There is a constant focus on SEO writing since content only makes sense when it is visible to the audience. This means that without robust SEO, your content will get lost in the ocean of search engine results.
While the quality of content is of prime importance, not optimizing it for SEO is the one ‘big’ mistake that every new content writer makes.
Since you’re here, we believe you want to up your SEO game. The path to becoming a SEO content writer requires constant efforts and in this post, we are going to tell you exactly what you need to do.
So, if you want your blog posts to rank better and become a source of organic content, then read on!!
SEO Writing: What It Means?
In the digital world, simply creating content will not take you far. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a very important factor that decides how much organic traffic your website gets.
In very simple words, SEO means to optimize your content in a way that it makes it attractive to search engines.
It includes keyword optimization, image optimization, link building, etc. all of which help in creating an authoritative post.
Since there are many aspects that play a part in SEO, taking care of all of them at once can be a challenge.
Therefore, you need to have a SEO content strategy to ensure that your content is created with all SEO best practices in mind.
Following an SEO friendly approach makes sure that your content is ranked higher in search engine results for the targeted keywords.
This helps in building a steady stream of organic traffic to your site / blog, which is one of the most important factor of creating a successful online brand.
How to Write SEO Friendly Content?
Now that you know what SEO is and why is it important, let’s get on to the steps that will help you write optimized content.
These steps “MUST” be included in all content that you write in order to see the results. Also, do understand that SEO is a continuous process and results will take time.
So, without further ado, let us ponder over 10 simple steps that will help you build a robust SEO content strategy.
1. Always Do Keyword Research
Your SEO writing strategy is incomplete without keyword research. Without targeting specific keywords, you cannot expect to get organic traffic.
Also, targeting keywords that have low search volumes is again counterproductive.
Hence, you need to have a keyword research strategy that will help you find the most relevant keywords for your content.
For this, you can use tools like Ubersuggest. These tools also help by telling you the keyword difficulty, search volumes and CPC for the targeted keyword.
They even help with providing related keyword suggestions that can be used instead of the keyword you are targeting.
To find a detailed note on how to use Ubersuggest, read our post on content writing tools here.
2. Avoid Thin Content
Did you know that the average word count of a page that ranks in the first page of Google is 1447 words?
This simply means that for ranking purposes, search engines love content which is detailed and informative.
Data and trends show that long-form content performs better than shorter content in most of the scenarios.
Also, higher word count helps in getting more backlinks when compared to shorter content.
Hence, as a rule of thumb, writers should focus on writing detailed, informative content for better SEO results.
Do not write small posts of 300-400 words and stuff them with keywords to get higher rankings. This simply won’t work.
However, this doesn’t mean that long-form content is always better than short content. There are times when a shorter and more crisp content answers the user query better.
Also, as per the study by Backlinko, there is no direct relation between higher word count and rankings.
It simply says that long-form content has better back linking chances, thereby improving the chance to make it to the first page of SERP.
Make sure you write detailed, well researched and engaging content that provides useful information about the topic you’ve chosen.
Writing good quality long form content will help you build authority and gradually rank better on search engines.
However, do not blindly follow this rule for every content your create. If there are scenarios where a shorter content can do the job, go for it.
3. Structure Your Content With Proper Header Tags
Another important aspect that people talk about when it comes to SEO writing is structure.
A content with clearly defined headers, sub-headers, and bullet points tends to fare well with the readers.
This is because as per a study by Nielsen, people usually do not read the entire content.
In fact, they claim that only 20% of the content is being read on an average.
They just scan and consume the key takeaways from the article.
Hence, structuring your content in the most readable fashion ensures you can provide maximum value to your readers.
4. Write Short Paragraphs
This is another factor that pertains to the readability of the article. It is an important factor since your content is for the people reading it rather than just for the search engine bots.
When a reader lands on your page, the first thing they do is scan the text. They want to know what the post talks about and which points does it cover.
By bifurcating the post into shorter paragraphs, you are able to better address the topics you’re addressing.
This ensures that the reader is able to easily grasp the content and make a decision on whether to stay or leave.
Additionally, by ensuring a readable copy, you make sure that people are able to extract maximum value from your content.
5. Watch Your Sentence Length
Writing long sentences loses the attention of the reader. By writing long, complex sentences, you are negatively impacting the readability of your post.
This is a common mistake that many writers / bloggers make, especially at the start of their careers.
With so much of content available on the internet, your audience is not likely to stick to your site if the sentences are long and complex to read.
Hence, it is very important to watch your sentence length. Use a tool like INK_ to write your content as it will highlight the sentences that are hard to read.
If you write on WordPress, then using an SEO plugin like Yoast can help you optimize the sentence length in your content.
Make sure you write less than 20 words per sentence unless absolutely necessary. As per Yoast, long sentences should not form more than 25% of your content.
6. Avoid Too Much Passive Voice
Did you know limiting the use of passive voice in your content can make your content seem more impactful?
Due to this reason, writing your content in active voice is something that many SEO experts recommend.
Other reasons for using active voice are:
- Passive voice is wordy
- Sentence structure is complex when using passive voice
- Overall, more passive voice results in lower readability score for your content
Plugins like Yoast SEO even have passive voice detectors to help you optimize your content for the same.
Thus, always make sure to use passive voice whenever it is really necessary to do so.
Try to develop a writing style that talks in more active voice and you will slowly avoid encountering this problem altogether.
7. Optimize for 2-3 Keywords
While keyword stuffing is not recommended, there is no rule saying that you cannot optimize your content for 2-3 keywords.
This is especially true when you are writing long-form content as a part of your SEO writing strategy.
Use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, etc. to find out related keywords for your primary keyword.
You can even use Google suggestions to find the related keywords that can be targeted.
Make sure to include these keywords in a natural flow so that they don’t disrupt the user experience.
You can track your keyword optimization by using tools like INK_ (we use it and it is awesome!!). You can also use a plugin like Yoast SEO if you’re working on WordPress.
These tools help you by telling you the number of times the keyword should be used throughout the content.
They also help by suggesting the places where you can include the keyword. For example – in the H2 headers or the first paragraph of the content.
8. Always Add Images
“A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is a phrase all of you must have heard.
The same is true when it comes to digital content as well. Adding images, infographs, graphs, charts, etc. helps in alleviating the quality of your content.
It makes it visually appealing and helps retain visitor’s attention. Additionally, including data backed graphs and charts also increases your authority.
That’s not all. You can even use images to improve your SEO by adding relevant ALT tags. Thus, always ensure to add 1-2 relevant images in your content.
However, make sure that the images blend in with the content flow to not look out of place.
9. Add a Meta Description
This is a mistake that even the experience writers make. A meta description is a vital part of your SEO writing strategy.
It tells the search engine bots what your content is about. Not having a meta description leads to the bots skimming through your content and deciding the theme of the content themselves.
This can prove to be detrimental to your search engine rankings and must be avoided at all costs.
Whenever you create a post, always add a meta description for the same. Make sure to include the primary keyword of the post into the description and be as concise as possible.
A well written meta description will not only make it easy for the bots to rank your content, but also help improve your CTR when people come across the result on their browser.
10. Have an Internal Linking Strategy
The biggest mistake bloggers / writers make is not having an internal linking strategy as a part of their SEO writing.
Internal linking is an important way to help search engines understand the structure of your website.
You can use internal links to establish a hierarchy of your website, telling search engines about the pages that are more important than the others.
This helps bots navigate your site better. It also acts as a means to keep visitors engaged on your site.
To learn more about the importance of link building, you can refer to this article by world famous SEO professional Neil Patel.
As mentioned above, SEO is a time taking and continuous process. By incorporating the above steps into your writing strategy, you can create a robust SEO writing regime for yourself.
Do make sure to follow all the 10 steps in each and every post you create and soon you will start seeing improvement.
Now that you know the way to create an SEO writing strategy, here is what you should do next:
- Learn the art of writing amazing content by reading our post here.
- Tell us about your experience with the above steps and how they helped you.
- Share this content with someone you feel might benefit from it.
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