One of the most frequent questions our clients ask us is: how do I write for SEO? This means that we have achieved one goal, making you understand the importance of content for SEO and general purpose digital marketing, as well. And today we will give you what you are looking for: a comprehensive list on tips to improve content writing for better SEO.
How Important Is Content Writing for Better SEO?
A few years ago, various so-called SEO experts advised: write for the search engines. And everyone was suddenly using all the black hat SEO tactics known to man:
- Keyword stuffing
- Posting meaningless text with unrelated keywords in it
- Adding keyword as white text on the white background of web pages
- Link exchanges with poor quality websites.
This did not last long, because Google is constantly analysing the way users interact with search results. Thus, the ranking algorithm suffered tremendous changes, penalising all the tactics above. In the context of the new rules for getting your site displayed on the first page of Google search results, quality content has a crucial importance. Hence, the need to learn good content writing for better SEO.
What If I Outsource Content Writing?
This article is not just for those who create their content in-house. These tips to improve content writing for better SEO can be used to create a list of guidelines to give to freelance writers you hire.
Even the best professionals need such guidelines. They cannot guess critical aspects such as:
- The audience you write for
- The tone of voice of your brand
- The keyword strategy you want to implement.
Discover Actionable Tips to Improve Content Writing for Better SEO
These tips are not organised in the order of importance. We believe that all of them are equally important and you should strive to implement them.
1. Develop a Keyword Strategy for Your Content
Each piece of content you publish should be keyword rich. You probably know that. But did you know that if you create too many articles with the same focus keyword, you actually decrease your ranking chances?
Content writing for better SEO is not just about writing in itself, but also about smart use of keywords. Using the Google Keyword Planner Tool, you can identify a list of relevant keywords for your business, which you can attempt to rank for. Allocate them evenly in your content planning strategy, so that they are used evenly, without focusing solely on one or two keywords.
2. Use Schema.org to Identify the Right Wording
Ranking on Google goes beyond keywords. One of the resources websites use for optimisation is Schema.org. It creates a logical structure for the content, with standard terms that Google identifies and matches to the search intent.
While creating the Schema structure for your website is something your developer should do, you can use it to identify the right wording to use in your content. For instance, the Schema template for local businesses shows you to:
- Use the ISO 4217 currency format: USD, AUD, EUR, etc.
- Use standard formats for days: Mo, Tu, We, etc.
- Use the 24 hour format for opening times
- Specify accepted payment forms: cash, card, local/foreign currency, cryptocurrency, etc.
3. Be Consistent in Addressing the Readers
One of the ways to improve content writing for better SEO is to decide how you want to address the readers, and staying consistent. You may choose to use the first, second, or third person in writing. For example, we generally use the second person in our articles, and address you directly.
Some brands want to showcase their special know-how and use the first person (we know, we do, we solve). Others, especially B2B brands, adopt a formal tone of voice and use the third person (the software is used in X industry).
4. Match Keywords with Search Intent
What is search intent and how does it impact your content writing for better SEO? Let us give you an example:
- User 1 goes to Google and searches: what is SEO?
- User 2 types in the URL of a SEO agency
- User 3 searches for: hire SEO specialist
- User 4 searches for: what is the best SEO agency?
Each user has different search intents. User 1 has an informational intent. User 2 has a navigational intent. User 3 has a transactional intent. And user 4 has a commercial intent. You should identify separate keyword lists for each of these four search intents and use them to create content tailored to each user groups.
5. Keep Your Writing Neat and Simple
Content writing for better SEO is not fiction or academic writing. Its purpose is to:
- Provide helpful information
- Showcase the expertise of the company
- Show the reader that your company understands their needs/problems
- Encourage the reader to buy your products.
To achieve this, follow these best practices for each content piece you create or commission:
- Make sure that the text is free of typos and grammatical errors
- Use short sentences and use transitional words to connect them logically
- Choose simple, everyday words and avoid specialised terms and unusual acronyms
- Break the text into paragraphs, with subtitles that summarise each section.
6. Write for Your Audience
Say goodbye to writing exclusively for search engines. We don’t mean forgetting about keyword optimisation, of course. But the main goal in content writing for better SEO is providing readers with:
- Original content
- Helpful advice
- Accurate, verifiable information.
To achieve this goal, you need to know your audience. Creating a buyer persona will help you understand what your customers like and need, what kind of information is interesting and useful to them and how to write in a manner they relate to.
7. Go beyond Text Optimisation
Many great pieces of content do not get on the first page of Google results because they are not completely optimised. Yes, they are keyword rich, without stuffing. But the keyword is missing from:
- The meta description
- The H1 and/or H2 title tags
- The ALT tag of the photo illustrating the article.
Before you publish a new content piece on your website, use a checklist to verify that all these aspects are solved.
8. Use the Active Voice
As much as possible, opt for the active voice instead of the passive voice in your texts. The active voice gives the reader the sense that they should take an action. Instead of “this product is sold exclusively online” opt for “find this product exclusively in our online store”.
9. Avoid Fluffy, Purposeless Texts
Fluff, in writing terms, is filler text that does not really tell the reader anything. It is quite visible that it was added to make the text longer and add more keywords. This does not mean that your content should read like a telegram. Content writing for better SEO involves a flowing, pleasant style.
But strive to offer something worth remembering or taking an action in every paragraph of text you write.
10. Research Information and Use Supporting Evidence
You should always do your research before writing a content piece. If you use statistics, make sure that they are recent and relevant. If you quote a person, provide the source of your quotation. And whenever you use numbers, make sure that your readers can check that they are accurate.
Linking back to your sources is also one of the best practices for content writing for better SEO. By linking to authoritative sources, such as science papers or government agencies, you also help increase the page rank of your website.
Great content writing for better SEO does not necessarily involve an extraordinary talent for writing. You don’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner to create articles that will help your readers trust your business and buy your products. Attention to details and knowledge of what your clients enjoy reading are the main ingredients of high quality SEO content pieces.