You will benefit from employing SEO techniques in your writing.
Despite the fact that SEO is dying thanks to smarter algorithms, tailored experiences, and the always increasing popularity of social media: it’s still worth knowing basic SEO practices and employing them in all of your online content.
(This is Part 2 of 2. Please click here to read Part 1)
Establish the purpose of the article.
The first thing you need to do when writing SEO friendly content is to figure out the main point of the article, blog post, or page.
The point of this blog post, for example, is to teach you how to write SEO friendly content so that you can get more hits on your webpages. More hits leads to more exposure leads to more money if you monetize properly.
Knowing how to write SEO friendly content can also get you a job or contracts because it’s an important skill to have when writing non-fiction for the web.
Conduct keyword research.
Now that you have established the purpose of your article, it’s time to figure out what people are searching for in regards to that. This is called keyword research and it’s a whole art in itself, but we’ll keep it simple here.
Just go to Google and start typing what you think people would search regarding your topic. Check out those autofill suggestions. Those are the kinds of things people are searching.
Hit enter, or grab one of those, and then scroll to the bottom of the first page. Look! more suggestions. Awesome.
Compare and contrast those with what you wrote first. You should get a good idea of what people are searching for regarding your topic, and especially what type of language they’re using (how they word their searches). You want to be mindful of all of these different suggestions when writing your content.
Your title needs to have this sort of language in it, as does the rest of your content. In fact, you want it to be as close to the front of your title as possible. However, you also need to make sure that the title and content make sense when read.
Write reader-friendly content.
“Reader-friendly content” means that it reads well, is relevant to the topic, and is useful. When people are searching stuff, it’s because they want to learn something. They need to know the thing. What is the thing? That’s whatever you wrote about.
You’re targeting their thirst for knowledge. Google will lead the horse to water, but you have to provide the water for them to drink it. And of course, as the saying goes, you can’t make them drink it. But we’re going to do our best by making sure our content is friggin’ awesome.
Write good content! Write what you would want to read.
Write the way you talk.
Imagine you’re sitting down with your best friend and they ask you about the thing. Explain it to them. Write it the way you explain it to them.
Okay, but what about the optimization part? Didn’t we look up those suggestions so that we would have better content optimized for the search engines? Yeah, throw it out. You’ve already learned it and subconsciously ingested it into your brain.
If you didn’t naturally use that language when writing your content, it’s probably because it feels unnatural to you. And if it feels unnatural to you, then it’s going to be unnatural to other people.
Before we write content for the search engines, we need to write content for the users.
Studies show that content written with the user first, rather than the search engine first, will rank better for longer. Content written for the search engines tends to turn off users, and the users stop reading, stop buying, and stop coming back to your site.
Like I said, SEO is dying.
There’s lots of other stuff you should know, at least according to SEO’s, such as keyword density and crap like that. Don’t worry about it. We’re writing for the user, not for the search engines.
One thing that used to be important was to make sure your keyphrase is in a subheader. If you’re writing for people, it might not fit naturally in, and injecting the keyphrase where it doesn’t flow is not good for the reader.
You shouldn’t be building your headers around what is SEO friendly. You should be building your headers around one thing: what are the key takeaways for the reader?
Another thing that used to be important was bolding the keyphrase. Again, it doesn’t always work out that injecting the keyphrase in somewhere and bolding it is going to help the reader any.
You shouldn’t be bolding things just to have the keyphrase bolded. You should be bolding key takeaways for the reader.
I know, this is titled “How To Write With SEO In Mind…” Listen, I’ve been working in SEO for a while, so I know how it all works. It’s not the way it used to be, and these old SEO guys are stuck in their old ways and wondering why I’m doing better than them.
Check out my case study on writing regular content and I’ll show you that my system for writing content is better and consistently improving every website I write for. (Coming soon)
SEO is dying because if you do everything right, your content will automatically be Optimized for Search Engines and you won’t have to worry or even think about it. Backlinks will come naturally, because you wrote good, useful content that people want to share.