Writing SEO Content
Tips to serve both search engines and your visitors when creating SEO content.
1. Carefully select keywords.
Refer to the previous chapter on keywords. Remember, you should write for your audience and not the search engines, but a little optimization is needed.
When it comes to optimizing:
- Include a selected keyword in your copy or headline
- Think about selecting one primary keyword and some supporting ones to go along with it
- Target a low number of SEO keywords per page (ideally no more than five)
- Use the exact term
- Don’t mention it too many times!
* Remember: as long as the content reads naturally then the writer shouldn’t worry too much about how many times a keyword has been mentioned.
2. Think about your headlines and titles.
These need to be as ‘sticky’ as possible because, if it isn’t enticing/appealing, the content won’t be read. You could shape the heading to suggest that your content is solving a problem, creating a debate or offering guidance, for example.
Also, it is worth bearing in mind that the headline will also be used when it is shared on social networks.
3. Make sure content delivers on your headline.
Eight out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only two out of 10 people will read the rest. Because many people initially skim over articles, they won’t stick around and digest it properly if they don’t think your content is addressing your headline, the thing that got them onto the page in the first place.
So make sure your content delivers on your heading.
4. Reel in your audience with a killer intro.
Your headline is your initial sell, but the introduction is what will entice the reader to delve further into your content.
You could open your content:
- By posing a question – this will engage your reader and they will want to read on and find the answer, particularly if it’s a question that they can relate to.
- With a quote – this may trigger the audience to read further to see how the quote relates to the headline. With an anecdote – telling a personal or powerful story will give your content a personality, it will back up what you’re saying and it should entertain your reader.
- By quoting an interesting fact – this will entice the reader if it is related to the topic and will back up what you’re saying.
- By being contextual – give a brief reason why you’re writing this particular piece of content. Data and stats will also be useful here.
- By painting a picture in your reader’s mind – ‘imagine this’ or ‘do you remember when?’ are ways this can be achieved.
- With an analogy – this can immediately grab attention.
5. Break up your text.
Using sub-headings, short paragraphs, call-out boxes and bullet pointed or numbered lists, for example, will make information easier to digest. It will also help those people skimming and scanning your content.
Additionally, subheadings do also have a minor SEO benefit, too.
6. Insert images.
Backing up your SEO content with screenshots, infographics, charts etc. can convey a message more powerfully than words alone.
However, it is also important to bear in mind that there are strict copyright laws surrounding the use of images, so you must make sure that any image that you use on your site is there with the permission of its owner.
Failing that, think about taking your own images or using free image websites such as iStock or ShutterStock.
*Note: it is also wise to tag your images and give them captions to help search engines to work out what they are.
7. Think about internal links.
Linking your visitors to another piece of related SEO content will ensure that you are keeping them on your site and exposing them to more of your content. There is also a significant SEO benefit in doing this too, as editorial and mid content internal links provide citation, which is any mention of your brand online with or without a link.
8. Set goals for every single piece of content that you produce.
You might want a piece of content to specifically generate leads or to be shared on social media. Whatever it is, make sure that you have a goal in mind before writing, as your content should be shaped around achieving this aim.
Never sacrifice the user experience to force your copy to meet an SEO goal.