Hello boss writers!
We know you write well, but do you write SEO well?
We all know that Search Engine Optimization is an important practice to drive organic traffic and the major credit goes to on-page SEO techniques. For the longest period of time, content writing and on-page SEO techniques have been working hand-in-hand to boost visibility on search engines.
Fun fact – According to a survey conducted by Statista, on-page elements of SEO are the top leading factor that drives search engine rankings as 32.8% of respondents state SEO-optimized content as a very important factor for the same.
Crux – Implementing SEO best practices (for example – thorough use of high-volume keywords) in your content is essential for ranking and visibility on search engines.
We hope we made our point.
So, without any further ado, let’s teach you how you could create appealing pieces of writing that rank high on Google.
Search Engine Optimization + Content Writing = SEO Writing
Search Engine Optimization is the process of making a website rank higher in search engines with the goal of increasing organic traffic.
On the other hand, Content Writing is the process of creating content in digital formats like social media copies, landing pages, product descriptions, videos, blogs, podcast scripts, and tens of other formats.
SEO Writing is considered writing content with the purpose of ranking higher on the search engine which can be done using a number of on-page SEO practices. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that as a Content Writer, you have to be fully versed in search engine optimization as both are two completely different domains.
However, as a Content Writer, you are expected to be friendly with a certain set of SEO practices:
Thorough use of keywords
Stick to the context and relevance
Answer what people want to know, etc.
Why SEO is important for your writing?
Now the major question that pops up here is why SEO is important for you as a content writer while all you can do is write appealing content pieces, sit back and relax and let the SEO professional do all the grinding.
Most probably, you are not just writing for fun. You must have a purpose behind doing all that work. Maybe educate your customers, drive better customer engagement, acquire leads and conversions, or increase your ranking on search engines.
Whatever is it, you just can’t create content and wait for the magic to happen (meet your purpose). Writing content on the Internet usually has two dimensions – a) humans, and b) search engines.
While you use some copywriting skills to make the humans read your content, using SEO techniques in your content will make the crawler (search engine bots) find you quicker.
The step-by-step guide to SEO writing for beginners
So now that we know what is SEO Writing and why SEO is important, let’s unlock our exclusive step-by-step guide to write SEO friendly content:
Step 1 – Know the search intent
The very first step to SEO writing is identifying the intent of the search so that you can satisfy the needs of the searchers. It is highly unlikely that people search without any intent in their minds as there is always a purpose to grabbing knowledge.
There are generally three different search intents (with examples):
Transactional: “Lakme 9 to 5 lipstick price” – here, the user is looking forward to buying a particular product.
Navigational: “Instagram” – here, the user is searching for a specific website.
Informational: “How to write a blog?” – here, the user wants to know information about a particular subject.
Keep the search intent in mind and customize your content accordingly.
Step 2 – Choose a focus keyword
A major part of SEO writing is finding the right keywords. Brainstorm the available keywords that focus both on the audience’s needs and your topic of interest.
Consider this example:
If your topic is related to “meditation” and during your research, you find out that users are searching for good meditation guiding apps, “best meditation apps” can be right for you.
You may have to choose a keyword tool to find out the optimal keywords like – Moz Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs, Keyword Planner, and Google AdWords. While using these tools, consider looking for keyword volume and keyword difficulty before finalizing any particular keyword.
High-volume keywords with lower keyword difficulty can drive better performance.
Find long-tail keywords with Google autocomplete suggestions (see image below).
Hence, you could use “best meditation app for anxiety” as your long tail keyword since you know people are searching this query.
Step 3 – Start with optimizing the title
Since the titles or headlines are the very first things that both users and search engines see, it is important to optimize them, and below are some tips for the same:
Keep your headline short and straightforward, preferably not more than 12 words.
Summarize what you are going to tell in the content – “How to charge for freelance writing assignments without any experience.”
Search online headline analyzer tools to know the performance of your title.
Mention the focus keyword in the headline – preferably in the first three words.
Step 4 – Structure matters!
Structure matters a lot in SEO writing pieces because:
It makes the content scannable and eye-appealing without compromising on the attention span.
It makes it easier for search engines to know what your blog is about.
You can structure your post by using the following tips:
Use a lot of whitespaces.
Include a maximum of 3-4 lines in one paragraph.
Make an impact with formatting like italics and bold.
Make it visually appealing with infographics, videos, and images.
Use plenty of bullet points
Make headings, sub-headings, and descriptive headings with tags like H1, H2, H3, etc.(use preferably till H3 only)
Step 5 – Keyword placement is the essence of SEO writing
Yes, keyword placement is actually the essence of SEO writing as it involves placing the keywords so strategically that doesn’t seem like keyword stuffing (unnecessary usage of keywords) and at the same time, does not compromise the quality of the content.
Keep your keyword placement as natural as possible. The most important places where you just can’t miss adding keywords are:
Headings and subheadings
To maintain the quality of content, you can use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords – words related to the primary keyword. LSIs also play a powerful role in providing context to search engines, making them an important feature of SEO writing. You can use any keyword tool mentioned in step 2 to find the LSIs of your primary keyword.
Consider this example: Let’s say you are writing about the service page of a digital marketing company and your keyword is a digital marketing company. In this case, your LSIs can be – a digital marketing agency, the best digital marketing company, an online marketing company, etc.
Step 6 – Emphasize readability
With the decreasing attention span of readers, it is important to make your content scannable to capture the reader’s attention.
Some tips that you may consider are:
Keep your writing up to the 6th-grade level
Keep your content personalized by using “you” throughout
Do not make your sentences long and avoid jargon
Do not use passive voice
Step 7 – Add links – internal and external
Inter-links are the links that navigate to your own website. On the other hand, external links are the links that navigate to other websites (usually with a statistic, news, fact, etc.).
While interlinking contributes to a higher authority of the website, external linking contributes to developing user trust and reliability in your content.
Adding a few of both of these links adds to the quality of the content both in the conext of humans and the search engine.
With this, we complete our 7-step guide towards fully SEO-optimized content. Over to you now, apply this checklist the next time you post a blog and we know you are going to rock your SEO writing game. However, this is just one part of the game as in order to achieve a higher rank on SERPs, there are certainly other factors that play a huge role like – website load time, establishing EAT (Expertise, Authority, and Trust), building backlinks, etc.
In case you feel overwhelmed with the technicalities involved in the process and still want to rank on search engines, you could outsource your SEO writing services by reaching out to a digital marketing company.
Click here to know whether it makes sense to outsourc your E-commerce business services.