Writing for SEO can be challenging. Not only does your content need to be informative and provide value to the reader, but you also need to format the copy appropriately for SEO.
Familiarizing yourself with SEO writing best practices will make it easier to develop quality content for your website. Here are some of the most important best practices for SEO writing to keep in mind.
SEO content optimization tips
Remember the human
The most important thing to remember when writing for SEO is to make your content engaging and informative for the reader. It can be easy to get so caught up in your keyword placement and formatting that it negatively affects the quality of your copy.
However, your writing is going to be most effective when you put the reader ahead of the search engine. Google and other search engines have very sophisticated algorithms to identify high-quality content, so focusing your effort on quality will also improve your rankings. Take a step back from your content and read it with fresh eyes to make sure it provides good value for the reader.
Link to respected sources where appropriate
Links are a very important part of SEO. When writing for SEO, get in the habit of including source links to support your facts. Be thoughtful when choosing sites to link to – they should be highly relevant to your topic, and they also should be sites that have established a good reputation. You should also link to other pages on your website – internal links make your website easier to browse and are favored by search engines.
Use words and phrases related to your main keyword topic
A great way to drive traffic to your site is to use multiple keywords that are related to each other. This increases the chances of consumers finding your site and indicates to Google that your content is highly relevant and provides topical value.
Having a variety of short and long-tail keywords will make this strategy most effective. If you are unsure of the best keywords to add to your content, you can use one of the many free keyword generation tools available online, such as Ahrefs, WordStream and Rank Tracker. Depending on the length of your page, include your main keyword two to six times, as well as other relevant keywords and phrases just once.
Add title tags, subheadings, and meta descriptions
When writing any content for SEO, get in the habit of creating a title tag using your keywords, as well as several subheading tags throughout the article. Google looks at titles and subheadings first for relevance, so this is a very easy way to improve your on-page SEO and rankings.
Your meta description is also incredibly important. This is the short description that shows up underneath the title of your website in a search engine listing. You should write a meta description for every page of content, taking care to include your keywords. The meta description is also a great opportunity to grab the attention of the reader and draw them in, so make it catchy and dynamic.
Add relevant photos or videos
A great way to add richness and value to your page is to incorporate photos, videos and other graphics. They add quality to your page and make it much more attractive to the reader and the search engine. If you don’t have your own videos or graphics to add to your web page, there are many online photo libraries that provide attribution free images. Some popular online photo libraries include Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. Be sure to name your image tags in a way that describes them accurately, as search engines will also look at the names of the files on your page.
When creating web content, it’s always important to keep SEO in mind. Using these best practices will help your content rank highly, but it will also make your content more readable for potential customers.
Best practices and tips for SEO copywriting
Make no mistake: reader-centered content is the next big thing. Therefore, if you are on a mission to grow your readership, then you will need to figure out how to get smarter with your content creation.
When you tailor your SEO content to address what your readers are looking for, the benefits will be gigantic. This is why you need to master SEO guidelines for writing content.
One of the greatest challenges webmasters and internet marketers face is creating content that is optimized for Google. Here are five guidelines that will help you create search engine optimized content for your website.
1. Create content for the right people with targeted keywords
However great your content is, it will not reach the intended readers if you do not optimize it with targeted search terms.
So, what does “targeted search terms” mean?
Well, these are the keywords and search phrases that your readers are actively searching for. In order to find these phrases, you must start by understanding the following:
- Your audience segment
- The kind of information they are looking for
- Why they are looking for this information, and
- The search terms they are using to find this information.
Check out this article on best practices for SEO writing.
While this may seem like a lot, it really does not have to be if you break it down into these three activities:
- Audience research
- Keyword research
- Topic research
2. Pay attention to readability
A search engine optimized post that appears at the top of SERPs has a couple of things going for it, including this crucial feature: it is amazingly readable.
When a reader clicks on your post, every single element of it should make them want to read through to the end. And as they stay and read through, this gives your page a great impression on Google.
It gives the impression, “Hey, this post is relevant to the search query! The reader has found the information they are looking for!”
This signal is known as the dwell time – or, the duration that passes between the point when a user clicks on your post and the point when they get back to the results page.
Content’s readability has a direct correlation with the dwell time, and it is determined by the following:
To be readable, your content should convey factual information in an understandable way. And the more understandable your content is, the more readers will stay on your page, bookmark and share it, and the higher your page will rank on Google and other major search engines.
3. Delve deeper in your content
One of the major SEO trends has been creating content that delves deeper and farther into a topic. This is bound to continue because it intensifies focus on content’s quality.
So, what goes into creating a deeper content? Check out these SEO copywriting tips below:
- Creating long-form blog posts – think 800 words or more (quality over quantity is always ideal)
- Creating ultimate guides or eBooks
- Exploring topics that have several angles and facets
- Going a little further than basic research.
4. Improve your page’s loading speed
A simple, yet important way to improve your site’s SEO: improving your page’s loading speed.
Work on ensuring that your webpages and content fully load and display faster. Remember, the slower your pages load, the more frustrated your readers will be – and this is the last thing you want if you hope to compete in the online marketplace. No one wants to sit around waiting for a webpage to load. In fact, most users tend to click out of a page within 15-25 seconds.
5. Invest in quality visuals
According to a recent study, content that contains quality images enjoy up to 94 percent more views than content that have no images.
This is because people are inherently wired to take note of images and respond to them. Your post will look more professional, attractive and authoritative if you include the right images in it. Therefore, it is a great idea to invest in quality images for better SEO.
SEO copywriting tips for better rankings
Having great content on your site is one of the best ways to drive brand loyalty and recognition and ultimately make sales. However, in order for your content to connect with potential customers, they need to be able to find it. That’s where a good SEO strategy comes in – it drives higher rankings on Google and other search engines to improve your web traffic.
Here are some additional SEO copywriting tips to make your content more search engine friendly without sacrificing quality.
Use bullet points and subheadings
Search engines prioritize content that is easy to read and can be skimmed quickly. Even the most interested consumers don’t necessarily have time to read long pages of information. Split your SEO content up using plenty of subheadings and bullet points, and keep your paragraphs short. This will get your point across more effectively while keeping things search engine friendly.
Keywords are the basis of any good SEO plan, and you’ll need to include them in your content in order to rank. However, if you put your keywords into your content too many times or in places that don’t make sense, it can actually backfire. Ultimately, your copy needs to be written to appeal to humans, and customers don’t want to scroll through clunky content.
Many search engines also now use their algorithms to filter out pages that overuse keywords. Google’s main goal is to find the most relevant and useful information for a given search, and overusing keywords reduces the quality of the information you’re providing.
Go in-depth to answer your readers’ questions
Your pages will rank better when you make an effort to fully answer the questions your readers are searching for. Don’t be afraid to cover relevant subtopics and answer questions in detail. Not only does this make your page much more valuable in terms of information, but it also gives you an opportunity to rank for a broad range of relevant keywords.
The key here is to make sure your content truly provides value and is easy to digest. If you aren’t sure about the questions your readers are searching for, use keyword research tools to get more information on how people are using search engines. Many of the most common searches people make are questions, and thoroughly answering them can get you into Google’s good graces.
Look at content that’s already ranking
One of the best ways to succeed with SEO is to look at your most successful competitors and take your cues from them in terms of formatting, keyword usage, and link building. Of course, you never want to directly copy another piece of content, but you can identify what’s working well for your competitors and implement similar strategies.
Additionally, you should look at your competitors’ weak points and aim to address these with your own content. These weak points are an opportunity for you to improve and get ahead in the search engine rankings.
Regarding link building, you can perform link building analysis to get an idea of how to strengthen your off-page SEO program. See our article on off-page SEO techniques for more insights.
Create content people will want to share and link to
Linking is a very important part of SEO – search engines notice pages that are highly linked to. When you’re writing, think about the type of content that you would be compelled to share. Buzzy titles paired with truly informative content will compel readers to share on social media. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re including both internal and external links in your content as well.
When creating copy for SEO purposes, it’s important to think about readability and value first. When you create informative and entertaining content that readers love, search engines will reward you with high rankings.
In the coming years, SEO content optimization will be all about readership. Therefore, if you are hoping to improve your content marketing and realize real SEO ROI, then you need to master these SEO guidelines for writing content. With these guidelines, you will create highly-ranked content that generates the desired traffic for your SEO campaign.