How do you measure the success of the content you create? Usually, people look for organic search traffic to the content. However, that’s often hard to do.
Therefore, if you’re creating content that doesn’t generate organic traffic, you’re missing out on an opportunity to get free advertising.
Ultimately, you should consider content creation that focuses on SEO. That way, the information is targeted, and you can set the foundation to be strong. You get more long-term results when traffic automatically comes to your site without you investing in its promotion.
With that, you’re writing content that others want to see. It answers the questions your audience has. Then, you’re also attracting new audiences because of the valuable content you create.
Search engines reward you for writing SEO-friendly content. While you might not be a content writer, you can still improve your skills and offer value to the audience. Check out the SEO writing tips listed below after learning what SEO writing is all about.
What Is SEO Writing and SEO Content?
Writing for SEO is where you create content that focuses on offering users valuable information. It answers their questions, and you’re optimizing for the keyword phrases and words that make search engines understand what you’re saying.
SEO copywriting focuses on well-optimized content. Other search engines show your information higher on the results page. With that, more people click on it.
You’ve got to build your SEO content strategy to generate organic traffic and build an audience. In general, SEO writing doesn’t make a difference immediately. With time, though, you can use your site’s analytics to show you how you’re ranking higher by providing valuable content.
In a sense, writing SEO content now helps you later! How do you do this, though?
Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization
Strong SEO writing starts with keyword research. You must know what people are asking on search engines to ensure that you’re targeting those words and phrases. Along with that, you know that people are likely to click on your title and read your content, especially if the search engines put the article on the first page.
Here’s how to conduct your research:
Picking the Primary Keyword
If SEO writing is your goal, you might think it’s better to use as many keywords as you can. However, most search engines call that keyword-stuffed content and rank you lower because of it. Ultimately, you have produced something disorganized that makes little sense.
Instead, you should focus on the primary keyword you want to use. Dig deeper into that by using keywords related to the main topic.
For example, if you want to write content about back scratchers, the target word is “back scratcher,” and the other words might include “wooden,” “metal,” or “looks like fingers.”
The next step is to determine the keyword difficulty, which focuses on the competition for that phrase or word. Is it hard to rank on Google for that term? You can sometimes tell if that’s the case by the search volume. Plug your word or phrase into Google and see what pops up. How many articles are there?
Another thing to worry about is the search intent for the user. Why are they looking for that term? Do they want to buy it? Are they trying to compare products, or do they just want more information?
Once you have the main word and relevant keywords you want to use, you need to have the right keyword optimization. This is measured by keyword density.
Keyword density focuses on the number of times that word/phrase appears in the content. This depends on the length of the piece and many other factors. Some people think they must optimize for a one percent density across the board, but it’s better to incorporate the keywords naturally wherever possible.
On top of the primary word, you also have related keywords. For instance, if your topic is about Ford trucks, you could include specific models and other things.
Just make sure that you write SEO content that has specific keywords that are used naturally. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by Google because the users don’t like it. They don’t need to be reminded that the piece is about Ford trucks every 50 words. This is a big ranking factor, so use the keywords sparingly and the additional or related ones.
With SEO writing, having great content is imperative. Therefore, you must understand who your target audience is and the topics they care about most.
If you don’t know what to write about, you can get keyword ideas from Google or various tools. Think about what your audience wants to know. Type that primary keyword into the search bar and see what others have written about it.
Then, you should look in the “people also ask” and “related search” areas. They can give you related keywords so that you produce fresh content that hasn’t been done to death already.
Search volume is paramount here. In SEO copywriting, you may have a topic that’s been searched millions of times. It’s important to narrow the field down and write content related to that without it getting lost.
For example, if you want to write about Ford trucks, a Google search tells you that there are over 786 million results. Narrow that down to old Ford trucks, and you have 540 million. If you go a step further and choose the topic “what’s the most popular old Ford truck,” it’s down to 174 million results. Continue doing that until you get a low-volume topic to write about.
There are various free tools that can help with topic research, too.
Determine Search Intent and Format
Search intent is what the user wants to know. Google has taught its algorithms to evaluate the intent of the search. Therefore, when you write SEO content, you must give the searchers relevant material.
What can you do to ensure that you write content that matches search intent? The first thing is to type your topic or keyword into the Google search bar. Go to the “people also ask” part of the search results and see what others are asking.
From there, you get a sense of what the target audience wants to know. Most of the time, something is missing, and that’s exactly what void you fill when writing SEO content.
There are different types of search intent:
When SEO writing is the goal, you must use the target keyword in the way that people want it. Are they trying to find more information about music festivals? Do they want to find a particular festival? Does the searcher need a review or comparison about different concerts? Are they interested in buying tickets?
Typically, featured snippets indicate that they want informational content, while site links focus on navigational ones. SEO writers must think about the type of keyword and intent so that they can determine the best format for the article.
What is already ranking in Google for your keyword? Do they offer guides or lists? Are the titles descriptive, and what are those? You need to know this now so that you can focus on social media marketing later.
For example, if people want more information about the topic and you offer it, you can post it on various social media platforms. It can also go on your blog and elsewhere online. From there, you can repurpose it and turn it into infographics, slideshows, and much more.
Create a Meta Title Tag that Search Engines Can Read
The headline you use for the title isn’t what’s shown in the search results on Google. Your article actually has two headings – the meta title tag in Google’s search results snippet and your H1 tag.
The title tags can be similar or the same, but they can also be different. The important thing here is to use your target keyword in both the H1 and the meta title.
Generally, the H1 is the one search engines use to see the page structure, and the meta title is used for on-page optimization.
Still, the meta title introduces the content to the searchers. Therefore, you want the target keywords right there so that they can see them easily.
To ensure that the title is attractive for searchers and search engines, consider these tips:
- Write unique titles for all web pages
- Consider user intent and go with a title that focuses on the problems and solution readers get
- Keep titles 40 characters long with a maximum of 60 characters
- Use the targeted keyword in all title tags
Focus on the H1
The title tag is pretty straightforward, and there’s little wiggle room. However, you can use your H1 heading to your advantage by:
- Creating something unique – Site visitors don’t get lost on the many pages.
- Using how, what, where, why – People easily understand what they might find
- Using numerals – List headlines see more traffic than others, and numerals (instead of writing the number) work even better.
- Describing what you discuss – The H1 title tag must describe your content, or Google thinks it’s low-quality.
Consider Your Meta Description
A meta description is the bit of text that users see under the Google results page title tag. You can use this to encourage others to click your link. SEO writing doesn’t just focus on the content; if you can’t get people to click on it, you’ve wasted time.
To optimize your meta description, here are a few tips:
- Each page must have a meta description. Create meta descriptions to accurately describe that page.
- Include the relevant keyword in your meta description.
- Keep the meta descriptions about one to two sentences long.
- Consider crafting meta descriptions that aren’t in sentence format. That way, you can include information throughout the page. Sometimes, such a meta description is attractive for the user and search engines.
- Target an emotion. You want people to “act fast” or “buy now.”
Your meta description can attract new site visitors and place you higher in the search results. Don’t neglect this step!
Content Structure for Readability
With SEO copywriting, it’s not just enough to put the information into the content. You have to structure it so that it looks good. For example, if you saw a continuous wall of text, are you likely to keep reading? No, you go to a different article.
Therefore, you must think about optimizing content with the target keywords. From there, it must have a decent structure. That’s essential for high-quality content and can get you at the top of the search engine results pages.
Subheadings are crucial when writing for SEO. It makes it easier to read and scan the information. Typically, you want a few H2s and H3s in there, as well.
Here are a few pointers to ensure that you have readable content:
- Don’t be afraid of longer articles. Studies have shown that articles that are 3,000 or more words see three times the traffic and more shares than others. You may also see more backlinks than an average length of 1,200 words. However, don’t stuff it full of keywords, either. Short articles can rank well if they offer the information necessary.
- Add a table of contents when necessary. For long articles, it’s easy to get lost in all that information. Don’t overwhelm the visitors; give them a jump-tag table of contents so that they can go directly to the page or section they need.
- Use subheadings. Structured articles often have H2 and H3 headings, and studies have shown that they perform better. Make sure the article is very easy to read and grasp the concepts, even if they are skimming. However, it’s also possible to go overboard with the subheads.
- One paragraph should be one idea. It’s important to add the content into digestible segmentations. Therefore, if you have multiple similar ideas, each one should be in its own paragraph. That might mean you have a single sentence. Don’t be afraid of this because it’s a great way to bring home the point you want to make.
- Answer the question. People naturally scan long articles, so include the questions people frequently ask and make them headings. That way, they are hard to miss.
- Highlight the important ideas you want to convey. Some people use underlining, italicizing, and bolding to focus on specific points. It can make it easier to follow along and ensures that readers keep the main ideas, even if they forget the rest.
- Don’t use long sentences. Having multiple short paragraphs is paramount, but you also want to keep the sentences short. Whenever you have two connecting thoughts, consider separating them.
- Use lists and bullet points. It’s easier to digest large amounts of information when they’re concise and listed with bullet points. Plus, you might get the chance to be a featured snippet if you do that!
You might be overwhelmed right now because that’s a lot of information to take in. However, there are various tools to help you. These readability and structure tips can also help:
- Make sure that the text is structured for your keywords and written for SEO by checking the optimization status in WordPress or Google Docs.
- You may need to adjust the length of the text to make it faster to read. Check your top competitors to see if the average word counts are similar.
- Always add related keywords to the text when you can to boost your SEO potential. Someone might not type in your main phrase, but they might input something similar.
- Use a consistent tone so that the content matches your brand’s voice.
- Read everything aloud before you publish it. This helps you find any oddball sentences.
- Make sure that the text is unique. There are various free and paid tools to help you locate copied sections or words.
Add Visual Content
Most people don’t think about adding visuals when writing for SEO. However, they can be essential. You can convey more information to the reader and have more room for social media shares. On top of that, many readers like to see templates, checklists, and other visuals to break up the monotony of reading everything.
Your goal right now is to offer engaging, relevant, and valuable content. That way, you get more backlinks from authorities in the industry. Google thinks that those are more trustworthy, and the search engine ranks that content higher.
With that, your blog post is sure to be found in the Video or Images section of Google if you add visuals. That means you could get into the featured snippets sections and boost traffic even more.
Here’s how you can optimize your visual content:
Reduce Image Sizes
Images do contribute to the page size, so it’s best to resize them to be smaller. That way, you have a website that loads faster. This can make the content and page more SEO-friendly and offers a better user experience.
Believe it or not, Google factors the page speed into how it ranks your content and pages.
Have Descriptive Names
When you hit save on an image or video you want to use, your computer or laptop gives you a generic one, such as “IMG01.JPG.” If you only have one picture, it might not be that big of a deal. However, Google also sees the name you give the image. Therefore, it might be best to go with something more descriptive. It makes it easier for you to find it if necessary, and Google can, too.
Add Alt Tags
How do search engines scan your image? Can they do so? Technically, Google can’t see your picture. However, if you include alt tags, it’s a text alternative to the image, and it can use that to see what the image is about.
Google often uses alt tags to rank pages higher. Therefore, if you don’t use them, you could be missing out.
When you add alt tags, make sure that you:
- Describe the image with as much detail as possible.
- Ensure that the alt tags are relevant to that topic or page.
- Write unique alt tags that describe the image instead of repeating your main keyword.
Internal links within a blog post point from that page to another website page. You want a strong internal linking structure so that search engines and users can get to the relevant pages they need or can reference other articles.
Your search engine rankings are based on what Google can find about you. It only crawls pages every so often. Therefore, your new content is probably not indexed. However, if it follows a link from a page you’ve already created to a new one, it finds more reasons to rank you higher.
In a sense, Google sends out a robot to investigate each website out there. It fetches some web pages and follows the internal links to find new web addresses. Interlinking is a great way for you to help the search engine discover your content and put you higher in the search results.
SEO writing doesn’t just focus on the blog or article you write. The internal links showcase the site’s structure, offer relevant content, and help pass authority between your pages.
Along with everything else, internal linking helps the searchers. Users must be able to find other relevant information on your website quickly. They don’t want to go to your search bar and ask for it; you should link directly to it!
Internal linking is different than external ones, but you can learn about that a little later.
Perform an Audit
It’s also important to conduct an audit of your existing content. That way, you know which topics you’ve already covered and what you haven’t. This also gives you an idea of what you can link to and what might have to be updated.
You should have a clear understanding of each blog post on your website. This includes the:
- Searchers intent
- Current ranking
- Internal/external links included
There are various tools to help you determine how easy it is for people to get to the article, which articles have weak internal linking, and any issues with your links.
Optimize Internal Links
It’s important to find other content pieces on your website. That way, what you’re creating now points to more information that users might want or need. This improves the structure and architecture of the site and reduces bounce rates.
Consider optimizing the links based on your buyer’s journey. That way, it’s easy to move them along to the next stage. For example, awareness articles link to consideration articles. From there, you move to sales pages.
Another way to optimize links is to add some related articles when you’re finished with the post. It’s an easy way to get more links to each page.
Build an Internal Linking Strategy
To build your strategy for internal linking, you should list the main pages on your site. Then, you can list topic clusters and get a feel for the site architecture. Those pages usually drive more traffic to the site. Make sure they have the main keywords.
From there, it’s a hierarchy from the main page to each particular topic. Every one of those should end with a blog post, and each of those has links within, as well.
Backlinks aren’t the same as internal links. With this, you are adding links from other websites. This does two things:
- Makes you appear more trustworthy and place higher in the search results
- Promotes other websites and content from other brands to form partnerships
Your goal is to have other sites link to yours and vice versa.
SEO copywriting doesn’t have to be difficult, but most people don’t know how to write SEO content. You have learned what SEO writing is and how it can be beneficial to you. With that, you got pointers on how to write web content for yourself.
Still, it might be wise to hire an SEO copywriter to write the content for you. It’s often challenging to keep up with everything you must do, and it’s easier and safer to outsource it to a professional.