A simple guide to SEO writing in accordance with what we know Google likes to see.
Think of the times you’ve consulted your chosen search engine (let’s just call it Google… it’s always Google) for information: how likely are you to look past the first page of results? Perhaps you venture to the second, third, and maybe fourth pages, but as creatures who prefer quick results, this doesn’t always happen.
To keep it straight and simple, you want your content to appear prominently in Google’s results for your target keyword. Quite often, you also don’t want to have to sift through pages of content to find it. As a content writer using on-page SEO tactics to improve visibility in search, this is something we are acutely aware of.
How Search Engines Rank Content
Search engines structure their results pages based on content authority. They display the content that readers want based on prior research data and repeated patterns in search behaviour. They want to serve readers with the best possible content to match their search queries.
Properly optimised, SEO-friendly copywriting can help search engines display your credibility and relevance in accordance with what users are searching for. You just need to know how to get the writing part nailed in a way that Google, Bing, and the like appreciate.
There are a few key practices that can be put in place to boost your current standing and send traffic your way. By incorporating appropriate research into relevant keywords and by implementing SEO best practices, you can set your business up for ranking possibilities straight off the bat.
Let’s take a look at how you can create quality content that will rank well in search engine results by following the principles of SEO. But first…
What Is SEO?
SEO, the abbreviation for search engine optimisation, is the process of optimising content in favour of what your target audience is looking for. By doing so, your content becomes more visible when users search for whatever it is you offer on Google. The more visible your pages are in search results, the more likely your content will bring in organic footfall.
How Does SEO Work?
Ultimately, SEO specialists will optimise content based on a SEO best practices, which will then be ranked by search engines accordingly. Search engines will conduct a crawl, where they will collect information from all of the web pages that appear in search results, and index them.
Following that, algorithms examine pages in the index, taking hundreds of ranking variables or signals into consideration, to decide the order in which pages should show in search results for a particular query.
The best way to understand how SEO works is to put it into practice. Taking simple steps to optimise your content goes a very long way. It is also important to remain on top of search engine algorithms as they are forever changing and will in turn impact your SEO efforts.
SEO Best Practices To Live By
Congruence Of Content With Search Intent
Our number 1 recommendation for SEO best practices is to remain in alignment with search intent when creating content.
Every search query is driven by search intent, often referred to as “user intent.” Google’s first aim is to comprehend and fulfil users’ search intentions. All websites that appear on Google’s first page have successfully aced its test for search intent.
Title Tags And Meta Descriptions
From an SEO standpoint, title tags, which are clickable headlines that show in search results, are incredibly important. Google displays each title tag as an introduction to a search result. It is your prime piece of SEO writing real estate, and not enough people capitalise on this.
Some SEO best practices regarding title tags are:
- Specify your desired keyword(s)
- Make sure your title reflects the search query
- Do not use redundant title tags
- Keep your title tag within a character count of about 60 – 65 characters with spaces
If you want to improve your click through rate, your title tag is where you need to begin.
Equally as important, is your meta description. The meta description is a summarised description of the page in question and is displayed below the tile tag. Google allows for meta descriptions to display 150-160 characters. Make them persuasive enough and they form the perfect introduction to your page or blog post.
Some SEO best practices for meta descriptions are:
- For every page, provide a distinct meta description
- Put some action in your text
- Specify your desired keyword(s)
- Matching the search intent
- Give a thorough summary within the character limit of up to about 160 characters
How do you feel about clicking on a website, only to be sat waiting for it to load? And with frustrated users, your rankings will likely drop. Sites like this are setting themselves up for a fall, and it’s so easy to make improvements to keep the flow of inbound traffic happy.
There are an assortment of free tools available that test your page speed. These tools also make recommendations on how to create a more streamlined experience. Here are a few tips for things you can do to get your pages loading faster for your readers:
- Allow browser caching
- Remove unused plugins or add-ons
- Reduce the number of redirects and the server response time
- Compress and optimise your images
Put these to the test and monitor how your readers consume your pages. If you find that certain pages are creating a drop-off, look at them specifically to see if you can improve on the article or piece of content.
With these best practices in order, here are some useful tips to create meaningful content that is relevant to your target audience and also performs well.
Creating Powerful SEO Content
As you are likely well aware, SEO and content writing operate in alignment with one another. Without strong SEO, your content will be difficult to find amongst the same content that has been optimised. The same applies in reverse, your SEO efforts are only as strong as your content, and your content should be based on strong target keywords.
Here are a few pointers on how to get your copywriting aligned with your target audience.
Understand Who You Are Writing For
Seems simple, right? Your first port of call should be to write content that is in alignment with the interests of the people reading your content, but how do you know who they are and what they want to read?
Start by understanding your audience. Who is buying your products? Who do you want to create content for? What are their likes and dislikes? Once you know this, start brainstorming some of the words these people would type into Google to find your business and your site.
Use these few words to start an extensive and effective exploration into keyword research. You want to find keywords that have a high or decent search volume and low competition. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, so we have to be open-minded with the process and use a combination of keywords that are perfectly matched, and some that perhaps have lower search volume or higher competition.
Users will engage with piece of content that matches their search queries. If your copywriting matches their needs by being relevant and authentic, there’s a good chance you will grab their fleeting attention.
By gearing your SEO writing specifically to your audience, you have a much better chance of getting closer to the first page of Google.
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Once your audience is defined and you have a broad base of keywords to work with, start making use of them wisely. Map keywords to each page of your content, and use the keywords strategically throughout your writing.
Your headings and body content should be sprinkled with these all-powerful keywords. This tells users and search engines that your content speaks highly on the search topics they’re exploring. This improves your ranking and your chance of appearing on the first page of search engine results.
Side note: be mindful not to unnecessarily and irrelevantly shove each keyword into your content. It should all flow seamlessly and make for a good read. A keyword should never be used if it makes your copywriting sound robotic.
Having a target keyword per page is extremely effective in creating strong writing for SEO. Once you’ve defined these, your blog post or web content can be strategically sprinkled with contending keywords that all work together to meet the strategy of the site as a whole.
Take Advantage Of Headings And Subheadings
You have a small window to make an impact, and this includes making use of your headings and subheadings by writing content rich in meaning and keywords. Create clear, concise, and relevant headings that will intrigue users. Use research into your topic to find out what headings will keep readers engaged, while also knitting your piece of content together.
Create your headings with intention, aligning to our above tips for SEO friendly content.
Boost Your Content On Social Media
Social media has the potential to play an instrumental role in the reach of your content. By promoting fresh pieces of SEO copywriting on social media with a link back to your web page, you are opening up a platform for conversation. You will also reach users that might not have found your content organically through Google. Some people simply prefer to consume content from social media as opposed to search engines.
Insights will also allow for you to keep track of how your content is doing on social platforms. Social media is an effective route for generating traffic and promoting your content.
Make Use Of Anchor Text
Anchor text is often overlooked as an avenue for keyword usage. Creating a link between each blog post using keyword rich anchor text is another way to make your SEO copywriting shine. Again, be strategic about it and don’t just stuff links into words unnecessarily.
As vital as on page SEO is, backlinks play a pivotal role in SEO content writing. Linking to your own articles or website in your post guarantees that your content gets linked back to your website if it is picked up by another site. Creative media within your content, like infographics, can also house links that will direct users back to your content should they click on the source. It is important that these links are relevant, as this is something that search engines consider.
Creating Meaningful SEO Content
Optimising your SEO content is the first step in ensuring that you are bringing in organic traffic. Instead of paying money for lead generation, here are a few methods that can increase organic traffic with better and more useful SEO content.
Relevance Is Imperative
Simply said, your SEO content must be 100% valuable and significant. The more meaningless waffle you have, the more search engines will overlook your web page and your overall content. We propose going over your blog posts, articles, and pieces of content, and removing everything that your site doesn’t need.
Not only will you cut down on the fluff, but you will create more space within your crawl budget. This will allow Google to crawl other more important pieces of content without the nonsense getting in the way.
Insight Is Always Helpful
Competitors can be extremely useful SEO strategy. You have just about the same audience and are likely providing You may acquire vital knowledge from your rivals, such as beneficial competitor keywords that you may have overlooked, staying up to date on emerging trends that you can incorporate into your SEO material, and the keywords that your site can do without.
People Also Ask
This is an extremely helpful Google feature. Using ‘People Also Ask’ in your SEO material gives your content a greater reach and can cause it to show twice in a Google search, improving organic traffic to your site. You may also find lucrative keywords connected to your SEO content and use them to your benefit.
SEO is always changing and evolving, but is vital to the performance of your content with search engines alike. There are a great many factors involved in successful SEO writing and optimisation, and they all operate hand in hand. We trust this article has provided you with tools and knowledge to perform well in your SEO writing.
Have these SEO writing tips given you some inspiration? Do you think your content is ready for search engine rankings now? Let us know what you think and if you need us to write content on your behalf. We’d love to help search engines find you!
Contact the Gone Digital team today.