We’re lucky to publish this guest post by our colleague, content writer Philip Oyelola. Philip, an expert in Search Engine Optimization or SEO, shares his best advice to rank highly on search engines in this post.
Do you know that over 25% of users click the first Google result for their search query? Therefore, if you’re not ranking high on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you’re missing out on driving targeted traffic and qualified leads to your sales funnel.
To dominate SERP rankings, you need to create search engine optimization (SEO) content that search engines rank and readers enjoy. But how exactly do you do that? @PhilipWrite has the answers.Tweet
To lead SERP rankings, create search engine optimization (SEO) content loved by humans and search engines alike. But how exactly do you do that?
In a moment, I’ll be walking you through six SEO content writing tips that will help you outrank competitors, dominate SERPs, and drive search engine traffic to your business.
6 SEO Content Writing Tips
There are tons of content writing tips out there. This can make it very difficult to know which ones work (or don’t work). That’s why I’ve curated some of the best SEO content writing tips that will help you drive traffic and potential clients to your business.
1. Understand Search Intent
Search intent is the motive behind every search inquiry. A searcher’s intent could be to discover answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, or to make an informed buying decision.
When writing SEO content, fulfilling your audience’s search intent is important, because it impacts your ability to rank on search engine results. Creating content that provides answers to your audience’s questions keeps them engaged and increases the time they spend on your page — a very important ranking factor.
According to SEMRush, there are four types of search intent, namely: navigational, informational, commercial investigation, and transactional. Navigational search intent refers to things like finding company websites using search engines: for example, looking for a specific website on the internet. Informational search intent pertains to users looking for specific information about something. In commercial investigation search intent, the searcher looks for options for a product or service. Transactional search intent refers to the user looking for a specific product or brand.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is the process of identifying common search phrases and words used by prospects on search engines. When you get it right, you have a clear picture of the targeted audience.
Keyword research is important because it helps you prioritize topics that have a higher chance of engaging and converting prospects. Also, analyzing relevant keywords keeps you updated with the ever-changing trends in your industry.
To do keyword research, you need keyword research tools. One easy, free option for basic research is Google Trends. Luckily, there are more sophisticated options as well depending on your needs: both free and paid tool options you can explore.
3. Create High Quality, Original Content
Conducting keyword research is not enough to get your content on the first page. You have to put in the work with the level of quality and originality of your content. The truth is, a lot of content on the internet is unoriginal, copycat content — they are not high-quality.
Therefore, have the mindset of writing for your audience, not for algorithms. It’s pretty easy to be caught up in optimizing your content for SEO, and losing sight of what is most important – creating content appealing to your audience, and content that provides solutions to their problems.
To create quality, original content:
- Write from a unique perspective. Add stories, examples, and subject matter expert interviews.
- Add actionable tips and solutions.
- Use short sentences and paragraphs to enhance readability.
4. Optimize For Target Keywords
Once you have your target keywords, you’ll need to optimize every aspect of the content for them. This includes optimizing on-page HTML elements such as the title tags, body, images, headlines, and meta description for your target keywords. This section will walk you through the process for each of these pieces.
- Title tag: The title tag is the HTML element describing the topic of a page. It helps Google understand what your page is about, which makes it an important part of your content. Therefore, optimize target keywords in the title tag. It should be unique, concise, and within the range of 50 to 65 characters.
- Meta description: The description is an HTML snippet summarizing an entire web page. It is not for search engine crawler robots, but for the humans who search. The meta description will help you increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your content. Google churns the meta description down between 155 to 160 characters. Keep it concise and let it summarize what your page entails.
- Headlines: These are also known as header tags. They start at what is known as H1, the largest headline, and go down to smaller headlines such as H2 and H3. Google uses the header tags to make sense of your content. So, make sure that your headings and subheadings should be in the right format of H1, H2, and H3. The search engine tends to place more value on content headers in this format. Likewise, ensure the targeted keywords are optimized in your headings, as well.
- Images: The image file names and the alt text (the description of your image which is presented to website visitors if the image doesn’t load, for greater accessibility) are also important. They are part of the factors considered by the search engine to help your content rank. So, make sure your file names and alt text are relevant to the content, and contain your target keywords.
- URL: The URL of your content’s page is also considered by search engines in SEO. The slug of your URL, the last part after the final backlash, is crucial here. Structure the URL to be short, and include target keywords early on in the slug.
- Body: Lastly, while it’s important to optimize for keywords, don’t overdo it. The search engine will be able to identify keyword stuffing. That’s when you use too many keywords in your content. The keywords should be only used naturally in your content. This can be achieved by focusing on the subject matter to your audience. Your priority should be to educate and engage your audience.
5. Add Internal & External Links
Understanding the difference between internal & external links, and how to use them is important in an SEO strategy. It enhances your search visibility, user experience, and website ranking. Internal links are links to other pages within your website. External links connect users to outside sides, for example, to learn more information about a subject.
When adding internal links to your content, make sure you include links that are only relevant to the topics you’re writing. With external links, only include links from high authority, reputable websites.
Here are the other dos and don’ts of adding links to your content:
- Avoid adding excessive internal and external links. Quality should trump quantity when adding links to your content.
- Make sure the external links included in your content open to a new window or tab. This way, when readers click on the link, they won’t leave your original page, and can easily get back to the initial content.
- The best way to optimize for SEO naturally is to keep users in mind. You should only include links that add values to your readers.
- Use anchor text (the text that you can see and click on, in a hyperlink – like this!) that meshes correctly and naturally with your content.
- Only link to reputable sources.
6. Promote Your Content on Social Media
Social media channels are an effective tool to get your content out there. Share your new content on Twitter communities, groups, and on your timeline. Add an engaging description or a catchy call to action. However, avoid spamming.
Also, it is a plus if your blog has a sharing button feature. This will prompt other readers to share your content on their timeline, maximizing your reach and level of engagement.
When creating SEO content, marketers often focus mostly on optimizing for SEO. While this is great, creating helpful, unique, and engaging for human readers is very important as well.
Philip Oyelola helps Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Business-to-Business (B2B) companies write long-form and actionable content pieces. When he’s not writing or reading novels, he’s watching Sci-fi movies. Visit Philip Oyelola on LinkedIn or find him on Twitter @PhilipWrite.
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