When it comes to writing content for SEO, it not as simple as throwing in a few keywords on the page and hoping they land you in Google. If you want to be found by your ideal client, you need to create quality content that provides, relevant and valuable information for your audience.
The biggest challenge is creating content that your audience loves while positioning you as a trusted resource for any potential customer that comes your way.
So, how do you learn the basics of writing content for SEO without over-complicating it all? In this blog post, I’ll break down exactly how to write content that Google and your customers will love.
Understanding your audience
When it comes to creating SEO content for your business, your decision around which topic you run with can make all the difference.
You know when you do something just because everyone else is doing it? That’s exactly what not to do! Instead, consider how people will feel after reading and get to know your audience – from what keywords they’re using, questions they have or content they share across social media.
What keywords are they using?
To start, create a list of the most important topics for business – think your key offerings like products or services. Use a keyword research tool like SERanking (they offer a free 14-day trial) to expand your keyword list and see what keywords people are searching for related to these topics.
You won’t be able to go after every single keyword, so you’ll want to spend some time refining your list. Here are a few tips for choosing the right keywords:
- Look for keywords with at least 50 searches per month
- Select keywords with a lower KW difficulty
- Align your keywords with products, services or advice your business provides
- Consider search intent – is the searcher looking for info you can provide?
- Look for keywords your business is already ranking for on the first or second page
- Use Google Trends to identify seasonality eg. tax advice around the end of the financial year, marketing tips for the holiday season
Tip: Try to select long tail keywords that are highly relevant to your business. Long-tail keywords generally have fewer monthly searches than generic keywords, but you’ll be competing with fewer websites to be on the first page so they are generally easier to rank for.
What questions are they asking?
People turn to the internet to look for answers to their questions, and the Google search bar itself can provide valuable insights into your audience.
Try typing in a keyword and scroll down to the People Also Ask section to find popular questions being asked, or do some research in forums like Quora or Reddit to discover your audience’s specific needs and pain points.
What content do they find helpful?
Search intent is where your audience’s why lies. Why is this person searching? The answer to that question will help you write the most relevant content for them.
Google can give us a peek into what our audiences find valuable, relevant and exciting with their search results pages – this makes it easier than ever to get an idea of what your ideal client is looking for.
To start off on the right foot when writing SEO content, try thinking about how searchers’ intentions align with yours so you’ll know which keywords resonate best!
What content are they sharing?
Shareable content is valuable content. So, if you want to know what content people find valuable, you only need to look at what content is being shared widely online.
Tools like Buzzsumo and Ubersuggest will help you discover popular content for any given topic. Just type in your keyword and you’ll get a list of web pages with a high number of social media shares and backlinks.
Writing your SEO-friendly content
Once you’ve selected your target keywords and you know what topics your audience are interested in, it’s time to start crafting your SEO-friendly content. Follow my simple 8-step process to create SEO content that Google (and your audience) will love.
Map out a Plan
Think about the goal of your web page. what do you want your readers to get out of your content? Do you want to educate, inspire, start a conversation? Once you’ve got a plan, it’ll be much easier to craft your content with a purpose.
Tip: Think about what calls-to-action you want to include on the page.
Write a punchy title
People spend less than 1.17 seconds viewing Google listings to decide what to click, so your page title needs to draw them in straight away. Make sure your page title is unique, accurately describe your web page and includes your target keyword.
Tip: If you’re writing a blog post, questions and numbers work really well as titles.
Structure your content for readability
Your content readability has a direct impact on your SEO rankings because Google wants to provide useful content for searchers. And content that can be easily read and understood is useful content.
Consider using bullets, lists or tables to make your content more engaging. Keep sentences concise for best communication! And don’t forget about synonyms – mix it up a little so you don’t bore readers with the exact same keywords.
Tip: Download Grammarly to nail your spelling, grammar and even tone of voice.
Craft your SEO description
A well-written, engaging SEO description will encourage people to click through to your website from search results. But it can also help improve your ranking position in Google. The more people that click through to your page, the more Google considers your page to be a good result.
Tip: Descriptions should be no more than 160 characters or they will be cut off by Google, particularly on Mobile.
Use SEO-friendly URLs
Your URL is the first thing a user sees when they click through to your page, so it needs to be clear, concise and readable. Google will also look at your URL to understand what your page is about, and whether it’s relevant for a certain search keyword.
Tip: Include your target keyword in your URL to help boost your SEO rankings.
Optimise your images
Google may not be able to view images like a human can, but there are other ways you can help the search engine understand your content. Adding alt text to your images helps Google to rank your images for relevant keywords, while providing more context about the page the image appears on.
Tip: Image alt text also provides another opportunity for you to add your target keywords to your web page!
Link to other content
Help users and Google navigate your website by adding internal links throughout your text. Google uses these links to understand the relationship between your pages, so by linking related content you’re helping Google understand what those pages are about, and how the topics are related.
Tip: Avoid generic anchor text (the clickable text of your link) like “click here” or “find out more” and instead use relevant target keywords.
Remember your call to action (CTA)
If you want to grow your business, website traffic alone won’t cut it – you need those visitors to convert! Adding CTA’s to your page helps lead your website readers to take a desired action, whether that’s signing up, booking a call or getting a quote.
Tip: Your CTA’s may vary from page to page but should always be tied back to your overall website goal.
Final tip for writing content for SEO
Good writing will always trump high keyword density! Google favours websites that provide useful content with a great user experience, so focus on your audience first and you’ll reap the rewards.
If you’ve done your research properly, this should be easy – once you know exactly what potential customers are looking for, you’ll be able to create website content that serves them.
There you have it!
You now know my exact formula for writing SEO content that will serve your audience and help Google understand and rank your web pages.
Just remember to slow down, spend meaningful time crafting content your audience wants to engage with, optimise for your target keywords, and don’t forget a strong call to action. If you’re willing to put the time into writing quality content by following these steps, you’ll be on your way to page 1 of Google in no time!