Creating great content is the best way to drive people to your website or landing page. Whether you write a blog or craft an infographic, the content should be relevant and attention-grabbing.
Once upon a time, hitting those points in your content would have been enough. But not anymore. In this content-saturated digital age, your content faces vast competition to get seen, and that’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. You must be wondering why SEO is essential. Because it uses a set of techniques to increase the visibility of your content and web pages aimed at a specific audience you’re looking to target. Utilizing SEO ensures your content is relevant and findable by conducting keyword research and optimization, writing meta tags, optimizing headings, including internal links, and attracting quality backlinks.
Content marketing and SEO need to work together to drive traffic and engagement. The goal is to deliver your content to the right people, which often relies on where it’s positioned as a result of an online search – that means Google is the market leader with an 85 per cent market share. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to SEO writing and reveal simple tips that will help you write SEO-optimized copy to drive traffic and leads.
What is SEO content writing?
SEO content writing is a way to create optimized content on-page to help your content get a high ranking on search engines. It also signals that your content is relevant and of high quality. When we talk about content, that can be anything that exists online you want your audience to find. It includes:
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Product pages
- Guides or eBooks
Alongside keyword research and optimization, it’s essential to ensure your content is organized. Your site’s content should be in a logical order and easy for visitors to locate. A great way to do this is to plan a flow for your content and include relevant links and a sitemap to help SEO and make your content findable.
It is only possible to create great content if you share it! Make sure you have a plan to promote all your content on social media networks. Link relevant content in your emails, and get staff or brand advocates involved by asking them to share it on their networks. The wider you share your content, the more likely you will increase reach and drive backlinks. If your content fails to land on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you’ll see Clickthrough Rates (CTRs) nosedive to less than one per cent. The difference between CTR in 1st position #1 on Google is significant compared to 2nd position #2 – 40 per cent click vs. 18 per cent. If your content fails to land on the first SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you’ll see CTRs nosedive to less than 1 per cent.
Now that you know what SEO writing is, let’s look at advice from DMI experts and some takeaway tips you can apply to your work.
Writing for SEO: Top tips from technical writers.
SEO is all about the visibility of your content. But remember to ensure your content is tailored to a specific and unique audience. It’s wise to stay tuned to SEO marketing trends to stay ahead of your competition and spot any opportunities to get your content seen. We’ll take you through 9 essential tips to help you write with SEO in mind.
1. Understand the KPI of your writing
Good SEO writing is about more than just including a few keywords and being left at that. KPIs play a crucial role as they help you determine the end goal of each piece of content. You should also have content in your marketing mix that drives people through the marketing funnel from awareness to conversion.
“There is magic in SEO as it becomes the intersection of tech and story. You can tell a powerful story, sprinkle the magic of SEO on top of it, and not only do your readers see it, but more importantly, search engines see it. You can move to the top of the rankings,” says Pamela Foley, Chief of Content Marketing & Strategy at AOU Creative.
For example, top-of-the-funnel content for driving awareness includes blog posts, e-books, and infographics. In contrast, the bottom-of-the-funnel content to encourage conversions includes demos, testimonials or webinars.
2. Create a structure based on a strategy
An essential part of your overall strategy is creating an effective content marketing strategy. With one, ensuring that you create relevant content that drives prospects through the sales funnel and that your creation will appeal to your buyer personas will be easy.
There are several approaches to a strategy, but one that works well for SEO is the ‘Hub and Spoke model’ (also known as the ‘Pillar and Clusters model’). This approach generates content around a broad topic as a hub piece and then generates supplementary content that links to it that goes into more detail – these are your spokes.
For example, let’s take SEO writing. A hub piece would be ‘What is SEO writing?’ and a spoke part to link to and support it would be ‘SEO for Bloggers: How to Optimize Your Articles’.
This approach will help you build a lot of content (and show expertise) on a particular topic and help increase keyword rankings, drive traffic and grow KPIs such as leads and sales. “The hub and spoke model is something we recommend our clients use to build their content calendars.
It’s effective because when search engines like Google crawl your website, it sees that you’re writing interconnected and relevant content on a subject. The more you write about something, especially when you are providing original information, it rewards you by increasing your rankings on searches. It also increases brand awareness, clicks, and more.” – Nicai de Guzman, Content Team Lead for Wolfgang Digital.
3. Find SEO keywords by using keyword research tools
A crucial element of SEO writing is keywords. There are five essential steps to keyword research:
Once you have a target list, you can use research tools to help rank and explore keywords. There are free tools like AlsoAsked and AnswerThePublic, but the searches are limited on a free account, so you will only get huge volumes if you pay. Paid tools such as Semrush and AHREFS are handy and give you complete account access to keyword volume, competitive insights, etc.
4. Make sure your headers are in order
Blogs are an essential part of a company’s content marketing strategy.
They allow you to draw people in through relevant and engaging content that you can use to increase dwell time and encourage click-through.
But today’s users are digitally savvy and want information quickly, which is why blog headers are so important. When people read lengthier content, they tend to scan or skim. That means they are looking for information that’s important to them.
To give a flow to your blog, improve accessibility, highlight what each section is about, and use headers. H1s should be the most important, followed by H2s and H3s.
If you need help starting a blog, check out our five simple steps or use our handy blog template to create and format a blog.
5. Write using the tone suited to your industry
Every industry is different, and the messaging and tone that works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. For example, a consumer beauty brand may use imagery and adopt an upbeat and friendly tone, while a B2B software provider may need to use a more formal and factual approach. When it comes to style, think about the one you use carefully as one that’s risqué may turn your customers off rather than engage.
You should also keep your community in mind and be inclusive so that when a user visits your website or social media feed, they can see your business profile.
You may already know what tone works for your prospects and customers. But if you don’t, it’s crucial to understand your ‘ideal’ customer. This understanding requires creating buyer personas for your audience segment so you know how to attract and engage them.
Get started today by using our buyer persona template to make the most of your content.
“Experiment with your content to find a tone that resonates with your audience. Use social media to try different things, such as bringing in humour or talking about a social issue your brand cares about. You could be surprised at the results,” says Emma Prunty, DMI Editor.
6. Include relevant internal and external links
Links are the best way to guide website visitors to other relevant content. To get the most from your content, including internal links that will drive people to the content of interest – think of the ‘Hub and Spoke model’. You can also cause people to the ‘money pages’ that allow them to purchase.
External links or backlinks are essential for SEO as they link to your content from third-party sites. The more external sites that link to your content, the better, as it will drive search rankings and show value in your content.
If you have third-party links as part of your strategy, make sure you focus on high-quality backlinks rather than many low-quality ones that will have little impact on your SEO.
“It’s important to have links, particularly internal links so that people stay on your website longer as you’re linking to other articles and pages. High-quality backlinking is not bad, as long as you’re going to high-quality websites and sharing your information,” comments Foley from AOU Creative.