Writing for SEO can be challenging. Not only does your content need to be informative and provide value to the reader, but you also need to format the copy appropriately for SEO.
Familiarizing yourself with SEO writing best practices will make it easier to develop quality content for your website. Here are some of the most important best practices for SEO writing to keep in mind.
Remember the human
The most important thing to remember when writing for SEO is to make your content engaging and informative for the reader. It can be easy to get so caught up in your keyword placement and formatting that it negatively affects the quality of your copy.
However, your writing is going to be most effective when you put the reader ahead of the search engine. Google and other search engines have very sophisticated algorithms to identify high-quality content, so focusing your effort on quality will also improve your rankings. Take a step back from your content and read it with fresh eyes to make sure it provides good value for the reader.
Link to respected sources where appropriate
Links are a very important part of SEO. When writing for SEO, get in the habit of including source links to support your facts. Be thoughtful when choosing sites to link to – they should be highly relevant to your topic, and they also should be sites that have established a good reputation. You should also link to other pages on your website – internal links make your website easier to browse and are favored by search engines.
Use words and phrases related to your main keyword topic
A great way to drive traffic to your site is to use multiple keywords that are related to each other. This increases the chances of consumers finding your site and indicates to Google that your content is highly relevant and provides topical value.
Having a variety of short and long-tail keywords will make this strategy most effective. If you are unsure of the best keywords to add to your content, you can use one of the many free keyword generation tools available online, such as Ahrefs, WordStream and Rank Tracker. Depending on the length of your page, include your main keyword two to six times, as well as other relevant keywords and phrases just once.
Add title tags, subheadings and meta descriptions
When writing any content for SEO, get in the habit of creating a title tag using your keywords, as well as several subheading tags throughout the article. Google looks at titles and subheadings first for relevance, so this is a very easy way to improve your on-page SEO and rankings.
Your meta description is also incredibly important. This is the short description that shows up underneath the title of your website in a search engine listing. You should write a meta description for every page of content, taking care to include your keywords. The meta description is also a great opportunity to grab the attention of the reader and draw them in, so make it catchy and dynamic.
Add relevant photos or videos
A great way to add richness and value to your page is to incorporate photos, videos and other graphics. They add quality to your page and make it much more attractive to the reader and the search engine. If you don’t have your own videos or graphics to add to your web page, there are many online photo libraries that provide attribution free images. Some popular online photo libraries include Unsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. Be sure to name your image tags in a way that describes them accurately, as search engines will also look at the names of the files on your page.
When creating web content, it’s always important to keep SEO in mind. Using these best practices will help your content rank highly, but it will also make your content more readable for potential customers.
For more content marketing hacks, check out our article that covers SEO copywriting tips.