SEO Writing: A Beginner’s Guide
Have you ever spent countless hours wondering how to write SEO content? If you have, welcome; you are in the right place.
In this article, we will talk about essential factors to consider for SEO writing to satisfy both Google and your audience and not fail in the attempt.
Once, a great marketer said that one of the prominent qualities most marketing professionals lack is empathy. And if you give it some thought, it might be the most important one. One of Cambridge’s dictionary definitions for empathy is “the ability to imagine how another person feels”.
How else will you start to understand your market if you don’t try to walk in their shoes for a while?
People think that SEO is about algorithms, strategies, some prayers to Google, and a little bit of madness (and it is true, that’s our life). However, nothing will make any sense if you don’t work thinking about your audience first.
Google, Baidu, Bing, and every other engine you’d like to address all work for the sole purpose of delivering their audiences the best results for what they research. That’s why it’s only logical for everyone who wants to apply SEO on their work should take a similar approach.
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing is creating optimized written content to rank on search engines.
Why is it important?
When you combine the greatness of written content, with SEO, the results are quality content, exposure, and authority.
Not only will you have outstanding written content, but also content people are looking for, and content that the right audience will find, thanks to the techniques and frameworks SEO offers.
Relevance is the Answer
As the first step for SEO content creation, let’s understand search engines for what they are: they are businesses with a product, and their main goal is to deliver the best possible result for a searcher query.
So, in this case, we share a common goal with the search engines: deliver quality content.
Beware of getting lost on the rankings, both the bots and your audience are looking for valuable content.
Next, you will find the fundamental aspects to keep in mind for SEO content writing.
1. Find a Topic with Traffic Potential
Finding the right topic is more than writing about what you love; it also considers addressing a subject that your audience is searching for. Implementing SEO to this process will allow you to find these topics.
Through keyword tools, you will find information like average monthly searches of a word or a phrase, how competitive it is, the number of results, CPC, and other relevant metrics.
This type of data will allow you to make an informed and effective topic decision, which will help you know that you’ll have an audience searching your topic. It’s like starting off on the right foot.
Some of the content writing tools for SEO that are useful to find keywords are:
- SEMrush - Keyword Magic Tool
- Ahrefs - Keywords Explorer
- SEO box - Keyword box
- Moz - Keyword Explorer
- Keywords Everywhere
… Among many others.
2. Who you are writing for: Customer Funnel
As we’ve mentioned already a couple of times in this article, your audience matters. Once you have decided on a topic, take a look at your audience journey funnel and determine who you want to target and how you want to address them. This process will help you define the right approach and content structure.
Remember, the more you approach the bottom of the funnel, the smaller the audience will be.
3. Search Intent
The User Intent or Search intent is the purpose someone is trying to fulfill through a search, the intention behind looking for something on a search engine.
Once you’ve decided on the audience you want to write for; it will be easier for you to think of their search intent. Matching what your audience is looking for is one of SEO writing priorities. We might even say a ranking factor; hence all the effort search engines have invested on their algorithms to satisfy that search intent.
4. Keyword Research
Keywords in SEO are words or phrases that people type in a search box to pull up a result; the search query your audience uses to find something.
You can divide them into three categories:
- Head tail: 1 word
- Middle tail: 2-3 words
- Long tail: 4+ words
The longer the keyword, the more specific the search intention will be.
Take the list of relevant keywords you got on step one and do some research on the audience’s intent has when using those specific keywords. Keep in mind the following criteria: search volume, competitive difficulty, and the number of results. Once you have defined a group of keywords, reinforce that list with synonyms and ancillary keywords that help support the topic, and include them in your SEO writing process.
Avoid stuffing your keywords in your content; use them to build a comprehensive text in the most natural way possible, consistently delivering the best experience to your reader.
5. Visual Appeal
The human brain loves aesthetically pleasing things and is subconsciously attracted to them. SEO content must be appealing and user-friendly. It will help your readers better understand what you write and help search engine bots crawl and interpret your content effectively.
We can start by implementing a logical heading structure, that allows the user to understand the hierarchy and organization of your content.
Another critical factor in making your content visually appealing is including images or videos. Visual elements can explain things with fewer to no words and help break down copy blocks, making the text easier to skim through.
Visual aids help in various ways. It allows your audience to understand the topic you are explaining, and it provides Google with the input it needs to use the most relevant and helpful ones on their image and video search boxes. It’s a win-win situation!
6. How much content do you need?
It is not about a specific number of words on a page anymore. Nowadays, Google’s algorithm is so advanced that the word count is not a priority. Google clearly states that “techniques that don't provide users with substantially unique or valuable content, and are in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines”
When you have expertise and authority on a topic, you won’t deliver it in a 4-line paragraph—the amount of content matters. Focus on writing enough content to keep your audience informed and to show sufficient knowledge and authority on a subject.
Leaving the audience hungry for more, is a quality possessed by only the best writers, but don’t act on it too far. Yes, leave them hungry, but informed and interested as well.
It is all about being relevant.
The last touch
We’re almost there. Now that you’ve written your masterpiece, let’s give it some visibility on the SERPs, shall we?
The title tag and meta description are pieces of HTML code located on the header of the page, and they also appear on the search engine results page.
I’ve always thought of them as your elevator pitch. You’ll only have a few very precise words to convince a user to click on your link, which means more traffic.
Although, there are still many other elements of SEO writing and making your content rank on search engines, like topic clusters, internal linking, and link building, the ones mentioned during this article are the perfect start. Go ahead, give it a chance. See you on page one.
Stephanie is an experienced SEO specialist for Lean Marketing. She is very passionate about Marketing and understanding the customer in all their stages. She loves music and learning about different cultures.