Are you wondering how to write content for SEO?
Well, to begin with, you shouldn't just write for SEO.
Writing content for SEO is important, but it is no longer the most important. To write good content for your website, you need to prioritize writing content for your readers just as much.
However, if you really wanna rank at the top for competitive keywords, you need to get the best of both worlds – and include some basic SEO strategies in your content writing, that we'll present below.
And don't miss out on my article about other important SEO techniques to dominate the SERP.
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Here are all the tips you're ever going to need for finding that balance.
Should you really write content for SEO?
SEO copywriting is one tough cookie to crack. It's clear you need to write content that appeals to your readers and gives them value, yet you have to balance keywords and make sure you hit every necessary step for ranking in search results.
It might seem impossible at times, but once you start practicing you'll realize it's not so tough after all.
Actually, you need to keep in mind just 9 simple principles that will ensure you get the perfect balance between SEO and your readers every single time you write something, no matter the subject.
9 Tips On How To Create Good Content
So, how to write for SEO? Here's 9 tips that'll make both search engines and readers happy.
1. Use long tail keywords in your content
Let’s say you want to write about dog food and you imagine that including the keyword “dog food” will be plenty for an in-depth article. But do you even know what your readers might be searching for? They might be searching for “organic dog food recipes” or “dry dog food pros and cons”.
To write for SEO, you need to include highly relevant long-tail keywords in your content.
Long tail keywords show you what your readers really want to know. Using these keywords, you not only get a chance to target some very specific keywords – you’ll also write content that people actually care about, instead of blindly writing a piece that uses the main keyword a few times here and there.
I built a simple tool to find out the keyword volume and earning potential.
2. Write powerful and relevant titles
There’s one line in your content that literally matters the most and that’s the title.
You might have a wonderfully in-depth article about dog foods, but if your title is something like “Here’s an article about dog food“, that’s not really tempting and no one simply wants to click on such title in the search results. If your title is “21 amazing dog food tricks that your pooch is going to love”, the odds are much better.
However, don’t go crazy with the titles either and don’t forget that besides using your main keyword, the title should also make sense for readers and provide them a quick insight on what they can learn from your content.
3. Yes, spelling matters even in web content
Spelling and grammar as ranking factors is a subject that has been long debated.
Google hasn’t really confirmed spelling and grammar to be direct ranking factors but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to these. Search engines are getting smarter by the day and poorly written content that’s filled with errors tends to get lower rankings. Even though the content is written for the web, you still need to pay attention to what the people reading it will think.
Another factor you should consider is time on site which can affect rankings and poorly written content definitely doesn’t contribute in a positive way to that – your potential readers will just close the browser window as soon as they get tired of reading an article that’s riddled with errors.
4. Structure your articles well
Readability is another point you shouldn’t forget. Reading one huge text block is not very pleasant. By using subheadings and bullet point lists, your content will be easier to digest and that can drastically increase time on site.
Make sure the subheadings and bullet points make sense as well – there’s no point in using them if they don’t contribute to better user experience.
Aim to use 1 H1, 2-7 H2, and a bunch of H3's and H4's.
5. Avoid filler content – even if it's good for SEO
There are numerous sites who think they can outsmart search engines and rank higher if they simply write a longer article.
For that, they often write 100-200 words of pure filler content that rehashes previous points and doesn’t really give any new information – all in the hopes that a bit longer article will help them score better rankings.
However, as search engines keep improving, you can be almost certain that these sites won’t get far.
And this is when writing for SEO goes too far, and doesn't really serve your visitors.
Search engines value unique high-quality content and simply rewriting previously published content or rehashing your own words won’t do the trick. Not to even mention that your readers won’t appreciate it either!
Aim to write less words, but higher quality. A general guideline is to include at least 500 words, and usually not write more than 5000 words as that would get overwhelming.
Use the word counter tool I created to check how many words you have in your article.
6. Update your content often – with the reader in mind
You don’t like to read old news, do you? Search engines love fresh content, so it’s not a big surprise freshness is a huge ranking factor.
Updating your content is good for your readers as well. Imagine someone looking for dog food reviews. It’s clear they prefer to read something that’s written in 2017, rather than reading reviews that were posted 10 years ago.
7. Write 100% unique content
It goes without saying that you should never copy someone else’s content.
But there’s more to unique content. Does your article provide new insights or covers the topic from another angle?
Are you writing your own thoughts? Never rehash content that already exists and instead give the topic a new spin. Unique content will be highly valued by both search engines and your readers!
8. Link to related pages and other sites
Some sites avoid linking in the fear of driving traffic away from the site or hurting the site in some other way.
However, if you found a great resource that helped you put together a wonderful article, it makes sense to share it with your readers as well.
Don’t forget internal links either. They hold massive power as a ranking factor and help to keep visitors longer on your site. Your new linking rule should be: use relevant and useful links whenever you can.
9. Stay natural – SEO content does not make you rank
The best tip you can ever follow is to just keep it natural and don't write content for the purpose of SEO – but optimize your content using SEO.
Don’t obsess about over-optimizing your content for search engines and instead focus on your readers. After all, they are the ones that really matter.
Write enticing titles, unique and helpful content and don’t stuff your article with keywords. If you keep your readers in mind, your content will rock the search results every single time.