Content Optimization: 7 Steps to Make Your Page Rank High on Google

As an SEO or a site owner, you’re probably checking the performance of your pages regularly. 

Sometimes, you may notice that one of your pages has been downranked or worse – never ranked high. There may be several reasons for such a misfortune:

  • you chose the wrong keywords to optimize for
  • you faced a keyword cannibalization issue 
  • you targeted the wrong search intent
  • you under-optimized the page.

To prevent that from happening, you need to know the very basics of content optimization. So today, I’ll walk you through the content optimization process based on the example of this article.

1. Researching target keywords

This step requires Rank Tracker. You can download it now for free. Download Rank Tracker

Before you start your keyword research, you need to come up with a seed keyword. 

You surely have an idea of what your general topic is. So choosing a seed keyword won’t be difficult. For example, my copywriting task for this article sounded like “tell users how to optimize content”, so I chose content optimization as my seed keyword.

Quick Note

A seed keyword is usually a short-tail keyword consisting of 1-3 words and describing the topic as briefly as possible – without any modifiers. 

For example, if you are going to write about “how to make dough for Neapolitan pizza”, your seed keyword could be pizza dough recipe.

Remember that seed keywords serve nothing but your future keyword research. Do not confuse the term with the target keyword

However, you can also quickly check your seed keyword traffic potential to have an idea if you should cover the topic at all. For that, check your seed keyword’s search volume and keyword difficulty (KD). Ideally, its search volume shouldn’t be zero and its KD shouldn’t be too high. Still, checking your seed keyword is not informative enough to draw any worthy conclusions.

Researching keywords

Now, you need to collect your target keywords based on the seed one. I suggest using Rank Tracker’s keyword research methods.

The tool offers 23+ different methods that deliver reliable data to shape and validate your keyword research strategy. Start with Keyword Planner to collect the relevant keyword suggestions directly from Google. 

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Then, try other methods like Google Autocomplete tools and Related Searches to expand your list further. 

Cleaning the list of unsuitable keywords

Now, move to Keyword Sandbox where all the collected keywords are biding their time. You can’t use all of them – there may be thousands of keywords on your list. At this stage, you need to be really picky and leave behind the following

  • Irrelevant keywords. For example, in my article, I’m not going to cover YouTube optimization, so I delete all the keywords containing video and youtube. If you spot many keyword phrases containing the same, not relevant word, use filters to discover and delete them all faster. 


  • Grammatically incorrect keywords. Sometimes query misspellings can become quite popular, but you shouldn’t go for those however great they are. For example, gogole analytics has a search volume of 100,000, but will you optimize for it? No. Otherwise, you put your page quality and site credibility at risk while SERPs for the wrong and correct keyphrases will be identical (Google corrects the wrong queries automatically). 

I would also count American vs British spelling variants here; it’s a good practice to stick to one variant based on where your target audience is from. There is such a variation in my case –  I prefer to stick to optimization (AmE) over optimisation (BrE).

  • Keywords with the wrong search intent. Search intent is one of the most important things when it comes to keyword targeting. You should target one search intent with one page.
  • Negative keywords. There is also a quick filter in the top right corner to remove unwanted keywords or stop words that you want to exclude from the very start of your keyword research.

For example, you'll never find content optimization how-to guide (informational intent) ranking for a commercial keyword phrase like best content optimization tools.


If there are worthy keywords of different search intent, consider creating different keyword groups aka different pages for them. 

Now, you need to create a folder in the Keyword Groups section and drag and drop the best keywords into this group. 

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This way, you have your final keyword list. Here is how mine looks:

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Estimating your ranking and traffic potential

At this stage, you can roughly estimate your traffic potential. I advise you to look at your keyword group as a whole –  pages never rank for one particular keyword alone, they rank for a bunch of them. So, right in your keyword group, find the upper widget with all the basic metrics, including: 

  • # of Searches (search volume for your keyword group). This way, you’ll have a general idea of how popular your topic is.
  • Estimated Traffic. This metric shows how much traffic you can get if you rank #1 for all the terms in your group.
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Besides that, you need to estimate how hard it will be for you to rank for these keywords. For that, you need to check your keyword group’s keyword difficulty (KD) score:

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Roughly, you can simply check the keyword difficulty score and think of it as “the less, the better”. But it won’t be effective. 

What you need to do is first identify the approximate keyword difficulty your site can actually handle. For that, look at the keywords your site is ranking for and then check the average keyword difficulty of these keywords. 

For example, I checked all the major keywords is ranking for, summed up their keyword difficulty scores, and then divided the sum by the number of keywords. This way, I calculated the average keyword difficulty to be 38.4. I compared it to my current keyword group’s average (KD=34,1) and concluded that I can totally rank high for these keywords. 

2. Conducting competitor research to establish benchmarks

This step requires WebSite Auditor. You can download it now for free. Download WebSite Auditor

Once your keyword group is ready, you might want to start writing a copy immediately. But hold on. You first need to establish a couple of benchmarks for your future content. For that, you need to analyze what already ranks for this keyword.  

Finding major SERP competitors

First, you need to identify those competitors who really stand out on SERPs. You'll later use these findings to replicate their success. Ideally, we should check out the SERPs for each collected keyword, see who ranks at the top, and then detect the 5-10 most frequently encountered pages. But what if you collected 50+ keywords? That would be tiresome. 

If you value your time and aren't an Excel pro, you can cheat a little bit by using Content Editor in WebSite Auditor

When you create your page’s draft and specify all your target terms, the tool goes through the top 100 results for each of the mapped keywords, collects the top 30 pages with the highest level of keyword intersection, and selects the top 10 from those for the current analysis.

So, go to WebSite Auditor > Page Audit > Content Editor, add your keywords, and create your page’s draft. Then move to Settings > Manage Competitors

managing competitors in WebSite Auditor
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You will see a list of your main competitors and all the needed metrics: page backlinks, domain inLink Rank, # of keywords, and even WebSite Auditor’s optimization rate.

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You can choose up to 10 competitors. The tool will analyze their content and give you content optimization recommendations based on that. 

Don’t leave the window yet, you’ll need to research a couple of things here.

Defining competitors’ page types 

Now you need to define the type of content that is needed to rank high. Go through the list of your competitors, click on each URL, and check what type these pages are:

  • product pages
  • online tools pages
  • help pages 
  • blog posts: listicles, how-tos, research, reviews, etc. 

Define the most frequently encountered page type. Remember this information – you will need it during content creation.

For example, in my case, most pages are ultimate guides and step-by-step how-tos. So, I decided to opt for a step-by-step guide.

Don’t close the pages’ tabs in your browser just yet, you’ll need them for further research.  

Checking out competitor’s content to establish benchmarks for yourself

From your list of competitors, uncheck those who wrote a page of a different type than yours recently chosen.

In my case, these are glossary posts and help pages as well as Google’s starter guide.

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This way, the tool will better calculate the target word count for me (as glossaries and help pages are usually too short) and generate better keyword recommendations.    

Next, look at how your competitors structure their copies and what angle they choose to cover the topic. This is the working structure, you should consider creating something similar or at least including some of the structural points in your copy.

For example, this way I found out that most of the competitors include information about conversion optimization in their copies. So, later in this guide, you will also see some tips on that. 

You can also look at the keywords, their variations, and how they are used in competitors’ copies. But, as I mentioned previously, the tool already generated its recommendations based on your competitors. So, here you can save a couple of minutes or even hours. 

3. Creating the copy

Outline the structure of your copy based on your ideas – your own and the ones borrowed from your SERP competitors. In Content Editor, mark your structure hierarchically in H2- H6 HTML tags. 

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Then start writing your copy disclosing the topic to the fullest. Try to follow the recommendations of the tool on the use of keywords:

If the tool detects some SEO optimization issues, you’ll see the corresponding alerts:

Optimization alerts in WebSite Auditor
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Here keep in mind all the standard optimization tips and tricks:

  • Watch out for keyword saturation. Place the most important keywords closer to the beginning of the text and avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Specify alt texts. If you embed some pictures (and you totally should), always add alt text. It’s great if you can add a keyword there, but follow common sense – your alt text should describe the image as it is.
  • Add metadata. Write down your meta title and description using the target keyword. The tool will let you preview your page’s snippet and even compare it to the ones of your competitors.  


You can find more tips in our blog listicle SEO Guide to a Perfectly Optimized Landing Page

Even now, that’s not all. Remember that a well-optimized copy is not just a great text with some keywords in it. You also need to take care of things like page authority, readability, and conversions. You may also want to go an extra mile by optimizing your copy for future link building and social shares. 

4. Optimizing for better E-E-A-T

Let’s not forget that content quality is the major requirement for Google to rank your pages high.

We can get some hints about what Google considers “quality” from their Quality Raters Guidelines. The term E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust) here plays the major role

Here are a couple of recommendations for sending the right  E-E-A-T signals to Google: 

  • Write a very detailed copy. If you go in-depth while covering a topic, you will naturally send the relevance signals to search engines through keywords, thus ranking for more keywords. 
  • Link to trusted external resources. There is much evidence that outbound links also have a positive impact on rankings.
  • Link to other relevant pages on your site to build authority. The most valuable property of internal links is that they pass link juice telling Google which pages of your website are more important.

Note: Using keywords in your anchor text may be ‌ a good practice. However, when you do internal linking, make sure you use diverse anchor texts. Otherwise, you may sound a bit spammy. 

I hope you’ve noticed that I’ve been following these tips in my copy as well. 

5. Optimizing for readability

First of all, you create content for people – they are your target audience, not search engines. Hence, you need to make sure people will understand your copy and its message.

Here  are a couple of best tips to follow to boost your copy readability:

  • Mind your grammar and syntax. Avoid grammar mistakes and typos, while making your sentences simple and easily readable. Such tools as Grammarly and Hemingway will be of great help here. This will also improve your E-E-A-T. 
  • Stick to a uniform writing style throughout your copies. You may choose to follow the Associated Press Stylebook (AP) or Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), or any other writing style.
  • Make sure you write in short paragraphs as users tend to scan the very first words in each paragraph. This way, they’ll grasp the essence of your text better. 
  • Add images and videos as they improve readability. They break up the text, bring in some air to it, and let the text “breathe”.

Note: You also need to optimize your images and videos for SEO: add alt texts and captions for enhanced accessibility. Read more about it in our Image SEO Optimization Guide

  • Use bulleted and numbered lists to make information more digestible. This is exactly what I did in this article, multiple times.
  • Bold and italicize your text when it’s suitable. It attracts attention and helps search engines better understand your text (though it doesn’t impact rankings much).
    Once you make your key point bold, scan your text once again and make sure users can get the key message solely from your text in bold and italics. 
  • Add a hyperlinked table of contents (ToC). It's good both for UX and SEO. It improves navigation and may increase CTR as ToC sometimes influences your search snippet. 
  • Add the summary or TL;DR blocks to your text. This way, you show your visitors that you value their time. You will find a summary at the end of this article too. 

6. Optimizing for conversions

If the search intent of your copy is commercial or transactional, it’s 100% worth optimizing it for conversions. But it doesn’t mean that if you write an informational post, you shouldn’t use CRO techniques. 

In fact, everything you’ve done so far (text structuring and formatting) has already helped you optimize for conversions. However, there are a couple of more things you can do: 

  • Add a CTA to your text. It can be links, banners, or buttons. 
  • Provide social proof. Add positive reviews from your users and customers.
  • Integrate comments section or live chat window. In case your visitors have any questions, you may grab the chance to push them deeper into the funnel. 

For example, I want this article to attract a couple of new users to SEO PowerSuite. So, I make it easier for them to convert with the help of an unobtrusive CTA (despite my post being purely informational). I use small CTA banners:

  • before a text block


  • under screenshots from our software
    SEO PowerSuite download button


You can do something similar on your site or you can come up with something more intriguing. If you have some tips to share, welcome to our private Facebook group

And finally, let’s think about how to promote our piece of content to the masses. If you ask me what things encourage natural link building and social shares most, I answer:

  • Add social share buttons. This way, you make it easier for visitors to share your content. If you use a CMS, it’s easily done through special plugins. 
  • Choose an appealing cover for social media. For social media, an image is way more important than the caption so put some effort into creating an attractive visual.
  • Add experts’ quotes. Getting a quote from a popular person from the industry will not only make your content more authoritative but also will drive sharing across the net.  
  • Use infographics. Things like charts, graphs, and diagrams help your visitors understand complex concepts through visual aids and they are totally ‘social media material’.  
  • Provide downloadable files.  PowerPoint templates, cheat sheets, checklists – all that can be given to users in PDF format go like hotcakes on social media. People can download and use these files whenever they need to. 

By the way, here is a PDF content optimization checklist, which you can: 

  • Save to your device to access it whenever you need faster. 
  • Print out a physical copy to keep somewhere in your workspace. 
  • Share with friends and colleagues so that they can also do content optimization effectively. 


Let’s recap what you’ve learned:

  1. Start the content optimization process with the seed keyword identification. 
  2. Do keyword research and build a list of relevant keywords for your copy.
  3. Find your major SERP competitors and establish benchmarks for your content: page type, word count, keyword use, and structural points.
  4. Write your copy and optimize it for SEO.
  5. Think of E-E-A-T signals for Google.
  6. Also, think of your visitors by making your text readable.
  7. Make it easier for your site visitors to convert from your page.
  8. Encourage content sharing.

Remember, this article was optimized with the help of Rank Tracker and WebSite Auditor. They are perfectly cut out for guiding you through your entire SEO career. You can download and use them now for free. 

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