Table of contents What is SEO? How do you start with SEO? What is SEO content writing? How to write SEO-friendly content? FAQs According to Orbit Media Studios, there are over 7.5 million blogs published each day. That means over 300K blogs are published every second. Over the years, the internet has become more accessible.… Continue reading A 7-Step Guide to Making SEO Content Writing a Habit
Table of contents
- What is SEO?
- How do you start with SEO?
- What is SEO content writing?
- How to write SEO-friendly content?
According to Orbit Media Studios, there are over 7.5 million blogs published each day. That means over 300K blogs are published every second.
Over the years, the internet has become more accessible. Further, the global pandemic has boosted the accessibility and use of the internet for everyday tasks, as people, schools, and businesses have come online. The numbers are set to increase in the next quarter.
This means writing a blog and making it more user-friendly is more important than ever for businesses, and getting it listed on search engines is the ultimate goal.
Based on a stat published by Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day, meaning 40,000 queries per second.
Hence, writing a blog is just not enough. Businesses have to make sure the blogs are completely optimized and follow all the guidelines mentioned by Google.
So, how to optimize a blog? With the help of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO has been ruling the blog world ever since Google’s Blog Network began.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of getting a website or blog ranking high on search engines with zero advertising. It is a process of optimizing the content and ranking it high on the search section of search engines like Google so that people can easily view and land on your website/business.
To understand it better, consider an example:
When you search on Google, you are the ‘searcher,’ Google is the ‘search engine,’ and the website you land on is the ‘business.’
When you search for ‘Coronavirus symptoms,’ you will see the top optimized content on the first page of Google.
So, how does a business list their blog on Google (focusing on Google because it is the platform that 90% of people use globally, as per review42)?
Well, SEO is the answer.
We are going to list a 7-step guide to making SEO content writing for beginners a habit that will help your blog climb the search engine ranking and improve your business listing.
How do you start with SEO?
- Start with research on your blog topic and competitor analysis.
- Develop a structure for the blog and keywords you will be focussing on.
- Focus on on-site SEO.
- Build backlinks.
- Regularly update the blog content.
- Analyze your blog and website regularly.
Google’s #1 priority has been and will be the user experience. It is the experience your web page provides to users when someone searches on Google. Google displays web pages based on the relevance and authority of the page.
Several factors determine your website’s relevance and authority which includes:
- Usage of relevant keywords.
- Number of backlinks.
- Readability of the content.
According to Google Panda, the quality of backlinks has become the top priority of Google to rank any web page on its search engine.
What is SEO Content Writing?
Good SEO content is easily crawlable by Google and relevant for its readers. The content needs to have relevant keywords that a search engine user is looking for, and it should allow a person to take some action. This action can be subscribing to your newsletter, buying your product, or asking for more information.
This guide will help understand all the key steps required to generate qualified traffic to your website over a period of time.
Also, SEO is changing every day and sometimes can be very difficult to understand if you are a beginner. By using this 7-step guide, you’ll be making the best out of your business and SEO.
Moz’s founder, Rand Fishkin, lists the following things as important when creating SEO-friendly content.
- Crawlability means allowing Google to crawl on your website.
- Using the right keywords that answer the searcher’s query.
- Keyword optimization.
- User interface and user experience (UI/UX) of the website, including site speed.
- Sharable content that allows users to share content across platforms.
- Having heading, description, title, and right URL for click-through rate (CTR).
- Schema markup for search engine results page (SERPs).
How To Write SEO-Friendly Content?
Let us now take a look at a step by step guide on SEO based content writing:
Step 1: Getting your SEO basics right and why it matters?
Understand your target audience and write for them. This is one of the most important SEO content writing tips. As an SEO content writer or digital marketer, you should understand what your end-customer will be searching on Google, what type of content they are looking for, and addressing their problems.
A search engine is nothing but a type of answering machine. The job of an answering machine is to curate the best content for its users. The process of curating the content is called ‘crawlability.’
Google search engine crawls on every web page on the internet and curates it based on set parameters (algorithms), and displays the best pages as answers to its users.
The search result pages will have both organic and paid content. But, SEO only focuses on organic search result pages. According to studies, the organic search pages appear more credible to the searchers and receive more clicks than paid advertisements.
Below are the key Google Webmaster Guidelines:
- Focus on creating content for your target audience. Not every piece of content is read by everyone on the internet. People use Google with a purpose, to get answers to their queries.
- Keep it simple. It is often seen that users land on the page and do not find the right content.
- Make your content unique.
- Think about why someone will read your content from the millions of pages listed on Google.
- Make your content authentic.
- Make your content credible.
- Create a brand.
- Do not create content using bots. Google is much smarter than you are.
- Avoid plagiarism.
- Do not use link schemes or hide any text/links.
- Always provide deep and engaging content to your users.
- Provide title and headings.
- Build internal links on your website.
- Focus on improving your page speed.
- Avoid duplicate content.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
- Avoid cloaking or showing the search engine different content than your searchers.
Step 2: Understand how search engines Work
From Step 1, we learned that search engines are nothing but answering machines helping users discover stuff on the internet by showing the right set of answers. But how do you list your web pages on Google?
There is a set process by Google and every search engine that allows you to inform the answering machine that you have created a new website or web page.
Here’s how it works:
- Install and run sitemap and Robots.txt on your website. This will allow search engines to crawl your website and look for content or URL which has a good readability and follows the defined standards.
- Once the search engines are done crawling, they will start analyzing and indexing your content. Once a user searches for something that matches your web page’s keywords, the web page is listed on SERPs.
- Now, depending on the number of queries the web page has answered, user experience, and how frequently the user is looking into the content, Google determines the website’s rank.
Below are some of the reasons your webpage might not get displayed on search engines:
- The website has followed Red Hat techniques to get listed.
- The website code is not optimized, or it is not allowing the crawlers to analyze the content. It’s time to review your website code.
- The website does not have quality backlinks.
- The website is relatively new and hasn’t been crawled yet by search engines.
- The website navigation is not aligned with industry standards, making it difficult for robot crawlers to list.
Best practices for website navigation:
- Do not have separate navigation for desktop and mobile view.
- Never have a personalized view for your users on the home page. This will be considered cloaking by Google.
- Link all your navigation pages on your website homepage.
Step 3: The power of keyword research
From getting your SEO writing basics right to understanding how search engines work, let us now understand how keywords will determine your website’s success.
Before getting into keyword research, it is important to understand your target audience, goals, the services or products you will be offering, and the type of content you will be writing on your website.
So, why are keywords so important?
Keywords are nothing but the search terms people are looking for on Google. Keywords will help you reach out to your target audience, bring them to your website, and take action (subscribe, buy, register, etc.).
How to start with keyword research for SEO-friendly content?
- Start by looking into common search terms people are searching online for your business.
- Use the below keyword research and planning tools:
- Google Keyword Planner: One of the best tools in the market for keyword analysis and research. It helps understand how many queries a search engine receives for a particular keyword and how much the search volume is.
- Google Trends: If your website focuses on showing the current trends, this is a mandatory tool for you. For Example, ‘Holi skincare tips’ will be trending during the time of the Holi festival in India.
- AnswerThePublic (ATP): This tool helps list the popular questions for a specific keyword, which helps in the keyword planning of your website.
- SpyFu: This is a paid tool to get more competitor data and keywords.
How many types of content do people search online?
- Informational queries: Search related to seeking information like a person or place.
- Navigational queries: Search related to seeking navigation on the internet like Dailyhunt.
- Transactional queries: Search related to seeking information like hotels, music preference, etc.
- Commercial queries: Search related to online purchase.
- Local queries: Search related to local shops or Google Maps.
Step 4: Getting your on-page SEO right
Now that we’ve understood the target audience and keyword research, it’s time to optimize the web page to answer the user’s query.
What is on-page SEO?
On-page Optimization or SEO is nothing but combining all your content and research into consumable online content.
Apart from the SEO content basics we mentioned in Step 1, below are the techniques of on-page optimizations your webpage needs:
- Optimize your Header Tags: The HTML element such as the H1 tag and sub-heading from H2 to H6 tags.
- As we mentioned earlier, search engine robots crawl on your website and look for content. Hence, the internal linking structure of a website is an important on-page optimization method that is required to establish your site on the web.
- Avoid hiding links or texts on your website: While internal linking of your site, do not put your navigation links as drop-down because search engine robots do not crawl through drop-downs.
- Use Anchor text to link your web pages: It allows search engines to read the content of your destination pages.
- Avoid linking huge volumes of links on a webpage. Depending on the size of your blog or website, link a few, mention Google Webmaster Guidelines.
- Always ensure you have a secure website with Secure Socket Layers (SSL) certificate. Google robots consider this as an important on-page optimization factor.
- Always ensure that you redirect your removed or renamed pages to a proper new web page. As per Google, it should not be more than 3 to 5.
- Optimize the images on the website: Always consider optimizing the images before you upload them to the website.
- Add Alt Text (Alternative Text) to all your images: This allows website crawlers to understand what the picture is all about and index it.
- Consider submitting the image sitemap in your Google Search Console account.
- Add meta-description and title tags to your web page.
Step 5: Getting your technical SEO right
The technical structure of your web content is the defining factor of your website’s performance. Hence, we must understand how it works. Consider the following:
- If your website’s loading speed is not good or your website loads slower than usual, Google will never rank it since it is considered a bad user experience.
- When a user types a domain name on their browser, they request the domain by clicking on the URL. The browser makes a request and looks for a DNS lookup request. The server sends the required resources to display the website on the user’s browser.
- The HTML of a website indicates what a website says (title, body, etc.)
- The CSS of a website indicates the color, fonts, etc.
- Ensure that your website is optimized for mobile users, as mentioned in Google Guidelines for mobile optimization.
Step 6: Building backlinks and website authority
As per Google, backlinks and website content quality are the most important factors to rank your website on search engines.
Quality backlinks send qualified traffic to your website. As mentioned earlier, Anchor text should be descriptive, which helps Google identify your page topic. The backlinks should be relevant to your website and from similar authority websites. According to Google User Content, it is also equally important to evaluate the quality of the backlink website.
Below are SEO content writing tips on what to avoid while backlinking:
- Linking spammy websites or links.
- Do not purchase a link.
- Avoid link exchanges.
- Avoid links from low-quality websites.
Step 7: How to ensure you’re on the right track?
While we all want our website to be on top of search engines, it is important to track the progress of SEO on the website. Always have measurable and trackable goals set for your website.
Below are few engagement metrics you can track:
- Conversion rate: It can be a newsletter subscription or sales on your website, or the number of unique visits. The conversion rate helps you in calculating your ROI.
- Time spent by users on your webpage: While you spend hours and days developing and writing SEO-friendly content, what if the user spends only 3 to 5 seconds on your webpage? This indicates that your content was not properly planned or needs revision. This also indicates to Google that your page probably has a bad user experience, and thus, Google will avoid ranking your pages.
- Number of pages per visit: While the user spends time on your website, it is equally important to keep them engaged. The pages per visit metrics help you keep track of how much the users are engaged on your website.
- Bounce rate of your webpage: We all get some junk traffic, no matter how much we try to keep it at bay. Keep the bounce rate as low as possible. If the bounce rate is high, it indicates that your content or website is not targeted to the right audience.
- Domain Authority and Page Authority: Keep track of your DA and PA while working on your website’s progress.
- Track Keyword Ranking: Keep a check on the SERPs on what is the progress of your keyword. Have long-tail keywords in your blogs that help rank your website.
Now that we know everything about SEO, it is important to follow the guidelines mentioned above to make SEO content writing a habit.
Here are a few steps to write SEO-friendly content:
1. Audience-first writing approach
2. Stick to your niche Put punchy headlines
3. Incorporate keywords any chance you get
4. Structure your writings
5. Include images/GIFs/YT videos/links
6. Promote across social media
SEO writing includes implementing keywords and key phrases into your website content.
Follow these three steps to write the best SEO content:
1. Target keyword phrases
2. Avoid stuffing keywords or over-optimization
3. Put keywords in your headline.
1. Include headlines and subheadings
2. Add links to previous content
3. Optimize the length of your article
4. Choose your keywords wisely
5. Optimize your images
6. Make the content shareable
7. Write well-researched content
8. Use content optimization tools.
1. Study and practice SEO
2. Build a portfolio
3. Experiment with your content
4. Master researching quality content & references
5. Leverage social media.
1. Create backlinks
2. Effective social media marketing
3. Guest posting
4. Online discussions
5. Local directory listing