You know that in the world of SEO, content reigns supreme. But not just any content. These days your content has to be superbly executed and highly valuable.
If you’re new to SEO writing or diving into a website redesign, the pressure to create rank-worthy content is likely daunting.
SEO writing does not have to be an overwhelming, insurmountable task. There are simple steps you can take to design an effective content strategy.
To that end, we have compiled 13 easy-to-implement SEO writing tips to create content that will effectively boost your rankings and drive organic traffic to your site.
Table of Contents
- What Is SEO Writing?
- Why SEO Writing Is Important
- What Types of Businesses Benefit from SEO Writing?
- What to Keep in Mind When Writing for Search Engine Optimization
- 13 SEO Writing Tips for Creating Effective Content
- SEOReseller: Find SEO Writing Success With Our Team of Experts
What Is SEO Writing?
SEO writing is a digital marketing strategy designed to boost a website’s organic search engine rankings, drive traffic, and increase revenue through the creation of valuable content.
When done effectively, SEO writing bridges the gap between:
- Creating casual content that readers understand, relate to, and want to share,
- Utilizing targeted keyword phrases (search terms) that make it easy for search engines to understand your content and determine its value.
Why SEO Writing Is Important
In the first stages of the evolution of search engine optimization strategies, it didn’t take much to rank on the first page of search results (SERPs).
A repetition of target and related keywords that stood out to early iterations of search engines’ algorithms was all it took to drive traffic. It didn’t even matter if your content read naturally or added value.
But here’s the deal:
Times have changed.
Google and other prominent search engines are smarter than ever.
Their algorithms have evolved way beyond identifying keywords on a page. They now automatically evaluate a plethora of ranking factors.
One of the major factors?
Your site’s content.
Search engines want to provide their users with the best information as quickly as possible.
This is why quality SEO writing is so important. The more comprehensive and valuable your content is, the better your site will perform.
High-quality SEO writing leads to content that can benefit your site for years. Some of these benefits include:
- Improved click-through-rate (CTR)
- An increase in organic traffic
- Higher conversion rates
- An increase in SERP rankings
- Decreased bounce rate
- A boost in domain authority
- Brand recognition
- Audience/customer trust and loyalty
- Increased revenue
What Types of Businesses Benefit from SEO Writing?
Whether you operate …
- A small veterinary clinic
- An up-and-coming e-commerce business; or
- A chain of nationally branded yoga studios
… you can benefit from a well-strategized SEO writing campaign.
To make it plain and simple:
If you want potential customers to easily and quickly find your business when they search for the services or products you provide, it is important to implement a content marketing strategy that places great value on high-quality SEO writing.
This is especially important when you have competitors in a mid-to-large market or community.
If your competitors have taken steps to optimize their SEO performance and you have not, they are likely to have higher SERP rankings and a greater chance at reeling in a customer that could have been yours.
At SEOReseller we have worked with businesses both big and small — regional, national, and international. We can help you develop an SEO writing campaign that is results-driven and unique for your industry and company.
What to Keep in Mind When Writing for Search Engine Optimization
In the next section, we’ll review several SEO writing tips that will help you consistently create effective content.
But before you start writing for search engine optimization, there are a few big-picture recommendations that will play a significant role in the overall success of your SEO writing ventures.
- Always start your process by developing a content marketing strategy. A foundational strategy will allow you to:
- Establish your target audience and brand voice
- Set achievable goals
- Track your progress and success
- Implement SEO best practices into all of your content creation. Utilizing best practices from the get-go will ensure that your site is set up to support your content and vice versa.
- Finally, use only white hat SEO strategies. White hat SEO refers to SEO methods that are ethical and align with search engines’ terms and conditions.
13 SEO Writing Tips for Creating Effective Content
SEO Writing Tip #1: Analyze the Competition
An important thing to remember when writing for search engine optimization is that you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel.
You can look to see what content is working for your competition and create content around similar topics — but you’ll need to make sure your version is better.
- Make your content more comprehensive
- Answer more questions and provide more details
- Include high-authority external links
- Link internally to your well-performing pages
- Add eye-catching multimedia (video and images)
SEO Writing Tip #2: Create a Content Calendar
One of the most valuable things you can do when implementing an SEO writing strategy is to plan ahead by creating a content calendar that covers 6-9 months.
A content calendar allows you to accomplish two things:
- Maintain your momentum: a lot of business owners commit to content writing for a month or two and then can’t seem to find the time to decide on additional topics.
- Stay on topic: one common mistake in SEO writing is not staying hyper-relevant to the target keyword. If you can glance ahead to see your upcoming target keywords, you’ll know what NOT to include in the content you’re currently working on. This prevents competition between your own pieces of content.
SEO Writing Tip #3: Write for People, Not Search Engines
This tip goes back to our earlier discussion on the evolution of search engine algorithms. As algorithms advance, SEO writing must also advance.
Yes, it’s important to hit your target and related keyword phrases. But it’s essential that you do so in a natural way. Always write for people first and search engines second.
How do you ensure you’re writing for people first? Here are a few tips:
- Don’t keyword stuff
- Write the way your target audience talks
- Write well — use correct grammar and punctuation
- Have a clear purpose
- Frame your content with a clear beginning, middle, and end
SEO Writing Tip #4: Generate Comprehensive Content
There is a very important distinction in our word choice of “comprehensive” rather than “long.”
It is generally accepted that if two articles address the same target keyword — one short article, and one long — the longer article is more likely to rank higher in SERPs.
But you can’t simply write a long piece of content.
Your SEO writing has to be comprehensive.
Google prioritizes value. And a comprehensive piece of content typically adds the most value.
So, what do we mean by comprehensive?
- Answering “how” and “why” again and again
- Anticipating additional questions the reader might have
What does this look like in content?
Let’s say you’re a yoga studio writing a post on the target keyword “benefits of yoga.”
A comprehensive article on this topic might include headings such as:
- H2: What is yoga?
- H2: Who can benefit from yoga?
- H2: [#] Yoga benefits
- H3: Yoga benefit: improved flexibility
- H4: How yoga improves flexibility
- H3: Yoga benefit: back pain relief
- H4: How yoga can relieve back pain
SEO Writing Tip #5: Match Search Intent
For your content to be successful, you cannot overlook this crucial SEO writing tip.
One of Google’s primary goals is to return search results that match search intent — “know what your readers want (and give it to them).”
There are four main types of search intent:
- Informational: Users have a specific question or want to know more about a topic. Keyword indicators include:
- “How to”
- Navigational: Users are looking for a specific site and search for the site rather than type in the URL. Keywords are often branded, so organic traffic generated with this intent is only beneficial if your site is the site users are searching for.
- Transactional: Users are browsing with the intent to buy.
- Commercial (Comparison): Users are likely going to buy in the future but want to compare their options:
- Yeti Rambler vs. Hydroflask
- Best vacuum for hard floors
- Which website hosting platform is the best?
To leverage your content to match search intent, you’ll need to:
- Optimize your title tag, meta description, and headers to align with the intent
- Look closely at the top competing pages for the keyword
- Format your content to the SERP features that return for your keyword:
- Featured snippets
- Video guides
- Shopping links
SEO Writing Tip #6: Write Concise Introductions
Introductions are one of the most important aspects of SEO writing and, when structured correctly, will keep a reader on the page.
First and foremost, your introductions should be brief. Search engine users want answers and they want them right away. Don’t make your readers sift through paragraphs of text before getting to the heart of their search intent.
The easiest way to achieve this is by following the “APP Method” for writing introductions:
- Agree: Start with a statement that shows you can relate to your reader’s problem.
- Promise: Let your reader know what is important and why (or that there is a better way to approach their problem).
- Preview: Tell your reader what you’re going to bring to the table to follow through on your “promise.”
As an example, take a look at the intro for our recent article on organic SEO:
SEO Writing Tip #7: Focus on Structure
Don’t underestimate the power of well-structured content. Long paragraphs with run-on sentences and minimal white space don’t keep readers on a page.
To keep a reader’s attention, employ these valuable content structuring techniques in your SEO writing:
- Short sentences
- Short paragraphs (typically no more than four lines of text)
- Bullet lists
- Numbered lists
- Bucket brigades
Easy-to-read content reduces bounce rate and encourages readers to explore other pages on your site.
Below are two examples of content from the same website before and after they implemented SEO writing structural best practices.
As you can see, the optimized content is easy to skim with the use of white space created by short paragraphs and bullet lists.
SEOReseller has the writing experience needed to create natural content that is easy to read and that encourages users to stay on your site.
Schedule a free audit today to see how we can optimize your existing content and help you create well-structured content for the future.
SEO Writing Tip #8: Include External and Internal Links
What are external and internal links?
External links can refer to two things:
- Backlinks — links from other sites to your site
- Outbound links — links from your site pointing to another site
In the context of SEO writing, we will be referring to outbound links.
Internal links are links that connect a reader to other pages within your website.
So how do external and internal links affect SEO in writing and why should you utilize them?
SEO professionals generally agree that internal links are essential to boosting SEO performance. They encourage readers to browse your site and stay at your domain for an extended time — effectively reducing your bounce rate.
SEO professionals debate the effectiveness of outbound links in boosting SEO performance, but we always encourage the use of outbound links for several reasons:
- They add context for search engine algorithms.
- They add value and depth for your reader.
- They create trust with your reader — especially links to authoritative sites.
- They allow you to naturally cite a source.
Use all external and internal links wisely. You don’t want your content full of link after link. Readers will immediately get overwhelmed and navigate away from your page.
SEO Writing Tip #9: Use Your Target Keyword Wisely
Once you have identified a target keyword for your topic, you’ll want to implement it strategically as you write.
Don’t overuse it. Overuse will lead to content that feels “spammy” and keyword-stuffed.
Frequency is not as important as placement.
SEO writing best practice suggests that you use your target keyword (or a highly relevant related keyword) in your:
- URL structure
- Title tag
- Meta description
- First 100 words
- H1 and H2 header tags
As an example, we recently published an article on “How to Improve SEO,” which was our target keyword:
As you can see, we utilized the target keyword in the URL and title tag and a related keyword (“boost SEO performance”) in the meta description.
Additionally, we placed the target keyword in our H1 tag which also accomplished the goal of using it in the first 100 words:
SEO Writing Tip #10: Incorporate Related Keywords
Related keywords help Google and other search engines understand your page and assign value.
Search engine algorithms no longer rank an article based on the number of times it sees the target keyword — otherwise the old methods of keyword stuffing would still work.
Since the algorithms have gotten smarter, they realize that simply repeating the target keyword again and again doesn’t add any value for the reader.
But using similar/closely related keywords tells Google you’re comprehensively covering the topic. It also allows you to write naturally (for users) rather than robotically (for search engines).
In order to identify keywords search engines will identify as “related,” you can use tools like Ubersuggest or Semrush.
Let’s say you operate a local gym and you’re creating a piece of content on “cardio workouts.”
A quick keyword search in Semrush returns a long list of related keyword search phrases including:
Utilizing these keywords will help you frame a comprehensive piece of content about cardio workouts that will add value to your site and ultimately help to improve your domain authority.
SEO Writing Tip #11: Develop Title Tags Designed to Improve Click Through Rate
Having a page that ranks on the first page of Google doesn’t do you any good if users pass it by for a more enticing link.
Improving your click-through-rate is an essential factor for increasing domain authority and organic traffic.
So how do you encourage readers to click on your link instead of a competing link?
It starts with your title tag.
The title tag is the blue clickable text below the URL in a list of SERPs:
There are a few proven SEO writing methods to improve CTR via your title tag:
- Ask a question — Research has shown that question title tags have a 14% higher CTR than non-question title tags.
- Add emotion — This one is a fine line to balance. Including positive or negative sentiment can help. But don’t fall into “clickbait” territory with words like “shocked,” and “joy.”
- Utilize modifiers — modifiers are words you can add to longtail keyword phrases that help them rank. They include words like:
- How to
There’s no sure-fire way to predict which modifier will perform the best.
It’s simply best practice to choose the modifier that most directly connects to the format of your content.
SEO Writing Tip #12: Develop Engaging Meta Descriptions
SEO professionals debate on whether or not meta descriptions are a direct ranking factor, but an engaging meta description can have an impact on your CTR.
Since CTR can improve your domain authority, it makes sense to not overlook your meta description.
Meta descriptions can be a challenging part of SEO writing because search engines don’t always display a complete description as it’s written. Many are cut off with an ellipsis:
The challenge is creating a succinct — and enticing — description of your content in about 150-160 characters.
A successful meta description will:
- Utilize your target or highly relevant related keyword
- Be displayed fully on a SERP
- “Sell” your content
Here’s a great example of a successful meta description:
Not only is this meta description short, but the word choice ties into the title tag modifier of “introduction” and sells the guide as a great resource for beginners.
Writing Tip #13: Incorporate Multimedia
Last, but definitely not least important:
Photos, videos, charts, podcasts, diagrams, etc.
Not only does multimedia make content easy to skim and digest, search engines know When you include multiple outlets for a user to digest your information, especially on the that many users prefer to watch or listen than to read.
same page, search engines — especially Google — recognize that your page will benefit more than one type of user.
It all comes down to adding value. The more options you weave into your SEO writing, the more value search engines will assign to your site.
SEOReseller: Find SEO Writing Success With Our Team of Experts
The SEOReseller team can be your content creation partner. Our SEO writing strategies are designed to add real value to your target audience. Contact us today to discuss your current strategy, schedule a website audit, and get started with your website optimization.