by Shane Barker
Do you know how many blog posts are published per day?
More than 3 million.
Image via Worldometers
To stand out in this massive sea of content, you need to create SEO-friendly content. That’s where SEO content writing comes into the picture.
SEO content writing means creating content with the aim of driving search engine traffic. And, it’s not as simple as placing keywords strategically in your content. Search engines are way too smart to fall for that trick.
You need to write content that is valuable, authoritative, and keyword-rich at the same time. This kind of content encompasses all of Google’s algorithmic components shown below.
Image via Pinterest
To simplify SEO content writing for you, I’ve identified five actionable tips in this post. By following them, you can create content that is optimized for Google and loved by people.
Let’s get started.
How to Improve Your SEO Content Writing in 5 Steps
First things first. Audit your content for SEO to understand where you stand currently. The audit will analyze your search traffic and sources. Plus, it will highlight content gaps and issues with user experience and load speed and how they are impacting your search rankings.
After that, use the strategies mentioned below to improve your SEO content writing.
1. Speed Up Your Website
Load speed has been a Google ranking factor (see above diagram) since 2010. Quick-loading pages are liked by Google as well as users.
An Akamai survey found that 40% of people will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Patience levels are even lower (2 seconds) for people who browse using mobile devices. Now that Google has come up with their mobile-first index, site speed on mobiles is even more critical to your online visibility.
Take a page speed test. If your content doesn’t load within 2 seconds, you may need to change your hosting provider or opt for asynchronous file loading. If your site is built on templates, the messy code can bog it down. So, switch to a cleaner template even if it means overhauling your site design.
2. Pack a Punch with Your Headlines
Your headlines should be catchy, evoke emotions, and contain relevant keywords.
To create click-worthy headlines:
- Include questions in them. Since most searchers are looking for answers on Google, question headlines have a 14.1% higher CTR, according to the Backlinko study cited earlier.
- Front-load your keywords since crawlers read from left to right.
- Avoid power words like secret, perfect, ultimate, etc. They decrease CTR by 13.9%.
- Include a number if it makes sense. CXL found headlines with numbers to be a winner.
Image via CXL
3. Use Keywords Strategically
Needless to say, you have to research the keywords you’re targeting. Your keywords should be a good mix of head terms and long-tail keywords. Incorporate them naturally in the right places to catch the attention of crawlers.
- Title tags (15-40 characters long)
- URLs (Contextual and space-free)
- Titles and subheadings (Keyword variations with the same meanings)
- Meta descriptions (Unique for all pages, 155-160 characters long (113 for mobile), with keywords towards the beginning)
Structure your content well so that crawlers can locate keywords easily and index your pages accurately. But while doing this, don’t be tempted to overstuff your content with keywords since that can attract Google penalties.
There are SEO experts who can help you with content creation as well as penalty recovery. You can get their help to improve your rankings organically without overshooting your budget.
4. Invest Effort in Link-Building
Don’t underestimate the power of external links on your page. They tell Google that you are sociable, connected, and your information is verifiable – factors that deserve a better ranking.
In fact, Google’s mission statement reflects their stand on link building:
Image via Google
When you include links to other sites, you align with Google’s vision of a better-connected world, and they reward you with a higher rank. Voila!
But before you link to external sites, ensure that:
- They have a decent domain authority (DA).
- The linked anchor text is relevant and contextual.
- The linked pages offer information that your readers will find valuable.
- The linking is natural and non-promotional.
5. Track Your Efforts
It’s essential to watch your analytics closely when you leverage the above strategies. This way, you can identify the most resultful strategies and replicate them on your other pages.
Drill down into things like traffic volumes, page views, CTR, DA, and engagement of your pages. You can use tools like Google Analytics to procure this data.
If you’ve hired an SEO company to handle your content optimization, they should be able to provide you with these numbers, along with their analysis and forecasts. After that, it’s just a matter of following up on their suggestions to get more bang for your buck.
Ready to Rock the SEO Game?
Once you’ve applied the above tactics and monitored your efforts, it’s time to step back and analyze the results. If your pages are getting traction from Google but continue bouncing visitors, it indicates low-quality content. You may need to revisit your entire content strategy and plug the content gaps.
Do you need help with any of these tactics? Share your questions in the comments below. I’ll be happy to answer them.