seo content best practices

SEO Content Writing Best Practices

Writing content is a key factor in building a site, but writing content with SEO in mind will help your site get higher rankings and more site traffic. Content is one of the more important components when it comes to your site’s search engine optimization. Keeping your content rich in SEO will not only improve your search ranking, but also improves the user experience and increases your click through rate as it gives the user a better chance of finding what they were looking for.

Here are some tips to help you write content that builds your SEO and allows your site to reach your audience. Although the following tips can seem overwhelming when employing them all at once, after good practice, it becomes like riding a bicycle and you’ll be telling other people these tips.

SEO Article Writing and Keyword Research

Before your begin writing do some keyword research, have a list of relevant keywords and keyword phrases that can be used throughout your copy. Begin by creating a list of keywords you’re planning on using and synonyms of the keyword, including plurals.

There are many varying keyword research tools out there. Learning how to use the Google Keyword Planner to find the related keywords people are using to search on your article topic can help you reach your audience much more than guessing.

Once choosing the keywords for your content, focus on one main keyword to use in your headers and content and use the remaining 3-6 keywords as supporting keywords when writing.

SEO Keyword Usage in Blog Articles

Take care not to ‘stuff’ your article with these as the search engines can consider your site over-optimized and less relevant. Your keyword distribution in your content should be around 3-4%. This means if you have 300 words in your article, your main focus keyword can be used around 9-10 times.

These words and phrases should be used naturally in your content. Long tail keywords, keyword phrases composed of three or more words that collectively are more specific than a single keyword, can also increase your site’s visibility while reaching a more honed audience. An initial keyword such as ‘blog article’ can be expanded to ‘how to write a blog article’, allowing your page to best reach its intended audience.

Using Header Tags for SEO

Using proper headers not only gives your copy a smooth flow, it’s also chance to add header tags. Using H1 – H4 tags gives your content structure and determines the importance of each section. Section out your copy and build a hierarchy of appropriate headers. Header tags should also incorporate your keywords and phrases. This shows search engines your content is well-written can increase your rankings.

Only one H1 tag should be used per article – and should be the article title. Your H2 tags can be used to separate different portions of the article related to the theme. For instance, the title of this article “SEO Content Writing Best Practices” is an H1 tag. “SEO Article Writing and Keyword Research” is an H2 tag speaking to the content in that portion of the article, yet still relating to the theme of the article title.

Using Headlines for SEO and to Grab Your Audience

Your headline is your best chance of grabbing a reader from your competition. Make sure your headline is clear, contains a keyword or keyword phrase near the front of the headline, is relevant to your content and uses the proper header tag.

Your headline needs to entice your reader and draw them to your site for more information. Headlines can be assertive claims, informative or drive curiosity, but their job is to catch the reader’s eye and bring them to your site.

Writing Readable SEO Content for your Audience

High quality effective SEO copywriting begins with original content. Remember to write for the user but optimize for the search engines. Write naturally for a human audience, but help the search engine find you. Write to affirm yourself as an expert in your industry by crafting content that is interesting, helpful or informative.

Ideally, your article/page/blog/content should be at least 300 words and can be up to around 1200 words. However, length should not be a major factor as long as you are writing on topic and making sure you are getting your point across clearly.

One item that goes overlooked is checking your spelling – misspelled content can hurt you in SEO. Use the spell check before publishing your article.

SEO for Meta Titles and Descriptions

Pay attention to your title and meta description. Use your main keyword in your meta title and description tags. These should elaborate further on your content’s topic. Both your title and your meta description show in your search results and on social sites, so make sure they are SEO enhanced as well.

The meta title and keyword tags have character limitations. The meta title is generally around 55-60 characters. Moz has a great tool to check your meta title length. Your meta description should be around 150-160 characters so it’s not cut off when showing in search engine results.

Optimizing Your Images for Search

Images are playing a larger role in search engine ranking factors. There are some basic standard practices when using images for SEO.

  • Image Size: Resize Your Image to the size you need. A high-res image file will slow down the page speed and decrease your ranking.
  • Image File Name: Use your focus keyword and supporting keywords in the image file name.
  • Image Alt Tags: Also, using your keywords in the image alt tag text is another effective tool in improving your rankings.
  • Image Title and Description Tags: Whether you use the title tag or another quick image description, make sure to use keywords effectively. Keep your image alt texts short, informative, descriptive and to the point.
  • Image Size Tag: Make sure you use image size tags in your code. This will allow for better search placement in Google Image search results.
  • Making Sure Your SEO Content is Share Worthy

    Your content should promote natural link sharing. Well written content can provide opportunities to link back to your previous posts or a product page within your site. You can embed codes for sharing your content and/or create a ‘share’ button for users to socially share your posts. The better your content is, the higher the likelihood of it being shared. If your page is picked up by another site, share that link as well.

    SEO Content and Sharing Through Social Media

    Writing content with SEO in mind doesn’t end when your content is posted. There are venues available to get your site to a wider viewing audience. The use of Social Media along with tracking and maintaining your posts should be vital parts of your SEO process.
    There’s no denying the impact and scope of reach available via Social Media sites. Facebook and Twitter offer you the opportunity to create pages for your business. Share your articles there and create a stronger web presence, gather likes, garner check-ins. Posting links to your newest pages and content gives you a chance to promote and package your content and pull traffic to your site. As the focal point of most social sites is sharing, again remember to include a ‘share’ button on your site’s posts.

    In some of these venues, using hashtags will create more views of your posts. For instance, when we post this article to our social outlets, we’ll use hashtags like #SEO, #Copywriting, #SEOContent and others that are applicable to the theme of this article. This is where the initial keyword research comes in handy once again.

    Using Google+ to Share Your Blog Content

    Google+ is growing and playing a larger factor in SEO than ever before. Links from Google+ are strong as an SEO ranking factor. Create and maintain your Google+ account, it also gives your audience your pertinent information such as location, industry, contact information and hours. Stay active their community and use it as an opportunity to promote your pages and articles there.

    Using Google Analytics to Keep Track of your Activity

    Every website should have Google Analytics installed. While social media sites will help you to track your likes and shares, you should also employ the use of Google Analytics to monitor page views and bounce rates. This information gives you a better understanding of how users are interacting with your site. Are users getting what they were looking for? Do they leave your site quickly? Answering these questions allows you to rethink and adjust headlines, tags and keywords to drive the right traffic your way.

    SEO content writing is your widest opportunity to increase your search engine ranking and filter your audience to what they are looking for. Utilizing the processes and tips here can increase your rank, manage your site’s traffic and more effectively engage your audience.