Do you need to improve your website’s search engine rankings? SEO content writing is a great way to do that. It can help you get more traffic and increase conversions, which will ultimately lead to more revenue for your business.
You want to be found online! Creating SEO Content and building an authoritative website and brand can position your pages on the top of the organic search results. This guide will show you how to write SEO content to rank on Google and the major search engines.
SEO Content Goals
Before we get into how to write SEO-optimized content, let’s look at some of the goals of this kind of writing. Your SEO knowledge doesn’t have to be intensive to achieve your goals, nor do you have to be a skilled SEO writer to get started. Here are some of the benefits of improving your skills as an SEO writer.
1. Increase organic traffic to your site
2. Improve conversion rates
3. Build brand awareness
4. Help build authority in your niche
5. Make sure your piece of content is useful to visitors
6. Create an online presence that will help you stand out in the crowd
7. Get more links back to your piece of content
8. Gain more social shares
9. Promote yourself as an expert in your field
10. Grow your email list
11. Generate leads
12. Drive sales
13. Increase conversions
14. Increase engagement with your audience
15. Attract new customers
16. Keep existing customers coming back
17. Create a strong reputation
18. Become a thought leader in your industry
19. Stand out among competitors
20. Be seen by people who are searching for what you offer
21. Be found by people who want what you sell
22. Stay relevant
How to Write SEO Optimized Content
66% of all clicks go to the top 3 search engine results. (neilpatel.com)
Now that we know what we’re looking for, let’s take a closer look at how to start with SEO content creation.
Major Search engines like Google and Bing use algorithms to determine which websites they should rank higher than others. The way you write your articles, and how you include SEO content optimization, play a huge role in how well your site ranks and how much search traffic you earn. So if you want to make sure your article gets noticed, here are some elements of SEO copywriting to keep in mind when creating content from scratch:
Create Relevant Content You Can Compete With
In most cases, the SEO articles created by the most authoritative website, which often has the most quality referring domains (backlinks), win the top spot on the search engine results page. Therefore, it’s imperative that you choose topics that have ranking pages on the SERP with domain authority scores similar to your own.
Using a free tool like the Moz Toolbar, or Ubersuggest, you can find these scores. If you use the chrome extension, you can see the domain authority scores for pages ranking for your target keyword.
Focus on long-tail keywords that have 4-5 words making up a phrase. Using a keyword difficulty score like the one from SEMrush or Ubersuggest, you can see how the long-tail keyword would be easier to rank for. Generally, this score is determined by the competition pages and their backlink profile.
– Blog (Seed Keyword) – (86 Keyword Difficulty Score = Very hard to rank for)
– – How to Blog (66 KD Score)
– – – How To Blog For SEO (13 KD Score)
Satisfy User Intent
Search engine optimization starts with understanding what the user for is looking for. When users visit your website, they expect to find something specific. They don’t just want to read about general information; they want to learn something new. That’s why it’s important to focus on satisfying user search intent, rather than simply creating generic content.
Type your target keyword or topic into Google. Look over the results. If you see video ranking at the top, the user is probably looking for video. If a shopping carousel appears, the user is most likely looking to buy something. An informational blog post might have a hard time competing with a shopping carousel, as it misses the keyword intent.
It’s important to analyze the page one rankings to determine what the user is probably looking to discover. Google is giving us the map already, but showing us these results.
While you can improve on the content ranking on page one, you’ll want to stay in line with the type of content that is already ranking.
If you see several listicles, it’s a good indicator that you should publish a listicle as well.
The better you do at matching the search intent, the lower your bounce rates will be which is a quality signal to Google.
Create Long-Form Content
Long-form content is generally considered to be anything longer than 1000 words. Long-form content must be part of your SEO writing content strategy. This includes blog posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, webinars, podcasts, etc. The goal of creating long-form content is to provide value to readers and increase the chances of them clicking through to your website.
You can assume that you’ll need to be in that range or better to rank for that keyword. It’s not about stuffing in words, as word count isn’t counted by Google. Instead, the word count is an indicator as to how deep you need to dive into the topic to be able to compete on the search engines.
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of creating SEO content. Before you start writing, think about what keywords you’d like to target. You can do keyword research using tools such as Google AdWords, Moz, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and other paid services.
If you don’t have time to spend doing keyword research, you can also use free tools like Google Trends and Google Suggest. These two tools allow you to enter a few words or phrases and see where those terms are trending.
They won’t tell you exactly what keywords you need to focus on, but they’ll give you a good idea of whether there’s demand for certain topics.
Search volume is also important as it helps determine how much traffic you might earn from a keyword.
Rather than optimizing content for a broad keyword that is usually a single word or two, look for keyword phrases that are more niche-focused. Keyword phrases with 3 or more words are referred to as a long-tail keywords. Nearly all searches performed on Google are long-tail keyword phrases.
When creating a new topic cluster, I like to use a Google spreadsheet and create a list of keyword ideas, their search volume, keyword difficulty, and estimated value. I use the cost per click or CPC data to estimate the keyword value. Keyword variations can often produce more opportunities and less competition. When looking at a competitive keyword, make a list of the keyword variations to find the long-tail keywords with less competition.
Write For Humans First
People aren’t going to read long blocks of text unless it’s something they care about. If you try to cram too much information in there, no one will find it interesting. Instead, break up your text into smaller chunks and add visuals whenever possible.
You can use infographics, pictures, videos, and other types of media to draw readers’ attention to your content.
When you’re ready to publish, make sure you preview your work before publishing it. This will ensure that all of the formatting looks right and that nothing is missing.
Become the Expert
To compete in a competitive space with SEO content writing, you’ll need to become an expert on a particular topic. The more relevant content that you create within a niche, the easier your authority will be to build. It’s important to collect testimonials, ratings, and reviews on 3rd party websites, and have active social channels such as Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Create Many Types of Content
Consider creating many types of SEO content on your website. A content mix should include:
Listicles – Lists of things that people want to know. Examples include “10 Ways To Make Money Online” or “5 Tips To Increase Your Website Traffic”.
How-to Guides – How-to guides explain step-by-step instructions on how to perform tasks. They usually contain screenshots, images, and video tutorials.
Case Studies – Case studies show how businesses solved problems. They’re useful when you’re trying to prove that your business has been successful at solving similar problems.
Informational Articles – Informational articles provide facts and statistics about a specific topic. They’re great if you’re looking to educate your audience about a new product or service.
Press Releases – Press releases are used to announce newsworthy events. They’re usually short and focused on providing details about a single event.
White Papers – White papers are long documents that outline a company’s
Product Reviews – Product reviews are written by customers who’ve purchased products. They’re often written by popular bloggers who review different products.
A content bucket could include as many as 25 different types of SEO content that contain a mix of informational content, and commercial content.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
Mobile users account for over half of searches done through their smartphones. That means if you want to be found, you need to optimize your website so it works great on mobile devices.
To do this, you need to make sure that your pages load quickly, that images are optimized, and that the overall design is easy to navigate.
This isn’t just true for mobile search — it applies to desktop searches as well.
Your goal is to provide a seamless experience for both mobile and desktop users.
Master Content Quality
While content quality includes metrics such as readability, and page load time, the quickest way to determine quality content is to measure how useful it is. In Google’s search quality guidelines, it mentions the world helpful 122 times. Therefore useful = helpful = content quality.
Use Headings and Subheadings
Headings and subheadings help organize your content and make it easier for visitors to scan through your page. They also make your content more readable.
The best headings are ones that are descriptive and include keywords. Keep your headings short, concise, and intriguing.
Your main headline (the H1) should be the first thing people see when they visit your page. Subheads (h2s) should appear above each section of content. Use the appropriate SEO title tags when optimizing your page. Your SEO plugin should allow you to create a specific SEO title tag.
Use Visual Content
Images are great ways to grab attention and increase engagement. They also improve the user experience by making it easier for them to understand what you’re talking about.
But not every image needs to be accompanied by text. In fact, many of the best images stand alone without any accompanying text.
For example, an infographic with lots of data doesn’t necessarily require any text at all. But if you want to explain how an image was created, you may need to add a caption.
Check out Canva for creating great infographics, and blog photos.
Employ an Internal Linking Strategy
Internal linking helps search engines understand the relationships between different parts of your site. It also makes it easier for users to navigate around your site. Using anchor text with an accurate description, you can highlight a particular set of words, and link it to another relevant page on your website where the user can learn more. This internal linking strategy can increase the time the user spends on your website and the number of pages viewed which is also a quality signal to Google. If you create valuable content and provide links as resources, your pages could rank higher.
Publish in Topic Clusters
If you have a lot of similar topics or ideas, consider grouping them together in clusters. For example, this article is part of my content marketing cluster. Inside the topic cluster, the related articles link to one another helping to create a relationship that Google understands, and the reader appreciates.
The primary goal of a topic cluster is to rank one pillar cost for the primary keyword and the content cluster pages for long-tail keywords related to the topic. One of the key elements of SEO copywriting is understanding the relationship between pages, and how to include internal links within the cluster. The cluster pages help achieve the ultimate goal of ranking for a competitive term.
Include Valuable Outbound Links
Outbound links are external links pointing outside of your domain name. These types of links aren’t as important as internal links because they don’t tell Google anything about your site. However, they still play an important role in building trust and authority.
You can use these links to point readers to other relevant resources, like blogs and forums. You can also use them to link to other websites that offer valuable information.
Create Unique Titles for Each Post
Article titles are incredibly important for SEO. They should describe what the post is about and contain keywords. When writing page titles, keep in mind that shorter titles tend to perform better than longer ones. Also, avoid using plurals or misspellings. This will lead to duplicate content penalties. Headlines are often used to draw clicks. That means they should be compelling and interesting.
I’m a fan of using a headline creator like the one included in the AI writing tool called Jarvis. A true content marketer understands the power of a great headline to improve the content rank.
Backlinks are links pointing to your webpage from other websites. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your ranking will generally be. You can gain backlinks organically, by creating compelling content with statistics, case studies, and infographics. You can guest blog on other related, authoritative websites to generate backlinks. You can perform backlink outreach and ask for links.
Use Schema Markup
Schema markup allows webmasters to provide additional details about their website. This includes things such as page title, description, and meta tags. Schema is a programming language that tells search engine crawlers which elements of a webpage are most important. By including schema markup, you’re telling Google exactly what each element of your page does.
This helps search engines better understand your pages and help them rank them appropriately. To learn more about schema markup, check out our guide here.
Schema markup is easy when you use a plugin like All In One SEO, or Yoast SEO.
Add Structured Data
Structured data is made up of snippets of code that allow search engines to better understand your content. It provides a way for search engines to see the same data you do. For example, a table of contents, recipe, list, or FAQ would be examples blog content that is structured data.The content type will determine what type of structured data to include.
Include a FAQ
A FAQ section is a great place to include all of your frequently asked questions. Search engines love FAQs because it’s quick way to answer common questions. If you are using the YOAST Premium plugin, you can use the FAQ widget to create a content block on your WordPress website. Informational keywords can be included as part of a glossary as well.
Master Your Content Format
Content format refers to how you organize your content into sections. There are three main formats: bulleted lists numbered lists, and headers. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Use bullet points if you want to emphasize key points and make sure your reader doesn’t get lost in the text. Numbers are useful for ordering items within a list. Headers are helpful for breaking down long paragraphs into smaller chunks.
The best way to master your content format is to practice. Once you’ve mastered one type of content, try another.
Sources are another type of structured data that gives search engines insight into how reliable your content is. You can add sources to articles, press releases, and other pieces of content.
For example, if you write a news article, you could add a source at the bottom of the article listing where you got the facts.
You can create a nofollow link in order to not pass link equity to the external page, although it might be beneficial to include one or two follow links for credibility.
Optimize your Meta Description
The meta description is an area that a content marketer might overlook. However, it has a big impact on how your page appears in SERPs. When a query is performed, the searcher is introduced to a search engine results page (SERP). Most users will only take a moment to scan the SERP and make a decision on which snippet to click on. The meta description often appears as a short summary as to what the page is about. Make sure that you optimize this area of your site to increase your click-through rate.
It should be short and concise and explain what your page is about. Include relevant keywords so that Google knows what your page is about without having to read the entire thing.
Optimize for a Focus Keyword
When using an SEO strategy, your primary keyword should be used in your blog title, the intro paragraph, a subheading, the URL, with an image, and in the final paragraph. If you are using an SEO Plugin, you can often optimize for a 2nd and even 3rd relevant keyword. Today, Google is much smarter, however, and doesn’t depend on keyword placement to determine what the content is about. You can rank in organic search results for hundreds of search queries and not even mention them on a page if Google can determine how they are semantically related. That’s the power of SEO Content writing.
- Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2021)
- Google Search Central : Irrelevant Keywords and Keyword Stuffing
- Google Search Central: : Better page titles in search results
- searchenginejournal.com: Over 25% of People Click the First Google Search Results
- thesitewizard.com: How to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking on Google (thesitewizard.com)
Relevant content is information that answers a specific question. This includes blog posts, product descriptions, and anything else that has a clear purpose.
An SEO content strategy is a methodical approach to creating high-quality content that helps Google understand what your website is all about. It involves creating unique, useful, and informative content that helps visitors learn more about your business.
SEO content is helpful because it allows your website to rank higher in the search engines. In addition, it provides visitors with valuable information they need to make smart decisions when choosing products or services from your company.
On-page optimization refers to the process of improving the way your website looks and functions. For example, if you have a poorly designed website, then you can improve its appearance by making changes like adding images and videos. You can also add new pages or change old ones to better reflect your brand identity.
Off-page optimizations are things you do outside of your website that help influence how well it performs in search rankings. The most popular off-page strategy is gaining backlinks.
Search engine optimization is the practice of optimizing your site so that it ranks highly in search results. When people type certain words into a search box, their browser sends those words to a server called a “search engine.” The search engine returns a list of websites that match the terms typed in the search box.
An SEO content writer creates content for your website that helps Google understand what it’s all about. They create unique, useful, and informational content that helps visitors learn about your business.
Organic links are links that appear naturally on a webpage without any paid promotion. A link may be natural because it was added by another website owner or it may be paid. Paid links are often used to increase a website’s visibility in search engines.
Digital marketing is the use of digital tools to promote brands and businesses. This could include email, text messaging, mobile apps, video ads, etc.
A search query is a request made by a person using a search engine. Examples of common queries include: “best restaurant near me,” “best pizza delivery near me,” and “best dog food.”
SEO copywriting is writing content for a website that optimizes it for search engines. This means that it contains keywords and phrases that will attract readers who are looking for similar information.
The primary keyword is the most important word on a page. If you want to optimize your web pages for search engines, then you must know which keywords are the best fit for each page.
Secondary keywords are related to primary keywords. They are usually found within the same sentence as the primary keyword.
Search engine algorithms determine where a website appears in the search results. There are many different types of algorithms, including PageRank, Panda, Hummingbird, and RankBrain.
Backlinks are hyperlinks pointing back to your website. Backlinks are very important to search engines because they indicate popularity and trustworthiness.
You can get more backlinks by creating original content that others find interesting. Also, if you have a popular blog, you can ask bloggers to mention your website in their posts.
Search terms are the words people enter when searching for something on the Internet. For example, someone might type “pizza” into a search box. The search intent is probably to order Pizza.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.