Search Engine Optimisation, more commonly referred to as SEO, is one of the most crucial aspects of marketing. As such, if you’re working to market your blog or your business, you need to know what SEO means and what the rules and ways of SEO success are. While a successful SEO strategy isn’t an exact science, and its practice has been challenged on many fronts throughout the years, knowing the basics is still important to an effective marketing campaign.
What is SEO
SEO refers to the process of making a website more visible on a search engines results page. To clarify, a great SEO strategy will put a company’s website at the top of the list on a Google search page, therefore increasing the likelihood that people will visit the site. Search engines strive to provide the most relevant results for a person conducting a search, so that when a person runs an internet search for cakes, the first thing to appear isn’t a cookie shop, but a bakery that specializes in cakes as well as a definition of the dessert. In other words, SEO helps to make a search relevant to the user and can be critical in driving traffic to your site. Search engines work by searching the Internet to find text that meets certain criteria. This text is known as keywords and refers to the most important theme(s) of the website, company, or product. Scouring the online world to find keywords are why, as in the example above, a search for cakes yields a result of multiple pages about cakes, not cookies. Other important things that a search engine uses to rank a website include titles, headings, and links that make up the content of a websites pages. Search engines also employ search engine indexing to find, digest, and store the content of a website. A search engine index refers to the set of data that’s used to base a final search result on. The Importance of Keyword Research Another important part of an SEO introduction is understanding the significance of keywords. We explained above that keywords are the specific words or set of words that best describe the theme or overall concept of an idea, website, business, or product. Keywords are the words that people use when conducting a search, and should be words that are included in the content of your webpage. Choosing the right keywords can help to drive traffic to your site, attract potential customers, and greatly improve your SEO ranking. When deciding what keywords you should include in your text, you should consider things such as the relevancy of the keyword(s) to your website and company, as well as the competitors that are using the same keyword(s) (you can check this by running a quick Google search of chosen keywords yourself, and seeing what sites appear at the top of the list). To discover the value of your keywords, you can buy a sample campaign from Google AdWords, which will allow you to test the traffic generated by your chosen keywords. If all three things are in check—the keywords are relevant to your website, competitors are experiencing success with similar keywords, and a sample campaign yields high traffic—you should feel confident in moving forward with the keywords.
Secrets of professional SEO article writers.
- Get your keyword research on.
- Put the keywords to work.
- Write about something people care about.
- Know the basics of technical SEO and get a free technical SEO audit
- Make it long enough to count.
- Watch your analytics.
- Edit your work.
- Become your own online PR agency.
- Realize that becoming an SEO writing expert takes time.
** Get your keyword research on: If you’re going to post content on your site anyway, you might as well take the time to make sure Google takes notice of your effort. Find out which keywords and phrases people are searching for (as well as what you can be competitive in), and make yourself a keyword spreadsheet. Keep track of how many times you work the keywords into your content, and use the right tools to track where you rank for the keywords you target.
**Put the keywords to work: Once upon a time, being an SEO content writer just meant dumping keywords into your copy — but that’s not how the game is played anymore. While it’s still a good idea to include your target keyword throughout your article, peppering your copy with forced keywords won’t really move the dial much (and often, it will hurt it). As is the case with any bit of SEO strategy, you’ve got to be tactical. Include your keyword in the title, in the first 300 words, and in the first H1 or H2 (though, it should be noted that it isn’t necessary to hit both — just make sure you have it in one of them). After that, you should be trying to use variations of your keyword. As an added note, it should never be a struggle to fit your keyword in your copy. Ideally, your keyword should feel natural in your writing — if you feel like you’re starting to write jibberish, you’ve gone too far. Remember, the people using search engines are searching for that particular phrase because they want to know more about it/buy it, so it makes sense to give them what they’re looking for. You’ll get more clicks if you do — it’s one of the tricks of the trade for professional SEO article writers.
**Write about something people care about: Before you set out to do any kind of SEO writing, ask yourself this: who cares? We’re not being facetious, here — too often, article writers just pump out content for no real reason, with no real strategy behind it. They forget that actual humans need to want to read this stuff — you’re not really writing for Google’s algorithms, you’re writing for people! When you’re writing, you should always seek to offer some sort of value to your readers. What can you tell them that no one else can? What service can you provide thats unique? What knowledge can you share that can’t be found anywhere else? Nobody knows your business like you do — so use that to your SEO advantage. If not, you can at least discuss news relating to your business. When in doubt, look at your list of SEO keywords and see what kind of list, link bait or in-depth posts you can work those keywords into. Don’t be afraid to interview some experts, either (if you quote them and feature their expertise in your post, they’ll be likely to share your content via their social channels — this way, you can leverage larger networks to increase the size of your own).
** Make it long enough to count: Sure, 100 words of fresh content is better than no new content at all — but how much value can you really deliver in a Tweet? Search engines tend to give preference to longer blogs and articles, and for good reason. Try to shoot for at least 600 words, but if you can get to 1,000 or more, go for it. There has been a lot of research that shows that search engines tend to favor in-depth content of at least 2,000 words — we’ve seen this work for ourselves and our clients, and many of TCFs most popular blog posts are at least 1,500 words. The longer your content, the more value you’re going to give your readers, and the better chance you’ll have at lower your bounce rate. (Speaking of that…)
** Watch your analytics: SEO writing isn’t fire-and-forget — you shouldn’t just post your content and walk away. In fact, you should be regularly monitoring your content using Google Analytics. According to data gathered by the folks at SEMrush, time on site, bounce rate, and pages per session are all as important (if not more important) than keyword density. When you think about it, that’s not that surprising. If your site has a high bounce rate, that means that visitors to your site aren’t staying for long, likely because your page isn’t providing them with the information they’re looking for. If your bounce rate is high, there’s a good chance your page isn’t optimized for the appropriate keywords.
You should be warned that there are plenty of non-content related things that can cause your bounce rate to skyrocket. Aggressive pop-ups, slow loading times, obnoxious ads or images, and any other ugly design element can push visitors away. Writing good SEO-based content isn’t just about the words on your screen but it’s also about how your visitor sees them. If they are obscured by bad design, no one is going to stick around to read them. So, optimize the optimization of your web content writing.
** Edit your work: The main difference between professional SEO article writers and regular people is an eye for self editing.Programs like Open Office, Google Docs and Microsoft Word make it easy — the red and green squiggleys give most of it away. Having an eye for aesthetically pleasing formatting is also important. Stay away from super long paragraphs and sentences that go on for miles. If you’re able, it’s always a good idea to have someone else take a look at your work before you hit publish. Even if they aren’t an SEO writer (or editor), a second set of eyes can catch a lot of easy to miss mistakes.
**Become your own online PR agency: Once you’ve written and posted the fresh content, the SEO work is only half complete. The final step of all web content writing is acting as your own online PR agency — link to your content all over the place. Comment on blogs and link back to your site. Social media management and web content writing go hand-in-hand, and as soon as you hit the Publish button on your fresh article or blog, you should tweet your heart out.
** Realise that becoming an SEO writing expert takes time. SEO writing is a skill — and like every other skill, you aren’t going to master it overnight. But here’s the thing — that’s totally okay. See, when you’re writing SEO content, you’re always going to want to go back and edit your content as your analytics start to give you specific insights. Even if you don’t hit gold on your first try, you can keep perfecting your piece of content until it starts to rank. Likewise, every piece of content you write is yet another notch in your belt. With that said, not everyone is going to have success with SEO writing. Not everyone is an expert writer, and if you don’t have a writing background, you might struggle. Do your best, and see what you can accomplish. After a few months, if it just isn’t working out, you can find additional training, a content writing service, or a content marketing company to do it for you.