At the core of every SEO strategy is effective SEO content. But, writing valuable SEO content is harder than it may seem. If you don’t know where to begin or if you’re not sure whether you’re doing it right, take a look at these tips for writing effective SEO content from SEO professionals:
Do keyword research
The first step to creating SEO content is making a list of keywords that you would like to target. How can you determine which keywords to target? Use the Google Keyword Planner. This tool is free—all you have to do is create a gmail account in order to gain access. Once you’ve logged into the keyword planner, choose the option that allows you to search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category. On this page, enter a keyword that describes your business. For example, if you own an auto repair shop, you would enter “auto repair” in this box. Enter your landing page and geographic information and then click on “get ideas.”
You will be presented with a list of keywords that are related to the term “auto repair.” Sort through this list to find keywords that are relevant to your business and have low or medium competition. If you choose highly competitive keywords, it’s very unlikely that you will be able to rank high within the search results.
Figure out what people want to know
One of the most challenging aspects of creating SEO content is figuring out what you should be writing about. After you have created your list of keywords, think of “top 5…” or “how to…” topics you could write based around these keywords. For example, one of the keywords that came up for “auto repair” was “oil change.” You could easily incorporate this keyword into a blog on “top 5 reasons why your car needs an oil change.”
Be mindful of the length
When it comes to SEO, it’s not just what you say that counts. Search engines favor longer articles, so you will see better results if you choose to write more than 1000 words on a topic than you would if you only wrote 100. According to Yoast, your content should be a minimum of 300 words in order to rank in the search engines. But, if you can stretch your posts out to over 1000 words, you have a better chance of ranking high in the results.
Some SEO content writers begin to fill articles with fluff in order to reach 1000 words. Don’t make this mistake. Yes, search engines are more attracted to longer pieces of content, but the content must still be relevant and valuable. This is why choosing the right topic to write about is so important. You have to find a topic that you are able to write at least 1000 words on so you don’t find yourself adding fluff.
Install WordPress plugins
If you use WordPress, you have a number of plugins at your fingertips that will help you optimize each piece of content you publish. One of the most popular plugins is Yoast SEO. What does it do? Type in a focus keyword and instantly see whether you need to make changes to your content to improve your ranking. For example, this tool may tell you that you haven’t used the keyword enough within the text in order to rank for it. It also may suggest that you add the keyword to key places within the content, including in the title and first paragraph.
Another helpful plugin is Shareaholic, which inserts share buttons into your content so readers can quickly and easily share the post to their social media pages. If you decide to install this plugin to increase social shares, choose the share buttons that hover on the side of the page. These are much more effective than the share buttons that remain in one spot at the beginning or end of the content.
Edit the content and format of your work
Every good writer knows that you have to edit your work before it’s published. What should you edit before making the content available to everyone? First, check for obvious spelling and grammar errors. Misspelling words or using incorrect grammar will affect how people perceive you, so this is an important step of the process. If you’re writing in a tool that highlights spelling and grammar errors, correct these and then go back and read through the content once on your own. Why? These tools won’t catch every mistake. For example, if you write the word “you” instead of “your,” the tool won’t catch this mistake because technically both words are spelled correctly. This is why it’s important to take a few minutes and reread your content before you publish it.
Besides editing the content, you should also take a close look at how you have the article formatted. Is it just one giant block of text or do you have it organized with headers and sub-headers? Articles are much easier to read when the content is arranged with sub-headers. In fact, many people may immediately leave your page if the content looks messy or unorganized, so keep this in mind before you publish a new piece of content.
Share the content
Your work isn’t done once you’ve finished writing the content. Now that you have a valuable piece of SEO content, it’s time to spread the word about it. Create posts on social media directing your followers to read the new piece of content. Find relevant blogs, forums, and discussion boards, and comment with a link to your blog. Sign up for accounts on Reddit and StumbleUpon, and link to your articles on here as well. Doing this will not only drive traffic back to your site, but it will also help with your link building strategy.
Writing strong SEO content should be a huge part of your marketing strategy. If you need help creating SEO content, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.