Writing a great blog post is relatively easy for a writing enthusiast. The most difficult step turns out to be its optimization for search engines. The objective of web content is indeed to be visible in order to be read. It is in this context that SEO content writing plays a key role.
Did you know that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine and that search engines drive 300% more traffic to content sites than social media? Yet, despite the importance of SEO, some content marketers still struggle to master it. This guide perfectly summarizes the essential tips to help SEO content writing.
Here are some steps for SEO content writing that ranks easily on Google. The article will help you to learn how to write SEO content or how to be an SEO writer.
What is SEO content writing?
SEO content writing is a technique that consists of writing web content in order to be well ranked on search engines. Its objective is therefore to boost the visibility of your pages in the SERPs of Google and Bing in order to increase the traffic to your website.
However, SEO-optimized writing is not just about pleasing the search engine robots that scan your content. It also seeks to drive Internet users to the reading contents.
Difference between web writing and SEO content writing
Web writing is only dedicated to Internet users while SEO content writing is aimed at both Internet users and search engine robots.
Web writing requires:
But when SEO comes into play, web content will include various parameters: tags, meta descriptions, keywords, internal linking, long tail, image optimization, etc.
To please Google robots, the web writer must work on the keywords and optimize the lexical field and the semantic universe of the subject. Remember that search engines analyze all the words on your page and classify them by topic. This is why it is necessary to create a lexical field.
Why SEO content writing?
Many companies, and especially VSEs and SMEs, now investing enough in content optimized for search engines. Yet, the benefits of SEO copywriting or articles on SEO for a business are numerous. It allows:
15+ actionable tips to help SEO content writing
Before getting to the heart of the matter, it is always good to analyze articles on SEO. You will be able to identify the points to improve and to do this, you can follow the following tips on how to write SEO content.
1. Make a list of keywords before moving on to SEO writing
To have more visibility on the SERPs, the use of keywords is essential. So, do not forget to inventory them before even moving on to SEO writing. And to have a good list of keywords to work with, you will have to answer this question: what query should a user type in the search bar to find my article? And for that, you can very well brainstorm or use online tools like Ubersuggest, Keyword tool, or Google's keyword planner.
Unless people are actually searching for a keyword, there is no point in targeting it. This is because ranking high for a keyword that no one is searching for will send no traffic to your website. It simply has no traffic potential. To find what your audience is looking for, use tools that allow you to do keyword research before you start writing an article. To use it, just enter a topic and it will link to relevant keyword ideas and search volumes.
2. Identify user search intent
Why is search intent important for SEO? When a user searches for a specific term and finds irrelevant information, this sends a signal to Google that the intent is likely incompatible. For example, if a user searches for “How to be an SEO writer” and sees a multitude of pages on the subject, they will try another search without clicking on anything. This is a signal to Google that the intent of these results does not reflect searcher intent.
3. Examine Competitors' sites
A comprehensive SEO competition analysis is essential to understand not only who your target market is, but also how to reach them and create a deeper connection with them. In other words, it's all about keeping an eye on the competition! Whether you are just starting out in your business or have been competing in your industry for years, SEO competitor analysis is a powerful tool that will help you stay ahead of the game.
4. Put keywords in the right place
Arranging your keywords haphazardly will not guarantee you a good place in search engines. They must be cleverly integrated into the "right zones" in order to direct the robots of the SERPs. They will thus be able to identify the queries on which you want to position yourself.
The right zones of a text are none other than the introduction, the title tag, meta, h1, h2, h3, etc. Then, it will be necessary to include the keywords in the body of the article. Generally, the frequency to respect is 1 keyword every 100 words. Do not exceed this quota otherwise you risk being penalized for keyword stuffing.
5. Write catchy titles
The title is the hook of the text, so it is essential. It must reflect the subject of the article, but not be limited to a succession of keywords. It must therefore be extremely thoughtful, not too long—no more than 65 characters in general, but arouse the desire to read the text.
This is a part that you absolutely have to take care of because it is the first thing the reader will see. To write SEO-optimized titles, they should be catchy and contain keywords.
6. Structure your article
A well-structured text is much more pleasant to read than a large block of text, whether from the point of view of Internet users or SERP robots. Thus, do not skimp on the number of subtitles, use bulleted lists, and bold or italicize the words or phrases to be accentuated. Not only will it improve the user experience, but it will also land you favors with Google.
7. Avoid plagiarism
This is a practice that is very present in the world of web writing: plagiarism (duplicate content). This consists of copying part or all of the content from competing sites. In addition to destroying all credibility of your site, duplicate content is subject to penalties. Sites that use this method risk being de-indexed, or even blacklisted, by search engines. To avoid this kind of problem, you will need to write original, quality, and relevant content.
A good part of any SEO strategy is writing original content for your blog posts. Original content is vital, as Google no longer recognizes duplicate content as quality content. It strives to provide “optimized” and quality content to users. For example, use original data and case studies to make content more engaging and shareable.
8. Add meta description
In SEO writing, some HTML code tags are to have cared. The Meta title tag and the Meta description tag require special attention because they will be the first impression of your site that the user will have when he comes across it in Google search results.
These tags, once filled in, are visible in the SERP this way:
The title of the page, <title> </title>: It must be concise, unique, and contain keywords in accordance with the subject of the page. Its size is on average 70 characters according to the Google display.
The meta description is a 240-character description of the content of your web page. This is a very important part of optimizing your blog post for example, as it matches the text that appears below the title in search results.
If this tag is not filled in, Google will automatically insert the first lines of your text. We therefore advise you to construct the text of this tag yourself in order to optimize it with keywords.
9. Avoid keyword stuffing
The use of keywords is important since it is what will allow visitors surfing on Google to arrive at your site.
However, it is not worth including all your keywords in the text, at the risk of making the reading heavy and difficult. This strong accumulation could even harm you. Remember, your content must be of high quality.
A good practice is to include the main keywords at the beginning of the text (title and introduction) and to use semantics. Google considers that a text containing a rich vocabulary deserves to be better classified.
10. Optimize internal linking
For better natural backlinking, it is strongly advised to improve its internal linking since Google is more and more vigilant about the quality of navigation of a website. It then searches for relevant navigation links.
In web marketing, internal linking defines all the links connecting the different pages of the same site to each other. This practice, intended to improve navigation within a site and therefore the user experience, is also part of good SEO optimization practices.
To obtain a quality internal link, you must focus on:
a) Consistency of links
An effective and credible internal link for search engines contains coherent links with landing pages that bring real added value to the Internet user.
It is therefore preferable to link together pages with a common theme to allow fluid and logical navigation.
b) The position of the links
Links placed at the fold line are more powerful in terms of SEO optimization since it is not necessary to scroll to see them appear. They are also more visible to search engines.
You can use a breadcrumb to effectively position internal links in this fold line.
c) The anchor of the link
The link anchor is the word or phrase to which the link is applied. It usually stands out in a different color from the rest of the text content to clearly identify it.
If possible, insert keywords inside an anchor, but be careful, these must be relevant to the destination content to bring value to your SEO optimization.
Avoid generalist anchors that do not provide any indication of the targeted content, such as:
Again, watch out for over-optimization. Anchors placed regularly on the same expressions, often pointing to the same web page, will no longer be considered natural by search engines and can be harmful to your SEO.
d) Quality not quantity
The purpose of internal linking is not to add a large number of links to a web page, but to add internal links that add to the quality of your content.
For example, a blog article comprising only 2 or 3 correctly positioned links, pointing to coherent content providing useful information to the reader will be more effective in terms of SEO, than a blog article proposing a link every 10 words which does not ultimately add much to the content.
This kind of practice can also be seen as SEO over-optimization by search engines and therefore be penalizing.
11. Include visuals
“A picture is worth a thousand words” has become a popular phrase. But that's still true in many cases, including on websites. With so much information flooding the web, photos, images, memes, GIFs, and videos can grab attention before a word is even read. It helps to keep your readers engaged that will surely encourage social media shares by creating visuals for your content including infographics!
12. Optimize images for SEO
Before even using the images, you must take care of their quality since the visuals are a driving force in retaining a reader on a site.
Also, be sure to choose royalty-free images if you opt for free images using the Google Images Search assistant for example.
Once your images have been chosen, you can look into their SEO. It is then necessary to know the different criteria used by search engines to reference images:
a) The ALT attribute
Contained in the <img> tag this attribute allows you to give a short description of your image. This description will be visible to users if the image is not displayed correctly and helps tell Google what the content of the image is.
Be careful, even if the keywords of your ALT tag are taken into account for the referencing of the image, be careful not to write an entire paragraph or a succession of keywords.
b) The Title attribute
The text of the Title attribute is not taken into account by Google but your visitors see it when they pass their mouse over your image.
c) The file name
Properly naming your files is first useful for your own site but also for ranking.
The name of your file should be short and composed of keywords separated by a drag. Be careful, do not put special characters, nor "_" and capital letters.
d) The Caption
To help Google contextualize your image you can add a caption. This must describe your image without being identical to your ALT attribute.
e) Image size
The size of your image influences the SEO of your site because an image that is too large will take longer to load. And as you know, if your page load time is too slow, it will negatively impact your ranking.
Normally, your image should not exceed 200 KB.
To increase your chances of someone finding your images, you can index them using Google Image Sitemaps.
Be careful, Google does not index continuously, so be patient!
To get an overview of the images on your site that are indexed or not by Google, you can simply do a search by typing “Site: yoursite.com” in Google images.
13. An efficient introduction to keep the reader
Reading content on the web is much more tiring for the Internet user who is, moreover, excessively solicited by the various information flows. The advent of the mobile accentuates these difficulties by offering a smaller screen and a smaller waterline. Therefore, the reader scans the text and focuses mainly on the first paragraph.
To adapt, it is, therefore, necessary to take care of its introduction and deliver the important message of the page first, while encouraging the reader to read the rest of the text for more details. Engine robots behave in a similar way, the keywords to be worked on must be integrated as highly as possible into the text.
14. Apply URL Rewrite
If you use WordPress for example, a URL for your page or post is automatically generated.
If this URL is too complicated, for example, an encrypted code, the Internet user will inevitably have difficulty finding it.
So, here you have to use a simple URL, including your domain name, followed by keywords separated by hyphens.
15. Becoming an SEO content writing expert takes time
If you are an employee or looking for a job, learning SEO content writing to become a freelance content writer is a very nice retraining goal.
Do you want to learn SEO content writing? Writing for the Web requires skills in SEO and content marketing that cannot be learned by watching simple tutorials.
When you read blog articles on the Internet, web pages, or product sheets, you may think that the job of the writer is easy and that you just need to know how to write!
Here try an SEO writing course or training from Ghoori Learning to become experts in the right way.
If you want to become a pro at digital writing, there are several ways to learn SEO writing. If you do not want to undertake long and expensive training, online training is an excellent alternative.
Online training has 3 advantages:
If a site is not known and has no visitors, it is of little use. The objective of SEO is therefore to allow your site to become known on the web.
Today, a web content writer no longer relies solely on writing skills to do his job. If he wants to produce good texts, he must have basics in natural SEO and above all know how to interact. Only in this way can he be useful to his clients, and create quality content that generates results.
Surely, the above guide will help you better understand the role of the web writer, and also teach you about SEO, marketing, and communication.