SEO writing for Writers
You are a writer. You create beautiful words that conjure colourful, or even daunting, images in the reader’s mind. The hours you spend behind your laptop screen, taking up space in coffee shops and Googling “synonyms for…” are all worth it because someone will read what you have to say. What if I tell you that there is a change that no one will discover your words? This is especially true if your beautiful words and linguistic images are online. There are numerous blogs, articles, opinion pieces and and and online. Therefore, you should take your wordsmith skills and dive into the world of SEO writing. By using SEO writing you will be able to boost your website’s rank on search engines and increase the chances of your words being read. Here are a few guidelines to plan for SEO writing success.
Find an almost clear topic to write about:
This one sounds pretty obvious right? Let’s say you want to write an article about ‘books’, but that’s all you know. Try to narrow down your topic to something like ‘secondhand books’. Now you have a better overall guiding topic and completed the first transition into SEO writing. Laying this foundation will help you work towards a well-defined article that will rank higher when that specific topic is being searched for.
From topic to keywords:
This is where you make the mental writing shift – going from a topic to keywords (also referred to as keyword phrases). Yes, ‘secondhand books’ is your overall guide, but now you have to add some fleshy keywords to the skeleton topic. Keywords are phrases or subjects that people look for via search engines. So, when you write your article, you want to target those keywords so that when someone searches for ‘secondhand books’, your article hopefully pops up on page 1. Because let’s be honest, no one goes past the first page.
Do some keyword research:
What is it about secondhand books you want to focus on? Even better, what is it about secondhand books that people focus on. Remember, you are writing for an audience or users, not yourself. This step is made easier by SEO keyword research tools and Google itself:
- SEO keyword research tools help you identify how many times a certain word or phrase (keyword of keyword phrase) has been searched for. If you type ‘secondhand books’ into one of these tools, it will give your different keywords and keyword phrases people are typing into their search engines regarding secondhand books, e.g. ‘secondhand books for sale’. This basically just means that people type certain words into search engines when they look for something and you want to make sure that your content (aka website) pops up in the search results.
- There is a reason behind a certain keyword. Find out what the intent is and help solve the issue. This is where Google comes in. You know when you search something, and Google gives you a bunch of question in the ‘people also ask’ box? Well those are problems people need solving! Remember that if keywords shine brighter in your content, Google will more likely use your information to help solve searched problems.
Now that you have your specific topic and set of keywords, it’s time to put the electronic paper to pen and actually write. When you are writing, keep these SEO writing practices in mind and try to implement these as you go:
- Make sure your keyword or keyword phrases feature in the first heading (also known as H1). This will usually be the title of your post or the first big heading on the webpage.
- Another great keyword practice is to use your primary keyword throughout your article/post. Just make sure it sounds natural and not like you are forcing the keyword to fit everywhere.
- Add a ‘Table of Contents’ type of section after your introduction paragraph and link the headings to the section. This will give the readers (and Google) a heads up about what the article is going to deal with. It also presents the opportunity for the reader to jump over to a certain section they want to know more about.
- Make links to other websites (external linking) or to webpages in your website (internal linking). You have definitely noticed this type of linking on webpages. It’s when you click on a highlighted or underlined blue word that takes you to another website or page. Not only does this make your content more credible, but it also adds value.
- Even though there’s a debate on the ideal SEO word count for a post (it’s anything from 300-2000 words), keeping the ‘problem’ or topic in mind will assist you with this. If you want to address a straightforward topic, it can be less words than addressing a complex issue that requires more explanation.
You want to be part of the search engine’s inner circle without losing touch with the user. This is a tricky balance that writers who transition into SEO writing has to conquer. All of this might seem like writing has suddenly turned into a strategic, technical activity. Don’t be too overwhelmed with getting SEO writing right the next time you attempt some online articles or blogs. Rather see it as a new sort of genre or audience you are writing for. Also, remember why you want to implement SEO writing: you want people to actually see your words!