Search engine optimization (SEO) is directly related to content writing. One should not live without the other. As they say content is king, and SEO is the vehicle for it to get noticed. SEO content writing is essential for websites as it helps them get their useful, valuable, and compelling content in front of search engine users.
Writing content with search engine optimization in mind will help a website increase the authority and relevance of its content. And, ultimately improve its ranking on Google for its targeted keywords and phrases.
Content is so essential to ranking well, that search engine optimization should only be considered after you have a well-thought-out content strategy.
Before we get into the five reasons why content writing is important for SEO, we want to provide an overview of what SEO content writing is.
Table of Contents
SEO Content Writing – What is it?
SEO content writing is the process of creating content that is optimized for search engines. This means incorporating keywords and phrases into the text in a way that is natural and easy to read. It also involves making sure that the content is relevant to the user’s search query.
SEO content writing can be a challenge, but it is essential for anyone who wants their website to rank high on search engine results pages. With a little practice, anyone can learn how to write SEO-friendly content. And, with the help of SEO tools and resources, it is possible to ensure that your content is always optimized for the latest algorithm changes.
Why is SEO Content Writing Important?
SEO content writing is important because it helps your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). When someone searches for a keyword or phrase that’s relevant to your business, you want your website to appear as high up on the SERP as possible. SEO content writing can help you achieve this by including relevant keywords and phrases in your website and SEO copy.
SEO content writing is also important because it helps to make your website more user-friendly. By ensuring you include a clear and concise copy on your website, you can help visitors find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. SEO content writing is an essential part of any effective digital marketing strategy.
By investing in SEO content writing, you can help ensure that your website is visible to your target audience and that it delivers the right message. SEO content writing is an important part of driving organic traffic to your website. Moreover it can help you attract new visitors to your site and convert them into customers. SEO content writing is an essential part of any successful digital marketing campaign. Investing in SEO content writing can help you achieve your business goals. A few benefits of content writing for SEO are:
Benefits of Content Writing for SEO:
- People find your content valuable and backlink to it
- Increased opportunities to get your content noticed and shared on social media platforms
- High-quality content that is SEO optimized will attract targeted visitors and reduce your bounce rate. Subsequently increasing your credibility in the eyes of search engines
- Content writing will support your marketing efforts by improving your rankings and by attracting quality visitors to your website
- Content writing optimized through SEO techniques will increase your website traffic as well as organic ranking – which will be more sustainable long term
- Opportunities to win featured snippets and get content in the coveted ‘Position 0″
Let’s now take a deeper dive into the reasons why content writing is important for SEO.
5 Reasons Why Content Writing Is Important for SEO:
It has been noted many times that SEO is actually all about content marketing. Moreover, as content writing is a pillar of marketing efforts, it must be noted that SEO is an invaluable component of its success. Here are 5 reasons why content writing is important for SEO:
1. SEO relies on strategic usage of keywords and search phrases
Search engines have made large strides in their ability to rank websites according to the value they add to their industries. Even though they have come a long way, keywords still play an essential role in how a site will be ranked. Website rankings are directly related to if you have used keywords or not in your content, and where you have used them (like titles and headings).
Thus, we highly recommend that before any content is developed, or research is done, you come up with a content writing strategy to ensure that you are adding valuable content to your community. After your website content strategy has been developed, you can begin selecting keywords and phrases that you will target during content creation and while managing website content on your site.
After you have finished with your SEO article writing and posted it, it would be good to track it using a free SEO tool like Ahref or Ubersuggest. Additionally, you can get primary data from Google by using: Google Search Console. Search Console will track all of your web content and tell you exactly what you are ranking for, how many impressions the keyword is getting as well as clicks.
2. Build trust and authority through quality content
Although some websites and companies can buy their way to the top no matter the quality of their content, it is nearly impossible for any small to medium-sized business to do so. Therefore, the best way to ensure you build trust and authority in your industry, you will need to have your audience engage with your content.
When your content can deliver value, answer questions, and is easy to digest, people will consume it and be much more likely to engage with it. Getting high engagement levels will help you get more eyes on your content, as well as build backlinks to other websites. Backlinks are one of the most effective ways to increase your authority in the eyes of search engines.
3. Quality content = Quality backlinks
As mentioned above, building backlinks will help build your authority as they can be equated to a ‘vote of confidence’. White hat backlinks can come from a multitude of places, and not just from social media platforms.
Just as you may backlinks to an outside resource that provides valuable information or data, you will want to achieve the same from other websites back to yours. There are a few ways you can make this happen, with some being more acceptable than others. For example, the best way, both in terms of search engine optimization and for your budget, is to produce high-quality content that is informative and trustworthy. If this content exists on your website and people can find it, they will link back to your site. This is by far the most cost-effective way, however, it may also take the most time to accomplish.
Two other ways you can build backlinks are by:
- Writing Guest Blogs for other sites. People will contact third-party websites and provide them with a piece of content that is already written and linked back to their website. Although this is a legitimate way to build backlinks, it can be frowned upon by search engines and end up hurting your website if done incorrectly.
- The next option is to buy backlinks from other websites. However, we strongly recommend against this, as it is one of the quickest ways to get delisted and penalized by search engines. These types of practices are considered to be black hat techniques. Just remember, Google is smart, they can see everything being done and how it’s being done.
4. To rank your website, you need CONTENT
It’s simple. If there is no content, what do you plan on ranking? A blank site? In the eyes of search engines, a webpage with little to no content will not be able to add value to search engine users. They consider these types of content as thin.
When thinking about how many words should be on each page, Yoast advises that you write at least 700-800 words per page, and if possible to go over 1000 per page. More words allow you to add more keywords organically, and for search engines to better understand your content.
For an exact account of how many words should be on a page for the best chance of ranking, check out our resource: How Long Should a Blog Post be? It breaks down the word count for different industries as well as different types of blogs.
5. Content writing contributes to the “Search intent or Search task accomplishment” factor
Search Task Accomplishment or search intent are becoming buzzwords in the content marketing and SEO circles. In other words: Are you providing exactly what the searcher is looking for?
When we use Google we are usually looking for an answer to a question, or trying to accomplish a task. Thus, as stated before, content should always be developed to provide value and answer potential questions that could be asked by people in your industry. If you could meet the demands of potential customers and answer questions, your content will have a much easier chance of ranking and converting people into customers.
A good strategy is to record the most common questions you get from your clients. If you are getting asked these questions in person, there is a good chance that people are searching for them online. Another great tool you can use is Answer The Public. You can search for various topics, brands, and products, and the tool will provide you with the most common questions being asked related to your entry.
SEO Content Writing Strategy
Content writing for SEO entails that you develop your strategy in such a manner that it has the potential to rank for related keyword searches. To do this, you should use keywords in the titles, and headings, as well as strategically throughout the content piece. However, remember that you should not ‘stuff’ the keywords in. It should read naturally to visitors, meaning that a good balance between content optimization for search engines, and readability should be aimed for.
Before you set out to develop pages of content with this strategy, you should ensure that you understand what the following elements are:
- What is SEO content writing?
- What type of content to publish on your blog?
- What is going to be your long-term content strategy?
Once you understand these aspects of content writing, you can dive deeper into how to utilize the technique to achieve higher rankings. Developing and pushing out content for your website will not immediately result in better search engine rankings, but it is a solid base that your website should be built on. If there is no content, there will be nothing for search engines to crawl and read, resulting in nothing to rank.
Strategies and components of SEO content writing
The secret is out, SEO and content need each other! If you don’t use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, your content could be lost in the sea of web pages battling to get seen. Anything less than page one is just not going to cut it.
Data shows that 25% of people click the first Google search result and only 12% of search engine users make it past the first page. Thus can you afford to not be on the first SERP (search engine results page)? The answer is probably – No. That is why it is essential to write content for SEO correctly.
To make sure your content and pages start showing up on the first SERP, we have compiled 9 tips to optimize your content for SEO!
- Develop Content with an Audience First Approach
- Make Sure all Content is in One Place
- Write Headlines that Speak for Themselves
- Use Keyword-Rich Phrases
- Structure Your Content Well
- Incorporate Images and Graphics
- Showcase Content on Social Media
- Promote natural link building
- Monitor your activity
Let’s dive into the first tip for writing SEO friendly content: Develop content with an audience-first approach.
1. Develop Content with an Audience First Approach
We’ve chosen this tip as number one for a reason: your target audience is the most important thing to your website.
There are thousands of online businesses out there developing content on the regular. However, it is geared towards solving their needs – gaining leads and customers – instead of what the visitor needs – information. Focus on writing content that appeals to your audience and answers the questions they are asking. Remember, not all pages on your website need to be product or service specific.
As long as the page is industry-specific and provides trustworthy and accurate information, it should be good. The best thing to do is work to assert your business as an expert in the industry all while writing SEO-friendly content.
Moreover, high-quality content should always be your focus. If you are producing content that is not informative, or that doesn’t provide value, it won’t matter how much optimization you do for your content, website visitors will not stay long enough on your page to consume it.
While you are writing SEO content, just remember: The only reason your content is there in the first place is to provide highly valuable and unique content to your audience.
2. Make sure all content is in one place:
There are two things to focus on at this point. One, keep all your content on your website on one domain – don’t split it up to be on a subdomain or a different CMS (content management system).
Whereas, some businesses keep their blogs and additional information on a different hosting platform (WordPress or Squarespace) or a different domain. Although trying to gain backlinks to your domain is important for SEO, search engine crawlers and algorithms are smart. They will notice the influx of links and may not provide you with the number of benefits you were looking for. Moreover, hosting all of these blogs and content on your domain will provide you with significantly more benefits than hosting them in other places such as better brand awareness and all your website traffic in one place.
The second focal point of this section is to not spread your content too thin. Having more pages and posts on your website makes your website look big. But to Google and other search engines, it can make your content look thin, and have little value.
If you find that you have blog posts covering the same topic, and have similar content, it may be a good idea to combine them into one post instead. This will also help with keyword cannibalization. It will ensure that your Google is not trying to decide which page to rank for a certain keyword. Additionally, it can help with topical authority about the topic and keep your audience happy and consuming content on your page.
Blog Content is one place:
Use the content and blogs you are developing as a chance to showcase your business’s expertise and gain the trust of potential customers. Any time you can build trust with someone will provide you with a new lead as humans are creatures of habit. If they trust you and find your content informative, they will return.
Make sure to use as many forms of content as possible for your website. Content like videos, infographics, audio, and white papers gives your audience a different way to consume content. Moreover, it will help your website stand out from the other content out there!
3. Write Headlines that Speak for Themselves
Headlines should be short and sweet. The space for your headlines has a limited amount of text to convey a concise message to the reader. These short messages, however, hold a lot of power in terms of SEO.
Headings can range from H1 tags and then subsequent numbers to showcase the importance. H1 tags or heading 1 tag hold the most power and should contain your most important keyword. In addition to using your keyword, you should make sure that the heading does a good job of portraying exactly what the section is going to be about. Depending on your writing style and company’s brand, they can be written in many different ways – from fun and funny to toneless and straightforward. Experiment with the way you write them and see which one gets the best impressions.
We are going to include meta descriptions in this section as well. Once again they should contain your keywords and be concise. You have a very limited amount of space to tell the would-be visitor exactly what your page is offering in terms of content. Meta descriptions are what show up underneath your title on search engines. Clear Door SEO believes that optimizing your headings and meta descriptions is one of the most essential components of writing content for SEO.
4. Use Keyword-Rich Phrases
Before developing content, you should do in-depth keyword research to understand which ones you should be targeting to increase your chances of ranking, and finding quality visitors. When conducting research, try to think from a user’s perspective. By considering what they will be searching for, and how they will be searching for it, you can target the right keywords and phrases to match the search intent of each term.
After you have discovered your target keywords, you will want to utilize the terms in your headlines as well as throughout the body of your content. By utilizing them throughout the text, you can tell your readers and search engine crawlers what the overarching topic of your webpage is. Correctly using keywords is one of the best ways to get your content ranked on search engines.
However, keep in mind that stuffing keywords into your content, just to improve your SEO will come off as unnatural to readers. Additionally, if the search engine crawlers pick up on the outdated practice of keyword stuffing, they will penalize you, ultimately hurting your SEO and ranking goals.
Instead of stuffing keywords in your content, utilize other places to place your keywords. For example, you can use them for blog tags and image alt tags. We also have a resource that discusses exactly where you should place keywords. Have a look at the resource, and discover new areas that you can optimize for with your keywords. This will help your search engine ranking, as well as keep your content clean and natural for your audience.
5. Structure Your Content Well
Just like any other piece of content, both online and offline, it needs to have a high-quality structure and a good flow to it. An inefficient format could result in your readability being low and you losing the interest of your readers. If readers find the content confusing and scattered, they will leave the site in search of a better-written piece of content that answers their questions.
By using smaller paragraphs, lists, bullet points, and headings throughout the piece, the content will be easier to scan for information. It may hurt to say, but most visitors are only looking for a specific answer. They are not there to read the entire blog. Visitors will stay around, however, if the content is written well and is easily digestible. Get these visitors to stick around, and you are well on your way to placing them in your sales funnel.
Moreover, while considering search engines, back-end organization is key too. Employ proper tag hierarchy when tagging headlines (H1 for titles, H2 for subtitles). Content writing for SEO means optimizing for readers while making sure the piece is constructed well for search engines to crawl.
To use your SEO content to achieve better rankings make sure to include the following elements:
- Utilize the main keyword phrase in the title of your web page or blog post
- Keyword phrases and their parts should be scattered throughout your content
- Utilize Latent Semantic Indexing keywords (LSI Keywords). These are keywords that are directly related to your key phrase that people may also be searching for
- Keywords, as well as LSI keywords, should be used within header tags including H1, H2, and H3 tags
- Use keywords as well as LSI Keywords as anchor text when interlinking between pages on your website
- Write content that follows the AIDA model – Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action
Headers are simple and follow a descending order. Here’s an example how we’ve utilized headers in our blog:
The points listed above are from the technical SEO side of on-site SEO. However, these are only one portion of how search engines determine where they will rank in search results. Think of these as building blocks to your overall SEO strategy.
Although SEO is essential to ranking, the primary focus of all your content should be to produce relevant, high-quality content which delivers value to your customers. Without high-quality content, it won’t matter how well you rank as people will not trust your business and information, resulting in a high bounce rate.
6. Incorporate Images and Graphics
Don’t stick to boring text only. When you have the opportunity, include images and graphics to support your ideas or to showcase data. Images and graphics will help you keep your readers engaged and entertained while going through the content.
In addition to improving the user experience, images and graphics allow you to further optimize them with image alt tags and file names. If done correctly, and with a little hard work, Google may display them on Google image search. Increasing your website’s opportunity to generate traffic from other sources. And of course, if the blog has a featured image, you can share it on social media platforms. By doing this, you can generate a larger audience, increase interactions on your posts and generate traffic.
7. Promote your content to your audience
Building on point six, showcase your content on social media platforms. Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to increasing the reach of content. It also promotes sharing which will allow you to get in front of people that you never had a chance to. Additionally, people that share can be considered like-minded people and more than likely have a group of friends that enjoy the same things. Birds of a feather flock together
While posting on social media make sure to include the following elements:
- A strong call to action and a concise description of the content
- Have share buttons on each of your posts
- High-quality and relevant images
Don’t forget about email marketing!
Social media is a great place to promote your content and develop your brand. However, did you know that marketing by email has one of the highest returns on investments for marketing channels?
By creating an email list, and utilizing it to your advantage, you can promote all of your new content, services, and products to your subscriber list. This can help you strengthen your audience and relationship with them! Just don’t spam your email list though, otherwise, you may lose them. When in doubt, ask yourself, would I like to receive this? Would it add value to me?
8. Engage in natural backlink building
Link building has evolved significantly since the early days of search engine algorithms. Historically, link buying and link farms were considered the best way to build authority and rank faster. Although external and internal links are still an essential element of SEO, the way to generate them, and what is considered a ‘good’ link by search engines has changed significantly.
There are two main types of links:
- Internal Links: Internal Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source).
- External Links: External links are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on (source).
Both links are important and serve different purposes in terms of SEO. If you want to get the most out of writing content for SEO, make sure to check out each of their respective blogs for more information.
9. Monitor your activity
Finally, it is crucial that you consistently monitor your efforts. If we could produce perfect content the first time, things would be a lot easier. Sadly, while writing content for SEO we are not exactly sure how our audience or search engines will react to it. Therefore, we need to monitor it, to understand how both parties are interpreting it, and what needs to be changed in it to make it perform better.
One way to monitor it is by using Google Analytics. It is a straightforward and free way to track your page views and the average time spent on each page. It may take time to fully understand and navigate all the data it has to offer, but once you do it can provide insights into bounce rate and time spent on your site.
If data shows that you have a high bounce rate and a low average time spent on a certain page, it indicates that the piece is lacking and needs to be revamped. Maybe the content wasn’t relevant, or perhaps it was poorly written and the reader found it difficult to understand. Don’t worry if the latter is the case. Once you have posted new content, and get the initial feedback, you can begin tweaking and refining it to make it better for your audience and search engine.
Once you have found a winning combination for your content, try to replicate the same procedures and continue to produce content in the same fashion.
Writing Content for SEO – Takeaways
Websites used to be able to focus only on SEO before and neglect their content. However, as search engine algorithms have improved, they are now taking in and understanding more information than ever before to ensure they provide the most relevant content to the searcher.
To build a successful well-thought-out content strategy make sure to use content writing as a pillar for success. Only after the high-quality content has been developed should you begin to focus on SEO techniques and optimizing your content. By focusing on the basics first, you will be able to develop habits that will streamline the process later, and ensure that your content will continue to rank well, no matter what updates are made to search engine algorithms.
SEO and content writing add up to the winning combination for your website. Make sure to incorporate both of the elements while developing content, and always remember: Write content for your audience first and not for search engines.
If you would like more information, you can check out Clear Door SEO’s other blogs about why SEO is so important for your website, and how it helps drive traffic. However, if you would like to talk to one of our team members and get a more in-depth suggestion regarding your content, please do reach out to us. Or if you are looking for a more hands-off approach, and would like us to assist you with your website, you can take a look at Clear Door SEO’s content writing services.
Both SEO and content writing are important pieces to the puzzle, so it’s important to use quality techniques for both to ensure higher traffic and engagement on your website. If you have any questions about SEO, content, or how they work together, feel free to contact us for more SEO writing tips!
Clear Door SEO has been recognized as one of the Top Portland SEO Companies by DesignRush!