SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand as one cannot be done effectively without the other.
If you want to optimize your website for the search engines, first you need good content.
Similarly, when creating content, you cannot ignore SEO and should follow effective SEO writing techniques.
Want to learn what these SEO writing techniques are?
Here are seven quick tips to get you started.
1. Use Keywords Strategically
The first rule of effective SEO writing is to use relevant keywords in your content so that it ranks for the right search queries. This, in no way, means that you should stuff your content with keywords, as that would reduce the quality of your content.
Instead, you should maintain a good keyword density and place keywords at strategic places throughout your content. Use a tool to check keyword usage in your content and maintain an optimum keyword density.
For the latter, here are some best practices that you can follow.
- Use your primary keyword in the title and in headings (if possible)
- Add your target keyword in the first 100 words of your content
- Apart from the main keyword, use keyword variations and side keywords as well
- Use long-tail, conversational keywords to also optimize for voice searches
These are some of the essentials that you should be aware of when optimizing your content for keywords. Other than these, it is also a good practice to build keyword lists and select relevant topics based on your target keywords.
2. Don’t Forget the Meta Titles and Descriptions
Any post on SEO for beginners will tell you the importance of keywords for writing SEO-friendly content. However, many of them often forget to include meta titles and descriptions, which is a rookie mistake.
For any page on your website, the meta title and description are what people see in the search results. This is what determines whether they will click on a particular listing or not.
Including your primary keyword in these not only helps the search engines better categorize and rank your content but also helps users see that it is relevant to them. So, add your target keyword in meta titles and descriptions for all your web pages.
Also, make these as compelling as you can to get more clicks on your organic search listings.
3. Write Targeted Content
One of the most important tips to create good content is to write with your audience in mind. You should know who your audience is and what kind of content they like.
Understand your audience and then create content that is useful and relevant to them. This is the biggest secret of effective SEO writing that all expert marketers follow.
To understand what your audience likes, you can look at your website of social media analytics data. Most analytics tools provide information on which content performed well in terms of engaging your audience. Look at these insights to fuel your content strategy.
4. Make Your Titles Compelling
Titles are the first thing that any reader sees before they decide whether to read a piece of content or not. In a way, this is the single most important deciding factor that determines how many views your content will get.
Therefore, writing attention-grabbing and curiosity-generating titles is an excellent tactic to drive traffic to your website.
Want to learn some tried-and-tested strategies to write titles that get more clicks?
Here you go:
- Use numbers in your titles as most people like reading lists
- Add words that evoke strong emotions
- Write titles that get people excited or curious to find out more
- Include shocking facts or statements
- Keep it short and crisp
Want to see an example?
One brilliant example of a website that has nailed the art of writing catchy headlines is BuzzFeed. The website is known for its quizzes and list posts on almost every random topic.
You know a quiz on “Which Disney Character Are You” is absolutely useless and yet you can’t stop yourself from checking it out. Their secret is catchy headlines that generate curiosity and use compelling language that makes people want to click.
Here’s an example of some of there quizzes.
Image via: BuzzFeed
I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to find out if I am adventurous or not by taking that third quiz.
If they can make wasting time on useless quizzes fun, then you can definitely attract people to read useful and relevant content that they are interested in. Use these tips to write compelling titles that get you more organic traffic on your website.
5. Create Scannable Content
If you have ever used any tools to analyze web traffic and user behavior, you will know that people love content that is easy to digest. Check metrics like bounce rate, average time on page, etc. and you will find that people engage more with content that is easy to read.
People don’t want to go through block after block of text to find the information that they are looking for. Instead, they want to simply scan the content quickly and extract as much value as possible.
You may think that if it is difficult to read then people will stay on your website longer, but that’s so not true. If your content is difficult to read, people will simply leave and check out some other content on the topic.
So, structure your content well by adding relevant headings, subheadings, bullet points, etc. Make it as easy to read as possible. Create listicles as those are the easiest to read.
The more value your audience derives from your content, the more likely they are to visit again and engage with more of your content. And these are some of the things that search engines consider as proof of quality and they rank sites that get better engagement higher.
6. Use Visuals
Adding to the previous point, using just text can make your content look boring and hard to scan. Using visuals helps break the monotony and make your content more engaging for your audience.
In fact, you should not just add images to your blog posts but should also experiment with other types of visual content. Videos and infographics, for example, are engaging and informative at the same time.
The reason that these help with SEO is because people engage with such content more and prefer it over a long text format. And, we all know that search engines love to recommend websites that people engage with to serve their customers better.
7. Add Relevant Links
Adding links is one of the most important content writing strategies for SEO. When writing any type of content for your website, you should add relevant links to other useful resources both internal and external.
For external links, choose relevant and high-authority websites that provide value to your audience. You should also link to give credit for any statistics or examples that you may have used to enrich your content.
Internal links are also important as they direct users to other useful and related content on your website. This increases the time that they spend on your website, which is good for SEO.
These are some of the most effective tips for creating SEO-friendly content. Use these and get more reach and engagement on your website content.
Have any questions on how to create SEO-friendly content? Ask in the comments section.