SEO content writing is a tough job.
Not only are there seemingly endless amounts of rules to follow.
But they change all the time.
One minute you’re focusing on producing loads of short form content.
Then you’re being told SEO content is all about long form.
Yesterday it was all about specific keyword targeting.
Today it’s all about search phrases and search intent.
The truth is, SEO content remains a vital part of any SEO and content marketing strategy and while there are some key points to follow from a technical standpoint, it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
Here we’ll take you through 12 easy to follow tips and tricks you can use to instantly improve the quality and results of your SEO content writing.
Of course, if you don’t want to take up the SEO copywriting yourself, you can always call us and we can do it for you.
Tip 1 – Do your keyword research
There’s a balance to be found when it comes to keyword research for SEO content writing.
But it’s important.
Keyword research will show you the words and phrases people put into search engines when they’re looking for products, services and information.
If you don’t use them in your copy, then people will never find the stuff you’re creating.
There’s plenty of tools out there, both paid and free, that can help you with keyword research.
AHrefs is a good paid tool.
Tip 2 – Focus too much on keywords in the writing
See, we told you it could be confusing.
You definitely need to focus on keywords when it comes to research.
But when it comes to writing, don’t fill your content with so many keywords that it doesn’t make sense to the person trying to read it.
This is most commonly known as keyword stuffing.
People used to just find a keyword they wanted to rank for, and put the keyword in the copy as many times as they could.
Nowadays, Google is way smarter than it used to be.
If you blatantly stuff keywords into your website content, you’ll just get punished in search.
Not to mention your content will be rubbish and users will just leave and go somewhere else.
Tip 3 – Consider keyword search intent
Search intent has become an important part of creating SEO content today.
It is basically understanding what the end goal of a search is.
Is the user looking for information?
Or are they looking for a product?
Depending on the answer, you’ll need to adjust the type of content you create to match the search.
Tip 4 – Don’t forget your SEO structure (meta descriptions, page titles)
The old fundamentals of SEO content still apply if you want to have the best chance of ranking.
Take time creating good meta descriptions, adding page titles, using H1 and H2 headers, creating great headlines and using subheadings.
And don’t forget the alt text on any images you use.
Creating a solid SEO structure around your content is like putting a firm foundation down before building a house.
The more solid the foundation, the better the chance the house has of lasting.
Tip 5 – Focus on answering questions or solving problems
This doesn’t just count for your website content, but it’s something a lot of people get wrong.
Read any website, and you’ll likely see walls of text saying how great their company is, or how useful their product is, or innovative their service is.
This isn’t helpful to your users.
They don’t care about you.
They care about what you can do for them.
Or they want to find information so they can fix something on their own.
As well as your keyword research, you should take time figuring out what questions your prospects are asking, and create content that answers those questions.
Tip 6 – Use keyword variations
If you look at any keyword, there’s a tonne of variations in how people use it when searching.
Some of the variations are pretty similar.
One thing we see a lot of, is people focusing on a single keyword, and not including variations of it within the content.
This really doesn’t make sense.
If you’re going to rank for one thing, why not try and rank for similar keywords within the same article, guide or video?
This can also help you vary your content more, remove the risks of stuffing a single keyword into everything you produce.
Why, if you’re trying to get people to your website would you include links to other websites that would take people away from yours?
When Google is deciding which website to rank at the top of search, it’s trying to determine which is the best resource that users will find helpful.
If you’ve created an in-depth guide that links to external articles, research that expands on your work, or provides more useful information, you’ll be seen as a more reliable resource and be ranked higher.
If you’re really concerned about people leaving your website and not coming back, just set the external links to open in a new tab.
Your website isn’t a collection of individual pages.
It should be a connected network of useful information that users can quickly navigate through to find what they need.
This could be adding a CTA at the bottom of a blog.
It could be adding a link to another useful resource or guide.
You’ll see a few internal links spread throughout this blog.
Adding internal links will help to keep people on your website for longer.
Plus, if you use internal links strategically, like in a keyword clustering strategy, you’ll help increase the search authority of your pages and rank higher on Google.
Tip 9 – Don’t use irrelevant keywords
This one might sound obvious.
But you’d be surprised how tempting it can be to use keywords with loads of search volume that aren’t relevant to what you sell.
While it can help pad your website numbers, it will always be a loss making exercise for your company, because you won’t get any business from it.
For instance, if you’re a B2B company selling two way radios, then you’re not going to get any business by targeting keywords around walkie talkies or radios aimed at consumers.
You might get some initial extra traffic from it, but once users figure out you’re not what they’re looking for, they’ll just go somewhere else.
What’s more, if Google suddenly sees a spike in the number of people bouncing from your website, it will determine you less relevant to search enquiries and you could end up damaging your long term search authority.
Part of this comes down to understanding search intent.
If you understand what your users are expecting to find when they make certain searches, then you can focus on the right keywords and creating the right content.
Tip 10 – Optimise your older content
When you see information about SEO content writing, it’s usually in the context of creating new content.
But optimising older content can generate some great results, with less effort than creating content from scratch.
Optimising old content can include looking for better keywords to optimise an article around to generate better results.
Or combining shorter articles into a longer form piece of content.
This works particularly well if you have two articles on a similar topic that could be cannibalising each other’s results.
If you have one article that is performing well, and one that isn’t, consider combining them.
Tip 11 – Publish enough new content
There is loads of advice out there on how often you should publish new content to get SEO results.
It’s true that the more content you produce, the better results you’ll have overall.
Google prefers websites that are regularly updated with fresh information.
If you look at the really successful websites like HubSpot, they are producing multiple bits of content every day.
In reality, unless you have a huge content team that can pump out enough quality content, you should just work out what’s realistic.
There’s no point publishing poor quality articles everyday.
You’d be better off publishing quality articles once or twice or week instead.
Tip 12 – Don’t spend too much time focusing on word length
This is one of the big debates in the SEO and content marketing world.
Part of it comes from research and studies like these which claim pages with more content rank higher in Google search, and that longer form guides and articles get shared more, so get more traffic.
And it’s true that longer form content typically does better.
But this is because it’s quality content, as well as long form.
It’s been thoroughly researched and even though it’s long form, no words are just added.
If you read all the advice that longer articles are better, you can easily find yourself padding your content with extra words that don’t add to anything but the word count.
What you end up with is long, rambling articles that hide most of the important information.
Don’t spend too much time worrying about the word length.
A well written 500 word article will perform better than 1,500 words of padded rambling.
When it comes to word count, the golden rule is to use just enough words to clearly make your point – and no more.
Start producing better SEO content writing today
And that’s it.
None of the advice in this article is hard to follow.
Some of it is known best practice for SEO, some of it is through research, and some of this comes from running our own experiments about what content works best.
If you take the points we’ve been through and start to use them in your own writing, we guarantee you’ll start to see improvements in your analytics, and sales.
Call us today to talk about how we can help you with your SEO content writing.
We have a team of SEO copywriters, journalists and SEO experts ready to help you produce better content for your website that gets results.