The Optimization Phase: So, you've hit what?

You've written an amazing piece of content, but guess what: you're just getting started. Here are some strategic steps to take after you've published your content to ensure you make the most of it!

Hello! Danni here from Surfer! Welcome to Pillar 3! You made it! We call this pillar the optimization stage. In these lessons we're going to talk about all the things you need to do after publish your content.

If you think your job is finished after you've hit publish, you're mistaken!

Ready? Let's dive in!

So far, we’ve talked about search intent, meta descriptions, keyword research, readability of your text, and the psychology of CTAs. Just to name a few things. All of these components work together to make your post attractive, relevant and can improve your overall rank on Google.

I’m sorry to say that the work isn’t done just yet…

So, you’ve hit “publish,” what happens now?

Give it some time. Your page needs time to get indexed and start competing with other domains in Google. Sometimes it takes a day, other times, it could take around a week or even a month. For fresh / recently purchased domains it might take several months.

Have you heard of Google's sandbox? It's a period of establishing and testing a domain's quality and authority. Google won't rank a newly bought domain immediately, it needs to make sure it’s trustworthy, so expect that your page will need some time to settle. Wait at least two weeks before you start making any changes.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t see results overnight. Be patient. You have to check how your site’s doing on the SERPs. For that, you need access to Google Search Console.

Every content marketer should be familiar with this free tool! If you’re a freelance copywriter, ask your client right away if you can get access to Google Search Console.

Here’s how to check which keywords you’re ranking for, and your position: Go to Performance -> Search Results -> pages You can filter out your URL and change to queries That’s how you get a list of keywords you rank for already.

In the end, did your piece of content rank for your keyword of choice? Is it ranking for a different keyword? There’s a chance that you managed to rank for other keywords that are actually much better than the one you chose first. When you optimize your page properly with prominent terms and NLP, you may discover that your page ranks for dozens or even hundreds of keywords. Now, add the average position to your report. You’re checking which page they rank on and impressions.

Concentrate on the keywords that are likely to bring you the most traffic. It’s a really good habit to update your older posts with newly found keywords in Google Search Console. It may even help you climb the SERPs faster!

Here are a couple more ways to optimize your content post-publish:

Re-check the search intent - Have your customers’ needs changed since you wrote the original article? Visit your competition. They’ve probably gone up (or down) on the SERP, so see what changes they’ve made so that you can stay ahead of the curve.

Lastly, you’ll want to check your title tags, meta descriptions, internal linking to make sure that it’s all as it should be: Do you have any broken links? Have you updated your supporting pages? Do you have any lonely orphan pages lying around? Are all of your images still showing up as they should?

These are all questions you should ask yourself in order to do a general “temperature check” of your content after you’ve published it.

I’m going to repeat the key takeaways just in case:

Give it time. Wait at least 2 weeks, and up to 3 months.

Google Search Console is your friend. Check which keywords you’re ranking for! You might be pleasantly surprised.

Spy… I mean, research your competitor’s progress on SERPs

Lastly, do a quick sweep of your own content to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

In the next lesson, I’m going to show you how you can perform a thorough and comprehensive audit of your content because frankly, who has time for guessing games?! SEO is al about data, numbers and deliverables. We want to leave as little room for error as possible.

I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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