One of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your site is to write articles that are optimized for SEO. In terms of search engine ranking, each blog post acts as a web page for your site. By optimizing these pages with certain keywords, the search engines can find your pages easily and deliver them back to the user.
Writing SEO articles is not a one-and-done deal. Between changing algorithms, outdated information, and a lack in quality, blog posts need to be continuously updated to reflect the latest trends. By keeping articles current with fresh, relevant content, you can continue bringing in qualified traffic.
When it comes to crafting the perfect SEO posts, there is no single formula that leads to success. Different strategies work for different brands. That said, there are certain steps that professional authors use when writing quality SEO articles. By following these pointers, you can create better content that is not just enjoyable to read but effective as well.
Below are seven tips that professionals use when producing content for SEO-related purposes.
1. Conduct Keyword Research
Keywords and SEO go hand in hand. Keywords are still used today, but the way they are used is different. Years ago, content might have been stuffed with keywords so that it was guaranteed to show up in the rankings. Today, this strategy would get you the boot on Google.
How do you discover which keywords to use in your content? With a little keyword research! Different tools are available, but two of our favorites are SEMrush or HubSpot’s keyword tool. Identify the words and phrases your audience is searching for, as well as the keywords you want to be competitive in. (Hint: Long-tail keywords are less expensive, easier to rank for, and easier to dominate.)
2. Add Keywords in the Right Places
As you build out a content marketing calendar each month, consider topics that will make use of your keywords. It should never be a struggle to fit the words into your content. Everything should feel natural, though you still need to be strategic. For example, it’s best to include your keyword in the title, the first paragraph and in the first H1 or H2. After this, use variations of the keyword throughout the content.
Creating a spreadsheet will help you stay organized with keywords. Make note of how many times the keywords are used and where you are ranking for them on Google.
3. Choose Relatable Topics
Although parts of SEO writing are tactical, you must remember that you are writing to real people. It’s never a good idea to produce articles for the sake of ranking for keywords. Use the keywords as a guide for topics to write about, but always ask yourself the million dollar question, “Why should people care?”
With so much information on the web, it can feel impossible to write about things that no one else has explored before; but, you must try. You can take an ordinary topic and turn it into something unique to your business. You might have inside knowledge that has not yet been shared or a cool new way to do something. At the end of the day, you know your business best, so don’t be afraid to show it.
4. Add Long Posts to Your Strategy
Not all SEO posts need to be lengthy, but some should be. Search engines prefer longer content – 600 words or more. In fact, some research shows that 2,000+-word articles are ideal. You can play around with length to see what works best for your audience, but don’t leave long, in-depth blog posts out of your strategy entirely. The longer the content, the more you have to offer readers.
Longer SEO articles can also lower your bounce rates. You want people to stay on your pages for as long as possible, and a lengthy, organized, and informational post can hook readers in. When writing for quantity, be sure to include images, short videos, GIFs, quotes from industry experts, or main points from the article. This helps break up the content so that it’s easy to read.
5. Monitor Key Metrics
Remember when we said that SEO writing isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal? It’s not. Fortunately, SEO professionals have analytics to provide them with insight. Google Analytics is the most popular monitoring tool, but there are plenty out there to choose from. The key is to find one you like and feel comfortable using.
An analytics program monitors your content and keeps track of factors such as page views and bounce rates. Bounce rate is an important metric because it tells you how long visitors are staying for. High bounce rates are an indication that something is wrong. It could be slow load times, irrelevant content, aggressive pop-up ads, or other unattractive design elements. Remember, good SEO articles can’t just read well. They must look good to the visitor, too.
6. Have an Editor Review Your Work
It’s difficult to catch your own mistakes when you’re proofing a piece of content. That is, until you’re reading a freshly published post and notice everything! Thankfully, professional authors have a few tools to help them out with editing: OpenOffice, Google Docs, and Microsoft Word automatically underline misspelled words and grammatical errors. However, there’s more to editing than proper spelling and grammar.
SEO articles must be pleasing to the eye. Pay attention to the format when publishing your posts. Avoid using run-on sentences and paragraphs. People like to skim over content, especially if it’s long. Always have a second set of eyes read over your content. Even if the person isn’t a professional, fresh eyes can catch a lot of mistakes.
7. Be Your Own PR Agency
Not only should you pay attention to your analytics but also become your own PR agency. Why should all your hard work go unnoticed? The best way to start is by linking to your own content.
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on your site. They help keep visitors on your site and drive additional traffic to your pages. External backlinks are hyperlinks that point to your site from another website. Backlinks come naturally from creating posts, building relationships, and making it easy for people to link to you.
Other ways to generate buzz around your SEO posts are to submit your content to syndication sites, publish your content to your social media channels, and include popular articles in an email newsletter. The more hands your content gets into, the more likely it is to be shared by others.
Writing successful SEO articles takes time and practice. By following the seven tips above, you can join other successful professionals. Remember, the more quality content you create, the more pages there will be for Google to index. This will help you show up in the search results and connect with the people who care about your products.