Before I share my top five SEO content writing tips to improve search engine ranking, let me just say, gone are the days when writers could blast something out there into the web-o-sphere and people would just read it. Actually, I’m not sure what fantasy world that just came from. Writers have lamented not being read for as long as writers have been writing…But I digress.
What I’m pointing to is the big change I’ve seen in my past 10 years of writing on the web. SEO content writing dictates that writers now be versed in keyword phrasing and positioning, be clued in to how search engines identify what sites are valuable and what sites are not, based on the content, who’s reading it, how often they’re linking to it, and so forth.
So here are five SEO content writing tips to tuck into your tool belt and help you make friends with the search engines:
1. Write with keyword phrases in mind.
Find out or choose the keyword phrases for the website, whether it’s yours or your client’s. It’s usually a theme (for example, “used car financing Philadelphia, PA”) and then there are related keywords around that. Having a variety of keyword phrases helps you with the writing. The keyword phrase for this blog post is “SEO content writing tips.” Thus I have used that phrase several times to have a better chance of being found amidst the funk of the web.
Of course you’ll want to write about something that people actually care about, which is often reflected in the supply vs. demand of the keyword phrases. One place to research relevancy of your keywords is via Google AdSense.
2. Place your keywords strategically.
This is the part where traditional writers, the last bastions for literary quality, lose their lunches over giving the search engines what they want vs. just being masters of the written word. Search engines really like it when your keywords show up in the first 90 characters of the article or blog you are writing. And it’s not enough to have the keyword phrases show up just once. It’s actually acceptable and desirable for that ridiculous “SEO content writing tips” phrase to repeat three or four times in this article – even at the risk of making my brilliant content appear, at times, awkward, clunky, redundant, and downright weird.
3. Link to others as well as back to your site.
Whenever possible, you’ll want to hyperlink within the body of the content (not just stick in a useful link at the bottom of the page like I did in this article). People are more inclined to follow the link when it’s within the text. So look for opportunities to link back to relevant areas within your own site and also give due credit to external sites. Let them know when you’ve linked to them and think in terms of building relationships with others on the web. You scratch their backlinks, they’ll scratch yours.
4. Be brief.
I’m already getting bored with myself writing this, thinking maybe I should’ve just written top THREE SEO content writing tips, but hey, I’m already on to four. People just don’t have the attention span. If you’ve written more than four paragraphs, you can bet your readers were done after the first one. Which means, nobody’s even reading this far down the page so blahblahblahblah.
5. Keep it fresh.
There’s nothing worse than stale, stinky content. I know because I’ve written plenty of it and it just sat there, wasting away on my various websites, gnawing at my conscience. How often do you have to write to keep it fresh? Blog posts, at least one a week, ideally two. If you have articles and other types of content on your website, post several new ones per month. It helps the engines find you in new ways (new keyword phrases, of course) and let’s them know you’re still around and have something to say.
Kennerly Clay has been penning and publishing for more than 20 years. As a copywriter, she helps companies get their point across without boring their customers to death. As a social media marketer, she builds relationships, brands, and brouhaha by way of Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for her free e-guide: Social Media Made Simple for Small Business: An organized approach for the overwhelmed entrepreneur. Kennerly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.