But don’t be discouraged.
Crafting SEO friendly content is actually easier today than it use to be.
Because SEO shouldn’t be your main objective.
I don’t mean forget SEO totally when writing content. Just forget all the SEO latest fads, tricks and trying to keep up with algorithm changes.
Today SEO content writing is different.
It’s more about concerning yourself with reader focused content instead of using clever SEO strategies that were driven home by so many experts in the past.
Today the search engines are designed to recognize written content that people want to read; not look for SEO strategy implementation.
Too heavy an emphasis on SEO content strategies and less focus on your readers can send you down the rankings river without a paddle if you’re not careful.
It’s a balancing act, but you can do it!
To help you become a better SEO content writer these are SEO content writing tips that I use to help the search engines effectively recognize what my content is about while at the same time help me inspire, challenge, educate, and connect with my readers which is what real SEO is about.
5 Effective SEO Content Writing Tips
Step 1. Effective SEO Content Writing Starts with Good Keywords
What are good keywords?
They are the words that will most accurately describe your page and are highly relevant to your content topic.
Using good keywords or keyword themes gives the search engines the best accurate description of your page and where your content’s focus is.
Finding good keywords doesn’t have to be that hard.
As an example, let’s say you’re writing a piece about low carb diets. The first question you need to ask yourself is what’s the point of your topic? What about low card diets?
Knowing the point of your topic will give you a clear focus for keywords.
For example, are you…
- Offering a low carb diet to follow?
- Sharing the health benefits of a low carb diet?
- Discussing low carb diet for weight loss?
- Demonstrating mistakes made on a low card diet?
Including all those things in one piece of content wouldn’t be a good idea because the search engines or even a reader wouldn’t be able to clearly understand where the focus is.
A more narrow focus gives your content a better chance of getting in front of a reader because it’s clear and specific. There’s no confusion for the reader or the search engines.
If you’re having trouble finding topics to write about use the search related keywords at the bottom of the Google search page. For this example I used the base keywords ‘crock pot cooking’ and got lots of specific ideas on what to write about.
Use related words and phrases
Here’s a neat trick I found for finding related keywords or using LSI (latent semantic indexing). This means using words throughout your content that’s related to the context of your content.
So for example let’s say your main keywords are ‘ find target market’ , here’s a trick to find related or LSI keywords.
In the Google search bar type the following:
~find target market -target market
The ‘~’ or tilda says give me words that apply to ‘find target market’. The ‘-‘ minus says don’t find the exact words ‘target market’
What I found was words like:
- Search marketing
- Market Research
- Targeted audience
- Targeted marketing
- Market concentration
That’s a huge help in finding words that you can use within your content that relate to the context of your target marketing content because they’re words and phrases Google deems related to your target keywords.
Step 2. Use Basic SEO Good Practices
The search engines are machines and like any machine it needs data like keywords, tags and accurate descriptions to help it know what your content is about.
To help the search engines out include your best keyword phrase in each of these areas of your web page.
- As part of the URL, for example www.yoursitename.com/keywordphrase.html
- As part of your page Title Tag
- As part of your page Description tag
- In the first paragraph
- In at least one Header tag (<h1>)
- In the alt text of your graphic or photo
- In the body of the copy
- In the summary or last paragraph of the page
- Bold the keyword once on the page
Additionally, be sure to include these basic SEO good practices.
- Include relevant external links. Always link to relevant, useful, highly recognized external pages where appropriate. Any page that helps your reader better understand your point or idea is an effective SEO practice and one Google looks favorably on.
- Use internal linking between your site’s pages. Include at least one link within your text that links to another relevant page on your website or blog.
- Use canonical tags. Duplicate content can be an issue for site SEO and for this reason you should use canonical tags to avoid being penalized by the SERPs.
- Include social media widgets. Social media is quickly becoming part of search engine optimization. It’s
- Submit a sitemap to Google. Including a good sitemap goes a long way with helping Google and other search engines index your site.
Step 3. Write Quality content that compels and magnetizes.
When I began writing content for my blog it wasn’t as easy as other bloggers made it sound. Anyone can write a blog post content but it takes practice for how to write quality content that compels and draws readers in.
- Write with eye-catching flair. Start with writing an enticing title then craft a killer first line or introduction.
- Use subheadings that will answer the main question your reader is likely to ask.
- Optimize the experience for your reader by sharing personal insight and knowledge. Don’t write what everyone else says; put your own unique spin on it.
- Differentiate your presence. Share personal experiences and express them with personality and spirit. Adding your own individual voice and writing style will make your content as individual as you are.
- Know your target market. Know what your market need, their desires, wants and difficulties. When you truly know these things your copy will almost write itself.
- Go light with affiliate links. If you’re an affiliate marketer and want to promote a product or service in your content that’s perfectly fine but don’t include the direct affiliate link in your content. Instead create a page for your affiliate product and always link to that page from your content. For instance the step-by-step copywriting course icon on the right is a good example of what I mean. The graphic links directly to my review page for the course.
Step 4: Keep Your Links Clean
Your links are still extremely important to the quality of your content. But like just about everything else concerning SEO, things have changed.
It use to be the more links the better. Not any more!
Links are still important but quality trumps quantity so scrutinize your links as much as possible. This goes for incoming as well as outgoing links.
When linking to reference sites, make sure you’re linking to high ranking, reputable information sites.
Use a good mix of anchor text links too. Nathan Gotch has an excellent article on using anchor text links you can find here that offers basic good practices for using links. You don’t have to get this involved but it’s good information to get you started.
Of course all comment links should be to sites that are not spammy.
What’s a spammy site?
- PPC Pages
- Parked Domains
- Scraped content sites
- Parked Domains
- Thin Affiliates sites
- Sneaky Redirects
- Basically any site you wouldn’t find useful or of value
Step 5. Get on the Social media bandwagon
Social media is part of SEO that will expand your reach. It allows you to connect with others on a level that builds familiarity and trust.
A popular acronym used today is OAO (Online Audience Optimization).
Ever heard of that?
It’s a post for another day but basically OAO focuses on knowing your audience, showing your audience you care, less focus on technology, and inviting audience participation. That’s what social media is really all about.
The more people link, like, share and comment on your content the more information the search engines have to go on about how much others value your content. That’s what boosts your rankings and popularity.
The downside to using social media is the time requirement. That’s hard. I have 3 blogs and social media tasks could eat up my whole day if I let it.
I struggled with this at first but soon found out that the key to saving time and finding actionable ideas that work for me is to set up a plan to implement them every day. Through lots of research and asking questions I ended up getting Lynn’Terry’s Social Marketing Results guide. It’s the best social marketing guide out there as far as I’m concerned and it’s saving me a ton of time.
With good social media strategies and planning you don’t need top search engine ranking to get more traffic and consequently more sales. You’re building a more targeted, loyal customer base that carries with it a much more trusted relationship.
Experts may disagree but you don’t necessarily get that with top SEO rankings.
There you have it my friends.
Don’t get too hung up with SEO activities, simply stick with the basic SEO good practices and work harder on the things that count like reader focused quality content and using social media to expand your reach.
What are your thoughts on SEO content writing? Or SEO in general? What things do you focus on the most with your content?
Photo by Stuart Miles and freedigitalphotos.net