SEO Writing: How to Write Search Engine-Optimized Content to Rank Higher on Google
Writing to get a higher ranking on Google demands a lot more than just writing. You must be spending a good amount of time from topic finding to research, and finding relevant keywords – this whole process requires time and expertise. But when after all the hard work, your content still doesn’t rank on Google, it can be pretty underwhelming.
Thankfully, there is a solution to rank well on Google and other search engines, suggested by the research engines themselves known as search engine optimization – SEO. SEO writing ensures the content you are generating rank higher and generate traffic.
Here in this article, we cover everything you must know about SEO writing.
What is SEO Writing?
SEO writing is writing content with the aim to reach the top positions in search engines. This process involves finding the relevant keywords, understanding the user intent, and writing focused and high-quality content that is easy to skim and crawl.
A question for you: which search results do you open when you make a query on the search box? Your answer probably is the first one or the top 3 or 5. The top results are always based on SEO writing.
This means that if your website doesn’t appear in the top positions of the SERPs (search engine result pages), it would be challenging to gain organic traffic, and leads and eventually make conversions.
How to Write for SEO?
There are three things to focus on when writing to rank on the first page of search engines.
- Understand the search intent: it means having a clear understanding of what the searcher is trying to find with the target keyword.
- Answer in the best way: it is your job to reply in the best possible way to the query made on the internet. It should be complete and detailed.
- SEO writing: there will be no point in knowing all if you cannot answer in their language which is ready to read and understand. Good writing brings good value.
Other than that, there are other on-page SEO factors you need to consider while creating SEO content, for example, meta title, meta tags, meta descriptions, headings, internal links, and image alt text. We have discussed this in detail too.
Why Is It Important to Write for SEO?
Google approximately gives around 3 billion searches each day. Here comes the importance of SEO writing. If your content has all the above three qualities, there are higher chances to get ranked on the first page of Google. Ranking on Google’s top positions means getting free and relevant traffic to your website and all for FREE.
If not organic SEO ranking, the chances of getting relevant traffic drop drastically. This leaves us with only one option which is paid marketing. Note that, paid advertising is costly and due to the rising competition, getting engagement is harder than ever before.
Therefore, if you have plans to remain in the business then working on SEO is the only reliable option to succeed.
So how can you grab the first position on the SERP?
12 Tips to Create Search Engine-Optimized Content to Be in the Top Ranking
The first thing to do is to decide on the topic you want to cover. After the topic finalization, start the keyword research. Once you have found the keyword you want to target, follow these tips to start your journey of SEO writing:
Find your target keyword and its intent
Before you start your SEO content writing, you need to find the true intent of your keyword. As said earlier in the article, search intent is the intention of the person making the query on search engines like Google.
If someone is searching for ” best hospitals” the intent of this keyword is to find the nearby hospitals based on the location.
But if you type, “best bread pudding,” the SERPs results will not show you the nearest restaurants that are selling bread puddings. Rather it will show you the recipe to make by yourself.
Therefore, it is vital to find the right keyword and understand its user intent before writing the content. You can do that by googling your keywords or using keyword tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Google Trends.
Make an outline of your content
Creating an outline before writing a content piece cuts the job in half. It not only makes the SEO writing process easy but also helps you keep an eye on the quality and relevancy.
An outline is basically dividing the content into parts. There is H1, introduction, H2, H3 and sometimes H4.
Headings make the content scannable and improve the readability of the content for your visitors. Beyond that, it also immensely helps crawlers understand your on-page content. If the crawler doesn’t get your content, it will not rank it, it is that simple.
So, your main header should speak for what the audience will get from the content. Your subheaders should have intent-related keywords to satisfy both the reader and the crawler.
Content optimization for featured snippets
Featured snippets of Google are one of the best features for those who want to know the answer in short and direct. You need to optimize your content if you want your snippets to feature in Google.
Here is how you can do that:
- Use the exact query keyword in H1 or H2
- Make pointers to give the direct answer
- Start the sentence with the actions verbs such as click, select, cut, and similar
- Keep the word count short.
Just start writing
A blank white page is always scary. And with the intention to write perfectly and at one time makes the task even more overwhelming. The easy way to deal with this is to start with the rough draft.
The rough draft will help you start without getting worried to make it perfect in one go. It will help you put your research in place by using keywords and give you different angles and styles to approach the content. Edits and proofreading will help you make the draft perfect and have five-star content.
Write first for humans, then for search engines
There are many SEO techniques and tips to work on to improve your content loved which is by crawlers of search engines. But we shouldn’t forget that one core purpose to create content is to reach humans.
You can write human-friendly and SEO-friendly content by:
- Keeping its structure scannable
- Using headings, subheadings, and bullet points
- Answering the question in the most comprehensive, engaging, and easy-to-understand way
- Add visual aid if possible
Your potential customers have specific goals, pain points, and problems, target them. Create a buyer persona and then write quality content that they feel is written specifically for them. There are many tools that can help you generate better content and measure performance. You can use Google Analytics, which will give a detailed analysis of how much time people have spent on your website, and how far they have scrolled down or have they visited more pages or not.
Name your blog in a creative way
The first thing your potential visitors will see is the meta title of your blog. If that would excite them, only then, they will click. Make sure your content title is
- Within the word limit (60 characters only)
- Has your main keywords (use for only one time)
How you can make your meta title compelling?
- By creating curiosity, e.g. What did Mr. X find when he used Iphone’s flash (main keyword: Iphone’s flash)
- By using numbers, e.g., 7 tips to increase your productivity (main keyword: productivity)
- By revealing the offer, e.g., Learn how to do content marketing + free beginner guide (main keyword: content marketing).
Meta title and meta description are the part of your content that search engines like Google show on the SERPs. A 60-character meta title communicates the main idea of your content. While a 160-character meta description is like a little description of what’s inside.
- Both should have the main keyword and one related keyword (only in the meta description)
- Both are simple and compelling to stand out from other competitors.
Include ALT text in your Images
If you are using images on your webpage, you need to add ALT text under your pictures to help crawlers and visually-impaired people get what the image is about. Make sure you have added your main keyword and a little description of what’s happening in there.
For example, if you add an image of kids playing in the garden and your main keyword is “garden playground” then your ALT text would be ” kids are playing football in the garden playground.”
You can also add infographics and videos with your content on the page. Make sure they are embedded and take less to zero time to load and play.
Compress the images for faster loading
By providing information, your aim is also to give the best possible user experience to help them remember and visit you again. One of many ways you can increase the user experience is by uploading such pictures which take no time to load.
If you are uploading more than one picture within your content, and each picture is above the 100KB size, you need to compress them all right now. There are many free apps that do the job perfectly without affecting its quality of it. Google’s page speed is a free tool that analysis your website page speed.
Say no to keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an effort to manipulate search engine rankings. This unethical practice has been widely used in the past but is now considered outdated and ineffective. Sometimes, it can even lead to penalization by search engines.
Instead, keep the keyword density in mind and focus on providing quality content with relevant LSI keywords used sparingly. Make sure the words you use are natural and make sense within the context of your content. Don’t just add them for the sake of adding them.
Don’t be afraid to link to famous websites
Linking content to authoritative websites can be an effective way to boost your website’s credibility and visibility. It helps demonstrate that your website is trusted by other organizations in the industry, which encourages more people to visit and trust you.
With that, external linking to high-authority sites can help improve your SEO rankings as Google, Bing, and other search engines rank websites higher which have links from well-respected sources.
Following are the key points to care for before linking:
- When searching for sites to link to, make sure they are relevant and reliable.
- The sites are up-to-date and trustworthy.
- They are relevant to the content is to your own website – if there’s no connection between them, it could look suspicious or unprofessional.
- Remember that linking too many external sites may cause visitors to click away from your web page. It’s important to strike a balance between helpful links and excessive ones.
The longer, the better
What do you think, one post has around 500 words, and one post is around 2000 words, which post would be more comprehensive and informative? Writing small posts is good but if you’re writing to show up in the search results and then longer posts with a scannable content strategy work better.
But there is one catch of writing longer posts, the readers get overwhelmed. So, to deal with that you need to break down your content into eatable, scannable portions.
Divide the long paragraphs into three-liner small paragraphs. Use bullet points to provide more information in a digestible manner.
Don’t forget internal linking
Linking to the other related posts on your website helps you generate authority and trust between your audience and also helps Google in creating a sitemap.
One linked post to another reduces the bounce rate and keeps the visitors on your website for a longer time. And in return, they get thorough information related to their question.
Do not use generic terms for anchor text when linking to other web pages (inside or outside of your website). Rather give them a description of the linked page.
Final Thoughts on SEO Writing
SEO writing is need of the time to outrank your competitors and be in the top position. By generating value-driven content and following all the SEO factors related to keywords, webpage structure, and design, you can become the ranked #1 website.
With all, know you know how to do SEO writing that not only Google but your audience will also love. Follow all these foolproof SEO writing tips. With time and practice, you will master it. And remember as long as you are answering their queries in their language, you don’t have to worry about the on-page SEO writing and user experience.