SEO content writing is actually pretty simple. A lot of people put it off because it seems like a lot of effort. That’s just because they see the writing aspect of it. They might not have liked essay writing in school, etc. The thing is, if you did essay writing properly, it’s actually a checklist as well, that is, a bunch of things you can check off a list as you write the piece. It’s less art and more science.
As the checklist is more about things that you can control, i.e. content that you type out, this will be more so about the words that you write as well as on-page factors. But anyway, enough blabbering, let’s get into it. In no particular order…
- Have a headline that contains the keyword. In many cases, particularly for longer tail keywords, Google will put more emphasis on this, not to mention people who are searching for the specific key phrase.
- Keywords in various subheadlines. This is to help you snag some additional SEO love, as there are likely to be related keywords that link to a root keyword or phrase. Use the main keyword in an H1 tag, with variations in H2-4.
- hyperlink keywords. While the effectiveness of this is questioned, in terms of getting people to notice it (as well as Google, to help it identify what’s useful), this probably plays some part. Ideally, you would like to another article about this.
- Keyword density. I’ll mention this one, even though I don’t really like it as a strategy. I just feel it makes the article sound spammy and I feel its relevance as a ranking factor has shrunk since the early days of Google SEO. Still, might play a part. Aim for 2-5% keyword density – and make it sound readable to people.
- Put a 50-word snippet at the beginning. This can become the meta description that Google uses to show people the snippet of your article in its SERPs. It has to sell people on the rest of your piece.
- Check out what’s higher up. This is a strategy less about your content and more about who’s above you in the SERPs. Chances are, they’re up there because they show more useful content that people read, share and like. Don’t blatantly copy, but pay attention. Can you improve upon their content?
- Mix media… Having mixed media is a great way to not just make it easier for people to read your content (there’s visual relief when you see pictures or videos), but it gives something else for Google to rank. There are Google Images, as well as YouTube, which might make the difference between some or no traffic.
- …But make it quick! Particularly notorious with images, make sure the file sizes aren’t way over the top. Google punishes websites that create slow experiences for their users. Try to keep images to 2 MB or less.
- What’s your problem? Now moving into the content strategy, you can’t just write 500 words of mindless drivel. Dive deeper into the problem space (you should have done research for this). While there might be many users searching this keyword, what’s the main reason people are doing so? Are you speaking to them and showing you get where they’re coming from?
Let’s keep it at that 9 for now. I know the suspense! But no, I’m not going to write for the sake of it. This is a pretty comprehensive list. Tick these off, and you’re well on your way to pretty SEO friendly content.