Writing content optimized for SEO is all about adding value to your target audience and providing useful information to resolve a particular problem your customers are facing. However, creating content that is optimized for SEO can be quite challenging.
You need to understand user intent, know the keywords you want to rank for, and consider Google’s algorithm. The magic happens when you make your website authoritative enough to help you to rank higher in search engines.
Since there are many aspects of SEO optimization in this article, we are going to focus on the writing process. Here we will shed light on the technical aspect of SEO.
Keywords Research Should Follow Best Practices
When writing a piece of content, you need to optimize your keywords for your target audience. Otherwise, your content won’t reach the right people. The keywords you want to rank for are those your audience in your niche are actively searching for.
To find the right keywords, you should understand perfectly:
- Your target audience – who are they?
- What are the problems you need to solve?
- What kind of information do they need?
- Which keywords and phrases do they use when searching in Google?
There are probably countless tools for keyword research out there – free and paid.
Among the most popular ones are:
- Google keyword planner
- Answer The Public
- LSI Graph
When searching for keywords for your topics, you need to consider the following data:
- Search volume – Shows the number of searches the keyword has
- SEO difficulty – Estimated competition in organic search
- Paid difficulty – Estimated competition in paid search
- Cost per click – Average cost per click for an ad in Google
A pro tip is to check the related keyword section, as well as the questions. This will give you more topics, ideas and insight on the words you can use for your content.
Optimize Your Content for Search Robots
You need to write naturally and use the language your customers speak. However, you need to consider optimizing your content for search engine robots.
They are also called crawlers and spiders and they are machines that constantly scan the web looking for content. For your content to rank in Google, you need to make sure its crawlers can index your pages. When the Google bots “save” your content in their database, your content is indexed.
Once a user types a search query, Google will consider the relevant keywords and provide the relevant page for digging in its database.
How to write in a way that search engines will index your content?
- Add your primary keywords in title tags and meta description
- Use your main keywords early on in your content if possible
- Use related keywords
The keyword location is important for search engines, and if you can add your target keywords at the beginning of the content, this will put more weight on your page.
However, if this doesn’t make sense for your content, don’t use this strategy. What matters most is to write naturally and keep the flow going.
Opt for Long-Form Content
The ideal blog post length is about 1500-2000 words. You can experiment with different formats as well as word length and see what works for your customers.
Long-form content has several benefits:
- It provides long-term SEO value to your website.
- You can update the content by adding new information, which will boost your traffic.
- It is a high-quality backlinks magnet. Bloggers will link to your content if it’s comprehensive and adds real value to their target audience.
- It attracts more organic traffic.
- Increase social media shares as readers won’t hesitate to post on their social media channels or share it with friends and colleagues.
- It reduces the bounce rate, as the content is a high-quality piece that users enjoy. They might even stay longer and browse more.
Create Original and Useful Content for Your Target Personas
It might be obvious, but valuable and original content always ranks high. It’s essential to add variety to your content because this way it’ll be more attractive to your readers.
Consider your target audience and try different formats. Some people like videos, others prefer to read long-form content, others might be more interested in infographics.
Here’s a quick list of content ideas to try and engage your audience better:
- Industry news
- Events related to your niche
- Freebies – checklists, eBooks
- Interactive content
- Case studies
- Interviews or expert round-ups
- Surveys and polls
- Guest posts
- Curated content
A variety of engaging content combined with good writing is great for your SEO and your rankings.
Mind the Text Structure and Focus on Readability
People scan posts. They won’t read the whole article to the very end unless they need that information. Usually, they will search for particular parts and get the information they need.
That’s why your job is to make it easy for them to find the relevant information insight into your article:
- Separate different ideas in paragraphs
- Add bullet points and lists
- Write in a clear and understandable way
- Have your content well organized
Write Unique Titles, Descriptions and Headlines
Title tags, meta description and headlines are some of the most critical elements of your writing. You might create valuable content, but if you haven’t optimized your title tags and headlines, your efforts will be in vain.
Title tags and headlines are relevant because this is the first thing the user sees when typing into Google. That’s why you need to write them in a way they will stand out.
You need to create an attractive title that will make users click on your page and spend more time browsing around.
A few SEO copywriting tips to follow in order to create engaging titles tags and headlines:
- Ask questions and actionable titles
- Use your brand name if it’s well-known
- Mind the title length
- Don’t stuff with keywords
- Create unique titles
- Write for your customers
- Put the main keywords first
This is important because search engines tend to pay attention to the terms you use in your title tag and also early on in your content.
If it’s possible try to start with your keywords and you want to rank for. It won’t make sense for every single content you build, but use the technique always when you can.
Create Visuals and Optimize Images for SEO
Images, infographics, short videos or any other visuals will make your content attractive and boost your engagement. This is a way to illustrate and highlight your ideas of your article.
They have added value because they are more likely to be shared on social media.
What do you need to know about optimizing images? A properly-optimized image with alt texts will help your pages to rank higher.
How to optimize your images?
- Compress your images. This will make your webpage faster and thus your ranking. A simple way to do that is with TinyPNG.
- Name your images with descriptive Alt texts. This will make it easier for Google to read their names and understand the image.
Use Internal Linking
Internal linking is an easy and essential SEO practice. The idea is to link one page on your website to another one.
As you know, search engine crawlers use links to discover new content. When you create a new article in your blog you need to link it to your existing ones. Otherwise, your new article can stay “orphaned” which means no links lead to it, hence no traffic.
To link your articles, you can use keyword anchor text, which will help Google understand what the page is about.
Track Your Results With the Google Search Console
A Google Search Console is a necessary setup to keep an eye on your rankings and improve your SEO optimization. You can monitor if your pages have been indexed by Google and receive alerts if problems occur.
Some of the reports that will be useful for you are:
- Performance. This report lets you know how many people see and click on your site in Google search. There you can also see the keywords people use to find your content. You can get really useful insights on the keywords you are ranking for and see if your SEO efforts are working.
- Coverage. The report shows you which pages have been indexed by Google. This is where you can see any errors or warnings so that you can fix them as soon as possible.
If you are ready to skyrocket your content, follow the above-listed best practices for creating SEO-friendly content. These are basic principles, but they are important and if you don’t follow them, it might significantly impact your rankings.
Start with understanding your users’ intent and the relevant keywords they are using. This will help you write natural content using the language your customers use.
However, don’t forget about the search engine’s language as this directly affects where you appear in any given search.