Search engine optimization, or SEO, as it may be known to most of you, is a rapidly evolving discipline that has been on the rise ever since Google took the world of search engines by storm. Accoridngly, learning how to write SEO-firendly articles is number one on the checklist of content producers that want to ace SERPs.
Keep Up-to-date with Google
Last year, Google announced the addition of core web vitals and page experience signals as ranking factors in search results. We won’t get into too much detail about what these are specifically just yet, but you should know that your core web vitals tell Google how quickly and smoothly a page loads in front of a user.
The other page experience signals are, more or less, boxes you need to check regarding the security of your connection with your users, and that they’re being delivered a quality experience that isn’t overly annoying or outdated.
All we mean to do with the above is highlight that the field of search engine optimization is constantly evolving. With Google needing to constantly roll out updates to combat people finding shortcuts to ranking better (such as black hat backlinking practices) or breaking ranking factors altogether and using them for gaming the system (such as keyword cramming).
While Google does come out with its SEO guidelines to help people understand how they can improve their website and put out content in a way that helps them rank better, what Google does not do is tell you exactly how searches are ranked and how much each individual metric contributes to your overall ranking.
For all of these reasons and others, keeping up with all of the advancements taking place within the field of SEO can be a difficult task, even for those of us that call SEO their bread and butter.
Tips for Writing SEO-friendly Content
If you’ve tried learning how to do your own SEO before, and you found the process to be too tedious or difficult, then this article is for you. Not only will we go over exactly how you can go about making your content SEO friendly, we’ll also let you know key tips and tools you can use to help you with the process.
Tip 1: Select the right topics to write about
A great way to make a splash on those Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs) is to select topics that are currently garnering interest amongst the public. Even if your website or business’s actual domain area isn’t the most popular, get creative and find ways to link it to those popular topics.
Remember, even the best-written content won’t garner views if you’re writing about something that no one wants to read about. This is where learning how to use Google Trends for SEO could be beneficial.
Content marketing strategies are great and all, but you’d have to be a magician to get people to read an article they have no interest in.
If you’re worried that focusing on topics of interest will have you competing with industry giants for rankings, don’t be. Remember, recency is also a factor in search results ranking, so simply the fact that you’re posting your stuff today is going to get you at least some preferential treatment. And if your stuff is original and out of the box, providing a fresh perspective or some expertise that can’t be found elsewhere, that’s going to push you up even further.
Besides, you shouldn’t be worried about the competition anyways; SERPs are full of examples of Davids who counter Industry Goliaths, and the next one might just be you. As long as you can focus on providing quality experience to your users (and do so consistently), it’ll always shine through sooner or later. Of course, this is where our article writing service can give you the leg up.
Tip 2: Keyword research is still paramount (and probably will continue to be for at least a while)
There’s one aspect of SEO that hasn’t changed much over the years: Using high-interest keywords still helps you rise to the top of rank results. You should make it a routine practice to check out keyword rankings relating to your topic area, once before you’ve written your piece and once after it’s done, right before you publish.
Why before you publish? To make sure you haven’t overused your keyword or used too many keywords in your text. A piece that’s 500 words long shouldn’t try to target ten different keywords, and it shouldn’t contain fifteen instances of your primary keyword. Black hat hacks like these were popular during the early years of SEO, but Google’s done plenty to prevent them from being viable today. Don’t fall victim to your own bad practices.
For a standard guideline regarding how many instances of a particular keyword should be in an article:
- Keep yourself to two to three instances at most for a 500-word article
- Add one for each additional 500 words when it comes to longer articles.
According to this directive, a 2000 word piece should contain six instances of a particular keyword. Naturally, if your keyword is a generic term, you might find yourself using it a bit more, and that’s okay, but try to avoid being too repetitive with it.
Try for synonyms or abbreviations, anything you can do to avoid making it seem like you’ve crammed; if you can tell, chances are Google can too.
Aside from this, try to be as strategic as you can with your keyword use. Don’t rush to put out a piece relating to each popular search term you can find that’s relevant to your business. There’s such a thing as Keyword Cannibalization; it’s where your own articles are competing with one another for the same keyword and actually taking traffic away from one another.
We’re sure we don’t need to spell it out for you, but this isn’t a good thing. When it comes to terms that are highly relevant to your website, try to put out long-form content that covers as many aspects of the term as you can, rather than rushing to release content relating to every term people could possibly search for.
Be strategic with your content; it will pay dividends in the long run. Oh, and speaking of being strategic…
Tip 3: Plan out an approach to content that lets you make the most of different types of articles
Google and other search engines tend to love websites that are regularly updated. This means releasing daily content for many website owners, even if that content is just a rehashed version of an article they’d put out the previous week.
This might work for some people, but it certainly isn’t a surefire way to succeed with your content. If you’re going to have to repeat yourself eventually, and you know it, you should plan out your topics so that you maximize the amount of time there is between two similar articles. You can use the time in between to figure out how you can cover the same topic or domain area from a different perspective.
Struggling for Ideas? Well, that’s what professionals are for. Our diverse team of content writers are not only well-versed with creating compelling and unique content – but at scale.
Another way to keep things fresh is to cover topical, time-sensitive developments within your focus area. For example, you can write a long-form cornerstone article on content writing best practices, and that article can remain the same for a long while.
Instead of writing about that topic again, you can later release content about how opinion pieces are the way to go in 2021 and fill that article with reasons for why perspective based content is especially relevant after we’ve all experienced a lockdown that cut us off from being exposed to other opinions.
While opinion pieces don’t inspire the sort of trust that a faultless factual piece might, they’re excellent for increasing engagement and getting people talking in your comments section.
There’s no real substitute for user engagement and no second-guessing the fact that search engines are partial towards content that engages readers, so why not experiment a bit and get creative. And creativity doesn’t just have to do with how and what you write about.
Tip 4: Use every channel (and platform) at your disposal to make people aware of the content you’re publishing
Social Media is a great way to get more eyes on your content. If an article on your site isn’t getting the traction you’d want it to, posting a link to the article on your business’s Facebook page along with a captivating tagline or quote from the article might be just the thing to get those numbers up to desirable levels.
More clicks mean more views, and more views mean preferential treatment within search results, so don’t be shy about plugging your content wherever you can.
There was a time when businesses just needed to have a listing in the Yellow Pages, but that time has long since passed. Now businesses are everywhere, from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn. There’s no reason your business shouldn’t have a face on each and every one of these platforms.
If you pay enough attention to what works on each of them, you might just find that one, in particular, is extremely conducive to the type of content you’re putting out and gets you more traffic than the rest of them. Once you know this, you can start focusing more on generating more content for that platform and using that content to generate more traffic for your e-commerce website or storefront. A content writing service can be your saving grace here.
Getting people to your content isn’t everything though, you’ve also got to think about where people are going from your articles…
Tip 5: Make sure you put the right links in your content (and the right type of links as well)
Everyone knows not to link to their competitors. But if you’ve been in the content game as long as we have, you might also know that you can’t just back up your own content with any material you can find that supports your claims.
There’s a LOT of repetition on the Internet. You can Google any topic and find twenty different articles all saying the same thing using slightly different words. You might think that linking to any one of them serves the purposes you need for your articles, but that just isn’t true.
So what then, do you link to the best written of those articles? Not always. Informational content, such as the stuff you’d find on a .edu or .gov site. .Org sites are good, too, as long as the article you’re linking to isn’t trying to sell something itself.
SEO-friendly content is written with the intent to inform and it always tends to rank better and contribute more to the credibility of what you’re saying than content that has an ulterior motive. Keep that in mind while you’re selecting which articles to link to.
Credible links get your website more “Authority”. Authority is a holistic metric that determines how much clout you have within your domain or focus area. Quality internal links also help you gain authority since users can jump from article to article within your site without finding redundant or otherwise fruitless content.
But if you’re too liberal with your external links (i.e. links that lead out of your site) you can end up losing authority to the pages you link to. This isn’t always a bad thing, but you should try to use “no follow” links for at least some of your outbound links for this reason. No-follow links prevent crawlers from passing authority along from your site to the site you’re linking to.
SEO-Friendly Content by Experts
If you’ve enjoyed this list of SEO-friendly practices to help your website take off, consider reaching out to us to find out more about what we can do to help revamp your content portfolio.
We’ve got years of experience in the industry and a long list of satisfied clientele to back us up, so why not give us a call.