Search engine optimization (SEO) writing is quite different from traditional ad copywriting. SEO ensures that written and visual content is easily found on major search engines. Sure, headlines and calls to action (CTA) are still important, but quite a lot is based on keywords. To rank on Google, a website must answer user queries in relevant ways, and once they are found, they must be easy to use and understand.
Effective SEO Writing
Ahrefs.com compares effective SEO writing to cooking: “sprinkling on some SEO” after a piece is written is not as successful a strategy as baking the SEO into the writing process from the beginning. Much of the content out there is never even seen because it does not have optimized headers, researched keywords and high-quality content that aligns with user intent.
User clickthrough rates for websites that land in the first position on the search engine results pages (SERP) is 25%. This drops down to 15% for the second spot and continues to decline that farther you go down the page and subsequent pages. In other words, unless your content gets onto page one, you have little to no chance of achieving your goals.
SEO Tips for Successful Content Writing
One great way to increase your rank on Google starts with headers. Google users web crawlers that skim blogs and seek out overviews. The main header is the H1, followed by H2s, H3s and even H4s for subtopics. These should include high-intent keywords and reflect the content that is in the body. According to Yext, high-intent keywords relate to terms that consumers use when they are planning to take certain business actions, such as making purchases.
Savvy content writers put themselves in the consumer’s shoes and use the keywords they might use when entering their queries into the search bar. So, if target audience is consumers who are looking for a pair of sneakers, the writer might string together words like “How can I find,” “sneakers,” “comfortable” and “high-performance.” It is important to keep the buyer’s interest, motivation, persona and any challenges in mind; write about topics that will address their pain points and resonate with them. A pain point is a specific need or problem that prospective customers have like an inability to find sneakers that don’t pinch their feet.
Meta descriptions are also vital to SEO success – these summarize the page’s contents for search engines and users. These are one to three sentences long, and are found beneath the title of search results. Content management systems usually have meta description boxes built right in, so you can enter the content there and keep it short and compelling with one to two keywords.