SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, involves putting together the right pieces that make web pages look more attractive to search engines as a means to boost traffic. There are several factors to how search engines rank your website and its pages, for SEO writing specifically, they look at how your content is using specific targeted keywords that the search engines use to rank you within the search engine results page or SERP.
The number one challenge when it comes to writing for SEO is finding the balance between writing the content to help it rank higher and also still be interesting to the readers.
Getting Started with Writing SEO Content
1.) Choosing keywords
Before you can even start to write, you need to decide which keywords you want to focus on. Target specific keywords help you to rank for these search queries. SEO is about having a set strategy, so choosing your terms before writing is essential. Here are a few quick tips on how to choose your keywords:
- Brainstorm and write down topics that are relevant to your business.
- Research the competition.
- Incorporate long-tail keywords to your list.
- Research deeper to find the best keywords with keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner.
2.) Choosing which keywords to target, and how often in the page content
Once you have a final list of keywords, then you can use this information in lots of places in your content. Your keywords should be placed in places such as the title of your page as well as the SEO title. The SEO title may be slightly different from your actual page title. Google uses both of these titles as a starting point for the content’s relevance.
Another location to place your keywords is within the meta description. Without you deliberately providing one then the search engines will automatically make one from the first 160 characters of your content.
You’ll also want to use keywords and related terms throughout your content. Avoid keyword stuffing, though it’s considered a black hat SEO tactic and will backfire. Have your main keyword in mind and then use variations. When you’re done, check back to see if you can include additional semantic keywords without compromising readability and content effectiveness.
Related: What are External Links and How To Use Them.
3.) Determining the length of your article
Technically, there is no official minimum for blog post length, though Yoast SEO recommends at least 300 words. This length gives search engines plenty of keywords and text to crawl and helps them understand what your blog is about. The content length should depend on the user query and what your reader needs to see. That means plan on conducting some competitive research before you start writing.
SEO writing is more than shoving keyphrases into the content. It is smart to see what the current positioning is. This way, you can develop a writing strategy and make your content even better.
Although the word count should be based on the content, it is a general consensus that the more content per page, the more clues search engines have to figure out what your blog is about. The longer your blog post, the greater it’s chance of appearing in the top search engine results. SerpIQ found that the 10th position pages have 400 fewer words than 1st position pages. Longer posts will rank more easily for your target keyword.
Basically, you want to write exactly the amount of words that it takes to answer your consumer’s questions and be of value to them. Simply trying to fluff a page full of content just to meet a certain word-count requirement will eventually deter your readers from actually staying on the page as it is more than what they asked for. In addition, it won’t help boost your Google rankings.
Plus, since we’ve seen that shorter copy can still position, there’s no percentage for adding more content. Focus on answering the query, instead.
4.) How to find more content ideas
One unique way to find more ideas for your content is to use the related search terms in Google. This process is a great way to fill out your content and is also great if you’re struggling to think of more keywords that your audience might be searching for about a specific topic. You can find this by taking a look at the related search terms that appear when you put in a keyword into the Google search bar.
When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.
Another area in SEO that you might want to focus on when building your site is page speed optimization.