SEO Content Writing: 10 Rules for Google Ranking Content
SEO and content go hand-in-hand. You may have a good SEO strategy. But you can’t rank as high on Google results without great content. And vice versa, if you have content that doesn’t target any keywords, you won’t rank as well on the SERP.
Thus, it would be best to be well-equipped in SEO writing to achieve your desired results.
Here’s what will be covered in this article:
- What is SEO writing?
- Difference between copywriting and SEO writing
- How Google’s algorithm affects your content rankings?
- Elements of SEO Writing
- How to create SEO content?
- Best practices of SEO writing
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing is the process of writing content with the sole intention of ranking on search engines. This is done with the use of keywords naturally within the content. Great content written for SEO will appear in the top 3, if not 1, of Google results.
Search engines use crawlers to learn more about different web pages. SEO writing helps to improve and optimize the page content so that search engines can crawl the content easily.
Difference between copywriting and SEO writing
There are a few differences between copywriting and SEO writing. It is these differences that will help you make a decision on which writing style is needed for your campaigns.
But let’s take a look at what copywriting is. Copywriting is a writing style that builds brand awareness and leads potential consumers to a call to action (CTA). It is also known as persuasive writing.
There is a distinct difference between copywriting and SEO writing. And that is how readers consume the content. Copywriting can be found in printed ads and TV commercials. Whereas with SEO writing, you can only find them on webpages.
SEO writing is also generally more suited for long-form content like articles and blog posts that span over a couple of thousand words. As for copywriting, they can be found in both long-form and short-form content.
SEO writing also seeks to answer a question your audience may have in mind. But, you may use copywriting to discuss your product or service and its benefits from your brand’s voice.
Another difference is the targeted audience. Copywriting targets potential leads are leaning towards purchasing or right at the doorstep. This is usually at the middle of the funnel (MOFU) or bottom (BOFU).
For SEO writing, it is usually used in content for the top of the funnel (TOFU)-an audience looking for answers to a particular problem. But that’s not to say it is only used there. It is also used at every funnel level to attract an audience and leads to your product and service.
How Google algorithm affects your content rankings
Each release of Google’s algorithm is intended to bring the most relevant and valuable results to search users. And to give users the most accurate results, Google’s algorithms look at many factors like your keywords, content length, content freshness, user experience, and many more.
While Google’s algorithms are more of a guideline and recommend what you should/should not do, it’s still best to follow them accordingly. If you optimize your content based on Google’s algorithms, it will bump your rankings higher on the SERP.
Elements of SEO Writing
When writing for SEO, you must ensure that you have optimized these elements when crafting your content. These are all factors that Google looks for when determining rankings on search results.
These are elements that you need to take into consideration when you write for SEO:
Headlines are one of the most important things to optimize when writing for SEO. 36% of SEO experts believe headlines/title tags are the most critical SEO element.
And it’s straightforward to optimize headings. You need to add your targeted keyword to it. Adding your keyword helps inform Google that your content is relevant to that search query.
But that’s not all you should do. To attract your audience, you need to develop a headline that contains your keyword and is creative enough to attract visitors. Use numbers, emotional words, and adjectives to make your headline more attractive.
If you’re stumped and out of ideas, you can use title generator tools to generate a random headline for your article or blog.
This is a no-brainer. You can’t even begin your SEO writing if you have no content!
If you didn’t know, great content ranks well at the top of SERP when it satisfies a user’s search query. And to achieve that, you must conduct proper research and planning to ensure you cover all the information in your article.
Optimizing your content for SEO gets more accessible, mainly if you have performed your keyword research. Be sure to include your target and related keywords in your content. But remember not to add too many keywords until it feels unnatural (more on this later!).
3. Meta description
A meta description is an HTML element that summarizes your webpage to search users. While meta descriptions do not directly impact Google rankings, they can boost your organic click-through rate.
Meta descriptions also boost your on-page SEO relevancy. Therefore, try writing a unique meta description for each page and content on your website. Generally, it’s recommended to have a length of roughly 160 characters.
4. Keyword frequency
Keyword frequency refers to how often your keyword or phrase appears in your content. The more often a keyword is added to the content, the higher the keyword frequency will be for that page.
You must be wary of your keyword frequency if you’re trying to rank for a keyword. Too low, and Google may not take your content as “relevant enough” for the query. Too high may send a negative signal to Google’s algorithms that you may be attempting a black-hat technique known as “keyword stuffing.”
5. Site speed
The site speed indicates how fast search users can see and interact with your content. Google has stated that site speed is one of the ranking factors used in its algorithm when ranking pages.
If your loading time takes more than 2 seconds, you must take methods to improve the site loading speed. It is said that conversion rates for a website drop by an average of 4.42% with each second of loading time (between seconds 0 to 5).
Site speed is also significant for user experiences. If a webpage takes longer to load, search users may leave the page searching for one that loads faster and gives them what they are searching for.
6. Page link
A page link is the URL of your webpage. You must also ensure that your target keyword is included in your URL. This will further boost the relevancy of your content to the targeted keyword.
How to create SEO content
You can’t just decide on a topic to create content and immediately come up with a draft. Most of the work here falls on research and planning so you can continue writing without having a mental block.
SEO writing also doesn’t finish after you have published your article. You may need to periodically optimize your content post-publishing to ensure it’s always in line with Google’s algorithms.
Here’s how you create content that is optimized for SEO.
- Keyword research: Google gets about 13 billion daily search queries. In a year, that amounts to about 4.75 trillion searches. That’s also about 13 billion search results displayed in front of the users. Targeting specific keywords and phrases your potential audience may use to outperform your competitors and appear in those search results would be best. And you will only know what keywords you should target by researching. Keyword research should be at the forefront of your SEO content writing strategy. Use keyword research tools to discover insights behind the search queries.
- Identify your target audience and user intent: To have excellent SEO content, you must write content that will attract the right audience. You can’t publish content on marketing and hope that your regular readers who are aspiring cooks digest and enjoy reading it. When crafting the content, you must also consider your target audience’s search intent. Are they looking for information on a specific topic? Or perhaps, they want to compare your services and a competitor’s? The outline and flow of your content may change depending on the query’s intent. So you will need to identify the search intent as well.
- Outline your content: After you have your target keywords and user intent, it’s time to plot your content outline. It’s seldom a good idea to dive headfirst and attempt to write without knowing what you need to include. Therefore, your content outline will serve as a blueprint for how you want your content to be. Writing isn’t a quick process. Bloggers have said it can take them more than 4 hours to craft a blog post of 1,400 words. A well-prepared content outline can save time in your SEO content writing process. Do more research and gather information on what you would need in your content. You can start planning out your introduction, body, and conclusion. You can also start to plan the subheadings for your content. If you don’t know what to include in your outline, you can look at the top-performing content on search results or the “people also asked” section. It could be a bit of a hassle to go through each page individually.
- Match content to keywords: Google favors content that is focused on context. Therefore, while you are still attempting to target a specific keyword for your content, you also want to complement it by adding contextual keywords.
- Content scoring – make sure it is SEO-optimizedAs you piece your content together, you may wonder whether your content would perform well on the SERP. You may have included your target and contextual keywords in your article. But you won’t know how optimized it is until you post it online.
- Optimization – target keyword content. After some time, you will know your content’s performance: whether it ranks high on the search results. If the results are not up to your satisfaction yet, you can always reoptimize your content. Here are two ways to re-optimize your content: close the keyword and content gaps. A keyword gap is ranked keywords for which you are missing out, but your competitors are ranking. For example, you may rank for “caps for bikers.” But your competitors rank for similar keywords like “caps for riders” and “caps for motorists.” Those could be keywords that are driving additional traffic to your competitors. A content gap, however, is the holes in your existing content. These holes can be filled by adding subtopics that fit contextually within your article. To find these subtopics, you can go through your competitors’ content and identify the missing subtopics.
Best practices of SEO writing
By now, you will know what you should include in your content and how to create one optimized for SEO. But to indeed have content that’s effective for SEO, you may need to do more than that.
Below are some methods that have been proven effective when writing for SEO.
- Keep information up to date: Before publishing your article, always ensure your information is the latest. If you include any statistics, try looking online and see if there are any recent data you can use. Outdated information will not be of much use to search users. This also applies to older articles. You can do a quick check on your published posts. Depending on the outdated posts, you can either update or delete them.
- Prevent keyword stuffing: Keyword stuffing is filling a webpage with keywords to manipulate its ranking on the search results. This is considered spamming or a black hat technique. Stuffing a page with keywords also creates a harmful and destructive user experience. Avoid this practice as best as you can. It’s often recommended to include keywords where necessary. Google even suggested creating valuable and informational content that uses keywords in context.
- Write for people first: When writing content, you should never forget that your target audience is people. You’re creating content for them to read and digest the information you have to share, not search engines. While you want to add target keywords and build context so search engines can pick up the signals and rank you higher, do remember that search engines like Google have been tweaking their algorithms to evaluate and rank web content based on how a human would read it.
- Post-evergreen content: Evergreen content usually stays relevant and “fresh” for an extended period. This type of content typically never goes out of date and is always relevant to readers, regardless of the publishing date. Some evergreen content ideas you can use is to consider formatting your content in some of the following methods:
- “How to” guides
- Content silo: A content silo is a method of grouping content that may be related to one another. This builds a website’s structure around keyword-based topical areas or themes. Content silos help to provide a structure to the content. This allows search engines to understand your entire website’s content better. Adding topical content also helps to support your website’s overall authority and single-page authority.
The importance of SEO writing cannot be overstated when it comes to achieving high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) and driving organic traffic to your website. While SEO and content are interconnected, having exceptional content is crucial for attaining top positions on Google and other search engines.
Throughout this article, we have explored various aspects of SEO writing, including its definition and how it differs from copywriting. We also delved into the impact of Google’s algorithm on content rankings, highlighting the significance of elements such as headlines, the content itself, meta descriptions, keyword frequency, site speed, and page links.
To create SEO-optimized content, a strategic approach is necessary. This involves conducting thorough keyword research to understand user intent and target specific keywords. Additionally, it is crucial to outline your content, align it with relevant keywords, and periodically optimize it based on Google’s algorithm updates.
Implementing best practices in SEO writing is essential for success. Keeping your information up to date, avoiding keyword stuffing, prioritizing the needs of your audience over search engines, and producing evergreen content are among the recommended practices.
Four Eyes’ SEO Content Copywriting Services
To achieve exceptional long-form SEO content, Four Eyes’ Content Copywriting Services can be your valuable partner. Our experts will help you create engaging and optimized content that ranks well and resonates with your target audience. Embrace the power of SEO writing and take your content strategy to new heights with the assistance of Four Eyes.
Start elevating your online presence today by leveraging the expertise of Four Eyes’ Content Copywriting Services.
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