In our last post we talked about what you shouldn’t do to improve your ranking. So that leaves us with the question, what is the best way to get to the top of the results page? The answer: develop helpful content through “SEO-friendly writing”.
Good content is helpful so that it will drive traffic to your site, engaging so the reader will stay on your site, and quality so that people will want to share your content with others. However, SEO-friendly writing is not exactly clear-cut. It may be tempting to just write whatever comes to mind, but you should keep a few things in mind to correctly optimize your content:
1. SEO-friendly content is a juggling act.
On the one hand, you want to create helpful, engaging content for your readers. In most cases, your visitors love reading short sections of text and seeing lots of images and infographics. Unfortunately, search engines prefer a large amount of text so they can accurately crawl and index information, and they can’t read images and infographics.
So what do you do? You should write primarily for your audience, but at the same time you have to help walk search engines through your content so that they see the relevant information. Understand the importance of title tags, headline tags, meta data, alt tags, and more, and incorporate that structure into your writing. Writing for SEO is a balance between generating engaging content for your readers and creating search engine friendly material.
2. Write about what your customers want to know.
The whole purpose of SEO is to make your business more visible when people search for certain keywords. What use is SEO, then, if you don’t know what your potential customers are looking for? This is the role of keyword research.
Keyword research is possibly one of the most overlooked steps in writing for websites and blogs. What problems do people have that your service or product could solve? What do they care about? What information do they want to know? What advice can you offer them that will encourage them to become clients? What keywords would someone use to find your website? Where are they most likely to find you?
Your customers won’t be able to find you if you don’t write about what they want to know. The more relevant and interesting your articles are, the more likely people will want to stay on your websites and read about what you have to offer.
3. Use keywords naturally.
Have you ever seen something like this? “Seattle Coffee Shop brings the best coffee to the region at our coffee shops located in the Seattle area. We love serving our coffee loving customers in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, and Washington. Stop by one of our local coffee shops today to enjoy some fresh-brewed coffee locally roasted in Seattle, Washington.”
That is an example of keyword stuffing your content. It’s not only a bad SEO technique, but it’s also plain old bad writing. Search engines reward sites that provide helpful and engaging content, and they now use algorithms that keep an eye out for awkwardly placed keywords.
Use your keywords, but only use them where they make sense. Let your writing flow naturally, and your readers will stay engaged with your website.
Are you interested in learning more about writing SEO-friendly writing? Want to learn how to conduct keyword research? Contact us to set up a consultation!