If you are a newbie at writing for SEO purposes, there is some good and not so good news. The good news is there are many opportunities for established writers who really know their craft. The not so good news is that website owners or agencies won’t employ writers who lack sufficient experience with SEO writing. Therefore, you will have to consider a few basics and quickly work your way to SEO professional.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Use Targeted Keywords
Doing simple research on a topic isn’t enough to impress potential clients. Your content will fail to reach the right audience if you don’t use targeted keywords.
Targeted keywords are words or phrases that your audience is actively searching for within your niche. For example, “top Italian restaurants in Brooklyn”.
Also, consider other ways your audience might search these words and phrases. For example, “good Italian restaurants”, “5-star Italian restaurants”, etc.
If you’re writing a blog in a specific niche, the more topics you can write about using targeted keywords, the better.
Use Optimized Headlines
Optimized headlines are important for two reasons:
- They get the attention of your targeted audience.
- Search engines will rank optimized headlines higher.
The headline of your article should be relevant to the topic at hand and should spark the interest of the reader. The more engaging and unique your headline is, the better! For instance, let’s say that you wish to write about headache remedies.
Which title is more likely to catch your eye?
- 5 Headache Remedies to Try Now
- Stop Your Headache Fast With These 5 Effective Remedies!
The second one, right? A headline that adds a bit of punch will win out over a plain one any day.
Also, don’t forget your targeted keywords. Aim to use targeted keywords in strategic places such as the article’s title, headlines, opening lines and closing lines.
It is also important to keep your audience in mind as you write the article. What else will your reader want to know? What else will they be searching for?
How about “home remedies for headaches”, “best headache remedies”, “cheap headache remedies”, and “natural headache remedies”. Not only can you use these targeted keywords in your article, but you can also create more articles using these keywords to increase your search engine rank and authority!
Focus on Content Readability
Old-school SEO techniques called for extensive pieces of text and keyword stuffing, but is this appropriate for 2019? Not so much. In fact, keyword stuffing can actually sabotage your SEO writing efforts.
Millions of users these days are accessing content through their mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.), so the readability and structure of your text are extremely important. If you don’t want to overwhelm and lose readers, you have to make your content easy to consume.
Specifically, you should aim to:
- Break down your content into smaller sections.
- Use short or medium-length sentences (and limit the use of longer ones).
- Get your message and points across clearly and concisely by using relevant keywords where appropriate.
- Avoid using keywords excessively as your text will look unnatural and unreadable.
Enhance Content Credibility
Credibility is something that many writers and their clients ignore, but in reality, it can enhance the SEO impact of your text immensely. Search engines ideally look for websites that offer credible information that links back to a trusted and popular source.
Additionally, adding links to authority or trusted sources in your text makes you instantly look more credible in the eyes of your readers.
Of course, it depends on the nature of your topic—some topics require extra research and sources while others are more personal and creative. In the first case, however, using and linking to credible sources in your text is a great way to boost your SEO.
Use Snippets to Your Advantage
Since a large number of users are searching online for things using question (?) queries, Google has responded with the provision of snippets.
Snippets are small sections of text that appear on the top of search engine results and directly answer the question the reader is asking. For example, “How can I repel mosquitoes?” For this, the snippet displays the answer before regular search engine results.
The thing about snippets that many writers aren’t aware of is that they can actually steal away traffic from regular results, which can give your website a huge advantage!
So, if you want your written text to get featured in these snippets before that of your competitors, you have to directly feature both a question and the answer to that query. For example, “How to cook quinoa?” Answer: “You can cook quinoa using one part of quinoa and 2 parts of boiling water…”
If you answer the question directly in your text and use relevant headlines and a bullet list, you’ll have a much higher chance of appearing in search engine snippets!
Establish Yourself as an Expert
A part of Google’s updated search engine criteria is the consideration of the quality and expert authorship of the written content. Your reputation and credentials matter. The more personal, informational, and valuable your content is to the reader, the more chances you’ll be seen as an expert in your field.
Furthermore, readers and search engines alike want to know who is behind the content. Therefore, don’t forget to include your own bio/about me page, post unique articles with your byline, and give solutions to common problems in your niche.
You can also post parts of your content and include links to your website or blog in relevant user forums. As long as your answers are relevant to that forum and useful to its members, you will receive more organic clicks to your content.
And, ultimately, that’s what you and your potential clients are looking for!
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