12 Ways to Master SEO Writing
If you’ve ever written a blog post before, you know how much time it can take. From topic selection and gathering research to writing the post and pressing “Publish,” the process often demands hours. That‘s why, if your post doesn’t earn the traffic you expected, it can be a major letdown. Fortunately, there’s a way to combat low traffic: search engine optimization. As marketers, we‘re always aiming to write content that’ll rank highly on Google, and SEO is the bridge that’ll help you get there. That begs the question: How do you incorporate that into your content? Don‘t worry — we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’re going to dive into 12 ways to master SEO writing.
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing is the process of writing content to rank on the first page of search engines like Google. This involves researching keywords, writing high-quality content that matches user intent, and optimizing your headers for easy page crawling. With higher rankings, your website increases its overall visibility. The ultimate goal is to drive organic traffic, increase conversions, and achieve business objectives through effective optimization. If you don’t optimize your content for search engines, your website may suffer from low visibility and poor rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, the potential reach and exposure of your content may be significantly reduced.
Why is SEO content writing important?
Without SEO, your content is less likely to rank highly on search engines. Ranking lower may hinder your ability to attract and engage with your target audience. It may also make your content seem less credible and authoritative. A 2020 Search Engine Journal study found that the clickthrough rate for websites in position one on the SERP is 25%. This number drops drastically to 15% for websites in position two and then down to 2.5% for websites in position 10. When you get to page two of Google, that number gets even lower. This means that if your website is not on the first page, there’s a small chance consumers will find your website organically. Fewer visits to your site mean fewer opportunities to generate leads, and ultimately, revenue. Your next best option is investing in advertising to get those users to your site. But that costs money, and if you’re on a tight budget, why not invest time in SEO writing? It’s free and will likely bring you traffic for much longer than a campaign would.
The Basics of SEO Content Writing
When getting started with SEO content writing, it’s important to understand the basics. Here are some fundamental principles to follow when incorporating SEO into your writing.
Keyword optimization is all about strategically using relevant keywords and phrases in your content to boost its visibility and ranking. This aspect of SEO is super important because it helps search engines better understand your content, thereby increasing the chances of it appearing in relevant search queries and attracting organic traffic. To select the best keywords, you’ll need to research and identify what exactly your target audience is looking for and align it with your content’s topic. Finding the right balance between incorporating keywords in a way that makes sense to readers and satisfies search engine algorithms is key. We’ll go more in-depth about how to find keywords and how to disperse them throughout your content in the tips section.
User intent refers to the motivation or purpose behind a user’s search query. It’s all about figuring out what they really want to discover when typing something into a search engine. There are generally four types of user intent: Informational intent, Navigational intent, Transactional intent, and Commercial intent. By understanding user intent, you can create content that aligns with what people are looking for and boost your chances of showing up in search results. It’s all about giving people what they need and providing them with a good search experience.
Writing for SEO isn’t just about what you write, it’s also about how you write. It isn’t enough to just place keywords into your content and call it a day. You need to consider how your audience’s experience will be when they read it. This is where readability comes in. Readability is all about striking the right balance between optimizing for search engines and ensuring that your content is enjoyable and valuable to human readers. In addition to optimizing your content with keywords and internal links, you’ll want to focus on user experience. Write in a reader-friendly manner by using clear and concise language and avoiding jargon. You’ll also want to utilize headings and make your content more scannable (more on that below). When writing and editing your content ask yourself: Is this easy to understand? Does this have a logical flow? Is this engaging? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you may need to make some changes.
Every SEO writer knows that an evergreen blog post will never be completely finished, even after it’s been published. Thanks to algorithm updates and competitors targeting the same keywords, search results are always changing. That’s why it’s important to have a content update strategy in place to ensure your older web content remains fresh and relevant in search engine rankings. This practice is called historical optimization. To figure out which blog posts you need to update, assess your older content by conducting a content audit to find underperforming or outdated pieces. Then, determine how to improve the piece. This usually involves refreshing the content by adding new information, removing outdated information, optimizing keywords, and improving formatting and readability.
Tips on How To Incorporate SEO in Your Writing
- Start with keyword research.
- Use headings to your benefit.
- Optimize your content for featured snippets.
- Write for humans, not search engines.
- Optimize your title.
- Include keywords in your meta description.
- Add alt text to images.
- Resist the urge to keyword stuff.
- Link to high-authority websites.
- Aim for scannable, longer posts.
- Link to other posts on your site.
- Compress images for fast page load speed.
- Design a link-building strategy.
1. Start with keyword research.
It’s estimated that Google processes over 70,000 search queries a second. Staggering, right? If you want to cut through SERP clutter and outrank your competitors, you need to target the specific keywords and phrases your potential customers are searching for. Otherwise, how else will they find your content and website? Start with a keyword research tool. Sites like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner give you details on what users are searching for and how popular those queries are. Google Trends can also give you a feel for what keywords are popular at any given time. If you see searches are steadily declining over time for a specific keyword, you know that’s probably not the right keyword to target for your marketing. The opposite is true for rising trends. If you’re ever running low on keyword ideas, get inspiration from your competition. Use competitive intelligence tools to see what keywords their domains currently rank for. If these keywords are relevant to your business, consider using them too. However, keep in mind that the most obvious keywords don’t always align with your strategy. Additionally, your focus keywords will evolve over time as trends shift, terminology changes or your product/service line grows. Be sure to conduct keyword research periodically to ensure you’re still focusing on the right keywords for your target audience and not missing out on vital ranking opportunities.
2. Use headings to your benefit.
Headers help Google’s web crawlers understand your blog post and the sections within it. Think…