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6 Tips for the Best SEO Writing To Win Clients
Digital marketers have long known the benefits of search engine optimization — it is often the bulk of the job to get the website as highly ranked for relevant search terms as possible. The value of good quality content is also well known: this might include the landing pages that the search results lead to, it could be the social media posts used to boost brand awareness, or it could be articles and blog posts that make you and your company seem trustworthy and convey expertise.
SEO writing is when you combine those two disciplines. For example, you have a finely crafted post or blog that is built around specific search terms, designed to convince and convert your reader, while also ‘speaking’ to the search algorithms that rank you.
1. Pick a Subject That Your Visitors Actually Care About
It can be tempting to lean too far into the SEO part of SEO writing and forget that your copy needs to be engaging, informative, and well-written. This starts with subject selection: you need to write articles that your ideal customer/visitor would find interesting. You can find good topics related to your industry in a number of ways — you probably already have a good idea of at least a couple of common questions that you are asked, so you can always start with answering those. Next, look at questions and answer forums online (Reddit, Quora, Yahoo! Answers, etc.) and search around your industry to find out what people are interested in.
Those methods can be time-consuming and, depending on your industry and sector, might have varied results. There are other tools you can use, both paid and free, that can help you with a more structured search. SEMrush has a paid-for feature that drills down into topic volumes and can be used as a jumping-off point for blog and article posts, while ‘Answer the Public’ is a good free alternative.
2. Keyword Research
Now that you know what you want to write about, you need to pick out some keywords and phrases that the type of visitor/reader is likely to use in a search engine to find your finished article. This is keyword research, and, if done correctly, is the difference between a high-traffic article and your content disappearing into the ether, never to be seen or read again.
You can use a variety of tools to conduct your keyword research, and they all work in relatively the same manner — you put a term in the search box, and the tool will deliver a range of results for keywords associated with that term. So if you are running a bakery, for example, then your search terms might include ‘bakery.’ That would then yield results including what people are searching for most around that term — likely to be along the lines of ‘bakery near me,’ ‘local bakery,’ ‘how do I open a bakery,’ ‘top bakeries,’ etc. These will be displayed for you alongside search volumes: the higher the volume, the more that specific phrase is being searched for.
3. Build Your Content Around Your Keywords
Often, it can be tempting to write out your article and then go back over it to add in the relevant keywords that you want to rank highly for. This can work (for a lot of the more common searches associated with your industry, you will likely have naturally incorporated some of the keywords without trying); however, your article will flow much better and be more natural for the reader if you write the text with the keywords already in mind.
In reference to where exactly to place your keywords, it is good practice to focus on headings (H1 and H2), URLs, title tags, and the first few paragraphs of your writing, as well as any meta tags for images or other media.
4. Consider Intent
Intent refers to what the searcher wanted when they conducted the search. When they typed ‘cream cake’ into that Google bar, were they looking to buy a cream cake, trying to find a recipe to make their own, or looking for nutritional or health information? You need to understand the motive behind the search so that you can correctly answer it — and therefore rank highly for that search intent.
5. Go Into Detail
Longer content typically ranks higher within the Google algorithm than shorter pieces. There are a number of reasons for this, chief among them the fact that longer content is more likely to meet the needs of the visitor — and user experience is always the cornerstone of any SEO activity. Avoid falling into the trap of repeating yourself, overexplaining, or padding out your copy though: your content still needs to be engaging, accurate, and of interest to your reader, otherwise you will not get any traction from it.
6. Build Links
Link building is an essential part of good search engine optimization; so while you are writing your content, you should take the opportunity to place two or three strategic internal links. This serves everyone well — you get more visitors to other pages on your site, your visitor has an easy way to navigate to other areas of interest (assuming your links are topic adjacent), and the search algorithm can index and understand your website better.
You can (and should) also place some links within your text to other sites. This tells the algorithm that you are a trusted source for a broad range of information on the topic — when a user visits that page, they can easily navigate to other sites to truly get all the information that they could possibly need. Be sure to only ever link to trustworthy, high-authority sites; otherwise, you may find yourself being tainted by association if the site you link to is found to lack trust (gambling sites and those of an ‘adult’ nature are particularly bad sites to link to).
SEO writing is not for everyone — it combines two disciplines that both require focus and skill. For the best results, you can speak to the experts at Digital Authority Partners — we can help you create and implement a winning strategy, leaving you with more time to focus on running and growing your operations.