SEO Writing - The Complete Guide to SEO Writing
SEO Writing is not the same as writing content for news articles, essays, or publishing research.
The most important thing to know about SEO Writing is that when you are writing content for SEO, first and foremost, you are writing to satisfy search engines.
There are two primary considerations when you are SEO Writing:
#1: Are you writing about a topic people are already searching for?
#2: Are you writing content in a way that can rank well on search engines
All other considerations are secondary to these objectives when you are doing SEO Writing.
Style and prose don’t matter if nobody ever sees your content because search engines don’t display it. Style and voice can come later. In the beginning when you are writing content for SEO, the ONLY things you should be thinking about are:
- Are people interested in my topic?
- Are they already searching the internet for it?
- How can I write this content in a way search engines will rank well?
Every day people crank out blog posts and YouTube videos that are interesting, but are centered around topics nobody is searching for, and so nobody sees their content. Not only is this disheartening as a writer (let’s face it we all want people to see our creative outputs), but if search engines keep seeing people are not responding to the content on your website, they stop sending people to it at all.
The rest of this post is designed entirely to help you with your SEO writing. We do this all day every day and we have figured out some things over the years, and are sharing it with you here. If you follow these suggestions, you will get the results you are hoping to get from search engines, and people might actually get to see your creative outputs and appreciate them.
SEO Writing Primary Objectives
#1: SEO Writing – Producing Information that people are searching for on the internet
You need to write about topics people are interested in and are searching for on the internet already.
When clients hire me for our SEO Service, and I look at the content they are producing, I often find that nobody is really searching the internet for the topics they are writing about.
Unless you have a large readership already, you should NEVER – EVER – write blog posts or shoot YouTube videos about topics that have low search volume (number of people searching for that topic).
Can You Give me An Example?
Here is a personal example:
Recently I thought up an idea for a blog post I believed would be very valuable for the people reading it. I wanted to inform people that they need our SEO Service involved during the PLANNING phase or designing a new website, not after the website has already been built.
Too many times I’ve had someone tell me they will “get back to us” for SEO after the design is complete. What happens when they do that? They complete the site, pay their designer, and then we get involved and tell them that their site is going to need completely overhauled because we need to add pages, re-organize the content, and all of that will require alterations to existing design, and design of new pages – which will also cost them more money.
To me, this seemed like a great topic to write about. It could save people frustration, time, and money. But then I did keyword research on this topic, and it turns out that only about twelve people per month are reading this topic. That isn’t enough search traffic to bother writing about it, and it wasn’t going to help my SEO effort, so I found a different topic to write about.
If you have a large readership already, then maybe you can write about whatever you want and your existing readers will read it. But until then, you should ONLY write about things LOTS of people are already searching for online, otherwise you won’t ever build that large readership.
#2: SEO Writing – Producing content that will rank well in search engine results
It doesn’t matter at all if you have a great looking website if nobody is ever going to see it. Right?
The second most important thing about SEO Writing is that you do everything you can to make sure your content ranks well on search engine organic results. If search engines don’t display your content, then what was the point in writing that content?
Below in this article we will fully explain precisely how to organize your content in a way that it can rank well in search results.
HOW you produce your content is of critical importance. How it displays, how you organize it, and what goes into it all factor into whether or not a search engine is going to display your content or not.
Did you know that Google doesn’t index all of your content any more just because you wrote it?
In 2022 we noticed that more and more often, Google won’t index content at all. Meaning, they don’t store what you’ve written on their search engine just because you wrote it.
Why would they do this? Probably because there is better quality content out there from better sources about the topic you wrote about. And rather than displaying your content on page five (or fifty), they just don’t index it at all – which has the effect of your content not existing.
Because of this, SEO writing has never been more critical. Imagine putting in all of the work it takes to write a blog post like this one, edit it, develop infographics for it, format it all properly, tag it, then publish it to our website, just to have Google decide it isn’t worthy of being on Google at all? Painful! And it is happening more and more every day. You can’t write junk anymore and have Google reward you for it. Far from it. Now, they might not put it on their search engine at all.
Before we begin, let’s start by defining some Key SEO Terms:
Key SEO Terms Explained:
What Are SERPs:
Search engine results pages. SERPs are the results you get when you type something into the search bar. Generally, people think of “page one” of Google as the SERPs worth caring about.
SERPs Look like this:
What is SERP Position
SERP Position is where you find an organic listing on the results page (third down on page one, middle of page 2, Etc.) after you type something into the search bar. Your goal for SEO is generally to rank in the top spot if you can. Some people have reasons why the top three spots are o.k., but statistically speaking, of every 100 SERPs delivered, 51 of those people ONLY click on that #1 SERP. That is over half. Ranking #1 matters. Today people trust search engines so much that they literally just pick whomever is on top and that is who they buy from.
What Are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are keywords that are related to a search topic, but have lower search volume. Instead of going after a primary search term that has the most traffic, you go after a search term that is “close” to the primary term, but has less traffic.
Long tail keywords are also one of the most over-talked about SEO terms. People act like a long-tail keyword is “easier” to rank for, and therefor can be a good SEO strategy. They aren’t. Not in 2022 anyway. Because of tools like Ubersuggest and Spyfu – everyone already knows what all the “long-tail keywords” are, and are ranking for them also. And competing for them.
Why would someone try to rank content for a long tail keyword instead of a primary keyword that has much more search traffic?
The thought is that if you go after a less trafficked keyword, that it might be less competitive, and therefore easier to rank for.
But let me tell you, if you are in a competitive industry (like we are for SEO and Website Design), everyone else knows what the “long tail” keywords are and are trying just as hard to rank for those as they are for the primary keyword term.
The main intent behind the idea of a long tail keyword is that hopefully your competitors aren’t trying as hard to rank for that keyword, giving you a better shot at it.
I am not saying that long tail keywords don’t exist, but it isn’t as simple as just finding lower trafficked keywords and writing SEO content for them. Those days are long since over. Everyone already did it.
What I can tell you is that if you are going to find a TRUE long tail keyword that other people aren’t trying to rank for, you aren’t going to do it using a keyword planning tool. You will find that sort of keyword by conducting research around the topic, you want to rank for, then checking it and getting lucky enough to discover that your competitors aren’t competing for that keyword string.
How often does this happen? Not often. But it does happen. I found one just this week. It was a keyword in a very tight niche that none of my client’s competitors showed up for. And it was a keyword that was being used a lot by the associations in their space. We went after that long tail keyword because nobody else was trying to rank for it.
Trust me, if you find a keyword with lower search volume using a tool like Ubersuggest – chances are it is NOT a long tail keyword your competitors don’t know about. It is just a search term with low search traffic and you should commit to spending your time and SEO Writing effort trying harder to rank for the high-volume search term instead. Rather than trying to chase down a bunch of elusive long tail keywords, focus on one MAIN keyword and write ALL of your SEO content about it. That will produce better long term results than chasing keywords with low search volume.
PRO TIP: Nobody will tell you this, but it has been my personal experience with SEO that when you write enough content to rank for whatever the MAIN keywords are – you will also rank for the keyword strings with lower search volume. This just happens naturally as you write enough content to rank for the best terms in your industry – you end up ranking for just about every keyword and keyword string that is related to the main one.
What Are Backlinks
A Backlink is when someone creates a hyperlink on their website to a piece of content on your website. This generally happens when someone else is citing you as a source for something they wrote about on their own website.
Example: If I am doing SEO research about a topic for a blog post, and I come to your website and find a key piece of data and want to use it in my own blog post, then at the end of the quote, I create a citation and create a hyperlink to the web page where I found it on your website. That is a backlink.
Why do Backlinks Matter?
If tons of people are citing your content as a source for their content, or are telling their own audiences about your content and linking to it, that tells search engines that your content must be pretty good. After all, if everyone is talking about something, there must be something to it.
Understanding How Google Looks At the World as it Pertains to Backlinks:
Google is doing its best to sort through BILLIONS of web pages, and figure out which page, or paragraph is the BEST content to show ME, the end user when I search on Google. If you ever want to know why your stuff isn’t ranking, just try for a moment to imagine you are Google – is your content the BEST content on the subject? Are YOU the best person to trust regarding that content? Is your content BETTER than other content Google could tell me (the end user) about?
So imagine you are trying to sort through endless tons of content and figure out HOW you would make a call on what content is the best, form the best sources?
One of the ways you might make this call is to look at a website or web page or video, and see how many other people are quoting or talking about that content. If everyone is talking about a piece of content on my website and nobody is talking about yours, then Google will tend to rank my content higher than yours. After all – if everyone is doing it, there must be something to it. Seriously.
Backlinks are one method you could use to determine how many people are talking about a piece of content. If lots of people are referring their audience to your content, or lots of professionals are citing your content as a good source for their own articles, that might be a good way to determine if your content is worth showing the end user over someone else’s content that nobody is talking about.
Are all backlinks good?
No they are not. Far from it! You should never “buy” backlinks. That is an old strategy that used to work back in the day. Now, search engines can spot these junk backlinks, and they can penalize you for them by pushing your content down or blacklisting you all together.
I suggest you NEVER pay for a backlink.
How do you get backlinks?
Write content that is rich with data, complete with citations, and worthy of other people mentioning as a trusted source of data. In 2022, this is THE way to get backlinks. And in truth, this is the only way anyone could have ever gotten a backlink.
Write Original Research if You Want Good Backlinks:
Another way to get backlinks is to do original research and publish it for everyone to use so they cite your research as a source on their website. Today, in 2022, this is probably your BEST bet to get people to hyperlink to your content.
Another way to get backlinks is to figure out how to shoot good content videos, and start publishing videos that have tons of free information in them. People share videos on social media. They comment on them. They tell other people about them if they are either really good or really entertaining.
On Page SEO:
This refers to configuring content “on a page” for SEO. How you do this is explained below. But if you are talking about on-page SEO, you are talking about the page as the public is seeing it on your website, as opposed to the back end stuff.
Off Page SEO:
This is the behind the scenes stuff. Meta-data, alt image tags, keyphrase, schema, etc. I think it would be better called “behind the page” but off-page SEO is the current jargon.
Title Tags, Meta description tags, alt image tags, URL management – these are all considered Meta-data:
A short summary of a webpage that appears in SERPs below the “underlined” headline. Usually it is not bolded. These are becoming less important as Google can now over-write your meta description tags as it sees fit.
In the image of a SERP below, you see the meta-description tag below the bolded title section – it is in smaller text size, and is more of a complete sentence.
The title of a webpage that generally appears below the page URL in SERPs. It is always located right above the meta description tag. You can also see the Title Tag in the “tabs” that you have open at the top of your screen. Hover over any tab, and the writing that pops up – that is the meta title tag.
In the next photo, you see the title tag below the URL: SEO Salt Lake City | Stay Wild Digital Marketing
Words people ask search engines in the search bar.
The number of times a keyword or keyword string is searched each month.
Organic means traffic you didn’t pay for.
Traffic you did pay for. You are charged every time someone “clicks” on your content. That is why it is called pay-per-click. Every time someone clicks – you pay.
Below is an example of an ad that displayed when I searched: Shop Mountain Bikes Salt Lake City. You can tell it is an Ad, because it says Ad just to the right of the URL.
How search engines determine which content to rank, and where to rank it.
Rankbrain is the name Google gave to their artificial intelligence that determines what content to rank and show users when they perform searches.
Understanding Ranking Factors for SEO Writing
As we mentioned in the beginning, yes, it is important to write with your target audience mind. But when you perform SEO Writing, you have to learn how to write to please Google as well. Google’s algorithm, RankBrain, makes all kinds of decisions based on 200 factors with endless tens of thousands of subsets of information also considered.
What are these ranking factors?
Google won’t tell you directly. In fact, here is what Google says you should consider when you are SEO Writing:
- Do I serve high-quality content to users?
- Is my content fast and easy to access on all devices?
- Is my website secure?
These are just a few things Google says you should consider.
SOURCE of Above Bullet Points: Google https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide
Here are some other ranking factors you will hear “experts” discussing online and we believe are worth thinking about when you are writing content for search engine optimization:
Content quality: Is whatever you are writing about or putting out there BETTER than everyone else’s content? It should be, because that is who Google wants to give the top SERP to – whomever writes the newest, most fresh, up to date, and most awesome content about any given subject.
Backlinks: Do other sites link to your content? Do they cite you as a source of relevant information on a topic? Who are these websites? Google gives more weight to someone like Search Engine Land citing your article as a source versus some no-name start up blog.
Backlink Quality – Google can see if you try to use paid links – don’t do it! Not only will they not rank you higher for paid links, they will actually punish you by pushing your site down in the rankings. The quality score of the website citing you as a source matters. Don’t go out seeking junk backlinks.
Website Security – HTTPS – Is your site secure? Most browsers won’t even display a site any more that is not secure. You can tell though – if you go to your site online, and look at the top bar – if it says http instead of https – then you know your site is not secure. You will also see a little padlock up there if your site is secure:
User experience: First and foremost, is your content easy to find? Is it easy to read? Is your site easy to navigate. We suggest you ask around about this before you publish your website. If people tell you your site is hard to navigate, you have work to do. Don’t be “cute” at the expense of easy to use.
Behavioral signals: If people are commenting on your content or sharing it on social media, Google notices this. Basically, near as we can tell, the machine figures if everyone is talking about it – then it must be pretty good and worth displaying.
Schema: Unfortunately, Schema matters. We could write an entire article just about Schema and what it is, but the bottom line is – you see Schema at work when you perform a search now on Google, and at the top is a box with an answer to a question you asked up at the top above all other search results. You also see it at work when you see that box with “other questions people asked” and when you click the dropdown you see the answers and the websites who hold those answers. Here is an example:
What is the MOST important thing to consider when writing SEO Content?
You’ve just read (hopefully) about ranking factors search engines use when determining which SERPs to display first, and how they rank content.
But the truth is – the #1 most important thing when it comes to getting your content to rank well on search engines is writing excellent content.
You see, if nobody talks about your content, and nobody shares your content, and nobody backlinks to your content, but there is other content out there that people DO talk about, comment on, and link to, then of course that content is going to rank higher on search engines.
And, as we mentioned before, in 2022 we are seeing content not be indexed at all if it isn’t good enough. Writing “me too” articles isn’t going to show up on Google.
And believe me – there is A LOT OF CONTENT out there.
How much content is out there on the internet?
- There are 600 MILLION Blogs on the internet worldwide.
- There are over six million blog posts uploaded PER DAY worldwide
- There are 1.9 BILLION WEBSITES – of which, 1/3 are blogs
What does that tell you? I can tell you what it indicates to me – whatever it is you want to write about, there are LOTS of other people writing about it too.
And if you are just starting out, they have been writing about it a lot longer than you have. And just so you know – bonus ranking factor – Google gives preference to website domains that have been on the internet for a long time.
So knowing all of that, it is important to produce good content that is:
I used to say that you could/should produce content that is “either” actionable OR entertaining. But not anymore. If you want anyone to share your content, it should be fun or engaging to read, as well as actionable.
What do I mean by actionable content?
It means that after someone reads your content, they should be able to DO something with it.
Maybe that means you wrote an article about “how to use a level to hang a picture.” If you wrote a blog post like that, when I am done reading it, I should have no problem leveling a picture.
You are reading a blog post about how to write SEO content. When you are done, you should have a pretty good idea of how to start writing a blog post, and expect that blog post might actually show up in the SERPs. That is what I mean by actionable.
What is content that is entertaining?
Informing someone on a new topic, or something new on an old topic could be entertaining. Are you funny? Are you quirky? Say something in a way that is unique or interesting or engaging. If you are going to write, you don’t have to be boring.
But what if I am boring? Or my topic is boring?
If that is the case, then be unique. How do can you be unique – by writing about YOUR experiences with the topic. Or where you are geographically and how that impacts your topic. Be yourself. You are unique. Write about your topic from YOUR perspective.
Actionable and Entertaining Content
Today content that is actionable is also usually very entertaining. I watch this on YouTube every day. It isn’t enough to just show someone how to do something – you have to entertain them and engage them while you do it. Nobody wants to watch a boring video of someone explaining some boring thing. They expect to be entertained while you do it.
This is especially true if you want anyone to share your content on social media.
A personal example: When I wanted to learn to how to snowboard, I didn’t feel like taking lessons. That seemed like the long way around. So I went to YouTube and searched “snowboarding for beginners.” There are lots of videos about how-to learn to snowboard. Some were good, but very dry. Then there were a couple of videos I found from Snowboard Pro-Camp and also from Tommy Bennett. I found the drills from Snowboard Pro-Camp somewhat engaging, but very informative. Tommy was informative and VERY entertaining. Once I got past the basics, I pretty much ONLY watch Tommy Bennett. Why? Because he is fun to watch, entertaining, enthusiastic, and just as informative about what I am trying to learn. The more entertaining person – WINS.
SEO Writing to Generate Backlinks
What are backlinks? The Longer Version
Backlinks are when someone creates a hyperlink to YOUR website from their website.
Why would someone backlink to my website?
In 2022 you should only expect someone to backlink to your website to:
- Cite you as a source of information for some article, page or blog post they are writing
- To tell other people about some piece of AWESOME content they found on your website
- To tell their own audience about some helpful “how to” thing they found on your website
- To share an infographic they found on your website and link to it
- Or to share something entertaining they found on your website with their audience
- To promote your point of view on some topic to their own audience
I hope you are starting to get a clear picture of reasons why someone else might backlink to your website. It is important that you try to stick to these concepts if you are going to deploy a backlink strategy to go out and “try” to get backlinks.
What are paid backlinks and do they work?
Paid backlinks are backlinks you pay for. You literally PAY someone to link to your website. They will also RUIN your SEO. Never ever pay for backlinks. Search engines long ago figured out that this was a way people were “gaming” the system. Not only do they not reward you for these backlinks – they punish you for them. And removing spammy backlinks from your website is a lot of work – especially when these paid backlink people load up your site with twenty thousand paid spammy backlinks and you have to manually remove them. Don’t do it!
Do Backlink Strategies Work?
Nope! Not anymore. If you are reading about a “backlink strategy” I can tell you that it is way past its prime, and no longer works. Why? Because marketers ruin everything. Any time someone figures out a “backlink strategy” they end up telling others and pretty soon everyone has used that strategy to the point it no longer works. Everyone has already seen it and done it.
People know how valuable those backlinks are. Trying to “guest blog” or get one someone else’s podcast is not going to be an available option for most people. Everyone is trying to do that. Social Media Influencers have rate sheets now just like radio and television used to. They aren’t going to comment on your stuff as a favor any more. Those strategies have been done to death.
And on a personal note, I am glad all of these types of strategies are done and over with. Today, if you want anyone to backlink to your website who is actually going to give your SEO lift, you are going to have to write and publish great content, original research, or at least be highly entertaining. Otherwise, nobody is going to link to your content. Why would they?
Backlink Strategies That Actually Work in 2022:
If you want a backlink strategy that works in 2022, here it is:
- Do original research and publish it so people will cite it as source material in their own articles and blog posts and web pages
- Publish lots of entertaining content that people love, and those people will begin telling their own audiences about your content, and hyperlink to it so they can find you
- Put out tons of short “how to” videos or blog posts (or both) that solve problems quickly and accurately – people will link to these types of articles to share with friends
- Pick a niche, and publish enough relevant information about it that you become the default expert in that niche who everyone turns to for information about that topic
Notice there are no SEO tricks of Gimmicks. Search engines are really good at catching people who try to “game” the system and punish them for it. If you want people to link to your content, then a winning backlink strategy is to write, publish, and then repeat. Or – video, publish, then repeat. Search engines no longer reward the lazy or the “clever.” They reward those who write, publish, and repeat.
PRO TIP: Here is the BEST backlink strategy that will work, and most people won’t be able to compete against you if you use it. Are you ready? Here it is in three simple steps: ‘
Step One: Write
Step Two: Publish
Step Three: Repeat
Ha! I did say the steps were simple – not easy. But this is the truth, and anyone who tells you differently is either out of touch with the current reality of content marketing, or really doesn’t know what they are doing. If you want people to talk about and link to your content in 2022, write good content, publish that content, then repeat the process and don’t stop until you retire, or sell your business. That is a winning backlink strategy in 2022.
How Much Content Should I Write to Get Backlinks?
In general I would say: MORE! I heard Gary Vee say in a video that if you aren’t putting out 100 pieces of quality content across all of your channels PER DAY, that you aren’t even in the game.
Now, to be fair, Gary Vee has aspirations to own an NFL team and earn billions of dollars. I would say that for the average small business, you should be aiming for either one high quality blog post with tons of great content in it per week – or one great video per week.
I think that is a good start. The article you are reading now is up to 7,400 words. And I am just writing around the basics of SEO writing. This is a good blog post, and it will probably take me twenty hours to produce by the time I am done. Then I will publish it and start writing the next one.
Remember – the secret ingredient is to write great content, not a “puff piece” that doesn’t tell anyone anything.
How do I know if I’ve written enough?
Because Google will sometimes just not index content at all, what I will tell you is this: Either “write it all” – or don’t bother writing it at all.
How do I know when I have written enough SEO content for a specific blog post? I know I’ve written enough because I have written it all. I have written all that I can that is pertinent to the topic. That is how I will know I have written enough on this post you are reading now – when I have ran out of things to write about SEO Writing, or, if I start including things that warrant another blot post of its own.
Remember: If you aren’t going to write it all – then don’t bother writing it at all!
Original Research is Great for SEO Writing and Generating Backlinks
If you really want people to link to your content, mostly you should be hoping that they are going to cite your content as a source for some article or blog they are working on themselves.
A great way to do this is to commission, write, and publish some original research on your topic or service or in your industry.
Everyone is looking for new and fresh data to put in their blog posts. They often don’t want to cite a competitors blog post as a source, so put out some new research, and allow others to link to it as source material.
Writing original research can be daunting, but it is worth it. Maybe your original research is just an aggregation of other people’s research. A directory of sorts. That is good research.
Maybe you research some sub-topic within a big topic. Example: Don’t write a definitive guide to everything about golf grips – write about the pros and cons of various types of golf grips, golf grip manufacturers, golf grip prices, golf grip materials, how to choose the right golf grip, Etc. Write original research about everything you can find out about golf grips. You have a much better chance of ranking your content for golf grips, than you do about Golf in general.
SEO Writing Basics
Once you’ve gotten your awesome content written, there are some “nuts and bolts” things you need to do to that SEO Content to make it search engine optimization friendly. These shouldn’t take you long once your content is written.
Once you get better and more used to writing content, you will start building these things into your content as you go and won’t have to do them afterward. But for now, let’s just assume you will be doing these after you’ve already written your content and are ready to publish it to your website or blog.
- Keyword Phrase
If you are using Yoast (WordPress) Insert your key phrase into the block labeled keyphrase in Yoast
Make SURE your key phrase is the MOST IMPORTANT keyword or long-tail keyword string with no “in’s, or and’s, &, or +, in it. No symbols, and no “extra words”
Correct Keyphrase: SEO Salt Lake City
Incorrect Keyphrase: SEO in Salt Lake City Utah and the surrounding area
NOTE – see all of the “extra” words
2. Page Title
Also called Meta-Page Title
Make sure you use your EXACT Keyphrase as the page title
Correct Example: SEO Salt Lake City
Incorrect Example: SEO For Small Business in Salt Lake City
3. Page Description
Make sure your page description (meta-description tag) starts off with your keyphrase and then write a short paragraph describing what the page is actually about
No stuffing – don’t keyword stuff. Google doesn’t give you credit for repeating keywords. One keyword or keyword string per description.
Write in sentences – not in keywords.
SEO Salt Lake City. Stay Wild Digital is an SEO Company in Salt Lake City. Keyword Research. On Page and Off page SEO. Contact Us.
4. URL – (or Slug if you are using WordPress with Yoast)
Make sure it matches your keyword phrase exactly
Correct example using keyword phrase: SEO Salt Lake City
You might think these examples are absurd, but I see them every day while fixing other people’s SEO mistakes
5. Alt-image tags
Keyword phrase incorporated into the Alt-image tag
Make sure every photo on your website has relevant photos, and alt-image tags
6. H1 Tags
In Wix or Weebly this generally is called heading 1
Make sure the main keyphrase is PRECISELY the same in your H1 tag – no deviations. No additions of words
Your H1 tag must go at the top of your web page
Note about blogs
For most blogs, the title of the blog is automatically H1
7. H2 Tags
In wix or weebly or squarespace this will generally be referred to as “heading 2”
This should go right under the H1 tag or as the first sub-heading on the topic
Make sure to incorporate either your keywords phrase or synonyms or “some” of the words from your keyphrase in the H2 tag.
8. Keyphrase in each paragraph on the page
Make sure the very first paragraph on your web page or blog starts off with your keyphrase
Make sure your keyphrase is found in each paragraph, as well as – or – synonyms of the main keyword phrase
Minimum I would put the exact keyword phrase in every other paragraph
9. Internal and External Links
Hyperlink to other supporting content from your own website
Link to other blog posts or pages
10. External Linking
Hyperlink to sources of information that back up your content
Don’t link to competitors websites
Use universities or news outlets whenever you can
Citing your sources for any data is a good way to perform external linking
I always include a summary at the end of my pages or blog posts
Google can find these and send people straight there for one
Two – lots of people read the summary first and then decide if they want to read the rest of your article
Call to Action
After the summary always include a call to action
This usually also includes my contact information as well as a tiny bio about our company, our business, and our primary services.
These are the “nuts and bolts” of SEO Writing. You need to know how to put all of your keywords to work. The way you do that is by creating “keyword silos” which is accomplished by making sure you apply your keywords EXACTLY the same in all of the right places. No deviations. No extra words.
Remember, primarily you are writing for search engines, so worrying about grammar isn’t that critical when you are putting your keywords on the page. IF you can make something sound grammatically correct, of course you should, but sometimes you can’t. Try putting “SEO Company Salt Lake City” in each paragraph on a page of content and make it grammatically correct. It’s pretty hard to do.
SEO Writing Tips - Advanced
SEO Advanced Writing Tip #1: One Page Per Keyword or Topic
You should pay me for telling you this, but it is a value add, so here it is: You should have one whole individual page dedicated to EACH AND EVERY topic you are hoping to rank for as the result of your SEO Writing.
If you want to rank for the keyword String SEO Salt Lake City, then that should take up one whole page to itself.
If you ALSO wanted to rank for the keyword term SEO Company Salt Lake City – then that should be another entire web page.
And if you also want to rank for: SEO for Small Business – then that should be an entire website page.
So many people believe (and try) they can put all of their services on one page, and give each one a paragraph and that be good enough. It isn’t good enough. It isn’t even close. You need 900 words per topic, and each of those topics needs to have its own page if you expect to rank for it.
If you have fifteen services – then you need fifteen web pages – one for each.
If you want those fifteen services to rank well in two different cities – then you need 30 pages.
SEO Advanced Writing Tip #2: Write in the Ask – Answer Format
Google is a question answering box. How to_______ . Why should you_____? Who is_______?
Write your content in the ask-answer format. Ask the question in the header, and then give the answer directly under it – the short version.
Then – under that, provide the long and expanded answer. Make sure it is extremely actionable and detailed. Step by step instructions on how to_________. Google loves this type of content. Also – if it is useful enough, people might share it and link to it (get some baclinks).
SEO Advanced Writing Tip #3: Write in Short Blocks of Content
You should combine this tip with the ask-answer format. Write things in short chunky blocks. Header, then answer, then some bullet points, then a summary of that little block.
By chunking things up into sections, you allow search engines to use Schema to pull out little bits of specific content on a topic and take a reader right to that spot on your website. You’ve probably experienced this yourself whenever you’ve typed How to__________ into a search engine. When you click on the results in the SERPs, it takes you to the middle of the page and the answer to your question is highlighted for you to read, even though it is in the middle of a bunch of other content.
So make it easier to separate your content by writing in short (but complete blocks).
SEO Advanced Writing Tip #4: Write About Topics People Are Already Searching For
Unless you already have a huge following, write about things that people are already looking for. Don’t ever write content just for the sake of writing it. Content that ages, and has a low search volume because nobody is reading it can hurt your overall site SEO. So only write about things people want to read about.
How do you tell if they are reading about it? Put your topic idea into Ubersuggest https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ and see what the search volume traffic is for that question. You can also use Spyfu for that type of research.
Additionally, ask Google a question you are thinking about answering to make a post, and see what “other” questions display – write about those questions instead, or at least include them in your content.
SEO Advanced Writing BONUS Tip: Write A LOT
It can’t be crap. It still needs to be actionable and/or entertaining, but you should expect to write a lot.
I am contacted nearly every week by companies who are “interested” in hiring us to perform content writing with the intent of boosting their SEO.
They are often surprised when I explain to them that a blog post that is under 5,000 words is:
#1: Probably never going to rank
#2: Is not something we are willing to write because we know it won’t work and get the results they are looking for.
They are also shocked when I explain the price tag. I ask them – when was the last time you sat down and tried to produce 5,000 words that were SEO ready and actually worthy of reading? Most of them agree they couldn’t produce 500 words and wouldn’t want to do it if they could. But the price tag is just too much to get their mind around for a blog post.
But the facts are, longer content posts get more traffic, and generate more backlinks and get more social media shares (source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/longer-content-ranks-better/)
A side note – again, this should be high quality content. Just writing an aggregation of nonsense to add up to 5,000 words doesn’t make any sense.
What I have found is that if you are going to write anything worth reading, or sharing, then it needs to be comprehensive and thorough. And to be comprehensive and thorough on ANY topic, you should expect to write at least ten pages on it. And guess what – ten pages comes out to just about 5,000 words.
But even more important than word count, what I think about when I write these blogs is: Is everything in there that should be in there? Have I included the best of what I know in this article. And I keep writing until I can answer in the affirmative. And what I find is that when I have truly included everything I think SHOULD be included – it is often easily over 5,000 words of content. As I write this sentence, this blog post word count is 6,272 words, and growing as I write. I had not trouble getting that word count. I have tried to be thorough and make this post actionable.
SEO Writing Conclusion
SEO Writing Conclusion
When you are writing for SEO, it is important to remember that you are writing primarily to make search engines happy. If someone should happen to read your content, great! But if only Google reads it, that is pretty good as well.
Write content that solves problems and is highly actionable. And if you can’t do that, then at least be entertaining. People love to be entertained – just look at Tik-Tok.
Backlinks matter, but you need to write content that is worthy of linking to. Paid links and spammy backlinks won’t help you and could hurt your SEO greatly.
Remember- search engines are ranking your content against millions and millions of other websites out there. If you want your content to rank well, you need to write content that matters, that is relevant, that is actionable, and is “new and now.” If your content isn’t better than other content out there on the same topic, or more thorough, or fresher, or more original, don’t expect it to be seen on the SERPs any time soon (if ever).
About the Author – Tim VanDerKamp is the Co-Owner of Stay Wild Digital Marketing, an SEO Company in Salt Lake City Utah. He is a twice published author, and two-time collegiate writing champion in the “open” category. If you are interested in having us perform SEO Writing for your company, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org