You consider yourself an expert in your industry; you offer valuable products and services that can truly make people’s lives better or at least those in your target demographic. You spent years perfecting your brand and thousands of time and effort to launch it. You have the best price in the market and regularly offer discounts and promos. Unfortunately, there is a good chance you are not the only person who does all that, you are not even the only person that offers the same product and service. Even if you are, you would have to be exceptionally unique to get high positions in search engines’ results pages (SERPs). This is where writing for search engine optimization into the picture.
Why You Need SEO Content Writing
The truth is it takes more than an exceptional product or service to attract potential customers’ interest and turn them into actual customers. A lot of work needs to be done to turn first-time customers into long-term ones – as it is about earning their loyalty through trust. One of the tested-and-proven ways to do this is through quality, valuable, helpful, fresh, and timely content.
Building trust with your target demography is about making them invest in your brand, whether it’s purchasing your products or services, or reading your content.
Contents help build brand awareness and establish authority in the industry. With that said, the best way to show your expertise is to consistently give your target audience content they can make use of; whether it answers their questions, solve their problems, and/or entertain them.
Contents come in different forms and are consumed in different ways. Some use videos on their social media with links that direct people to their website or landing page. Some use images or infographics. One type that will never go old is written content, be it articles, blogs, guides, and more.
The biggest challenge for online businesses, digital marketers, and content makers today is to make their content stand out from the highly content-saturated digital space. Contents face huge competition to be seen by real human readers and search engine crawlers. This is what SEO writing is about – to drive traffic and engagement by getting content in front of the right people while simultaneously targeting the requirements of search engine optimization.
What Exactly is SEO Content Writing?
SEO writing is writing content for both human readers and search engines. It means the contents are fresh, relevant, interesting, useful, and valuable.
As said earlier, content can be anything, from articles, blogs, press releases, or even product pages, landing, product pages, eBooks, guides, etc.
Contents must not only include the right targeted keywords and be fully optimized for SEO but more importantly, organized. It should be read easily by both human readers and the search engine.
For content to do their job, people need to see/read them. This is why it is important to get this content in front of people, particularly by sharing it on social media. The more people share the content, the wider the reach of the content, and the more people are directed to where exactly you want them to go with the links you included in your post.
So How Do You SEO Content Writing?
Writing for SEO requires a delicate balance of making the content readable and useful for both your target audience and the search engines.
As said earlier, the competition is fierce and unforgiving. If you want to be seen, you need to learn how to stay ahead of your competition. Here are 9 of the most useful tips for SEO writing for the year 2022.
Understand the Key Performance Indicator of Your Writing
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is about gathering all the right keywords necessary for your content. Having KPI will help you understand the purpose of each content and maximize the opportunity to drive the marketing funnel to your target audience, from awareness to conversion.
As said earlier, SEO writing requires balance, most of the time; it is the balance between maximizing the technology and using a storytelling strategy. The idea is to tell a compelling, moving, and powerful story and top it with the magic of SEO. This way, not only your target readers will see it, but it can also move to the top of SERPs.
Develop a Strategy Based On Structure
Writing without a structure based on strategy is like shooting in the dark, you will never hit your target. As a result, you will end up with readers who are confused. The idea is to write content that appeals to buyers’ persona and drives people to your sales funnel.
There are multiple strategies out there, but one that works is called Hub and Spoke model, which is about writing something from a broad topic like a hub piece, and then generating supplementary content that links to it which dives into a mode in-depth and more detailed topic – hence, spokes.
Say for example the hub topic is “how to finish marathons faster”, the supplementary contents for that article must talk about marathon-specific training, recovery tips, exercises for stronger legs and lungs, running strategy, proper nutrition for runners, etc. See what’s going on? This strategy will help you build multiple valuable contents around a specific topic, while also establishing yourself as an expert in this particular field. Obviously, when writing a series of content, you need to use the right keywords to drive traffic from your target audience and get the attention of search engines.
Hub and spoke strategy keeps your contents interconnected and relevant to each other. The more you write something useful, especially if you provide fresh, unique, and original info, the more search engine will reward you with better rankings in SERPs.
Finding the Right Keywords to Target
Keyword research is incredibly easy if you know how to do it. There are five steps to doing keyword research; define, brainstorm, filter, inspect, and prioritize.
As soon as you have the target list, you can use tools to help you explore and find the best ranking keywords to use for your content.
There are a bunch of free tools you can use, such as AnswerThePublic and AlsoAsked. But as with most free things in life, free accounts will give you limited access, which means you may not get huge volumes unless you get the paid version. Of course, you can always start with the free version and maximize it as much as you can until you really need the paid ones.
Paid tools from AHREFs and Semrush are incredibly useful, as it provides you with a wide account of keywords, competitive insights, and more.
Use headers, and make sure they are in order
Blogs allow brands and companies to draw people in with engaging and relevant content that can be used to encourage more clicks to the website or anywhere you want your readers to go.
Internet users today, however, are more digitally savvy than ever. They want information quickly. They browse through pages fast and click the exit icon if they found nothing that can be of use to them. This is why you need your headers to hit the spot.
When people read long content, they tend to browse and skip the contents by scanning through the headers as they search for the information.
More importantly, headers provide a good flow for your content. This allows you to improve the accessibility and readability of your content and highlight certain areas or sections.
When using headers, use H1 for the most important, and H2s and H3s to support them.
Find your voice and use it to suit your brand identity
Every industry has a different target audience; the messaging and tone that work for one doesn’t automatically work for another. This is why you need to find the voice that best represents your brand’s identity and resonates with your target audience.
Say for example you are a B2B software provider. Obviously, your target audiences are companies and organizations. For this, you need a more formal and factual approach in your writing. If you are a cosmetic brand, you can make use of a lot of beautiful colors and imagery and use a friendly, easy-to-read, casual, and upbeat tone. When choosing a tone for your content, choose one that engages the readers.
You don’t need to settle permanently with one tone. You can experiment with which tone resonates with your audience best. Make use of social media and try different things there. Bring in humor, use trivia, share relevant and interesting news, talk about some social issues, etc.
Use relevant internal and external links
Links provide an easy way to direct readers to other relevant content on your website. To get the most out of your SEO and all content you have on your website, link them together. This is called internal linking. Again, think of the “hub and spoke strategy” that was mentioned earlier. You can even drive people to your “money pages” for the best conversion opportunities.
When it comes to external links (backlinks), they are incredibly helpful for optimization. Linking your content to relevant third-party, authority sites is a great way to drive your search engine rankings up and show value to your content.
Tailor your writing based on the platform
Each content platform requires different types of content. Contents for blogs will not work for landing pages and social media.
Moreover, each type of content and platform requires a different writing approach and style. Stories work amazingly in blogs. Whereas a social media post must grab attention as quickly as possible, with the shortest words possible. In terms of content for your Google ads, you need to make interesting and compelling content and simultaneously hit all relevant keywords.
Use compelling Click-To-Action
Click-to-Action (CTA) is what will tell your readers the things you want them to do. The purpose of this is to convert readers to regular visitors, subscribers, loyal readers, first-time customers, to returning and loyal customers.
You can easily find CTAs anywhere, as they are written as “Sign Up Now” or Subscribe”. These are quite useful in encouraging people to join your newsletter or become members of your website.
“Learn more” is a CTA specifically tailored for landing pages.
“Get started” is a good alternative for sign up course or to learn more about your website, brand, products, services, etc.
“Download now” is a popular choice for downloadable eBooks or whitepapers.
“Try for free” is used for demo or trial version.
“Get the discount” is a surefire way to prompt people to join your mailing list to get the discount voucher.
Optimize, optimize, optimize!
It is easy to assume that once you hit “publish” your job is done. Well, no, there is more work that you need to do to make your content work for you. What good will good content do if your target audience doesn’t see/read it?
So share your content to as many channels and platforms as possible. Share it on your social media, feature it on your website, or even advertise them if necessary (for content that features new products, services, etc.).
There will always be room for improvement; information can get old quickly, especially if you are using third-party reports, studies, and statistics. Moreover, keywords go in and out, so those you have identified six or eight months ago may not work for your campaigns any longer.
This is why you need to optimize your content by updating (by adding new relevant information, if not changing the information you shared, if necessary).
Another great way to optimize your content is to conduct an audit for your on-site SEO, especially for key pages that drive leads and revenue.
Lastly, maximize internal linking to create a strong connection of contents and pages or relevant topics.