It’s no longer enough to just have quality content. As a content creator, your content must be SEO optimized. But with so much information out there on the topic, it can be daunting.
Where do you start? Right here—we’ve put together a handy step-by-step guide that’s full of SEO content writing tips.
Know Thy Audience
This is the first and most crucial step in SEO writing tips. Just like with starting a business, you must know who you are targeting. You can be the best content writer in the world, but if you’re just putting out content with no audience in mind, it’s pointless. Your content should be industry-related and appeal to your target market or at least answer their SEO content writing questions. Remember, we’re all searching for a solution to a problem when we surf the web.
Write for Humans, Not Search Engines
There was a time not too long ago that SEO content was all about writing for search engines so you would “keyword stuff.” Google will now penalize you for this. What you should be doing is writing content that sounds natural, is engaging and compelling, and flows smoothly for your readers. You should still use keywords, but in a strategic way that makes them invisible to your readers. Use them naturally in headings, titles, and in your body of writing. In addition, you should use a variation of specific phrases. A thesaurus is an excellent tool to help with this.
The way that people read online is very different from offline. People tend to scan and scroll online, so you must write for the scrollers and scanners. Content needs to be highly readable. To increase readability, implement:
- Clarity (information conveyed in an understandable way)
- Organization (information is well organized)
- Shorter sentences
- Shorter paragraphs
- Bullet points for lists
- Bold text to emphasize words
- Great grammar and spelling
Master Headlines & Meta Descriptions
The headline is your first impression—and we all know first impressions count. With your headline, you hook your reader into wanting to read more. Don’t ruin a perfectly good piece of content with a mediocre headline. Make it clear, engaging, and use the right keywords. In addition to a great headline, make sure your meta descriptions are attention-grabbing too. Along with titles, they show up in search results, so they impact your click-through rate (CTR).
Use Rich Content
Statistically, content with images tends to perform better than content without images. However, this doesn’t mean you should fill your content with overused videos or stock images. Be strategic and use professional and relevant images that add value to your content. In 2020, structured data is becoming increasingly important for search engine ranking. Structured data markup is the code you can apply to various elements of a page to give extra information to search engines. This can cause rich results to appear in search results. Rich results are the visuals that show up in SERP results like listings with star ratings, thumbnail images, and other embellishments.
In recent times Google has been favouring content that is credible, authoritative, and shows expertise. Such content ranks high. If you’re not an expert or authority in your field, don’t despair. Just produce quality content that people want to read and share. Invest in research, building natural links, and being consistent with your content. In time you will build trust and credibility, and Google will start to favour you.
Start implementing these steps for your SEO content, and your content will be read, shared, and ranked. For more tips or questions about SEO, contact us today.