Search Engine Optimization writing focuses on grabbing the attention of the search engines using specific and targeted keywords or keyword phrases. For years, the marketing technique has successfully drawn people to websites that provide the information, products, and/or services they need. How?
Websites need search engines to direct people to their site, and the writing of good, optimal, search engine-directed content assists the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing to do exactly that. As an SEO writer, you must help search engines understand your content for better visibility and traffic.
So, you really want to write SEO? Here are the seven tricks up a professional web content writer’s sleeve:
1. Know your keywords.
Keywords define what your content is about. Therefore, it is crucial to identify a wide range of potential keyword opportunities, including less obvious terms that could also drive traffic and sales to your website. Use the right tools to track which words and phrases are the most appropriate for your niche.
Don’t know where to get started? Check out this comprehensive guide to keyword research.
2. Use keywords the right way.
There was a time when SEO content writers were all about stuffing keywords into copy — but that’s not how the industry works anymore. It’s still a good idea to include a variety of your target keyword throughout your blog, but be wary of the invalid ranking factor that is keyword stuffing. Like any SEO strategy, you need to be tactical.
Here’s how you can strategically incorporate your target keywords and phrases into your article:
- the first step is to include your keyword in the title;
- next, add it in the first 300 words;
- follow through by adding it to your first or second subheader.
Take note that it isn’t necessary to hit both subheaders. Just make sure that you have it in at least one of them. After that, you should focus on using variations of your primary keyword. In this case, synonyms are your best friends.
Remember that search engine users type in specific words and phrases because they’re interested in learning more about it. Thus, it only makes sense to give them exactly what they’re looking for (in all forms). For example, let’s say your keyword is “web article writer.” You can play around with it and use copywriter, SEO writer, blogger, blog writer, and so forth. You can even add words in between them, like “professional writer in SEO.” You are sure to get more clicks if you do. It is one of the tricks of the trade for professional search engine optimization writers.
As an added note, it should never be a struggle to fit keywords in your copy. All keywords should feel natural in your writing. Once you feel like you’re starting to write nonsense, or when you come across the same keyword in every sentence when backreading — you’ve gone too far.
3. Write for people, not algorithms.
Some writers create content with no real strategy behind it. As a writer, you should never forget that although you want to please search engines, the only real way to impress them is to impress your target audience first. You are writing for people, not algorithms. Thus, always seek to offer valuable information to your readers. For instance, what knowledge can you share that competitors can’t? What service can you provide that’s unique? Write about topics that will make readers realize that you are the business they need.
4. Hit the right word count.
Search engines prefer long blogs and articles and for good reason. Try to aim for 500 words, but if you can reach 1,000 or more — go for it! Ideally, you should create long-form content, meaning at least 2000+ words of high-quality blog posts.
Although content with a minimum of 500 to 1,000 words continues to rank well online, research shows that search engines tend to favor in-depth content of at least 2,000 words. According to Search Engine Land, the same study notes that “the average number of words for the content in the #1 spot was 2,416. For the #10 spot, the average number of words was 2,032.”
5. Keep an eye on your analytics.
You should make a habit of monitoring your content using Google Analytics. According to SEMrush, bounce rate, time on site, and pages per session are equally as important (if not more critical) than keyword density.
A high bounce rate indicates that your visitors are clicking out too soon. Why? It is likely that your page is not providing the information they need. Another possible reason for a towering bounce rate is that your page is not optimized for the appropriate keywords.
You should also keep in mind that several non-content related factors can cause your bounce rate to skyrocket. Slow loading times, aggressive pop-ups, and any other unpleasant design elements can push visitors to click out.
6. Edit your work.
When writing an article, do not underestimate the power of good formatting. Are you keen on giving your blog posts the “wow factor”?
The difference between professional SEO article writers and regular writers is an eye for self-editing. Having a keen eye for aesthetically pleasing formatting is essential. Try to steer clear of excessively lengthy paragraphs and sentences that go on for miles. It’s also a good idea to have someone else go through your work before hitting publish.
7. Share your final output.
Once you’ve successfully written and posted your keyword-optimized, reader-focused, in-depth, and aesthetically pleasing content, the work is only half done. The final step of all web content writing is to act as your own marketing agency. It’s great if you have the means to hire other people to spread your message across social media channels and blog sites. If not, you must do so on your own. How?
- Link your blog posts to some of the best social media channels available
- Comment on other blogs sites and link back to your website
- Submit your content to Reddit and StumbleUpon
Social media management and web content writing always go hand-in-hand. The minute you hit “Publish,” be ready to tweet your heart out.