How to Optimize and Measure Your Content to Drive SEO Traffic

Image for How to Optimize and Measure Your Content to Drive SEO Traffic

Everybody is talking about high-quality content but what does it even mean? That’s what we are going to discuss today. The fact is that high-quality content is contextual and for maximum results, it requires three steps: keyword research, good content writing, and on-page search engine optimization. Let’s look at optimization.


If we are talking about optimization you must understand that natural language paired with traditional on-site SEO techniques are the key to success. Highly readable pages are the winner in the whole content-discovery adventure.

Step 1: Make a Content Plan

Google is evaluating multiples factors using various quality signals to see if your content is relevant to a specific query. At this point, there is nothing tricky, just a lot of math and natural language processing. To save time and effort, Content Assistant will help you identify the exact keywords your content is missing to rank higher.

image of content assistant


The mechanism is simple and fast:

  • paste all the content in the Content Assistant to start analyzing it;
  • add keyword suggestion to increase your content performance score;
  • rewrite the underperforming content and add new content, if needed, to make the keywords inclusion more logical and natural.

Of course, the content performance score is not the only factor that matters when Google ranks a webpage but, it can give you an idea of the position you can achieve. Link metrics are important as well.

Step 2: Follow Successful Optimization Stories for Insights

I’ve written about content optimization before, even cited a few success stories, from Jason Acidre, co-founder at Xight Interactive, Greenlane Agency, and lots of others, and they all had one thing in common: knowing their market and adding content naturally – in context, I might add. No spamming. No duplicate content.  

Getting the public to like you isn’t an easy job. First, you get into their sight, and then make them fall in love with your content. Even if these two seem to be two separated steps, their work together. Here’s the content strategy I follow and try to stick to each article:

  1. Find a topic: usually from Social Media comments on your page, from our customers on support, from blog comments, different talks, news, newsletter, trends and so on.
  2. Start pulling out some notes so you have the whole idea.
  3. Organize the notes into a structure.
  4. Start documenting and writing: Make sure you have a catchy introduction to appeal to your audience.
  5. Craft an eye-candy headline that offers benefits to the audience and has a strong call to action.
  6. Perform on-site optimization: Make sure you have optimized title tags, meta descriptions, images, URLs with the keywords you had chosen.
  7. Optimize the content using the Content Assistant tool for 2-3 keywords (max).
  8. Promote the content: newsletter, social media, content syndication and so on.

Step 3: Use the Terminology You Collected in Keyword Research Phase

In the optimization phase, you must follow a natural path to use focus keywords. As I mentioned before, you must think at the context, and that translates into adding keywords that are relevant to your focus keyword in the article.

If you use a keyword research tool you’ll get a full list of recommendations, that is very good to add them in your content. If you are using Content Assistant, then it will be easier for you to select from auto-generated keywords list, getting insights into how well you will rank in Google.

image of content optimization with content assistant tool


Start with “keywords you should use” and focus on the ones that have a bold font and a dot in front of them, then circle around the rest from that list. Once you finished adding all the relevant keywords, move the “keywords you should use more often” by following the same procedure.

Once you finished this step, you can promote your blog post and keep track of the outcome.


Measuring the results is a step that can’t be avoided. You should keep track of the keyword you optimized the content to see the evolution.

Method 1: Google Search Console

GSC or Google Webmaster tools is good support for this. Go to your account » Search Traffic » Search Analytics and track individual pages.

image of search traffic in search console account


As you can see in the next screenshot, you have data on the number of impressions, average CTR, and average position. Search for your page to see how well is ranking: Pages » Filter Pages and paste the URL.

image of filter pages in search console


Method 2: Rank Tracking

You can also use the Rank Tracking tool to see the whole list of keywords at once and follow the historical trending line. You have to add the keywords and after that, you’ll have to wait to see how it is evolving day by day.

image of overview rank tracking cognitive seo


For a massive content optimization, you should look at the search visibility to see if you’re on an ascendant line or not. The search visibility shows you how your websites rank overall for all the possible keyword combination that you might be or might not be aware of. Below you can see an example:

Image of search visibility


Method 3: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is another provider that can offer qualitative data, most of the times. I’ve conducted an informative guide some time ago on how to improve search engines rankings using Google Analytics data which I recommend you reading it. It is a good starter for understanding your audience: likes, interests, behavior, demographics. You’ll find out how to improve your conversion rates and see which type of content brings more traffic, from what sources and other technical information.

All the data you get will help you have a better content management.


Writing high-quality content isn’t so hard, but it isn’t piece of cake either. It requires knowledge, desire, strategical thinking and tools to ease up the work. If you understand what quality content and relevant content means, then you’re two steps forward.

You need an idea and then craft unique content around it to differentiate yourself from the audience. On-site optimization is the next step. Use the right keyword to create context and highlight the quality of your content. In the end, promote it and track the results.

Analytical data offers valuable insights into your content, audience, and business in general. It can bring a lot of benefits to start mushrooming your inbound marketing strategies and outperform your actual content marketing campaign. All these steps will help you fulfill your goals so best of luck in using them!

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This article was submitted by Andreea Sauciuc and originally appeared on CognitiveSEO. It has been republished with permission and does not constitute the views or opinions of Upwork. 


Andreea Sauciuc

by @andreearsauciuc

Andreea Sauciuc is a digital marketer who has a love for creativity and writing. Her background stems from search engine optimization and has experience in… more