readability and accessibility

Besides better matching search terms to specific web pages, Google and other search engines now also optimize for features like videos, images, quick answers to popular questions etc.

These are often called “featured snippets” but a big picture way to think of it is that they are “fragments” aka “fraggles.”

It can get a little technical, but this explanation of “fraggles” on Moz.com is a great overview on how it works.

You don’t have to understand all of it — the important thing to know is that different parts and pieces of content now display when people type or talk a search term into Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and other search engines.

Long story short, instead of ranking web pages Google and other search engines and social networks are now ranking different types of content in search results, like showing people minute 11 of a YouTube video that answers the question “how do I restore a cast iron skillet.”

How can I optimize my most popular website content?

Funny thing is, there are a LOT of people out there creating useful web content but they’re simply not optimizing it.

In other words, they’re not structuring their content for the way that search engines work in 2021, that’s those snippets, fragments and specific elements within a web page that we mentioned above.

Each piece of content created for your site needs to be:

  • Valuable
  • Easy to read / view / listen to / scan
  • Presented in a way that works for different audiences AND is optimized for search

The first part definitely involves research and writing, and the last two are all about structure.

Here are 6 ways to optimize your most popular content in 15 minutes or less:

  • Create a list
  • Add bullet points (like this one!)
  • Write informative and useful subtitles (shows the benefit for people to continue to read/scroll/listen)
  • Title each topic/section with common questions from Google’s “People Also Ask” display
  • Use tables to compare information (services, products, menu items)
  • Add images, videos or podcasts with clear descriptions

The good news is that you do not have to be an expert to make this work for you but you do want to make sure these habits are part of your regular content creation.

At a minimum, structuring your content for how SEO works in 2021 will make it easier for visitors to read, scan, and get value out of it. And, the more people that visit it, the more likely it will show up in search results.

P.S. you might have picked up on it, but this whole post itself is “optimized” for both search engines and readers… it uses visuals, written content, and rich text like bullets, italics, and bolded words.

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