SEO content writing can be tricky! Many times, print media writers have a difficult time adjusting to this style of writing mainly because words, grammar, and punctuation are just a few things to consider when creating good solid copy. Additionally, since search engines constantly change how they calculate relevant content, nothing is a sure fire solution to achieving top ranking results.
SEO Content Writing Basics
The first thing that any writer should keep in mind when approaching content in this fashion is that the term SEO is used. That means that their job REQUIRES them to understand technical details about how SEO metrics are calculated and more over, WHY they are important to consider.
The second thing is balance. Writing for search engines and writing for people are two different things. With where the current level of technology is they will be two separate for a while too. Hopefully as natural language technologies improve, these metrics will start to blend but, until then we’re forced to take both into consideration. Either way, on to the tips!
1. Have at least 300 words per page
Search engines see this as having REAL content and not something like a tweet or status update. A simple and easy to follow tip.
2. Put your focus keyword in image alt tags
According to SEOMoz, a leading SEO research and optimization firm, the alt tags play a significant role in adding relevance to a page’s content. That said, make sure you’re alt tags contain your keywords.
3. Place your focus keyword in the beginning of your page’s title
An obvious but worth mentioning metric.
4. Place your focus keyword in subheadings like h2 or h3 tags
While this isn’t a relatively highly calculated metric it is simple to implement and helps increasing your content’s SEO potency.
5. Place relevant outbound links in your content
Remember writing papers in high school or in college? Are you still in high school or college? Either way, citing your findings is important. Search engines are modern day’s digital metaphorical teacher. Do a better job on your paper, show your work and research, and you’ll get a better grade.
6. Place your focus keyword in the URL of your page
While this may seem obvious, it isn’t always completely possible. Some content management systems don’t offer URL rewriting rules. An example of a bad URL is as follows:
What the heck is that supposed to be anyhow? I don’t know and search engines don’t either. Take advantage of most modern day CMSs by using URL rewriting rules. An example of a good URL looks like this:
This way humans and search engines alike can easily identify what your content is all about.
7. Place your focus keyword in the first and last paragraphs of your copy
When this is done search engines see the content of your page as all inclusive.
8. Place your focus keyword in the meta description
Why wouldn’t you do this? The meta description is almost like an advertisement of your content. If search engines don’t see it, they think your content isn’t about what you intend for it to be about. Also, the meta description is the second thing people look at aside from the title of the page. Make this relevant and to the point.
9. Make sure your page title over 40 characters and under 70
Finding the Goldilocks zone is key. A title too short doesn’t offer enough information, while a title too long potentially offers generalized information and furthermore has to be truncated to be displayed properly in search engines.
10. Keep your keyword density between 1% and 4%
Different search engines recommend different densities. Google recommends between 1% and 2%. Yahoo recommends 3%.
Based on current search engine market share, sticking with 2% is a good idea.
11. Keep your writing simple
The Flesch Reading Ease test is a formula that determines how easy it is to understand content. This isn’t always possible especially when blogging about things like SEO content writing strategies but, its always a good thing to consider. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that the average reading level in the US is only that of an eigth grader. Horrible right? Go ahead, Google it and see for yourself. Anyway, ideally, if you can write content that is rated at 70 point or above, you’re in good shape.
The aforementioned SEO content writing tips while basic are always good to take into consideration because of their longevity. While search engines will change how their metrics work, these tips have a high chance of sticking around. Need more help on SEO content writing? Schedule a free one hour consultation.