As early as kindergarten, you started learning to write. Forming letters evolved into making words, then sentences, then paragraphs and full compositions. Creating content for marketing purposes has a different set of rules.
To write for digital channels successfully, you need to think about your goals and audience first. For example, SEO friendly content helps people find you online, while creative content keeps your audience engaged. Informative content makes people view you as a resource, while interesting content makes people want to share it with others.
Good writers know how to create SEO friendly content that engages, informs, and interests an audience. Here are the top reasons why it matters:
The Importance of SEO Friendly Content in Online Writing
It seems that writing for search engines and writing for your audience are two separate actions. However, you need to combine the two if you want your writing to be successful.
SEO friendly content isn’t restricted to blog articles. You can (and should) employ best practices to optimize every webpage for search engines.
Simply put, the majority of your audience can’t find your content if search engines can’t find it first. Crafting this content means catering to the technical aspects of web crawlers while delivering the desired results to your readers.
If you do it correctly, your audience will never know you wrote your content with a search bot in mind. Rather, they’ll think they lucked out when they came across your article that delivered exactly what they were looking for.
6 Tips for Creating SEO Friendly Content
Writing SEO friendly content can seem challenging, especially if you aren’t familiar with the basics. These six tips can help clarify what it means to write for search engines without losing sight of your human audience:
Choose your keywords carefully
Think of keywords as the anchor for SEO friendly content. These are the terms a person is most likely to type into a search engine when requesting information.
If you want your article or website to pop up in search results, it must contain relevant words your reader is searching for.
You can use online keyword tools like our free keyword ranking tool to discover which keywords your website already ranks for. You can use these terms in your web pages and blog posts to boost your rankability on SERPs.
Format your articles
The way your content looks on the page is just as important as the words you write. Search engines are more likely to be attracted to articles and websites that use
- Short paragraphs
- Bulleted or numbered lists
- Images or infographics
Headings prove especially helpful as they allow the search engine to get a general understanding of the content without scanning the entire piece.
(Hint: To boost your SEO friendly content, make sure you include keywords in at least one of your headings.)
Pay attention to word count
The length of your blog posts is equally important to the context and appearance when writing SEO friendly content. Long blog posts (usually upwards of 1000 words) tend to provide deeper insight, give more room for keyword flexibility, and attract more backlinks than shorter posts.
In addition, longer posts tend to rank higher on search engines. Experiments have shown that longer blog posts generate more organic search traffic for longer periods of time and maintain their relevancy.
The majority of companies who blog invest in shorter blog posts, usually around 500 words or so. This gives you a better chance of having your content stand out.
One final mention on word count: the longer your post, the more frequent you should include your keyword(s). For example, a post of 1000 words should include your keyword 10-12 times, or 1%-2% of your total word count.
Include links to other content
One of the most missed opportunities of content marketing is linking internally to your own content. If you write a blog post, you should include a relevant link to another blog post or webpage on your own site.
Be careful with internal linking. Too many links can have the opposite effect, and your search engine rankings will suffer.
Receiving a backlink from someone else is a digital marketer’s dream: the more people backlink to your content, the more authoritative you look to search engines.
Even if people aren’t linking to you, you should be linking to others. They serve to provide additional information about a topic. In linking to other sources, you’re telling readers you didn’t just make up whatever you’re talking about.
Write original content
Plagiarism is an obvious no-go on the internet, but that’s not the only writing faux pas that’s frowned upon. Often times companies write about things that have already been covered extensively, which makes it hard for them to stand out to search engines.
Writing completely original content (topic included) can make the difference between SEO friendly content and me-too marketing that will never be seen on Google’s Page 1.
Try to focus your ideas on new or innovative topics that haven’t been discussed. If you’re having a hard time coming up with subjects, you might talk to an SEO specialist who can help you brainstorm.
Make readability a priority
Aside from the technical elements of SEO writing, the number of times your content is viewed can affect your searchability. The more hits your webpage gets, the more likely it will appear in search engine results.
To earn more views, make readability a priority. You can aim for shorter sentences, easier syntax, accurate spelling and grammar, anything that makes it easier for the reader to understand your content.
It sounds like tough work, and truthfully, it can be. If you aren’t certain in your own writing abilities or simply don’t have the time to learn, outsourcing SEO to a professional might present a viable option.
Either way, if you want others to find you online, you’ll have to show the search engines where you are first.