Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) writing can be learned and taught easily because its fundamentals remain constant despite changing algorithms of search engines like Google, Bing, Amazon, YouTube, and the like. You need to create engaging copies that real readers respond to organically, landing you on SEO rankings. You may have to get the hang of it, but SEO writing is learnable, just as long as you have the passion for it.
SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to make sure you get organic or unpaid traffic on the search engine results page or SERP. You get to this goal two-fold. On one side, you need to design your website and produce content that is easy to understand, navigable, and easy-to-use. On the other hand, search engine bots scan or crawl your website to determine if your site is of value to search for people’s intent in your category or niche.
Common Craft explains on this video what SEO is about:
Video Source: What Is Search Engine Optimisation / SEO (Search Engine Land © 2019)
SEO writing helps with this aim of making websites discoverable online. It is creating high-quality content beyond creative and engaging, but including technical factors like keywords, proper labels, good UX/UI web design.
Can You Do Away Without SEO Content Writing?
The answer is yes IF you do not want people to find you online. IF you want search engines to flag you as a low-level website, and IF you do not want your website to maintain and gain followers. Lastly, you can do away with SEO content writing IF you do not want to make money out of your website.
But if your desire for your website is totally opposite—you want to be discovered online organically, you wish to gain domain authority and be known as a high-quality website if you’re going to increase your audience base, and if you want to get conversions and sales from your site—then good SEO content writing is a must.
How Does SEO Content Writing Work?
Recent statistics show that 93% of online experiences take-off on a search engine. That is practically all of the engagements happening on the internet. This is why website owners aim to rank high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). People who search online usually click the top 3 to 5 websites on SERP. The first page of SERP is where you want to be. You want to qualify for specific keywords and phrases in your niche. It takes different factors coming together, and all meant to drive traffic to your page who are in search of solutions. Hopefully, through your high-quality content on your SEO-optimised website, you can add value to readers’ lives by offering actionable steps for their search intent. You aim to convert them to valued customers eventually. It is where an SEO Content Writer or SEO Copywriter comes valuable.
An SEO content writer intuitively, and with the help of SEO tools, discover the trending search intent in their niche, select the keywords or phrases that can be targeted by the website, and write high-quality content as an answer to these search queries. A good SEO content writer thinks of the user and how his or her article could add value to that user’s life. A good copywriter knows how to use and strategically position these keywords and phrases on the article, title, headings, meta descriptions, and alt tags. Hopefully, every effort to optimize the content pays off through organic website traffic that drives sales and increases the value of your website. As you add value to others, the value gets added back to you.
A good SEO content writer or copywriter must know how to write content that’s grammatically correct, clear, and engaging, relevant, and concise. The writer should have a grasp of what readers want and strategically incorporate keywords and key phrases seamlessly into the content. An excellent SEO content writer researches about every topic with the intent of providing high-quality content that answers people’s search intent. A good SEO content writer knows not just to write but also to write in a way that brings conversions for the site. It does not matter how well-written an article is, if it does not convert, then it is not a good SEO copy.
How to make SEO Content Writing Work?
Write for people, not bots.
You may be writing an SEO copy so that bots that crawl your site can spot your page just right, but you are not writing for bots or SERP. You write for people, and you must write well to ensure your article becomes meaningful for them. That’s how you get to rank on SERP. You can have all the right ingredients, for example, that bots look for, but it takes skill and insight to put the ingredients together in such a way that is appetizing for people.
Most writers make the mistake of writing just to rank high. Of course, ranking is in the back of the mind of every SEO content writer. However, a good SEO content writer thinks of his or her audience foremost, that with every article or content, somebody’s problem or query is answered.
Find your niche and become an expert in it.
It is also better to write within your niche. You cannot possibly be an expert on every topic under the sun. You increase your credibility as a writer or as a blog if you focus on one or two experts in a particular industry and get known for producing engaging and useful content on those subject matters. Yes, you can be a Jack-of-All-Trades kind of SEO Content Writer, but you are selling yourself cheap because people pay better for experts on the field.
Be engaging to your audience to rank for SERP.
A good SEO Content Writer must know how to craft words together that engage the audience and hits SEO factors used by search engines. The writer must be able to use keywords strategically to get the page marked well by SERP and drive traffic organically to the site.
Use long-tail keywords.
Go for long-tail keywords that are more specific than generic keywords. These keywords or keyphrases meet less competition on keyword listings compared to short-form keywords. They are cheaper to run in PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and target 70% of search queries. Long-tail keywords are more profitable for a website blog in the long-run because it builds expertise on a specific niche. It leads to greater domain authority and higher conversion rates.
Use keywords seamlessly throughout the article. A good SEO copywriter uses keywords organically in context to what the article or content is about, and does not profuse the article with the keywords because it makes the piece sound unnatural.
Use attention-grabbing headlines.
Headlines used must also grab attention so well that readers skimming through SERP can’t help but take a second look. You want your site to be discovered, and so your headlines must pack a punch. Your meta descriptions—which serve as a free advertisement on SERP—must give a concise but engaging gist of your article well enough to click through your site.
A good SEO content writer imagines all these factors as he or she writes. As the writer continues producing high-quality content this way, all the more he or she becomes an SEO wordsmith, keyword artisan, and a master in that niche or industry.
Proofread and check for plagiarism.
Nothing is more jarring for readers than a poorly-written, typographical error-filled, grammatically-problematic content. Search engine bots also quickly flag plagiarized content.
There are many online tools that writers can use to check their work for grammatical errors and plagiarism. A good SEO content writer does due diligence by proofreading their work numerous times to ensure they are producing a strong, well-written copy.
Produce dynamic content by adding images and videos.
Adding high-quality images and videos to your content makes your page more engaging.
Only 20% of your content is read by your visitors. You’d think that for all your effort, only 20% gets consumed. But you can take this data and turn it into an advantage. Even in that small window, make sure readers get a good glimpse of your entire article. Let them see it through your titles, headings, bullet points, and better yet, your images and videos.
Image Source: Jakob Nielsen, 2006.
So, adding imagery or videos help you keep your readers dwelling on your site a little longer. Your posts can also be pinned in Pinterest if it has an image, or you can use that image for your Instagram account, and hopefully, people will clickthrough your actual webpage. Facebook readers, who are also known to skim highly through their homepage, are hooked more successfully if you have an image or video.
Use original images and videos, if possible, because it makes your content of high-quality.
For example, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign caused quite a good stir, and Dove effectively sent their message across by adding beautiful imagery to their content:
Video marketing is a great tool to add to your online marketing strategies, as almost 72% of businesses’ conversion rates improved with the addition of video content.
Even if you do not have a resident graphic artist, you can create professional-looking images with various photo-editing apps right on your mobile phone. You can quickly add content to your social media accounts and include your website for clickthrough options for your readers who want to learn more about your content.
Optimize your content through social media sharing.
Social media is such a powerful platform to connect with your target audience right away in a more impactful, memorable manner. If your content is engaging enough, share-worthy, and readers felt it added value to them, they are more likely to share your content. It’s like a free advertising channel you can optimize to boost your content. So, always include social sharing buttons every time you release content.
Post your new articles on social media sites and forums and even spin them for EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) campaigns. Always include simple, yet compelling CTAs (Call to Action).
You can also use tools such as Open Graphs for your Facebook posts or Twitter Cards for your tweets to improve your clickthrough rates.
Always add an embed code on your videos, infographic, and original images to promote content sharing and backlinking to your webpage.
Always know the latest trends in social media marketing so you can write articles that are easily sharable and likable. You want to see various interactions like shares, comments, and likes going about your content.
Conclusion: A Good SEO Content Writer Adds Value to Your Team
A successful marketing team needs to have the right people doing the right thing towards a common goal. You cannot achieve excellent SEO success in your campaigns and content if you do not invest in finding and nurturing a good SEO content writer or copywriter. Build a strong relationship with your writers, and make sure they grasp your brand’s pulse and what you are all about.
If you are an SEO copywriter and are reading this, don’t sell yourself short and have a mentality that you are “just” a writer. There is great value in what you do, and your efforts add significantly to making the website of high importance. As you pen words, you express the heart and intent of your brand and have the fantastic privilege to leave a mark in your readers. When you write a good SEO copy consistently, your efforts and hard work get paid off—not just for the website, but for you as a writer. Keep honing your skills and specialize in your niche and get your material out there. Eventually, you’ll get known in the community of that particular niche as a reliable source of information, and your knack for excellently promoting services and products will elevate your status as an SEO copywriter. So aim for quality, always. Happy writing!
James is an SEO consultant based in London. Working with clients around the world to get more traffic from search.