HIYA! WHY IS SEO CONTENT WRITING SO DIFFICULT!?
Hi there writer ninja, I hear you.
Confession – I have struggled with writing as well. Especially when SEO comes into play, it’s a different ball game.
But fear not.
I shall share with you some of my secret techniques in this guide of SEO content writing tips. All of which, are from my experience of hitting the wall, and finally
attaining nirvana understanding what works and what does not.
SEO CONTENT WRITING GOALS
Firstly, let’s do a quick recap – why do we need to do SEO?
It is for the article to score well on search results. Not just “well”, but to score your article on the first page of the search engine result pages (SERPs).
|💡 The purpose of SEO content writing is clear – writing your article in a certain way to score first for your selected keywords. Plus, providing more value to the readers.|
SEO content writing is no longer about spamming your article with keywords. Those are days long past.
Good modern SEO content writing is subtle and intelligent. You put your keyword research into good use, form up a good structure for your article, and add more good related information.
The more value you give to your readers, the more related the information, the better your article will score – Simply because users will stick to your page longer, and that is a good signal to the search engines.
TIP 1) DO YOUR KEYWORD RESEARCH
Every SEO attempt starts with keyword research for your chosen topic.
For the sake of those who are new, I shall include how to do keyword research here. Sorry to the master ninjas, feel free to skip this tip if you have already mastered the kung fu.
Think of a topic that you are going to write about, then enter it into ubersuggest,io or keyword.io. For example, we want to write a tutorial for guitar chords, so people will naturally, most likely look with the search term “guitar chord tutorial”.
Ubersuggest or Keyword.io will give you a ton of alternate keywords that you can use. Select a few of those keywords that you think are good, and copy them into Google Keywords Planner.
If you have not already signed up for the Google Keywords Planner, please do so. It may seem a little scary with all that advertising campaign stuff, but it is actually free to join.
After you click on the “Get search volume” button, big brother Google should give you the monthly searches for each of the keywords.
Now take note of the ones that have a high search volume and little competition – because those are the keywords that you will want to use in your SEO content writing.
TIP 2) USE LONG TAIL KEYWORDS
What the heck is a long tail keyword?
Simply put, keywords with 3 words or more. We want to use and target the long tails because :
- They are more specific. For example, if we just used “guitar chord”, it could mean anything. Do we mean a tutorial, what are the common chords, or why is it called a chord?
- They help you to structure your contents. For example, if we narrow down to “guitar chord tutorial”, we can now easily write on what is a guitar chord, what are the basic chords, and how to play them.
|💡 Notice that I used “keywords”. Don’t just target one, but many related keywords. For example, “guitar chords tutorial”, “basic guitar chords”, and “guitar chords for beginners” should go well together.|
TIP 3) FORMULATE AN AWESOME TITLE
Article idea – check.
Keyword research – check.
Now to think of a worthy title for your awesome content. It’s time to get “creative” and frankenstein your chosen keywords. Try to include a “power word” in your title as well.
For example, I will combine “guitar chords tutorial”, “basic guitar chords”, and “guitar chords for beginners” into a title called “The Ultimate Basic Guitar Chords Tutorial for Beginners”.
TIP 4) USE AND INCLUDE RELATED TERMS
Now that you are ready to start writing your actual contents, it’s time to think about what to write.
|💡 The number one taboo in SEO writing is of course, going out of point. Give both your reader, and the search engines what they want – beefy related information.|
You don’t name an article “Guitar Chords Tutorial”, and start writing about chicken soup recipes. You should be writing about what are the different chords, and how to play them.
The best way to hunt for related terms to write for, is to use Google itself. For example, if I enter “Guitar Chords Tutorial” :
Notice how some words are bold in the search results? Those are the words that you should be considering to use more often. Also the “searches related” section down at the very bottom? Those are the things that you should be considering to include in your article.
TIP 5) WRITE FOR YOUR READERS, DON’T JUST WRITE FOR SEO.
|💡 SEO content writing does not equate to strictly writing for search engines only.|
Think of it this way – Good content writing is always about giving the best information to your readers. SEO content writing is only a part of good content writing.
SEO writing does not take the “human part” away.
It is supposed to make your writing easier and better. It is used to guide you on the relevant things that you should be writing.
TIP 6) LONG BEEFY ARTICLES, NOT SHORT MALNUTRITION ONES.
How many words should one write?
Long. Very long. Like 2400 words.
If you are thinking that “people don’t read long boring stuff”, or “keep it short”, you are dead wrong.
Here, is a statistics post about content word count on Copypress. The top ranking articles on Google has an average of 2416 words, and people actually stick to long beefy posts.
The short articles?
Articles with less than 200 words will most probably be considered as “thin content” by Google and other search engines. Meaning, they will not even be considered as “useful content”, and they will not even appear on search results.
|💡 So write a lot. A lot of good useful information if you want readers to stick to your page.|
It’s really not about throwing out a ton short articles in very little time, hoping that people will share them. It’s about doing your own due diligence in research, writing, and giving away a lot of good value in one single article.
TIP 7) USE YOUR KEYWORDS IN THE FIRST 100 WORDS
We shall now dive into the actual writing tips.
|💡 The very first thing you want to do, is to use your chosen keyword in the first 100 words.|
This is very important, as search engines will put more weight on keywords found in the first 100 words. Preferably right in the first paragraph.
TIP 8) SNEAK YOUR KEYWORDS IN
Do not spam your keywords everywhere.
I did say that, and I repeat, do not spam, or you will face the wrath of search engines.
Just use them casually, and my 2 cents will be, find ways to sneak them in after you have written the entire article.
Do a “Ctrl-F” search on this page. Notice how I have used “SEO content writing” heavily at the top? Notice how I even bold it and put it in the section headers?
Just don’t go crazy with putting it everywhere. Put it where it seems natural.
TIP 9) SIMPLE ENGLISH PLEASE
Please write in simple English that can be understood by everyone.
|💡 Not everyone drinks Earl Grey tea and has a brain full of vocabulary. Nor is everyone on this planet a grammar Nazi.|
I believe that most people appreciate simple language and easy reading. Plus, I find it easier to write in simple language, and not to have come up with expletive explosive expensive explanatory words.
P.S. If you need help with simplifying, cut down on drinking Earl Grey tea and try this English simplifier.
TIP 10) GET TO THE POINT
Use bullet points for complicated steps and long lists. Tables will also work well to display data in an orderly manner.
This will make reading a lot easier, and on top of that, there is a very good reason.
I remember from a study from somewhere (sorry guys, I really don’t remember where), articles with 3-5 pictures, points and tables tend to score better than those without.
TIP 11) A PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS
Come on guys, the Internet is already out of the stone age.
Instead of using expletive explosive expensive explanatory words to describe complicated things, just use a picture or diagram. If you can, include videos as well.
TIP 12) DON’T BE LONG-WINDED LIKE GRANDMA
It’s already a long article, don’t be long winded like grandma.
Break your long sentences up, and don’t scare your readers away with “chunks of boring text”. If you notice the way I write this guide, the paragraphs are never longer than a few lines.
TIP 13) USE BIG FONTS AND MORE SPACING
While we are on the topic of chunky text, use bigger fonts and add a little more spacing between lines.
Not all of your readers have eagle eyes, and a slightly bigger font size does make it easier to read – especially on small mobile screens today. The idea is to reduce the “chunky”, and make it look “easy”.
TIP 14) BUCKET BRIDGADE
This is something that I picked up from the master – Brian Dean.
What is a bucket brigade?
You have already seen them almost everywhere in this article – single line, single sentences. This may seem like something very simple, but it works.
There is some rocket science research behind that bucket brigades do trigger small stops, encourages some reader thoughts, and retaining their interest.
Very useful for long articles.
TIP 15) BE CRAZY (A LITTLE)
When it comes to a long article, you need to understand that readers will lose their interest if it bores them to tears.
While it is a little out of point, add a few X-Men, Batman, Superman and Ninja Turtles in for some fun.
TIP 16) USE MEMES
Well… this is just my personal touch. I like to use memes from time to time, break up the boring. You don’t have to if you hate memes to the core.
TIP 17) LINK TO OTHER RESOURCES
Now that you know to provide points, pictures and videos, there is one more thing that you need to add.
Provide links to other useful articles and tools.
Not just random linking, but to related things. For example, if I am writing a tutorial on guitar chords, I may link to a free app on guitar chords.
TIP 18) KEYWORDS IN URL SLUG
WordPress users should know this very well. The URL slug is simply, the website address of your article. That should be something like http://my-awesome-site.com/my-ninja-article/
This URL is very important. So important that search engines commonly use this as a ranking factor, or relevancy factor.
So remember to add your keywords in, and keep this as short as possible. For example, guitar again… http://site.com/guitar-chords-tutorial-beginners/
TIP 19) BE SOCIAL
Well, this is not really a writing tip… take this as an extra.
We live in an age of social media, and when the “share button” is missing, we are missing out an entire world.
Just put those share buttons at the beginning of the article, and at the end of it.
TIP 20) ADD A META DESCRIPTION!
All right, final tip.
Remember to add a meta description to your article. For those who are not technically inclined, the meta description is a summary about your article.
While it does not show up on your webpage, this description will be pulled out when you share your article on social media.
Not only is this description important for social media, it is important for SEO as well. Search engines will mostly likely read this description, and determine what your article is all about.
If you are on WordPress, you can simply edit this description and even install the YOAST SEO plugin to help you. As for those who are not, you might need to do a little technical stuff – MOZ Meta Description Tag.
The description tag is optimally about 150-160 words. It is a summary, so don’t go around writing old grandmother stories.
Don’t spam your keywords in there either.
Gently pepper your keywords in, and add in the related terms (see tip 4). I shall give my last example, on the guitar chords again… my description will probably be like:
“Have trouble playing the guitar? Check out this step-by-step guitar chords tutorial. Beginner friendly, full of tips and cheat sheet included.”
See how I have managed to sneak in “guitar chords tutorial”, “beginner”, “guitar” and “playing”?
THE SEO CONTENT WRITING MISUNDERSTANDING
This is not really a tip, but something that I feel needs to be addressed.
I have seen some online “experts” and “gurus” advice :
- Write good articles, and people will share them automatically.
- SEO comes naturally with good content writing.
- When you write for SEO, you are not writing for the people.
- Write a lot and frequently. If you write 10 articles, a few of them will “hit the jackpot”.
HAH. I let out an evil laughter, and those are the biggest lie ever.
Let me tell you the truth – good contents alone is only the first step.
Writing many articles in hope that one of them will “hit” just does not work. There are millions of articles today, and how do you stand out of the crowd? Write millions of articles?
If you are serious about SEO, you have to go beyond writing. What worked for me is to write one very high quality article, and promote the hell out of it.
If it does not score, think of what readers want. Review, rewrite, and go through that promotion cycle again. Eventually, search engines pick up signals and it scores naturally.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
We have come to the end of this guide.
When I first started writing articles, it was like – So easy. Who doesn’t know how to write? Hah. Piece of cake.
But as I went down the path of copywriting and SEO – I felt stupid. I tried to put in some badly pieced SEO writing tactics, and things turn out to look like an 8 year old trying to sell a million dollar property.
It takes practice. Seriously.
Don’t be discouraged when your first SEO writing attempt goes bad. Think of what went wrong, and how you can improve on your writing.
Some day, you will get there.
Good luck with your writings, and cheers!
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