Search engine optimization (SEO) is how companies increase the quality and quantity of website traffic. It can increase brand awareness, leads, and sales. SEO writing is an important component of any digital marketing plan because it can help you bring the right people to your website. SEO complements the art and the science of digital marketing. It can help you understand what people search for online and who your audience is. It can also help you develop content that will appeal to your potential customers. Here’s some more information about SEO writing and developing SEO content.
What Is SEO Writing?
SEO writing is the process of including keywords and phrases in your website’s content. This increases your rankings in search results and makes people more likely to click on a link to your website. Copywriters and marketers often use SEO writing. It’s a cost-effective way to attract visitors to your site. Instead of spending lots of money on ads, you can focus on creating great content that people will want to take a look at and attract more visitors than similar sites.
Image via Flickr by Paloma Gomez
SEO Terms You Should Know
Before you start using SEO writing, here are some of the terms you should know:
An internal link sends people to a different page on the same website. Internal links can make navigating a website easier, and they can encourage visitors to stay there longer. The right internal links can also increase your rankings in Google search results for better SEO by improving the number of views that older content continues to get.
When internal links use keywords as their anchor text, they make these words more noticeable to individuals and search engines. This gives users extra encouragement to click on these links. It also gives readers a good idea of the topics discussed when they look over the page and see these links before they start reading. When possible, use phrases that sound natural as anchor text. You should place at least two internal links in every piece of content that you post for the best SEO.
This is a command that directs visitors from one web page to another page. Whenever you change the web address of a page, you can apply a 301 redirect to make the old address send people to the new address. This ensures that people who have linked to or bookmarked the old address will automatically get to the new one. It also gives search engines time to update their indexing.
Indexing is the storing and organizing of content by search engines, and indexed pages are the ones stored. When search engines discover web pages, it’s called crawling. Google’s web indexing system is called Caffeine, and the crawler that finds the content is called Googlebot.
A conversion form is an online form that helps you collect information about your site’s visitors. Conversion forms convert traffic into leads, and collecting these leads’ contact information makes following up with them easy.
CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets. They’re the part of your website’s code, and they define how different elements, such as headers and links, look.
The fold is the point where a webpage gets cut off by the bottom of the user’s monitor or browser window. People can scroll to content below the fold, but they don’t see it right away. Search engines prioritize content that’s above the fold, and having too many ads above the fold could reduce your search engine ranking.
An inbound link from another site to your website will improve your SEO, especially if the site that links to your site has a high ranking. It also encourages more people to visit your site. These links are also called backlinks because they link back to your site.
This is the process of communicating with other website owners to get more inbound links to your site and better SEO rankings.
A meta description is a summary of the contents of a webpage. Search results scan it, and it often appears below the title in search results. Meta descriptions are usually less than 160 characters long. They’re a type of metadata or data about data.
PPC stands for pay per click, an advertising method that pays websites every time one of the ads they post gets a click. Google AdWords is a popular pay-per-click advertising method.
A user’s browser sends a referrer string when they navigate to a new page. Referrer strings include information about the website the person was looking at and the link they clicked on, helping people understand how users find websites.
RSS stands for really simple syndication, and it’s a subscription-based way to get updates from a website. An RSS feed for your website or blog will help keep your followers informed when you release new content. It’s a file with details about all content that has ever been published on the website. It often contains the full text or a summary, the publication date, the author, and other relevant information.
SERP stands for search engine ranking page. It’s the results page you see after you use a search engine. Most SERPs have 10 results, but the number can vary depending on the query and the search engine.
A sitemap is a document created by a webmaster or a piece of software that provides a detailed map of the pages on a website. This makes indexing easier for search engines. Many websites have a link to the sitemap in the footer at the bottom of each page.
AMPs are accelerated mobile pages — web pages created using an open-source framework designed to speed up loading times for mobile users. It lets people create simple mobile websites that load almost immediately. According to Statista, in 2020, more than 90% of Internet users, over 4.28 billion people, used a mobile device to go online. As mobile technologies become even more advanced, that number will continue to increase.
A broken or defective link doesn’t send people who click on it to the correct webpage. These links can come from programming errors, temporarily unavailable websites, or addresses that have changed. They keep the crawlers that search engines use from working well, reducing a site’s ranking in search results.
This marketing technique uses text, images, or videos to increase awareness of a product or brand. People can post content on their own websites, on social media, and on other sites. This gives more people an opportunity to click on a link to a website and check out a business, eventually increasing the number of conversions or people who become customers.
With online networking, businesses and online influencers link to each other’s websites to help each other expand their audiences. For example, a bar and a local brewery could link to each other’s blogs. They might also advertise offline at each other’s special events.
With A/B testing, you can compare two different versions of an article, video, or other content to decide which one your audience will like best and what you should create in the future.
How To Write SEO Content
Here are some steps for successful SEO content writing:
1. Understand Your Content Options
There are many different types of content that can improve your business’s SEO. A product page sells products or services online, and a blog is a part of a website where people publish new content regularly. Each blog post is a new page that a search engine can see when people search for related keywords. It’s one more chance for new individuals to learn about your company and its products or services.
Blog posts are more likely to get links from other websites than product pages, and they can be an ideal way to build some additional authority for your site. Blogs often contain articles, along with newspaper or magazine-style sites. Many of these articles come in the form of a list or listicle, like “10 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill.”
A guide is a longer piece that explains how you can do something in detail. Some guides are broken up into multiple web pages. You can post a full guide, or you can let people take a look at a summary or excerpt. After that, they can see the full guide by filling out a registration form with their contact information. This is a great way to get new leads and eventually increase sales. However, it may reduce the amount of SEO traffic that the guide attracts.
Since there are fewer online videos than text, ranking on the first page in search results for a video can be easier than for text. Videos can also help you attract new customers. Consider creating video tutorials that help your customers. Including a text transcript of your video can help optimize it for SEO.
An infographic is an image with a lot of data, and it often includes charts and graphs. A slideshow is a series of related images, and each image usually has a caption. A glossary for your industry can be helpful in attracting new people to your website as well. You can fill it with specialized terms that can help newcomers and industry novices. Many websites also contain a directory of links to other sites. For example, a restaurant reviewer might include links to all the local places discussed on their site.
2. Consider Your Goals
Think about whether you want to use your website to sell products, attract viewers for ads, or influence popular opinion. Your goals will determine what types of content your site should focus on. For example, a site focused on product sales should have mostly product pages. You can also increase traffic with some blog posts about how and when to use the products you’re selling. If your site makes the majority of its money through ads, your goal should be attracting as many new readers as possible through SEO. It’s best to focus on long-form, in-depth content that’s helpful to your customers.
2. Create User Personas
A user persona is a fictional character that’s based on a website’s typical viewers. Before you create one or more personas for your business, you’ll need to know more about your typical customers. You can conduct a survey on your website or ask some of your customers questions in person or over the phone. You can also use Google Analytics and similar software to learn more about the people who visit your site.
Most businesses have a few different customer personas, and the primary persona is the most common type of customer. For example, a persona called “Frugal Francis” is a female between 25 and 60 years old who is focused on getting the best price for their purchases. Personas often include information such as a typical user’s age, location, gender, education level, and job title. They can also include the device people use most, their goals, a name or nickname, and a photo or cartoon.
3. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research involves finding the terms that users search for most and using those terms in content on your website or social media. First, you should brainstorm for good seed terms to enter into keyword research tools like Google Keyword Tool. This generates more keywords that you can target with the right content. You can also learn about these keywords’ search volumes and competitiveness. With Google Analytics, you can see if any of those terms are already directing some visitors to your site.
Then, remove any keywords with low search volumes or high competitiveness. Competitive keywords already direct lots of people to other sites. Look for phrases that are relevant to your business, especially long-tail keywords. These are phrases that people don’t search for often. Targeting long-tail keywords with your SEO can attract more people to your site than focusing on more common keywords.
4. Implement Your Research
Using keyword research is also called keyword implementation. You’ll need to add the keywords you choose to titles, meta descriptions, headers, and strong or bold HTML tags. Adding keywords to the first 300 words of content can also attract more people than the same words in the rest of an article. However, the keywords you add should sound natural. Search engines usually prioritize longer, more detailed articles, so you should add as many interesting facts and tips as possible.
After you use a keyword a few times in the same article, use variations of the same word to attract a wider range of online searchers. Using keywords too much is called keyword stuffing, and search engines could lower your website’s ranking in search results for the practice. You should always make sure that the content you create offers value to actual readers, not just search engines. Otherwise, it won’t persuade any readers to become customers.
5. Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content can stay interesting and useful to readers for years. It’s relevant anytime, regardless of the season or any other events occurring. Unless you’re discussing a special event or a sale, keeping content evergreen is a more efficient use of your time. It can continue bringing new people to your website long after you write it. For example, a plumber could write a blog post about the types of water heaters available. Unless the technology changes, it will keep attracting potential customers and you can continue to promote it to generate leads to your website.
“Learn to Cook” is a good evergreen title, but “Great Holiday Recipes” is only relevant during the holidays. Therefore, it’s not evergreen content. Think about four to six evergreen topics that are related to your business and then develop blog posts around them. You can use posts about those topics to promote your business, continuing to promote them and add to them over time.
6. Make an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is a schedule that says when you’ll publish new content and what type of content it will be. It can help you stick to a regular schedule so that you can attract regular readers. It can also help keep you from having to think of new topics or create new content at the last minute. You can use Outlook or Google Calendar to share your editorial calendar with your entire marketing team. Set up reminders for content authors so that they can get a notification when a deadline is approaching.
An ongoing feature can help you attract repeat readers. For example, a food blog could feature a weekly Meatless Monday article with a new vegetarian recipe. Create a category page for each ongoing feature so that people can find all of the content in the category in one convenient place.
You should give yourself plenty of time to produce content, especially when it’s a more complicated type like a video or infographic. These often need several edits, and they can be more complicated to optimize for SEO. However, don’t plan more than a month or two in advance because your plans are likely to be interrupted by unforeseen events.
7. Analyze and Adjust Your SEO Strategy
Analyzing your content’s performance regularly can help you see what’s attracting readers and what isn’t. Good measures of success and engagement include page views, links to a page, comments, shares on social media, and conversion rates. Look for successes and repeat those strategies. Also, update and improve older SEO content when needed. For example, you could need to change the keywords in an article if a different keyword variation becomes more popular.
8. Check Out Your Competition
Look at other websites that offer similar products and services to your company, and think about what you could do better. For example, if they tend to use a certain keyword a lot, you can try content with a variation of that keyword. You can also talk about subjects that competitors don’t discuss as much, addressing your niche and filling in the gaps your competitor is missing.
9. Choose Images and Videos Carefully
If the images on your website are too large, visitors could experience longer loading times that could lower the SEO rankings of pages. Smaller images load faster, so it’s easier to include more of them on a page. Use a descriptive, unique file name to help search engines look for the image.
You can also use alternative or ALT text, a description of an image designed for search engines. It can help people with vision problems understand the images on websites as well. ALT text is usually in HTML, and adding it to images whenever possible can help search engines find your site. You can use stock photos when needed, but they won’t usually improve your site’s ranking.
Optimize videos for SEO by hosting all of your website’s video files in a single folder. Then, create a video sitemap that will help search engines index your videos. Use strategic keywords in descriptions for images and videos for better SEO.
10. Use Reputable Links
Linking to relevant websites that offer useful resources for your readers can make your website seem more reputable to readers and search engines. Letting people know your sources can also make you seem more trustworthy.
With skilled SEO writing from CopyPress, you can promote your brand, increase conversions and sales, and make your website and your social media pages as useful and entertaining to viewers as possible. Ensure that when people need a member of your industry, they think of your company first. That way, you won’t need to spend as much on conventional ads like billboards or TV ads.