How to write for SEO
5 Helpful Guidelines When Writing for SEO
Users depend heavily on search engines, especially Google, to get helpful information for free. One of biggest ranking factors for high-ranking pages in Google is creating fresh and useful content that answers people’s questions and queries.
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become one of the most important marketing strategies to implement for businesses since it can help businesses of all sizes rank well in results pages.
But you may be asking yourself, “How do I write for SEO?” or “What should I keep in mind when writing content that I want to rank?”
Writing well for SEO all starts with knowing what your target audience searches for on Google, and why.
How to write for SEO
Ready for some of our best tips when it comes to writing for SEO? Keep reading to learn about keywords, the importance of title and meta descriptions, and so much more!
Find out what people want to know
With about 3.5 billion searches per day according to Google, you need to research what people are searching for in your industry.
In fact, the essential step in writing for SEO is keyword research.
This research is the process of using tools to discover what terms people are searching for and how often. Some examples of tools are Google’s Keyword Planner.
With many tools out there that do the job, the most important thing is that you identify keywords that users search and relate to your business.
In your research, you’ll most likely find keywords that are long-tail, such as “bright pink sweater with buttons.” Long-tail keywords are the ones that will give you the best idea of what people want to know.
Is there a topic or question people are searching that you, as a company, can confidently explain or answer?
When you find the keywords or search queries that spark ideas for content, write out those content ideas! Remember to copy and paste the keywords that spark your content ideas.
Determine the purpose of your article
Based on all the keywords you discovered, you will have many ideas for content.
Sum up these ideas and organize them into topics. You can spread these topics over weeks, so the more keywords, the better!
When you choose what keywords to write about, you’ll want to look at each one independently and determine the purpose of each article. Refrain from writing on a topic just to target a keyword — instead, think through the purpose of your article and write for humans, not for search engines.
Your content will be the most successful when you write content that caters to the users search intent, and answers the questions that they want answered.
You’ll want to research the content that you write so that it’s backed up by concrete information. For example, you should aim to include statistics and sources in your content to become a trustworthy member of your industry.
In addition, writing naturally is the most important part of writing for SEO. In the past, people would stuff keywords into content and it would rank successfully. However, since Google continuously evolves it’s algorithm to provide the best results, keyword stuffing not recommended today.
Instead, make sure that your content casually incorporates the keywords that you’ve researched.
Make content user-friendly
When planning out the structure of your content, it’s important to make it easy on the eyes for readers.
You’ll want to do things like:
- Include bolded headings throughout your content
- Space out your paragraphs
- Include bulleted lists
- Don’t be afraid of white space
- Incorporate images and multimedia to break up walls of text
Content that is not spaced out, does not include easy to read and short headings, bulleted lists, or images to make your information more digestible will not rank well. If Google sees a lot of visitors leaving, it will rank another page higher where most visitors stay longer. How long people stay on your webpage is just another factor that goes into how Google ranks your page!
You’ll also want to ensure that your pages are mobile-friendly, or responsive. Responsive design ensures that users experience your website the same whether they’re using a desktop computer, a smartphone, or a tablet.
Don’t forget about titles, meta descriptions and headings
Titles tags, meta descriptions, and headings are all important to think about when writing for SEO. Each one of these components should have one of your keywords incorporated at the front.
Since your title tag is the first thing people see on Google when searching and it is one thing we know that Google pays attention to, it’s very important that it’s clickable or relatable to what users are searching.
Here’s what a title tag looks like:
While meta descriptions don’t affect your ranking, they can affect if users decide to click on your content. Having a meta description that incorporates your keyword, a short description of the content, and a call-to-action is optimal!
If you do not write and set the meta description, Google will automatically pull a random bit of content from your piece to show users in the search engine results. Since whatever Google randomly pulls may not be enticing, it’s best to write it yourself. Often, if you incorporate a keyword in the meta description that someone searches in their query, that keyword will be bolded in the meta description.
Here are meta description examples. Note the bolded words that grab people’s attention as a relevancy signal to their search:
And finally, headings are important!
Both Google and your readers pay attention to headings, so they’re worth optimizing. If your writing has an enticing headline and headings throughout the piece that people can quickly read, it helps inform readers what your content is about; they will be more inclined to spend time reading the piece.
In addition, because Google checks out the title and headings, it’s important to have your keywords appear in some of the headings. Remember, not to keyword stuff.
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