Content Writing for SEO
Content Writing for SEO

Content Writing for SEO

Creating content that is search engine optimized and also appeals to your audience can be challenging. Content writing is a contemplative act that is based on both understanding and knowledge. A copywriter needs to know what his audience like and the medium of communication they prefer. In short, your content needs to be relevant, resourceful, unique, and of course, search engine optimized. It shouldn’t be complicated once you prioritize your audience over search engine bots.

Writing, communicating thoughts and ideas in a readable form, is the fourth of the language skills. It comes after listening, speaking, and reading. Which means it’s a process that occurs only after listening (comprehension), speaking (communication), and reading (further investigation).

As Google rolls out more algorithm updates, content marketers need to focus more and more on producing high-quality content that offers expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T). Expertise means being skilled in the topic or niche you’re writing about; this is critical for financial, medical, and legal websites. Authority can be determined by the quality of your content, how people interact with it, and if people share and link to it. Trustworthiness is gained by offering a safe user experience, and this is vital to e-commerce or any subscription-based sites. Hence, implementing an SSL certificate is essential to gain trust and rank higher.

   


Google’s Panda Update and Quality Content

 

 

Constant algorithm updates like Hummingbird, for instance, mark huge advancement in Google’s search technology. It makes it easier for Google to gauge intent semantically, use natural language processing, and become more and more human. It also focuses on synonyms and theme-related topics when determining the results that show up, allowing users to find what they’re looking for effectively.

The Panda update is designed to penalize low-quality sites that offer no value to users and copy another website’s content. Hence, this algorithm change has improved rankings for a large number of high-quality websites. But how does it identify a site as high-quality? A high-quality website should provide trust-worthy information, avoid duplicate or redundant content, and add substantial value to the user. It also looks for authoritative sources that provide comprehensible, substantial, and thoughtful content instead of shallow and thin content.

Search Intent

Keyword research is inseparable from almost all SEO practices and copywriting techniques. It should help you find out what your audience search for and in what form they want to find it. Hence, conducting keyword research before writing enables you to generate more ideas and prioritize your talking points based on search need. It also helps you naturally include the keywords as you write, instead of shoehorning it later on and disrupting your original writing flow. When writing about one keyword or idea, try to find different variations of it and long-tail keywords that include it. Using variations makes your writing sound more natural and helps in targeting a broader base of searchers for the same term. Look for keyword ideas that can drive traffic, are relevant to your audience, and are not currently present on your website.

When you start choosing the terms you want to use, it helps to think in terms of search intent. Knowing the intent behind searching for a specific keyword helps you write and optimize great content for it. Keywords could be either informational, commercial, or navigational. 

The user may want to learn more about something, or he could be looking to make a purchase. In some cases, the user might be searching for a specific website. To rank in SERPs, your content needs to align with search intent and be very relevant to it.

  • Informational Keywords: They usually include modifiers like “how”, and when used, the intent is to find useful information. The user could be looking for articles, videos, blog posts, or listicles. Using informational keywords in your content encourages your audience to stay on your website to learn more and engage with your brand at some point.
  • Commercial Keywords: Also known as transactional, these are terms that show an intent to purchase something or find a quick solution. It can include words like “buy online”, “best price”, “review” “order” or just the product name. Content for commercial keywords should emphasize useful information on the product, benefits, how to use it, ingredients, or features.
  • Navigational Keywords: The user is probably searching for a specific website that they already know; it’s just easier to google it instead of typing a URL. You might not really want to target those unless it’s your brand or website name.

A constructive way to determine search intent is to look at Google SERP results. Google tends to show certain features like shopping results, video results, or related questions. These results should help you determine search intent.

Keyword Density and Long-Form Content

Quality and long-form content usually come hand in hand. Hence, longer content dominates top ranking in search results, plus it’s more likely to have valuable and useful information. Producing unique, thoughtful, and detailed content correlates to higher organic traffic and positive user signals. Long pieces leave more room for facts, substance, and evidence. Short content, on the contrary, tends to be shallow, thin and has little to no value. A simple way to determine the ideal length for a particular topic or page type is by looking at the current top results for guidance. 

There are, somewhat spammy, ways to produce long-form content that you should avoid. Duplicate, redundant, plagiarized, and repetitive content makes for lousy user experience and harms your SEO efforts. Another big no, which you probably know by now, is keyword stuffing; forcing the exact keywords over and over again. Instead, try to use them naturally with synonyms and semantically related terms. A simple way to determine keyword density is through the “Find” feature in your document. If you find that your primary keywords appear too many times, simply replace some of them with synonyms.

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On-Page SEO

 

Headlines and Heading Tags: Crafting great headlines or titles is vital to your click-through rate. It’s just a shame to waste excellent copy by having a dull or a not click-worthy headline. Looking at search results is a great way to see what type of titles are ranking better for a specific topic or idea. The title needs to be optimized and also attractive to the user. Other sub-headings should provide a sense of structure to your content. While H1 introduces the topic, H2s should represent each section. The reader should be able to skim through the content and be able to determine if it includes what he’s looking for or not.

Meta Descriptions: Including keywords in your meta descriptions helps with visibility, since they get bolded when they match the user’s search query. Generally, it should summarize the content and set the user’s expectations to what’s on the page. You can also include a call to action to entice readers to click through.

Linking: Links prove to Google that your website is well connected and has valuable content. External linking to other authority websites indicates that you are aware of what others create. Internal linking, on the other hand,  increases dwell time and improves user experience, by making sure that the reader has access to all the information he needs.

Let the Writing Begin!

 

It might sound like a lot to keep in mind every single time you’re writing content. Yet same as any other skill, SEO content writing needs practice and patience. You might not be able to get everything right the first time, but make sure you always review your work thoroughly. Start by employing some simple and basic tips, and keep an eye on the outcomes to understand what works for you and what doesn’t.


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