Content is king in the world of digital marketing. Content is vital to improve your SEO efforts, bring traffic to your website, and keep your website fresh. Writing that SEO content, however, can be difficult.
There are proven strategies to employ when writing for SEO, which we’ll break down for you. If you take anything away from this article, however, it should be this: the best way to write for SEO is to produce well-written, informative, and relevant content.
SEO and Content
Why is content so important for SEO? In short, content brings new visitors to your website by answering relevant questions related to your brand, driving traffic and keeping your website fresh.
To learn more about why you need content, check out our blog post on why fresh content is critical for SEO.
Content Writing Vs. Copywriting
People often mistake content writing for copywriting – the two are similar, but should not be used interchangeably.
Copywriting is all about marketing – ad copy should entice viewers to buy your products or services. This type of writing heavily utilizes calls to action and other actionable language to try to get readers to make a purchase, improving conversions.
Content writing, on the other hand, is more informative, answering questions related to your brand or industry. The purpose of content is to flesh out your website and provide helpful information so that visitors stay on your website longer or return to read more.
SEO Content Writing Strategy
When writing for SEO purposes, there are strategies you can implement. The goal of SEO writing is to provide useful, informative content, of course, but you also want people to actually read that content. To get readers to visit your page, the goal is to be among the first search results for targeted keywords on search engines like Google.
Here’s where SEO content gets tricky – the SEO part. Your content should be optimized to appear for the relevant search terms on Google and other search engines. To achieve this, you’ll need a basic understanding of how search engines work so that you can tailor your writing to what search engines are looking for when they rank SERPs.
We’ve provided the key steps to take to write for SEO. Keep in mind, however, that SEO takes time and effort – your articles will not immediately appear on the first page of Google search results. Focus on creating great content, and the traffic will likely come in due time.
Find Relevant Topics
Your content should always be relevant to your brand. Writing content that is related to your products or services will bring visitors to your website who may be interested in what you offer. Sharing irrelevant content is pointless, as you may get traffic, but the visitors probably won’t be interested in what you’re selling. It also won’t help your website’s SEO efforts to rank for search terms that have nothing to do with your business.
The most successful content answers questions or solves a problem. These are the kind of things that are commonly searched for – think about it: if you need to know something, you probably Google it.
To find relevant topics to write about, consider your audience or your customer personas. Put the audience first, since your content should cater to them. Think about what questions your customers might have, either about your products or services or about your industry in general. Our blog, for example, focuses on digital marketing and SEO related topics.
If you’re stuck, check out competitor websites to see what they’re writing about. You can also utilize your keyword research to find related topics.
Keyword research is one of the most important elements to writing SEO content that will actually drive traffic. It is vital to know what keywords to use that are relevant to your brand or the specific post, and which ones are searched more often than others.
There are various tools you can use to find keywords – some free and some that you’ll have to pay for if you’re serious about content writing.
Google provides a decent amount of information itself, through Google Trends, “People also ask”, and “Searches related to” tabs.
Search for your main target keyword on Google trends to find information about interest in the topic over time, by region, and related queries. The related queries box is especially useful because it provides search volume information for keywords, which tells you how many times a month that specific keyword or phrase is searched on Google.
The “People also ask” and “Searches related to” tabs can also give you a good idea of what other questions or search terms people ask on Google.
Paid keyword research tools can be incredibly useful, as you can find thousands of keywords related to your topic. Tools like SEMRush and AHRefs also provide in-depth information like search volume, keyword difficulty, cost per click for PPC advertising campaigns, and much more.
Whether you opt for free keyword search methods or use paid tools, make sure you look for long-tail variations, the less common but easier to rank for keywords related to the main keyword.
Where to Place Keywords
So you’ve found the most relevant, highly searched keywords related to your topic. Now what?
Knowing where to place keywords can drastically improve your SEO efforts. Since search engines crawl and index key pieces of information on a web page, placing keywords where they are more likely to be picked up can help you rank higher.
Your keywords should be riddled throughout your content. Keyword density (how often your keyword appears throughout your content) used to be one of the main focuses of SEO. This focus on keyword density led to keyword stuffing – a black hat SEO tactic that forced keywords onto a page more than it actually made sense within the content.
Keyword stuffing will no longer help your SEO efforts, as Google rewards quality content over messy, unnaturally written keyword dense content. Still, it is important to make sure your content is rich in keywords. Just include them naturally without trying to force it – if you’re writing about that topic, the keyword will organically be used frequently enough.
There are a few places that you should place keywords:
- Your title
- Headers and subheaders
- Meta descriptions
- Image titles and alt text
- Throughout your content
Search engine crawlers look at an entire piece of content, but higher value is placed on titles, headers, and the other elements listed above.
This does not mean that you should put your targeted keyword exactly in all of those places – imagine if every header in this post was “SEO Content” – it would look unnatural. Use variations of keywords to provide clarity, accurately label sections of a post, and to catch long-tail variations of your main keyword.
Edit Your Content
Even the best writers need to edit their work. Make sure you read through your content to correct typos, fix any syntax errors, and add clarity to confusing sentences.
Aim to write content that flows naturally and is easy to read. You may find that you want to re-structure the sections of a post, or maybe you’ll think of another detail to include. Try to read from the perspective of someone without knowledge on the topic at hand to check how clear your writing is.
Track Your Rankings
Once your content is researched, written, and published, track its progress through Google Analytics. You can see where it ranks for specific keywords, as well as view other information like total page views, bounce rate, CTR, and more.
Tips for SEO Writing
Here are a few more tips to consider when writing SEO content!
How long should your content be? There isn’t a set answer, but long form content tends to do better. See how long the top search engine results for your keywords are, and try to write to the same length. If you can write a longer post with helpful and relevant information, you may be able to move up in the rankings.
Linking is essential to SEO. Link your post to other pages on your website to share link juice and to direct traffic to other parts of your site, whether it’s a sale page or another piece of content. You should also use external links – links that go to other websites. Linking to a high authority website gives your content some credibility. Backlinks, when another website links to your page, also improve SEO.
You should also link to the source of any information that is not your own. If you borrow an image, a statistic, or a quote, link to the website you found it on to give credit.
Break Up Your Content
No one likes reading long, wordy paragraphs, especially online.
Break up your content. Creating space on the page makes it easier to read and improves the flow of your article.
You can also break up content by including relevant images, graphics, or videos.
The Effect of SEO Content
To offer you some proof of how content can drive traffic and improve SEO, check out the growth on our website, Social Buddy.
We began putting out regular, keyword optimized content in January. As a direct result, our monthly traffic has grown from less than 10,000 to over 50,000 in only four months.
Need Help Writing SEO Content?
If you’re not a writer, need to focus on other aspects of your business, or feel overwhelmed researching and writing SEO content on your own, contact SEO Digital Group today!
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