Most marketers already know that search engine optimization (SEO) is key to the growth of an online business. It can even boost visibility for local brick-and-mortar retail locations with a little effort. Unfortunately, many business owners and marketers lack the basic skills to take advantage of this free traffic source.
SEO writing doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. You can follow a few simple steps and start creating search engine-friendly content right away. It may take a bit more research and planning to effectively manage your strategy, but it’s worth the small time investment when you start getting more organic traffic for your business or website.
If you’re ready to improve your SEO writing, this guide will give you everything you need to know to start managing a successful campaign with minimal effort.
Before you can start writing content for your business, you need to know what the audience is looking for. What are the keywords they’re using to search for businesses like yours? How can you incorporate those keywords into your writing?
Research regarding the most popular keywords is the first step that every marketer or business owner needs to take.
Fortunately, there are many tools out there that you can use to research the keywords that will boost your visibility. Search Engine Journal has a complete list of the most uncommon keyword research tools that you can access for free.
Consider using some of these services to effectively target which keywords are popular right now:
You can even compare your website to your competitors’ websites with free tools like Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest.
Select just one to two keywords to focus on for each article. This will help you narrow down the specific topic of your article into more readable text, and answer the question in your consumer’s mind.
You can also use related keywords that are almost the same but written slightly differently. For example, you might use the plural form or change the verb tense. This ensures that no matter how your customer types in their request, your page is likely to come to the top of their list.
The first thing that people will encounter with your marketing is the headline for your pages or blogs. This is what will show up on Google and other search engines, along with a short snippet from your article. You want to hook readers and consumers right away, and that starts by writing a great headline.
Capture your audience’s attention with a headline that speaks directly to their need or pain point. This is also a good area to place the keywords that you’re hoping to rank for. Remember, keyword stuffing is a bad idea, so your headline should read naturally.
Pick the top keyword you want to rank for and find a way to incorporate it into the first portion of your headline when you can.
Once you have your keywords selected and a headline crafted, it’s time to write your content. The most important thing you can do at this stage is to write specifically for the reader. Consider what their intent is when they search for these keywords. What questions do they need to answer, or what problems do they need to solve?
Gear your content toward helping readers solve their problems. That means you should write as naturally as possible about the topic. Integrate those keywords into the text in an organic or conversational way, being careful not to overuse them.
The goal is to give your readers a comprehensive answer to their questions. If you use your keywords too often, or try to incorporate too many, it could lead to a negative experience for the reader.
It’s also worth mentioning that keyword stuffing might be penalized by the search engines, which could damage your rankings. Given that 53% of all trackable web traffic comes from organic searches, this could spell disaster for your business.
You don’t want your content to be flagged for keyword stuffing by the search engines, so how do you ensure that you aren’t overusing your keywords? SEO experts recommend paying attention to your keyword density. Most will recommend that your keywords make up approximately 1-2% of your article.
For those who aren’t into tracking their percentages, this means that your keyword should appear naturally one to two times in every 100 words.
This particular keyword density signals to Google and the other search engines what the page is all about. When you start to exceed this keyword density, they may start to view it as keyword stuffing. Always be mindful of the frequency that you incorporate keywords into your articles or blogs.
It can be tempting to write your content as one long answer to a certain question. However, this is not ideal for search engine traffic. It’s better to incorporate an easy-to-read structure into every piece that you write. What does it mean to structure your blog posts, though?
The goal is to break up your content into smaller chunks that are more easily digestible for your readers. To accomplish this, you need a few subheadings scattered throughout your writing. This is important for the reader experience, but it can also boost your search engine results ranking if you do it properly.
Each subheading should be tagged with the appropriate headline (H1, H2, H3). When possible, try to work some of your keywords into the headings so that Google can tell what your article is really about. Be consistent about how you mark headlines in a hierarchical fashion, and you might just see more engagement with your posts.
Along with setting subheadings throughout the article, you should also consider making documents easy to read by incorporating bullet points and bold text. Bold text can be used as a Google snippet, a coveted spot that appears at the top of the search engine results pages.
One of the most important things you can do for the SEO of your website is to build links into the content. This can be done through linking to high-authority external sites or other pages on your website. For example, you might link to a related blog post on your site that can help to further answer a question.
Valuable links keep people engaged with your website for longer periods. Readers may spend time going from article to article in search of the answer to their original question.
When a reader spends more time on your page instead of bouncing back to the search engine results, it signals to Google that your page is a valuable resource. In turn, this boosts your status on the results pages.
A meta description is not necessarily a factor for your SEO, but it can help to draw more readers into your article or blog. If you don’t have a meta description specified, Google will try to write one on your behalf using text from your article. This may not be the best way to draw in a reader.
You can most likely write something that’s much better than anything Google could come up with on your behalf.
If you aren’t tech-savvy and aren’t sure how to modify your meta description, you can use handy tools like Yoast SEO for WordPress. As a bonus, this tool also helps you to determine whether your post is ranking well for search engine optimization. All you have to do is enter your keyword and it will tell you how you did.
After you have implemented a strong SEO strategy into your blog and web content, it is equally important to know how to measure your success and whether you are getting a good return on investment (ROI). Measuring your ROI should be simple if you know how to do the math.
There are three major metrics you want to measure:
While these key performance indicators are significant for measuring your success, you do need to keep in mind that your goals may vary. Some types of content might be targeted for organic conversions while others are more geared toward search volume increases.
Be sure to know what your goal is so that you can measure it more effectively for your ongoing SEO campaign.
Are you ready to dive right into your new SEO strategy? It doesn’t matter what type of business you run, whether it is retail or SaaS. Search engine optimization is key to boosting your visibility on the internet.
When you’re ready to take the next steps to measurably increase your online visibility, you need a free consultation with the experts at Vale Creative.
Contact us today to schedule your free SEO consultation!
Find out if SEO is the right move for your business.