SEO-friendly content is the number one marketing tactic for driving organic traffic to your website.
The issue that companies face is that creating content and optimizing it for SEO can be a time-consuming venture both in development and payoff. Furthermore, you may not know how to use SEO in a blog effectively.
In this article, we'll explore the meaning of SEO content writing and provide you with 13 tips to help you create SEO-friendly content starting today.
What is SEO Content Writing?
SEO content writing refers to the act of creating content for a page that is effectively optimized to communicate with search engine algorithms. There are many strategies you can implement to optimize your blog content, many of which we will explore further down in this article.
The broad strokes include implementing popular keywords in your main headlines and throughout the body of the text. It also includes properly structuring your URLs, correcting on-page UX errors, and even optimizing images for quality and appropriate loading speeds. The problem for many users comes with the belief that you cannot speak effectively to an algorithm and write for a user simultaneously.
The truth is that Google's algorithm is rapidly improving every day and prefers that you write in a way that's natural and valuable to your actual readers. As long as you put your audience first and do your best to fall in line with best SEO practices, you can expect your content to boost your website ranking. The better your content performs, the more traffic you will receive, which then increases your site's SEO value overall in the long term.
Now you're likely asking, how do I use SEO in my blog?ā Below, we're going to give you thirteen powerful tips to help you create SEO-friendly content like a marketing professional.
Tips for Creating SEO-Friendly Content
Content is the soul of digital marketing and SEO, and your success lies in creating content that is helpful for the users and optimized for the search engines. To rank your content better in search engines, follow these tips:-
1. Research Keywords and Match Content to Keyword Intent
All blog writing generally begins with the act of researching popular keywords that are relevant to the topics you want to discuss on your website. You want to look for keywords that not only have a high search volume but are directly relevant to your brand and feature an appropriate level of competitive difficulty.
You can search for keywords and generate topics in several ways. The primary way is to utilize popular SEO tools such as SEMRush. This will not only reveal popular keywords, but provide important analytics such as the competitiveness, cost-per-click, and average search volume. You can also generate a list of popular keywords that are similar or related for additional inspiration.
Another popular method is to get more involved with the discussion among your target audience. Many blog writers turn to sites like Quora, which features an enormous list of popular questions and answers regarding any number of topics. For example, if someone asks Quora, How do I create better content for my blog,ā and that page sees a lot of activity, you can extrapolate that there's a need for content regarding that question. You can also source ideas like this from community groups on social media sites or forums such as Reddit.
We also strongly recommend examining popular blog content that your direct competitors produce. If a particular brand ranks in the top five on Google SERPs, you know that their content is something you want to emulate. Rather than copying content and running into issues with plagiarism, think about how you can uniquely approach similar topics and create content that is better than theirs.
Focus on the Intent Behind Keyword Usage
Something that is often overlooked is the true intent behind using a particular keyword. If you simply choose a popular keyword and start writing, you might miss the mark entirely. Instead, you want to select a topic that matches the reason for the search, so that your content meets the needs of your audience.
To better understand keyword intent, know that there are three types of keywords. Navigational keywords are terms or phrases that direct users to a specific location. If someone searches “Netflix,” then they are simply trying to go to that brand’s homepage.
Informational keywords help users find content that educates or informs them. These often come in the form of a question that asks what, how, or why. The user wants to educate themselves and isn’t necessarily looking to make a transaction.
Transactional keywords more directly indicate the intent to purchase a product or service. They may search “buy” or use product qualifiers such as “cheap” or “best.”
Understanding this intent will guide you in the process of matching your content to reflect the person’s actual needs. If you select informational keywords, make sure your content provides helpful knowledge and avoids overt advertising. If you want to push sales on a particular product, highlight transactional keywords on that page, instead.
2. Develop an Outline First Before You Begin Writing
Classrooms around the world should feature this in every Writing 101 course. While it’s technically possible to write a content piece from start to finish, creating an outline or a skeleton of the piece first will allow you to stay much more organized. The outline becomes especially vital for SEO as you can plan out your keyword usage and headlines well in advance.
You’re already aware of the basic article structure through previous reading experience. Every piece will have an introduction to the topic, the body that contains the bulk of the information, and closing thoughts that summarize or link users to further reading.
With SEO content, you’ll want to plan out how to structure those segments to organize information for users, while also catering to SEO best practices. Planning your headlines will also help you to keep your content paragraphs short for easier, more fluid reading. It will also optimize the research process as you’ll know exactly which details you need to focus on as opposed to filtering through which data to keep and which to eliminate.
3. Make Your Paragraphs Concise
This tip follows suit with the previous tip regarding structure. To get the best SEO benefits, the general rule is that more content is better. However, your average user is generally unwilling to give the attention required to absorb 3,000 words through continuous reading.
Instead, your SEO content writing should read differently than your latest novel draft. You’ll want to segment your ideas into smaller paragraphs that allow for quick skimming, while still allowing users to retain the key points. Even if you need to convey additional data under the same subheading, look for opportunities to break your thoughts into smaller paragraphs.
Creating an outline and keeping your paragraphs short will also assist you in keeping your writing on task. As soon as your language becomes overly drawn out, your reader will also begin to tune out. Understand that you only have a limited time to grab your audience. Otherwise, your bounce rate will increase, which negatively impacts your website SEO over time.
4. Your Content Must be a Minimum of 500 Words but Shoot for More
Content length is a tricky topic when it comes to search engine optimization. For a long time, it was widely accepted that 300-500 words were the expected amount of content required for a webpage. Anything less than this will prompt Google's algorithm to mark your page as having thin or meaningless content. The idea is that fewer words cannot possibly say anything substantial or worthwhile regarding a particular topic.
While short-form blogging is a thing, it’s incredibly difficult if not possible to do if you’re just starting. Search engine algorithms look through the content and constantly examine it to determine what it’s talking about and whether or not the material is valuable to readers. The less content a page has, the less information the algorithm has to make its determination. We would also argue that it’s seldom possible to address your audience’s needs in 300 words only, either.
For this reason, long-form content inarguably works best when attempting to improve your SEO and search engine rankings. Different sources will argue for different lengths, but we generally recommend aiming for 2-3,000 words of high-quality information. The trick is that this can vary greatly depending on the subject matter at hand.
In other words, a 3,000-word article that’s stretched not to provide better information, but to meet a quota, is not working in the service of your readers. If you’re confident that your content delivers powerful information with fewer words, then feel free to post with confidence. You can analyze the performance and make adjustments later.
5. Always Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a short snippet that appears directly beneath the website and page name listed within search engine results pages. Text will always appear here regardless of whether or not you manually optimize the text or not. However, implementing the best SEO practices here can drastically improve your content’s clickthrough rate.
Here is an example of a strong meta description for a result when using the keywords “SEO Content service”:
There are several things to note here. First, the meta description utilizes the keywords appropriately within the limited number of characters. Google bolds the words and phrases that match your query, making your result stand out better than descriptions that lack them.
Second, the entire meta description fits on screen. The writer or SEO specialist managed to capture the essence of the page’s content without running over the character limit. You want to aim to keep your descriptions between 150-160 characters. Otherwise, it will cut off and feature ellipses at the end.
Third, the actual meta description content attempts to intrigue us and sell us on the click. It understands that when we search for “SEO content service,” we are looking to potentially purchase such a service for ourselves. It uses transactional qualifiers such as “best SEO content” and “quality SEO content.” The prospect of getting the best SEO content service available is appealing and is likely to draw traffic.
Finally, it includes multiple call-to-actions. It encourages the user to connectā and sign up nowā to benefit from their offerings. All of these factors create the right blend of a clean look, effective keyword highlighting, solid information, and a sense of urgency. This is exactly what you want to achieve when creating a meta description for your blog content.
6. Add Images to Your Blog Content and Optimize Them
Our society feeds on visual media. For this reason, you can drastically improve the performance of your blog content by enhancing the experience with high-quality, relevant imagery.
Specifically, we recommend that brands create and upload their custom images to add a sense of personalization and authenticity to their articles. Not only are unique and personal images more attractive to consumers, but they can also positively impact your SEO as no other blogs will have access to these assets.
Compare this to the use of stock imagery. While having a licensed image is superior to having no images at all, consumers that make the blog rounds will likely see the same types of stock photographs time and again. It has the opposite effect of implementing custom images as it can make your content feel recycled and too similar to competitors.
Your images can include shots of your company, your products, or your services so long as they are relevant to the topic you’re writing about. Custom infographics also perform well and are prime material for social sharing and acquiring new backlinks. Be sure to include some form of branding in any custom images that you own to avoid having your content stolen without receiving any credit.
Remember to Update the Image Alt Text
Regardless of the image you use, be sure to set your alt text before publishing your SEO content. Alternative text is an HTML attribute that prompts descriptive text to appear on the page whenever it is not possible to view the image. You can boost the SEO value of your page by adding this easy-to-implement accessibility feature for your readers.
If possible, you should claim this opportunity to utilize your primary keyword once more. Because your image immediately relates to the article topic, you should have very little issue achieving this.
7. Integrate Internal Links Throughout the Body
A key component of an effective SEO-friendly content strategy is to utilize internal links throughout the body of your article. This serves three primary purposes that can boost your SEO.
The first is that you enhance the value of the content by providing additional resources for customers to learn about related subjects. For example, an article providing general SEO tips typically won’t provide a deep dive into alternative text. But, the user may want to learn more about the subject, and providing an internal link to another article on your site is the best way to satisfy this need.
Secondly, by linking to related articles on your site, you’re maximizing the benefits you can obtain from a single visitor. Instead of reading your article and leaving, they’re more likely to click around to new pages. This increases your number of daily page clicks and the average duration of a session. More time spent on your site means more opportunities to turn a casual reader into a repeat visitor.
Finally, utilizing internal linking appropriately assists search algorithms in better understanding the content on your entire website. Not only do search engines look at headlines, keywords, and text, they can understand the relationship two pages have with one another through direct links. The easier it is to understand your website’s content, the more valuable it will be to search engines.
8. Optimize Your URL for SEO
In our continuing efforts to optimize content for search engines, the next item to visit is the page URL. If you do not manually edit your URL, your website will automatically generate one that does little to describe the page to readers.
An example of a poor URL might look something like this:
This does not define what type of content you can expect to find on the page. We can see that the pathway is taking us from the home page, to services, and to a specific service page. However, this automated number is created by the website as an identifier, but it doesn’t help readers or your SEO.
Instead, we optimized our page URL to make it much more accessible to readers and search engine algorithms:
This optimized URL removes the arbitrary numbers and instead defines the subject of the page. It accomplishes this by using as few keywords as possible. It is not necessary nor is it recommended to include articles such as “the” or “a.” Additionally, when defining the page title, you want to communicate the relationship between words by using the dash symbol as illustrated in the example above. It’s also much easier to remember this URL if you want to navigate there directly.
Finally, though some sites utilize dates in their URL, we recommend against it. The reasoning behind this is that dated content will appear old and irrelevant to users who discover it at a later date. Instead, you want to uphold the value of your content and allow it to be evergreen. For example, if you’re writing an article about SEO tips, the chances are that the information will still be relevant at a later date regardless of the posting date.
9. Optimize the Page for Mobile Viewing
Did you know that 54.8% of web traffic comes primarily from mobile devices? Because of this fact, you need to make mobile optimization of your site a priority if you want your content to perform well.
In addition to this, Google promises to rank mobile-ready websites higher than those that are not. You can review their recommended guidelines for your website here. This is part of an effort to make the internet’s content more accessible to users around the globe regardless of internet connectivity or browsing device.
Regarding mobile optimization, you’ll want to ensure that your entire article is clear and easy to view within most mobile viewports. Most drag-and-drop website editors allow you to customize your mobile page view and preview it before publishing. You may also need to update the mobile version of the page to accommodate for increased loading times caused by images or videos.
You can utilize Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your site fares. It's free to use and will reveal a list of errors that are present on your site. It also will recommend optimizations to improve mobile performance. You can also look into creating AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) versions of your existing website pages.
10. Classify Your Articles Using Schema Markup
Schema markup (commonly referred to as structured data) is an HTML language that classifies and categorizes elements on a webpage. It’s also referred to as the language of search engines and is a primary way to help algorithms better understand the content on your website.
Without schema markup, search engine algorithms are left to interpret the content itself without any guidance. Even as Google’s algorithm rapidly improves, it still can misunderstand your content and present it to the wrong audiences. This is the opposite of what you want to happen and it can negatively impact your search engine optimization efforts.
For SEO blog content, you’ll want to mark each new page as an article. There are more elements of a page you can markup, and you can utilize Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to simplify the process. Simply enter your URL, select the page type, and start tagging the attributes that are relevant to your data type.
It will then automatically create the HTML markup code for you to add to the web page’s existing code.
11. Integrate Social Sharing Links on Every Post
You can boost the amount of traffic visiting your blog by making it effortless to share your content. We recommend embedding social sharing links to as many social media platforms as possible. More pathways to your website not only makes your SEO content more accessible, but your enhanced backlink profile will improve your overall SEO.
Backlinks are direct links to your domain from an external source. When you receive a backlink from a trusted domain with high SEO value, some of that confidence gets shared with your website in the eyes of search algorithms. To improve your SEO, you want to build a backlink profile to be reckoned with, and you can boost your efforts by making your content easily shareable across social media.
12. Update Your Blog Consistently
SEO content marketing is not something you can pick up and run with whenever you’re up to it. It requires your team to consistently create new, exciting content on a predictable schedule. If you allow your blog and website to grow stagnant, search algorithms will begin to view your content as outdated and less valuable due to low activity.
You can ensure that your blog continuously maintains its SEO value by posting new content and updating existing content whenever applicable. To get the most benefits possible, you’ll want to strive for 4-5 new posts per week. However, it’s understandable that not every business has the resources to accomplish this. It’s better to emphasize quality over quantity and ensure that you deliver valuable content on a schedule that readers can count on.
Finally, keep track of the content you post and be mindful of how information can change. If an article you wrote on SEO previously performed well, but now contains outdated data, it can begin to negatively impact your website's SEO. Instead of creating a brand-new article from scratch, you can modify the article's content to feature discoveries and updates. Be sure to tag older article updates as Newā or Updateā for better discoverability.
13. Use Machine Learning Tools to Improve Content quality
Our final tip for producing SEO-friendly content is to lean heavily on machine learning and analytical tools to create and improve your content. There are a variety of free and paid tools you can use to find keywords, select topics, write content drafts, correct content errors, and much more.
You should also look to Google Analytics to keep track of how your content performs with audiences. This platform allows you to create custom goals to help you drive conversions that are most relevant to your immediate business needs. You can also A/B test your content to try out new headlines, swap images, or view how different writing styles play with readers. You’ll be able to track your results in real-time and use the data to improve your content creation process.
For assistance in creating content – Articoolo
To quickly correct content errors – Grammarly
To create custom images or infographics – Canva
Finally, you can easily acquire SEO-friendly content for your website by purchasing a content marketing fulfillment service through DashClicks. Our team of SEO specialists and content writers can deliver ready-to-go content on your schedule and handle the posting on your behalf.
Creating SEO-friendly content is not necessarily difficult in technique, but requires time and dedication to perform properly. Taking your foot off the pedal even for a short duration can negatively impact your ROI from content marketing. This is the reason why more brands are planning to invest more resources toward SEO and content marketing in 2022 and beyond.
However, utilizing these tips to guide you in creating SEO-friendly content will prove a worthwhile venture. It is the best way to generate organic traffic and acquire new sales for the lowest cost possible. If you invest in SEO-friendly content for the long-term, your web traffic will improve and you’ll see more inbound sales than ever before.