SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO Challenged

seo content writing tipsIf you’re feeling a little SEO challenged when writing content that’s SEO friendly — welcome to the club.

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.

  1. As part of the URL, for example
  2. As part of your page Title Tag
  3. As part of your page Description tag
  4. In the first paragraph
  5. In at least one Header tag (<h1>)
  6. In the alt text of your graphic or photo
  7. In the body of the copy
  8. In the summary or last paragraph of the page
  9. 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.

  • 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
  • JavaScript Redirects
  • 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

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  1. Hey Liz,

    SEO-the main factor at which most of bloggers think to improve.

    As you have mentioned concentrating only on SEO is not enough. We need to focus at the quality of our blog post. Making human relationships help us to build trust among our audience.

    We need to target most searched keywords if we want to improve the SEO.
    There are many spambots try to harm our blogs from which we should keep safe.
    We should keep in our mind that keeping our blog spam free is really important.

    Thanks for this wonderful post.

    Hope you are having fun this weekend.:)

    Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To use CommentLuv Premium WordPress Plugin For Free?My Profile

  2. Hey Liz,

    I totally agree with your tips. I love the challenge of SEO but with Google, I don’t put all my eggs in there for sure.

    It def all starts with good keywords. You have to find what others are searching for. My opinion if you focus on keywords and adding quality content on a regular basis, you will do fine.

    Thanks for this Liz. It been a while, I hope all is well?
    Steven J Wilson recently posted..3 Best Choices For Building a Website With No ExperienceMy Profile

    • Hi Steven,

      You’re so right. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket with this one. The point is not to ignore SEO completely. There are some basic good practices like finding good keywords and helping the search engines recognize them by putting they in key spots, but other than that adding quality content is the real key to success. Social media is also becoming part of SEO I think, but being social also just makes good sense.

      Thanks for stopping by Steven. I’m having a super busy summer but it’s all good :-)

      Hope you are doing well too.

      Elizabeth McGee recently posted.. SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO ChallengedMy Profile

  3. Hi Liz,

    Excellent post, and we should all be so happy that those SEO rules have changed for the better.

    As a freelance writer who has written content for myself and others for years now, I’ve always complained about the ridiculous use of packed keywords that my clients used to request. It was ridiculous.

    I still can remember very well a particular client back in 2010 for whom I had to write 10 articles to promote his product. In that series of articles I had to “unnaturally” pack keywords in such a manner that it was clear that the quality of the articles would be affected in a negative way for the reader. No matter what I was saying, he insisted.

    Yes, the client was not considerate of the readers, but I blamed search engines for that. Before they started getting smarter 2-3 years ago, they were downright dumb and encouraged people to stuff their content with a ridiculous amount of useless keywords that were there for one reason, and one reason only – ranking.

    So, sorry for my rant here, but it had to be said. So glad about everything you’re saying here.

    Have a great day!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Order Your Writing Jobs While Saving You Time And MoneyMy Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,

      I hear ya! Those keyword antics were so ridiculous. But it was even more ridiculous that people insisted on compromising the quality of their content because of it. But as a business person you have to give the customer what they want, it’s just hard when you know what they want isn’t really the right thing. Oh well, perhaps that person knows better now :-)

      Thanks so much for stopping by and I’m so glad you found the post useful.

      Have a great day and a wonderful weekend Sylviane :-)

      Elizabeth McGee recently posted.. SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO ChallengedMy Profile

  4. Hey Liz,

    I just read Donna’s post today and it was why Google was like her ex-husband. It was so funny because I could relate to that. A man never able to make up his mind and that seems to be the way Google is these days.

    Teaching us one thing is okay and then a year later they are telling us we are now being penalized for it. I just quit obsessing over all of that and from what I still understand about basic SEO is that I’m still along the lines of doing things right like you mentioned here.

    The links, the keywords for our site, the meta tags, all that good stuff. I’m doing the little things but just don’t optimizing my posts for the search engines anymore. If I get traffic from them then great. If I don’t then that’s great too.

    I don’t mean to discount how important it is for those who want to rank in Google but I’m just so past all of that I don’t even care anymore.

    Great tips though and I certainly want to remain on Google’s good side so for that reason I can’t keep my head in the sand.

    Great share my dear and hope your week started off well. Have a good one.

    Adrienne recently posted..The Seven Deadly Sins Of A Selfish WebsiteMy Profile

    • I hear ya Adrienne :-) I use to be a big proponent of SEO. I actually got into it quite heavily, but since social media came along, there’s really no point in focusing too much time and effort in that direction. We can generate our own traffic and do it just as effectively. If we happen to rank well in the search engines for our best keywords, well, that’s just a bonus :-)

      Thanks for stopping by my friend. Always good to hear your thoughts :-)

      Have a wonderful week.
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted.. SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO ChallengedMy Profile

    • Hi Liz,

      Just came over from Enstine’s blog where he linked to this one. Scrolling down the comments I see Adrienne’s and yes… Google is like my X Husband…always changing.

      I don’t have anything against SEO…but I do like to sprinkle it in. It isn’t my main focus, but rather I write for my readers. If someone comes that is new fine…if not that’s fine with me. I don’t want to climb the ladder of Google. I have been on the first page many times. But…did it ever convert into monetization? No. So for me it isn’t a priority. lol.

      Thanks Adrienne for the mention..

      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Great Blog Posts August 2015My Profile

  5. Hi Elizabeth,
    A really good post!
    Most of the people out there forget that SEO and blogging isn’t a fast thing. They takes time, sometimes months and sometimes years.
    And domain age too matter until your domain is atleast 6 months old. After that Google starts trusting your site and you get the google trust. What else would you want?
    After creating a lot of back links almost any keyword can rank through internal linking. I don’t know many people still don’t use it.
    Thanks for the post! Have a great day ahead.

    • Hi Anurag,

      Some people forget about SEO, but I’ve noticed that some folks have chosen to disregard it altogether. I think that’s a bad thing as the search engines need food to find your posts. Age and trust do play a part but the whole of the matter is useful content. No one will share content or link to it if it’s not worthy. Backlinks are still important but the quality of the sites that the back links are coming from matters as well.

      Thanks for stopping by Anurag. You have a wonderful week :-)

      Elizabeth McGee recently posted.. SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO ChallengedMy Profile

  6. Hey Liz,
    Good to be on your blog after some weeks. I won’t tell you I went on holidays 😉 Have just been around getting rapped up in a few things both on and offline.

    Recently, I got involved in developing a new commenting and traffic plugin. Just published it on WP plugin browser.

    Now, to be frank, this is all we need for on page SEO. Forget about the drama. Follow these simple tips and for the most part, you rank well even without backlinks. Help search engines find the right information.

    Hope you are having a great week

  7. Hi Liz

    I would call it the most latest tutorial on SEO. After that one needs not to be confused how to SEO after a lot of changes in Google’s parmaeters to rank a website.

    Now quality rules the quantity. If you create less with higher value it has more worth than a huge crowd with similar boring faces.

    Social media has now become the most effective tool to get higher rank and one who ignores it will actually do partial SEO to lift his blog.

    The conclusion of this post is; rational SEO with high quality contents and active social media sharing is the complete recipe to cook a tasty blog post.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful post.

    • Hey Mi Muba, you summed this post up great!

      Bottom line though is SEO is still important but focus less on SEO than you do quality content. Sharing is good and helps you get more targeted readers. It also builds rapport and trust with readers which is far more important than just getting visitors to your site.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and offering your feedback. It’s always appreciated :-)

      Elizabeth McGee recently posted.. SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO ChallengedMy Profile

  8. Swapnadip Chakraborty says:

    Hello Liz,

    Search Engine Optimization is the way to get good ranking signal on Search Engine. To achieve effective results, We should concentrate on writing of SEO friendly content. For this we should try to find useful keywords, Google Ad words will help to find it. …..My suggestion is that always select low search keywords.
    Use those keywords in H1 and H2 tag on title and body of the post.
    Try to use your keywords on meta tag , meta description and SEO title of your post.

    Thanks for this informative post Liz. This is my first visit on your blog. All the best to you and have an wonderful weekend.

    Thanks & Regards,

    Keep Writing and have an wonderful weekend.

    • Thank you for stopping by and adding your valued feedback :-) Keywords are pretty important and using them wisely within our content helps with ranking. Unfortunately ranking is as easy to attain as it once was, even if we do use good keywords and good keyword placement.

      THe real point is to create content that readers find useful, because if they like it and share it you’ll increase visitors which means that good content is rapidly becoming a big part of the SEO process.

      You have a wonderful week as well :-)
      Elizabeth McGee recently posted.. SEO Content Writing Tips For The SEO ChallengedMy Profile

  9. Hi Liz,

    You are SO right in all that you said in this post :)

    Yes, I do most of these things, especially the SEO part, which I am glad isn’t as it was earlier. I think if you use keyword variations in your post, you are on the right lines. Not to mention that half the time we create new keywords if we don’t aim for one and that very one gets ranked! Oh yes…it’s happened a lot of times with me, and sometimes just writing free flow, with a hot topic of discussion (without keyword) has reached page 1 of Google – so SEO is needed, but it isn’t the start and end of it all as Google perhaps sees a lot more in your post than that, just as you mentioned.

    You need to optimize your post for the search engines, take care of the formatting, images, and ensure it’s a well-written content that your readers like. The comments come if you have a good community and strong social media presence, some things we cannot let go of, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing, and good to be back on your blog after a while. Have a nice week ahead :)

  10. Hi Elizabeth,

    Nice to meet you and come to your blog. I came hear through Adrienne Smith’s blog. The SEO grabbed my attention because I’m always concerned about it. I used keyword research for sure but definitely need additional info on other SEO tactics. I know some people don’t worry about it at all and that’s another thing that’s confusing. To use SEO or not? That is the question. Anyway, got some great tips hear because I am one who tries to use SEO consistently, but I’ve got a lot to learn.

    Great post and very informative. Thank you.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thank you, nice to meet you as well :-)

      Yes, SEO concerns lots of folks. Unfortunately SEO isn’t the ticket to high rankings as it once was, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it altogether, however folks that do ignore SEO can still get traffic on their own if they simply go with social media. My take on that is why not do both. Basic SEO good practices is all you need. I don’t recommend getting any more tied up in it than that. By doing both Basic SEO and social media you have a better chance at good or better rankings than if you didn’t do SEO at all. Every little bit helps :-)

      I love your site, particularly the post you wrote on “Four Things That May Be Holding You Back From Success”. Those are things that hit home for so many people. Loved it!

      Thanks for stopping by Barbara. We’ll be keeping in touch :-)


  11. Well Complied post, I agree that good keyword for your content should be the first concern. All the points you included are really great especially finding the right market with tilda sign.

    But the most difficult part is to make your link clean because reference sites with high authority are not likely to link with you. They need you to be of high quality.

    That is really the worst part of blogging as I guess.
    Sumit Thakur recently posted..CLAT Exam 2015, Syllabus, Pattern, Books and EligibilityMy Profile

    • Hi Sumit,

      Linking to the right sites is big for bloggers, and these sites aren’t always easy to find. But I prefer to look beyond just high ranking, high authority sites, I want the sites I link to to be useful for my readers. There’s a lot of amazing information and ideas out there and I want to help my readers connect with it, so it’s important to make sure my links are relevant and informational too. Of course any site worth its salt maintains good quality, so the two generally go hand in hand.

      Thanks for stopping by Sumit and for your great feedback.

      Have a wonderful day :-)

      Elizabeth McGee recently posted..Create Traffic Pulling Blog Post Headlines Every Time!My Profile

  12. Theodore Nwangene says:

    Great post mate,
    Search engine optimization is really a very important aspect of internet marketing and its what everyone should learn how to implement.

    But in as much as its important, we should not focus all our articles on it because this will make it so boring and will also affect the contents user experience which is also what Google itself frowns at.

    Its good to focus more on our readers and give them what they want while implementing the basic SEO on our articles.

  13. Hey Liz,

    Long time no see but I’m glad I came to this post. I got here via Enstine Muki’s post.

    It’s definitely good to have a balance of SEO and quality content. But more so quality content will help you build the reputation you want and help to generate the traffic. You are providing value for you target audience as well as showing how competent you are.

    With that said this sparks their interest to get to know, like and trust you. Onice you start to get returning readers this in turn shows social proof which are social signals to search engines! When they notice this it gives them a reason to push your blog up the ranks!

    Thanks for sharing and you have and good one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Is Your Online Marketing Plan Building Strong Reciprocity?My Profile

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