What is SEO Writing?
Writers write to be read. If you’re writing to drive organic traffic to the website, you want many people to see and read your writing. SEO writing is the key to making sure people discover your writing. What is SEO writing? It’s writing content focusing on ranking on the first page of Google results. As we always say, we can’t only focus on writing for search engines. That is why we want to explain in more detail.
What Does ‘SEO Writing’ Mean?
SEO writing is when you write and optimize content with the hope to eventually rank on the first page of search results. Generally, SEO writing focuses on ranking on Google since it’s the most popular search engine. And the higher your writing can rank, the better visibility your website will have with searchers. Most people don’t look beyond the first page of Google results, and they expect to find what they’re looking for quickly. That means the first title that seems to meet their needs is the post they’ll click on.
Why SEO Writing is Crucial for Your Business
The primary reason you want SEO writing on your website is to rank in search and help people looking for the products, services, and information you provide to find your content. It will help increase awareness of your business and build brand authority, both of which are necessary for sales.
But those aren’t the only benefits of SEO writing.
SEO writing helps your business:
- Drive Traffic. SEO writing drives traffic to your website, increasing the likelihood of purchases and helping you keep your audience informed on your niche.
- Form Relationships. Customers are more likely to be loyal to and recommend brands they feel connected to, making relationship-building essential for future sales and referrals.
- Generate Leads. People who click on your content do so because they want to solve a problem. Whether they need information or a product or service to meet that need, being there for them will help generate leads that are ready to convert.
- Multiplies Search Benefits. Strong SEO on certain posts or pages on your site lends itself to helping other site content rank too. Your content builds upon itself.
Another great thing about SEO writing is that it keeps working for your site. A post or page that ranks well will continue drawing traffic to your site for months or years. And since you know it works, you’ll build upon it, strengthening your site’s overall SEO value.
Best Practices for Writing
Understanding what SEO writing is and how it benefits your business is one thing. It’s another to sit down and write. Ideation and planning are the easy part, writing and sticking to the plan is the hard part. Here are the SEO writing best practices that you should follow.
Understand Your Audience
You must understand your audience. Everything you write is for them. You need to know what their needs and pain points are. What will they go to Google to search for?
Putting yourself in the minds of your audience will help you better target all of your writing.
This understanding isn’t just the words they are looking for but what part of the buying cycle they are in when they search. You need to know what motivates them to make a purchase. What keeps them up at night? What your competitors offer and how you are different in the market.
Create an Idea List
Make a list of content ideas based on what you know about your audience and their needs in relation to your industry. What do they need to know more about?
Ask what your audience is likely to search for, but don’t stop there. Search for those concepts and look at the “People Also Ask” results to spark additional ideas. For example, if you search “creating an SEO writing idea list,” here’s the People Also Ask:
Now you have some spin-off ideas on the subject you know people are searching for answers about.
Use tools like Answer the Public or Quora to find out what people question in your niche. Look at the results when you search for “SEO writing” questions in Quora:
You end up with so many content ideas that you probably won’t have time to explore them all.
Let each idea lead you to another until you have a strong list of ideas. One of the best tips is just to let your writing answer the questions you see. You never go wrong in solving people’s problems.
Perform Keyword Research
Take the ideas on your list that are most related to your audience’s needs and your products or services and perform keyword research for them.
When doing keyword research, you’re trying to determine what words people are likely to search for. Then you look at how much people search for those terms (search volume) and how difficult it is to rank for those words (keyword difficulty).
There are many tools to help you perform basic keyword research, including some that are free. We use Semrush and KWFinder.
Here are the search results for “SEO writing,” which is a challenging keyword to rank for. But you can see that “SEO content writing services” gets a good amount of traffic and is easier to rank for.
Use your keyword research to determine the best way to approach writing about the topics you previously identified. For example, using the research above, I may find it more beneficial to write about “SEO blog writing” or “SEO blog writing tools” than to write simply about “SEO writing.”
There are many ways to frame information to benefit your audience and help get your site recognized in search.
Review Search Intent
Don’t forget to focus on search intent when considering how to frame your writing. Search intent is what your audience wants when they search Google.
4 reasons people search online:
- Information. They have a question that they need answered.
- Navigation. They either actually want to find a place, they want to learn about a place, or they want to visit a store.
- Transaction. They want to buy something.
- Local. They want to discover something nearby.
So, for example, in the search results above, the posts on “SEO content writing services” are commercial, which means people are looking to make a transaction when they search for that keyword. If you were writing a post with that keyword, you’d want to recommend which service to buy.
With each topic you write about, consider what the audience is looking for that gets them there, then focus on that intent. Otherwise, your content will never make it to the audience. Google is sophisticated enough to know the intent of your audience and your writing and it will match them together.
You’ve heard that no amount of marketing can make up for a bad product? Well, no amount of SEO will make up for bad writing. If your content is bad, readers will leave your site quickly and never return.
Make sure the content on your site is stellar. And don’t forget that readers want to be entertained, no matter what.
Use Keywords When Writing
Don’t forget all that SEO prep work when it’s time to start writing. With SEO writing, you want to use the keyword strategically within your content.
Use the keyword in the post’s:
- Meta description
- Content (Don’t overdo this. You don’t want Google to think you’re keyword stuffing.)
Write Great Titles and Meta Descriptions
Titles and meta descriptions are critical in SEO writing. The title and meta description are the first things readers see when determining whether to click on your blog post. They make the decision whether to read based on these few words. Make sure you follow all of the best practices when writing both.
When writing titles:
- Keep Them Simple. Use three to five simple words to summarize the post. Be sure your readers can understand the title at a glance.
- Use Strong Verbs. Use strong action verbs in your titles.
- Include Keywords. Use the most important words related to your post’s content in your title.
- Use Blog Title Format Best Practices. Including a number or a question makes your post more likely to be read.
- Try an Analyzer. Use a tool to help you analyze your title, like this one from CoSchedule. It will help improve your titles.
When writing a meta description:
- Be Concise. Meta descriptions that get the best search results are 120-156 characters.
- Include Your Keyword. Use your keywords in the summary to get better search results.
- Be Specific. Let the reader know what to expect from your post.
- Sell It. Make your meta description its own blog sales copy.
- Include a Call-to-Action. Tell the reader what you want them to do next by using phrases like “learn more” or “read more” if you have space.
Photos and graphics aren’t just there to break up the text. They also attract attention and improve your post’s search rankings. Whether you shoot your photos and build your graphics or use one of the many options for free images, you need visuals in your posts.
And don’t forget the alt text. It’s an important component to make sure anyone using a screen reader can consume your content as well. Don’t stuff your alt text with keywords. Alt text is a descriptor, not a Google trick.
Optimize Before Publishing
You’ve done everything to this point to get your SEO writing noticed. Don’t fall short on optimizing the overall post for search before you publish it.
Optimize the following, if you haven’t already:
- Keyword. Add the keyword in the required locations for optimization. What are those required locations? Use a plugin like Yoast to help.
- Title Tag. Make sure the title tag and title use the headline you chose. You don’t want random numbers or letters in the URL.
- Alt Text. Be sure that your images include proper titles and alt text.
There’s a lot of work on the backend before you even get to press publish on your post, but you can’t leave all of the work to SEO. Yes, SEO done well will send readers to your site. But go ahead and give each post an extra push by sharing it on your social media channels, in your email newsletter, and perhaps even have a link to your site in your email signature. This sharing is the best form of off-page SEO, after all. Do all you can to promote your blog and its content.
Let Content Journey Handle Your SEO Writing
What is SEO writing? Now you know it’s a series of steps you take when writing blog content to increase its chances of ranking in search engine results. We all want that coveted top search spot, but ranking on the front page is amazing for your business. Not sure you understand SEO writing or want to handle it in-house? Let’s talk. Book a call to discuss how we can partner for your SEO writing needs.