Truth is, you can't just write any old content for your website. It needs to be optimized content that gets your site found. Here's how to pick up SEO writing.
There’s always a war going on between writers and SEO experts.
Many traditional writers hate SEO Writing. They don't like the idea of wedging keywords into the middle of their carefully constructed written copy.
Meanwhile, many SEO experts feel that writers need to get over themselves, and just do what will get the page noticed by search engines.
The truth lies in the middle. The art and the science have to work harmoniously. Well-written content, that follows proven SEO fundamentals, will always perform the best.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important parts of SEO writing.
Remember, SEO Writing Has to be Good Writing
Google is becoming more and more in tune with your reader’s journey.
They can tell when your reader leaves a page, feeling on resolved or dissatisfied. This shows up as your bounce rate.
Google will punish webpages that users pogo stick from. And they reward pages that legitimately satisfy a reader’s needs.
Simply put, you need to deliver what you promised. And you need to deliver it in an easily digestible and concise way. If your copy is full of choppy, nonsensical sentences, or spelling and grammar errors, your reader will write you off as junk and go elsewhere.
If you’re not a professional writer, that’s OK. There are tools out there that can help you clean up your writing.
I recommend the Hemingway App or Grammarly. Both are free and amazing to start, with the potential to take it up a notch with a paid subscription.
Add Images, Videos and Visual Elements
One of the biggest parts of good SEO writing is knowing that people don't always love to read. If people are looking for a simple answer to a simple question, they don't want to see a giant block of text.
If people are looking for a simple answer to a simple question, they don't want to see a giant block of text. Use pictures or videos and other visual elements to break up the text, and show your readers that you respect their attention span.
Infographics are also amazing. They can convey a lot of data in a visual format that’s more enticing than a traditional chart or graph. They can be a bit more work than a simple image, but you can put together a really professional looking one using free tools like Canva.
Also, if you’re going to use a picture, make sure it’s a good one. Don’t use boring stock photography that everybody else is using, in your blogs or in your web design. Research shows that if your content includes compelling images, you can average 94 percent more views than a page with a boring picture.
You should also add a video, wherever possible. Experts predict that videos will make up about 70% of the entire Internet by the end of 2017.
But, if you’re going to add your own video, make sure it’s high-quality. Make sure it has professional audio and video, as well as a quick load time. Otherwise, you risk turning off both users and search engines.
In most situations in digital marketing for small business, you don’t have the resources to shoot your own videos and that’s OK. You can always embed a video from an influencer or news site in a blog. Just make sure you credit them correctly, and make sure the video is related to your content.
Pay Close Attention to Your Links
It’s incredibly important to SEO writing that you put thought into every single link in your content—whether it’s a blog or a landing page.
Make sure you’re identifying and capitalizing on opportunities for internal links.
For example, let’s say you sell camping equipment. If you’re writing a product page for your tents and you make a reference to sleeping bags, be sure to link to your sleeping bag page to encourage indexing.
Your off-page SEO strategy should include getting links from other sites to your content. The Google penguin update has changed the game there.
In the past, marketers have focused on the quantity of links, instead of the quality. But Google very much wants quality. The penguin update cracked down on illogical links that don’t help the user.
For example, your camping equipment site has a link on another site that has absolutely nothing to do with camping. Google see these as spam and useless.
The good news is Google’s 2016 Penguin update now allows you to make changes in nearly real time. So if you have any of these less than stellar links, you can start to clean them up and see the benefits almost immediately.
Know the Difference Between Writing a Blog and Writing Web Copy
This is a big one. Don’t write a blog the same way you would write a service or product page, or vice versa.
Both SEO writing styles do have a few things in common. They both require a catchy lead, a strong headline, and intelligent use of your keywords. That means your keywords should be in your title, in your first paragraph, and in a heading wherever possible.
But remember, people go to your blog to be informed or entertained. Not to be sold something. So never use a hard sell method when writing your blog.
Your website is to show off your products and services, your blog is to show off your expertise.
Of course, in a lot of cases, you’re going to be writing about how to solve your reader’s problem. And of course, because you’re amazing, your product or service is most often the best answer.
You can use some subtle internal links to your products or services, and a non-intrusive call to action at the end of the blog to get in touch with you to learn more.
Your website is to show off your products and services, your blog is to show off your expertise. If you try too hard to sell something, your readers will leave.
Do you have any SEO writing tips? We would love to hear what’s worked for you.
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