Coming up with an informative content that engages and ultimately converts is only half the battle in the fight for customer patronage. Even the most well-written articles will be for naught if your intended readers do not see your pages. To have the desired effect, you also have to reach as many end-users as possible.
The most cost-efficient way to achieve this is to rank high with search engines, enough to land on the first page of the search results. This is where excellent SEO content writing comes in.
What is SEO Content Writing?
Whenever a user types in the keywords in search of a product, service, or any other need, search engines try to deliver the most helpful results. They do this by constantly crawling and indexing websites, then rewarding those that are user-friendly and relevant to the topic with a higher ranking. A spot on the first few pages of a search engine result will increase your content’s visibility, making your page more visible to target consumers.
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing your content’s chances of being ranked higher by complying with the 200+ ranking factors set by the search engine. It plays an important role in driving organic or unpaid traffic to your pages, giving you more chances to make conversions.
With the thousands and even millions of other pages you have to compete against, getting noticed may sound like a herculean task. But if you know the rules that you have to play by, it is doable.
How to Write Compelling SEO Content
Writing content that is highly visible to search engines, and at the same time, appealing to the target audience is one of the biggest challenges for content marketers. Most of them understand that people come first, and the search engine algorithms are a close second, but they must find ways not to sacrifice one for the other. In today’s increasingly digital and complex industry, this is essential for any business to thrive.
Here are some of the methods that will help you attain this delicate balance:
1.) Identifying your target audience and choosing the right keywords
Before you start your SEO content writing, it is essential to conduct thorough keyword research so you know which words and phrases to use. Why is this important? Primarily, your keywords will dictate how well you rank with search engines. But more importantly, building your content around your keywords is a good way to produce something optimal for your target audience. Which begs another question you have to deal with when making a list of keywords: Who is your target audience?
To answer this, you must gain an insightful understanding of the solution that you offer and who it is for. Having a detailed content marketing strategy will help identify who your audience is and the type of content they want to read. Bearing this in mind, your target audience should include current customers and other niche markets that stand to profit the most from the product or service you are offering.
Each of your target markets may have a different appreciation for your merchandise depending on their specific needs, and it is important to keep this in mind. It will help in anticipating the possible questions they would be asking the most. Your job is to find the answers to these questions so you can reach as many potential customers as you can and influence them to take action.
Once you have identified your target markets, you can move on to building your list of keywords. Avoid using generic keywords on broad topics that are more difficult to rank for. A good content strategy is to focus on longer and more specific phrases called long-tail keywords.
If you target varying markets or groups, make sure you have a specific keyword for each of them. Even if these markets have overlaps and similarities, you should modify your keywords accordingly to adjust to the subtle differences.
If you end up having a long list of keywords, there is no need to worry. It only means you can reach more potential customers, at least with the right technique. Also, you can use a keyword planner to organize your list and optimize it.
Aside from helping you make sense of even the most convoluted keyword list, this powerful tool can give you other useful information. It can estimate search volumes for a keyword, assess how competitive a particular keyword is, and offer an alternative if that particular keyword is too hard to rank.
As search volumes are fluid and constantly change, it is important to keep your list updated by removing keywords that might take too much of your resources to be competitive. This will help your page stay relevant and your business competitive.
2.) Knowing your competition
Knowing your competition is an essential step in a successful marketing strategy. The same is true with SEO content writing. To make your page stand out, you need to know what you are up against. This does not mean just looking at the popular pages that you want to emulate or improve on. It includes knowing what does not work and what topics you should avoid.
Scoping the industry landscape in this manner may sound like a lot of work, but there are online tools you can use to find out which of these pages are most relevant and helpful. An excellent example of this tool is Ahref’s Content Explorer. It combines the most advanced search operators to see which contents resonate most among your target customers. It is a good way to find link-building prospects, partnership opportunities, topics where you will be most competitive, and other marketing techniques.
Another way to better grasp what content is already ranking and what might still be missing is by doing a search yourself. Look at the first few Search Engine Results Pages and see what you have to work with and go from there.
3.) Create content built around your keyword
Once you have finalized your list, you can start creating your content. For starters, pick one or two keywords and write your article around them. Keep in mind that you tell a story about your brand without being jarringly obvious in your sales pitch while doing this. In this regard, SEO content writing is both a science and an art.
To make sure that your target audience gets the most satisfying experience that translates into a conversion, try to be helpful and informative. Posting good quality content that is highly visible is the best way to increase traffic to your pages and maximize your conversion, which is the ultimate goal of SEO content.
Not too long ago, one of the qualifiers for “good quality” content is a lot of information crammed into a short article. This is based on the premise that the average online user has very little patience and no time to plow through a long article.
While today’s average user is not much different, there is enough shift in their reading habit such that writing useful content that is 1,500 to 2,000 words long is the better way to go. Anything lower than 1,000 words is usually considered now as thin or shallow content and penalized accordingly by search engines, although there are some exceptions.
4.) Use your keywords strategically
While your content should be built around your keyword, forcibly cramming it every few sentences will do more harm than good. It is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to SEO content writing strategies.
Search engines are increasingly becoming sophisticated and capable of recognizing optimization mistakes like keyword stuffing. Your page will end up being penalized with a lower ranking for such tactics. Even worse, your target customer would not see any benefit from reading your content and leave your page. You don’t achieve either of the two goals you set to achieve and get nothing in return for your efforts.
To develop an article that is useful to readers and yet visible to search engines, place your keywords strategically. First, they must be incorporated into your content organically. Your keywords should fit naturally into the flow of your content and not look out of place.
Aside from seamless keyword incorporation, SEO experts recommend one to two percent keyword density. You can go higher, but anything over 5.5% is considered keyword stuffing and penalized accordingly.
Optimal keyword incorporation does not only involve the number of times you use your keywords, but where you position them. Optimize your keyword placement by using them in your title and one or two subheadings. And to grab the reader’s interest right away, insert your keyword early in your content, ideally in the first 100 to 200 words. A compelling introduction is a good way to set up your page and introduce the topic.
5.) Use high-quality images
Aside from using the right keywords the right way, incorporating good quality images is a common feature for SEO content. Images with search optimized alt text can help your page show up in image searches. These pictures can also help break up text and make your content easier to read.
Optimal use of images for content creation is becoming a more popular technique in digital marketing. If done right, it can help your page get more traffic and even become viral.
SEO Content: A Powerful Digital Marketing Tool
SEO content writing takes a lot of time and effort, but it is essential to build a sustainable business online. If you want your page to stand out from thousands of other similar pages offering the same products or services, there is no working around SEO. If you want to get the highest ROI for your SEO campaign, posting good quality content is the best way to do it. In the end, all the resources you put into search engine optimization will be worth it.
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