Are You Optimizing Content for a Library or a Network?

Are You Optimizing Content for a Library or a Network? The Distinction Makes a Difference [Rose-Colored Glasses]

Are You Optimizing Content for a Library or a Network?

Modern content optimization framework

To meet audience needs in 2023, you must optimize content for search engines, social channels, vertical channels, industry channels, and (yes) even the humans who ultimately navigate their way to your content. It’s a tricky balance to decide what to optimize for.

A framework can help you think about each attribute of a modern content optimization model:

  • Intent
  • Authority
  • Internal context
  • External context
  • Described


You must place heavy importance on optimizing your content in a way that helps you understand their intent – before you ask them who they are. How do you do that? You can cleverly organize and create your content. For example, perhaps you organize by task or desired outcomes rather than content type. Or maybe you provide more detailed content titles? For example, you might have a white paper titled: “Visions of a New Future for Our Industry: What You Need To Know as You Contemplate Change.” I went over the top on that title to make the point, but you get the idea. Somebody downloading a white paper is NOT a qualified lead at this point.


When you develop your content – whether educating, inspiring, entertaining, or simply providing directions – authority matters, and details matter. Depth matters. You cannot deliver authority in a single piece of content. Instead, it’s communicated through your library of content. These attributes include linking, attaching, and serving relevant details and more in-depth content, so your content consumer never needs to go anywhere else.

Internal context

The internal context attribute is about meaning. It might be your brand’s points of view about the world or its unique take or solution to a problem. Organizing your content by points of view is similar to organizing it by intent. But you’re not doing it based on tasks or questions but rather by making a complete argument for the stories you tell. How the content is displayed also communicates a context, which can deepen the engagement.

External context

Technology and AI-driven solutions also enter the optimization framework to assist with conditional contexts – how the content will temporarily be organized at a user or account level. Or it may be organized based on a mobile vs. desktop context.

You could determine that first-party data, such as location, buying history, content consumption, and device type, will inform the content’s organizational appearance.


Directly related to external content, providing multiple ways to organize your content grows in importance today. If external context lets the consumer see content displayed based on their behavior, “described” organizations create content that describes your content – to help audiences filter (or automate), categorize, measure, personalize, and activate content. Continue reading →