One of the most fundamental aspects of a successful digital marketing strategy is receiving organic traffic on digital content. The best way to do so is by improving Google rankings. The search engine optimization industry is valued at around $80 billion, which is quite telling of its demand. SEO writing combines art and data science to deliver content that is not only informative but also attention-grabbing. Simply put, it should solve a specific problem and appeal to the end user. Below is a guide explaining the basics of SEO and tips for making this marketing strategy foolproof.
What is SEO Writing?
SEO writing involves the process of content creation with the primary goal of ranking on the first page of search engines. This is done by adding relevant keywords and creating content that primarily answers the users’ questions. Content that is search engine optimized is easily able to crawl its way up to the search engines and is given a better position in the SERP. Without SEO writing, the content may not appear as search engine friendly, and the AI crawlers might not be able to figure out what the content is really about.
SEO Writing: The top 12 Rules for Creating Optimized Content
SEO and content creation go hand-in-hand; without optimization, your webpage may be on page 60 of the search results. Even if your content manages to land on the first page, the quality of the content will determine whether the consumer stays on the page or quickly clicks away. A strong relationship between high-quality content and SEO is integral to ensuring visibility and increased sales. Here are some tips to use when creating optimized content for your webpage.
1. Write for Humans
Before creating SEO content, it is crucial to know your target audience. For instance, the language used to target teenagers will significantly differ from the tone used for entrepreneurs looking for a specific business solution. SEO writing is only one of the components of creating optimized content. Another important element includes backlinking, which significantly attracts consumers from other sites to improve its SEO rankings.
Remember that not all posts need to revolve around your company’s product or service, but they must all be related to the industry. Avoid writing posts that are too salesy and overloaded with keywords and a robotic tone, and instead, create content that connects with the audience and simultaneously provides information and value.
2. Understand Search Engine Algorithm
Google is the most widely-used search engine, which is why it has become extremely important to understand its latest algorithms. They regularly make changes to the algorithm so that the top-quality pages can rank higher on the search engine. Google is mainly concerned with providing the most effective results possible. When you better understand what Google is looking for, it will become much easier to deliver optimized content.
3. Pay Close Attention to the Keywords
Keywords are perhaps one of the most important aspects of properly optimized content. There are thousands of keywords available for every article, but using the right ones can be a little tricky. Cyclically approach these keywords by making three-month segments and then performing new keyword research at the start of each cycle. Like many other digital marketing trends, keywords are also ever-changing. Besides researching the right keywords, it is also important to look at what your competitors are doing. You can search for their keywords and see if it applies well to your products or services. Make sure you are only borrowing the keywords, not the content tone or language, as that can prevent you from creating anything original. Create your voice and stand out from the competition rather than getting lost in the crowd.
Once the right keywords have been chosen, it is important to use them correctly. This includes adding them to the following:
- Title tag
- Meta description
- Headline tags
- Alt image attribute
- Internet link in the content
Add the primary keyword within the first sentence of your post and highlight it for more visibility. When search engines scan your website for quality content, they will give extra preference to highlighted words and sentences. Italicized words are also given more weightage. Another important tip is to use keywords after writing every 125 to 150 words. Stuffing the content with keywords can affect its readability and give the impression that you care more about the sales than providing value to the readers.
4. Create Content-rich Posts
It is important to create long articles with valuable content rather than short ones that offer little value. The updated Google Panda 4.1 algorithm prefers longer and more informative content above one that provides sparse content. Creating long posts allows you to express the information in different ways, such as through tables, charts, lists, and images. Packing valuable information on every page of the content can be helpful for both the search engines and the consumers. Make sure the content you produce is unique and not copied from other sources, or else it could get spammed or rated poorly. Using plagiarism detection sites such as Copyscape can help ensure the uniqueness of your content.
5. Use High-quality Citations
Using high-quality links to show viewers where you retrieved the information can improve your business’s credibility. On the other hand, if you source your information from low-quality websites that look sketchy can negatively affect the reputation of your webpage. Backlinking to well-known websites is the current trend right now since search engines are constantly looking to make reliable information widely available. When you backlink to reputable sources, it tells the search engines that you are well-informed and retrieving information from useful sites rather than spammy ones.
6. Add Imagery
If you are writing long posts, it can get a little boring for onlookers to scroll through pages of plain content. A good way to optimize your website is by adding images to the articles to make an eye-catching impression. Having an image-focused social media platform such as Pinterest or Instagram can also help promote the content with a pop of photos, and this can drive organic traffic to your webpage.
Keep in mind that adding heavy images can slow down the loading speed of your webpage. Google generally prioritizes webpages that have a faster loading speed since it is user-friendly. If your web content contains several images that are over the size of 100KB, that can cause significant lagging. To avoid this problem, it is important to compress images through apps like Squoosh to ensure that the quality does not get compromised in the process. If you have a reason to believe that the slow speed of the webpage is impacting its ranking, you can check for the problem on Google’s PageSpeed site. Google provides free recommendations and analysis to help you tackle the issue.
7. Incorporate other Social Media Platforms
It is a no-brainer why social media is so important in today’s digital world. Incorporating different social media platforms in your SEO strategy will allow your content to reach a much wider audience. Post every new article on different social media sites with the right keywords, creative descriptions, and eye-catching CTAs to attract more consumers. Remember that social media is all about sharing, so make sure that all your blogs and posts have a share button available and their visibility is set to ‘public’ so that people can easily share and engage with the content.
If you have other websites or blog pages, make sure to connect them with your primary content so readers can judge your authenticity. Adding internal links that connect to your other content, as well as external sources, will minimize the bounce rate and increase the chances of an engaging conversation.
8. Make Attractive Headlines
Headlines are an essential tool for grabbing the reader’s attention. There is only a small window to make the reader stay, and an optimized headline can help accomplish that. It is crucial to write taglines that are short, precise, creative, and infused with appropriate keywords. Besides making a killer headline, also make sure to write informative meta descriptions that further provide details on the article topic. It is critical to pay extra attention to the headings and meta description of a post since these are two elements that appear in Google search results.
9. Organize your Posts
Even if the topic and content of your article are excellent, the organizational structure can make or break its effectiveness. Pay close attention to the post’s length, format, and headlines. If the post is long, break it down into subheadings with smaller and digestible paragraphs. Besides front-end organization, ensure that the back-end organization is also optimal, as that will help the content rank higher on the search engines. Use the right tag hierarchy when adding headlines (H1 for main titles and H2 for subheadings), as that will keep the content more organized.
10. Add Alt Text to Images
The purpose of alt text is to make content more accessible to search engines, thereby increasing its rankings. Make sure all images have a brief description of what the photo contains. Choose from the best image file type, which includes JPEG, SVG, PNG, and WebP. Make sure that the image is properly scaled to the actual display size, as that will help reduce the size and improve loading speeds. Another important rule when adding imagery to optimize content is to never use stock images. Many websites recycle the same photos, and this can negatively affect the image’s SEO benefits. Using original and top-quality images can better optimize your content by improving customer experience and search engine rankings. The last rule of using appropriate imagery is to only add images that are relevant to the topic and not just added for their aesthetic appeal. Use captions with relevant keywords whenever possible to further improve the user experience.
11. Optimize URLs
A good URL structure allows search engines and readers to properly understand the page. For this reason, they should be kept short, content-relevant, and user-friendly. Go for a unique URL for every page and avoid using duplicates. Moreover, always create URLs in lowercase, or else case sensitivity can create content issues and make it harder for users to find the content. Adding hyphens to the URL can separate the words and make it easier to read, but it’s best to avoid special characters, underscores, and spaces to prevent potential issues.
12. Use Natural Link Building
Link building is a key component of making your content optimized. It involves linking your website or articles in your post to ensure that customers are taken back to your website if another site picks up your content. Becoming creative with other kinds of content, such as videos, charts, and infographics, and then adding an embed code to your website can enable further content sharing and backlinking.
Aim to create content that will be used by your platforms and other pages or publications. To increase engagement chances, add valuable creative, original, and engaging content.
Importance of SEO Writing
SEO has become the heart and soul of content writing since it benefits the company. Businesses spend large sums of money on SEO experts who can create premium-quality, authoritative and engaging content that is also SEO-friendly. This can guarantee a significant boost both in Google rankings and content visibility. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why SEO writing can help a business grow.
Creates More Traffic
SEO writing is quite different from regular content writing. It follows the 15-second rule, which is designed to catch the viewer’s eye before they can click away. SEO professionals achieve this by writing content with the right keyword density, appropriate length, correct tone, etc. The right content should be easy to understand and not overloaded with jargon and should get right to the point.
With an SEO expert working alongside you, you no longer have to worry about expensive pay-per-click marketing. SEO writing can help save you large sums of money while helping you achieve better long-run results. A properly optimized website will retain customers for much longer than PPC advertising. This is because SEO content offers valuable information and answers questions, and helps you connect with the target audience. This weeds out the inorganic traffic and allows the content to rank organically.
Builds Brand Authority
SEO writing uses authoritative content that provides users with general information and answers their questions about the product or service. Building a brand image in the physical market can take a long time, but in the digital world, it only takes an effective SEO strategy to get the job done. It is crucial to understand that once your website has ranked in the top five results on the first page of the search engine, consumers will automatically assume that your business is a premium brand. Once a brand image has formed in their minds, brand loyalty and increased sales soon follow.
Leads to a Higher Conversion Rate
SEO writing pushes the website ranking to higher levels on search engines, which increases the probability of consumers buying the company’s products or services from the website. SEO creates the overall appearance of the digital website, and search engines put webpages with better SEO alignment at the top of the search results. As users start becoming more familiarized with the product and trust Google’s algorithm and rankings, they are more likely to buy the products from the top-ranked web pages, thereby increasing conversion rates.
Creating optimized content is not just limited to employing the right SEO strategies but also monitoring them. Do not ignore the content that has been published, but rather review and update it periodically to stay on top of the search engine rankings. This is especially true if your content talks about quickly-changing topics, for instance, the best electronic gadgets or top SEO tips. Keep modifying your titles, meta description, and content to reflect its relevance with the most current trends. (e.g., “The Top Summer Outfits for 2022”). Tweaking the existing content saves more time and money than writing brand-new content and can yield better results overall.
In addition to making the right content adjustments, it is also important to track your progress. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you monitor where your current ranking stands and what can be done to overcome the underlying issues. Seeking the help of an SEO expert will allow you to see any problem areas that can be worked on.
With an infinite amount of content present online, it is critical to use the right SEO strategies to stand out amongst a sea of competitors. Use these SEO rules to properly optimize your website, and create premium-quality content that delivers value and converts visitors into paying customers.