A Framework for Discovery Right now

Content material optimization isn’t new. It began a number of thousand years in the past when folks started to arrange content material for discovery in libraries.

About 2,300 years in the past, the famend Greek poet and scholar Callimachus constructed the primary Google – a topical catalog of the Nice Library of Alexandria’s holdings.

No shock – serving to folks discover data right this moment requires a vastly completely different strategy.

A library’s group gives a standardized manner for folks to look a considerable amount of data shortly once they know they’re searching for. However that model of group makes much less sense for content material designed to have interaction audiences and introduce new experiences.

Give it some thought. You wouldn’t stroll right into a library with the aim of turning into smarter about the way forward for enterprise. But entrepreneurs typically default to organizing thought management like a hierarchical library.

Worse, many catalog it by content material sort. I’ve seen so many B2B useful resource facilities organized on the highest ranges as e-books, white papers, movies, and quick articles. It forces audiences to choose their content material expertise earlier than selecting a subject or query to reply.

Organizing #B2B resource centers by e-books, white papers, videos, etc., forces your audience to pick the experience before the topic, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Trendy content material optimization framework

To fulfill viewers wants in 2023, you need to optimize content material for serps, social channels, vertical channels, trade channels, and (sure) even the people who in the end navigate their strategy to your content material. It’s a difficult steadiness to determine what to optimize for.

Traditionally, entrepreneurs optimized by the logical hierarchy as a result of that was optimum for serps. However with AI and different applied sciences, corresponding to personalization and focused content material, coming to the forefront, I ponder if it’s not time to have a look at new methods of organizing your content material.

A framework will help you concentrate on every attribute of a contemporary content material optimization mannequin:

  • Intent
  • Authority
  • Inner context
  • Exterior context
  • Described

Modern #content optimization framework: intent, authority, internal context, external context, and described, via @Robert_Rose @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Let’s have a look at this one after the other:


Understanding your viewers’s intent is nearly extra vital than who they’re. Give it some thought. If in case you have 1,000 new guests coming to your web site, what’s essentially the most invaluable factor you may learn about them? Is it who they’re? Or is it why they got here to surf your content material? It’s essential to place heavy significance on optimizing your content material in a manner that helps you perceive their intent – earlier than you ask them who they’re.

How do you try this? You possibly can cleverly arrange and create your content material. For instance, maybe you arrange by activity or desired outcomes somewhat than content material sort. Or perhaps you present extra detailed content material titles? For instance, you may need a white paper titled: “Visions of a New Future for Our Trade: What You Want To Know as You Ponder Change.” I went excessive on that title to make the purpose, however you get the thought. Any person downloading a white paper is NOT a professional lead at this level.

At this level, the aim ought to be to make the data that matches their intent straightforward to seek out.


Whenever you develop your content material – whether or not educating, inspiring, entertaining, or just offering instructions – authority issues, and particulars matter. Depth issues. You can’t ship authority in a single piece of content material. As a substitute, it’s communicated by way of your library of content material. These attributes embody linking, attaching, and serving related particulars and extra in-depth content material, so your content material client by no means must go wherever else.

As a substitute of organizing your content material to host a digital field filled with PDFs, photographs, PowerPoint shows, and many others., construct cross-linked experiences that serve the “finest subsequent” expertise so the audiences can go deeper.

Build cross-linked experiences that serve the best next experience so the audiences can go deeper, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Inner context

The interior context attribute is about that means. It may be your model’s factors of view concerning the world or its distinctive take or answer to an issue. It may be the data you present in proximity to different data.

Organizing your content material by factors of view is just like organizing it by intent. However you’re not doing it based mostly on duties or questions however somewhat by making an entire argument for the tales you inform. For instance, a know-how firm centered on cybersecurity may arrange its useful resource heart by the model’s viewpoint on the way forward for AI and embody one other part on the way forward for monetary safety in a digital world.

Your content material’s clear, constant, and differentiated viewpoint and/or that means makes it stand out when folks seek for solutions. How the content material is displayed additionally communicates a context, which may deepen the engagement.

I name this the settle-the-bar-bet drawback. Somebody at a bar says, “What’s the reply to that query?” You reply. They search and discover the reply to substantiate what you offered. Normally, the questioner nods, places their cellphone of their pocket, and strikes on.

However what in case your reply sparked additional curiosity? It intrigues them, so that they learn it aloud to their buddy, “Did you additionally know that …” Possibly, they even bookmark it for future studying. That’s the interior context you wish to obtain.

Exterior context

Know-how and AI-driven options additionally enter the optimization framework to help with conditional contexts – how the content material will briefly be organized at a consumer or account stage. Or it could be organized based mostly on a cellular vs. desktop context.

You might decide that first-party information, corresponding to location, shopping for historical past, content material consumption, and gadget sort, will inform the content material’s organizational look.

Additionally, you would use this information to determine which content material to place into social media, vertical websites, and different interfaces the place you don’t management the show.


Instantly associated to exterior content material, offering a number of methods to arrange your content material grows in significance right this moment. If exterior context lets the buyer see content material displayed based mostly on their conduct, “described” organizations create content material that describes your content material – to assist audiences filter (or automate), categorize, measure, personalize, and activate content material. This content material often falls into three classes:

  • Descriptive metadata – categorical phrases concerning the piece of content material, such because the viewers persona, purchaser’s journey section, writer, or supported product class.
  • Administrative metadata– content material administration components, corresponding to publication dates, expiration dates, rights administration, authorized or compliance categorization, and many others.
  • Structural metadata– particulars that assist join one content material asset to others, corresponding to a set of information that reacts to a immediate like “For those who like this, you may like this too.”

Go forth like a brand new Callimachus – the media firm

I wouldn’t advocate trying all these, however you may embody a number of approaches to reorganize your content material administration. The online, search, and synthetic intelligence will probably evolve past the static hierarchical, library-like technique of offering data.

Begin with optimizing for people. Whenever you perceive your viewers and their intent, you may optimize the content material for findability. When you create in-depth, invaluable, informative, and interesting content material with authority, you may convey out one of the best that means in your content material and drive higher inner context.

With that achieved (or in progress), you may transfer to the tech facet of optimization with exterior contexts, corresponding to cellular, search, social, and many others. You possibly can describe that content material so machines can perceive and do extra with it and use technical options to current it optimally.

Put less complicated: You’re Callimachus and the fashionable media mogul. Your manufacturers are usually not solely poets and storytellers; you’re the media firms. You’re right here not simply to offer a useful resource however to have interaction and information folks to one of the best tales once they want them.

It’s your story. Inform it properly.

Up to date from a June 2021 put up.

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Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute