How to Write SEO Content to Increase Traffic in 2023
In today’s digital world where internet presence has become a must, being acquainted with search engine optimization (SEO) is essential. Thousands of people are offering the same product as yours and it is all about setting yourself apart from your competitors. Whenever we search for any service or product in Google, we mostly hover on the first few sites of the first page and get satisfactory information.
We don’t even bother about the information on the next pages even if they provide some good information. Similarly, if your content gets lost somewhere on page 30, there is no point as no one will come to pay a visit to your site- it is almost like non-existing with zero viewers.
To make your page rank higher, more specifically on the first page of a search engine, you need to know the strategies to write for SEO. Google is constantly updating its algorithms. Knowing SEO helps you to keep track of the major updates and convinces Google search engine to gradually rank your website on the first page somewhere from the 25th page by making them believe that ‘this page is the best choice for this particular search’. In this article, I am going to share the major guidelines to follow when you write for SEO.
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What is SEO?
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a set of rules for optimizing content and website to rank higher in the Google or other search engines’ organic result by increasing the visibility of the users who search for the relevant terms.
SEO needs an understanding of what are people searching for and how are they searching. This strategy of writing requires both quantity and quality content, data research, and disciplines. Quality Content means content that is accurate, relevant, and recent. However, only providing good quality is not enough for SEO; as SEO is a combination of quality content, technicality, and marketing.
So, if you want to write for SEO you have to keep the following things in mind:
- Keeping in mind what your product is, you have to identify what the users are searching for in the search engines (related to your service or product) and create content according to the users’ requirements.
- You have to create high-quality content that will satisfy the user’s query.
- You have to provide the correct signals to the search engine’s index (crawlers) and algorithms by using the proper techniques.
Why is SEO Important?
In the competitive digital market, where every second person is thriving for their online presence for their business SEO is your magic wand. SEO will make sure that your content reaches potential readers.
Here are the best reasons that will explain to you the importance of write for SEO:
- A study says that almost 91% of the websites are invisible in the Google search engine. They practically receive no organic search. This is because 70% of users are more likely to click on the top 5 websites on the first page of a search engine. you surely want to appear in one of the top positions and don’t want to be a part of the invisible 91%.
- A good SEO is not only about ranking in the search engine, but also about the total user experience. If you improve your SEO, automatically your user experience will improve and it will feel pleasant to stay at your beautiful, clean website and read the whole content.
- SEO helps you in social promotions. If users can find your service or product in search engines, they are more likely to promote your page on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- SEO helps you to build a brand. As you rank higher using your SEO skills, more people will come and visit your website. The more people come to your website the more they will get to know about your services and products and eventually will order from you, after the first successful order people will come back to your website repeatedly. They will refer your business to friends and your brand will be built gradually.
- SEO increases your ranking, which eventually increases your web trafficking and a percentage of this traffic will surely be converted to your potential customers.
- SEO is sustainable and cheap. Comparing to the traditional ad promotions SEO is cheaper and does not involve paying. You can have PPC (pay per click) option for gaining web traffic. But you have to pay for the ads and as soon as the ad period is over your page will disappear from the search engine result page. But if you rank using the organic search of SEO you may take some time but you don’t have to pay for it and it will stay on the first page if you constantly update your SEO according to the Google algorithm.
- SEO impacts the research and buying cycle. A good thing about the internet is customers research before buying. Using SEO skills, you can attract customers by providing them good deals and better products.
- A good search engine optimized website will help you to keep ahead in the competition. Of two websites are selling the same services or products, the one that has better SEO will gain more web traffic and more customers.
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How To Write For SEO?
Now, when you know what is SEO and why is it important, it’s time to discuss the strategies that you will require to write SEO-friendly content.
But before starting, you need to get a basic idea about the google algorithm, the rule book, upon which SEO depends the most. It will help you to create better SEO content.
Understanding Of Google Algorithm for Better SEO Performance
In the past, no one really knew the method of how to actually develop a low-ranked website, so that it can gain a higher rank. But Google algorithm updates have put an end to this confusion and given proper rules to write for SEO. Google algorithm is constantly got updated- almost 1000 times a year. So, it is almost impossible to keep detailed ide about every update.
However, there are some major updates and if one keeps track of them, he/she can easily adjust the SEO accordingly. Moz.com keeps a track of every google algorithm update. You can know the detail on their page Google Algorithm Update History. Here we will discuss the major updates that are crucial for today’s SEO. The judges who are deciding whom to rank are namely- Panda, Penguin, Pigeon, Hummingbird, etc.
Google launched this algorithm update in February of 2011. Initially, this update was only used as a search filter, but in 2016 Google made it mandatory by making it a core part of the algorithm. Panda update ranks the website based on its high-quality content. Pages only with high-quality content will rank higher in search engines. By this update all the high-ranking sites, which had poor quality thin content, were de-ranked.
What are considered hazards to Google Panda?
- Thin Content: Thin content means those content that provides very low-value content less information to the users. Websites that promote thin content have high bounce rates and low conversion rates and have the risk of being penalized by Google.
- Duplicate Content and Plagiarism: Panda update triggers duplicate content more specifically to duplicate texts. Images and videos are more likely to be considered fair game, but when it comes to duplicate text that you have copied from another website, Panda will take action.
- Unhelpful and wrongly informed content.
- Keyword stuffing: Keyword stuffing means loading your content with excessive use of the same keywords to manipulate the site ranking in the Google search engine.
There are various types of keyword stuffing.
o Repeating phrases unnecessarily.
o Frequently adding irrelevant phrases and words that are totally out of context
Let me give you a keyword stuffing example. Suppose the keyword is ‘best sports shoe’.
If you want to buy the best sports shoe, look no further. We offer the best sports shoe that you can comfortably wear. You will be very much satisfied with our best sports shoes. Please contact us to buy the best sports shoe.
That was an example of keyword stuffing where a particular phrase was used several times unnecessarily; it crossed the suggested keyword density.
Now we come across a new term called keyword density.
Keyword density = (number of keywords in your text ÷total words of the content) x 100
The best practice to write for SEO is to keep the keyword density 5%. If the keyword density goes above 8%, Panda considers it as Keyword Stuffing.
Google Penguin was launched in April 2012. Its goal is to de-rank the websites with spammy, unnatural, manipulative link profiles. This Google algorithm update has tried to discourage the practice of low-effort link building, like buying links from link farms and PBNs. If it found artificial links on a website page, Google down-ranked the site. To write for SEO, one has to work on a proper link-building strategy to get relevant links from valued sources.
What are considered hazards to Google Penguin?
- Buying links and paid links
- Links coming from Private Blog Network(PBN). PBN is mainly created for manipulating SEO.
- Links to over-optimized anchor text: ‘Anchor text’ are the clickable underlined blue font hyperlinked phrases that links to another web page. Search engines use external anchor text to help understand what your page is about. However, Google came to realize that anchor text can be too easily gamed to manipulate SEO. So, they rolled out the Penguin algorithm update which scrutinizes the unnatural amount of anchor text pointing to a particular webpage. If Google detects too many unnatural links pointing to a site, they consider it as over-optimized anchor texts and manually down-link the website.
The Hummingbird update was launched in August 2013. It aims to produce relevant search results by better understanding the meaning behind queries. This update provides attention to each word in a query, particularly longer, conversational searches, ensuring that the whole search phrase is taken into account, rather than individual keywords.
While keywords continue to be important, Hummingbird adds more strength to the meaning behind the query as a whole, even if it doesn’t contain the exact words the searcher entered.
What is considered a hazard to the Hummingbird update?
Targeting the exact-match keyword: With the google hummingbird update, just listing the results with the exact matching keyword no more remains enough. Hummingbird update optimized the use of synonyms and started showing theme-related results that may not have the keywords from the query in their content. As a result, thoroughly research the subject before starting writing became very important to write for SEO, so that one can provide answers with details, synonyms, and contextually related words.
Launched in October 2019, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is an important update that the Google algorithm rolled out in the last five years. This major updateimpacts10% of all searches.
This machine-learning algorithm involves a language processing technology, that can assess the way words in a search query related to each other figure out the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it and gives Google a more refined understanding of user’s intent.
What is considered a hazard to the BERT update?
Exact-match short-tail keywords will no more work. before this update, google was hardly equipped to answer for a long-tail keyword-related search. But with the BERT update, Google is now able to understand the meaning of prepositions and also be able to interpret individual words concerning the preposition. You have to optimize your page by using natural language.
Now, hoping that you have got a fair idea of what Google algorithm is and how it works let’s move to the best tips you can use to create SEO content. These tips are well researched and handpicked to make sure that these actually work when it comes to writing SEO-friendly content.
Best SEO Tips
Write content for users first:
This is the most important tip when it comes to writing for SEO. Even though most websites run to provide a particular service or product, not all the posts or content need to be about your business. However, they should be about your industry related. For example, suppose if you provide a cleaning service then you are certainly not expected to create content related to cooking.
You must provide information about your industry, through which people can know how it works. This will not only convince people about your expertise in the industry but also conceal your desperateness for the business. You can gain the trust of users and attract potential customers. Continuing with the reference of cleaning service, let me give you an example.
If you own a cleaning service, your website should not only contain the various types of cleaning services and their benefits. You might publish a series of articles that contain some basic cleaning hacks one can try at home before calling for your service. So, when a user searched for cleaning tips and came across your posts, you can build a relationship with that user by providing valuable information. As a result, when the user will opt for a cleaning service, you’d be the first provider that came to his/her mind.
When you write for SEO, never underestimate the power of a good title as it is the first thing that shows up in the SERP. Google delivers search results by looking at the words used in the title. So, you must write a unique title for each article.
Always customize the title tags of each post so that they accurately give a signal to search engines about what the individual page is about. Write clear titles, capture, and make sure to use keywords. It advisable to include keywords in your title but avoid keyword stuffing. Phrases like ‘How to’, ‘Ways to’ usually generate the most optimized headlines. Also, write interesting meta descriptions that elaborate on the topic of your article.
Yes, the Google algorithm indeed pays more emphasis on quality content, and long gone are the days when keywords were the only SEO technique. However, keyword research still plays a crucial part to write for SEO.
So, what is keyword research?
It is the process of getting an insight into the queries and search terms that people type in the search engines.
Google algorithms have made many changes related to keyword research. As a result of which, using exact matching keywords no longer remains the most important factor in SEO ranking. Nowadays, keywords need to be well-researched and judiciously used in your content so that keyword stuffing does not occur to be effective. When researching for keywords choosing a longtail and low competition keyword will be more effective in terms of SEO.
Some free tools for keyword research:
- Answer the Public
- Google Trends
- Google Keyword Planner
- Improve backlink profile: Backlinking is a supreme factor to write for SEO, which means linking one website to another. It helps to build trust. Google uses backlinks as a linking signal to understand how your pages are connected to another website. High-quality backlinks help you to improve your SEO. Similarly, links from a spammy website will down-rank your site. Backlinking needs effort and time.
Here are a few ways to get backlinks:
- Guest posting content to another website in exchange for a link back to your own site.
- Adding links to your site in your social media profiles.
- Contact other site owners of your niche and tell them about an article on your site that they may want to link to.
- Off-page SEO: Off-page SEO refers to the process of link building, social media posting, etc. To generate traffic to your site and making your business rank higher in the SERP. This writes for the SEO process very much similar to backlinking. Off-page SEO greater exposures to a website help to build a brand and establish trust in the business.
- On-page optimization: On-page optimization refers to the technique of optimizing each web page of your website to make your website look more user-friendly and to improve your search engine rankings.
This includes elements like
- URL: Use URL of 3-4 words. It should be a straightforward one that explains what the page is about.
- Meta description: Meta description and meta tags should include your target keyword and call to action. It should be around 150-170 characters describing the content of your post.
- Heading tags: tag your subheading properly using H2, H3, H4 to increase the ranking in search engines. Using heading tags throughout your content will make them more readable to the users and improve content scannability to search engines.
- Image optimization: Image optimization means reducing the file size of your image as much as possible, preferably lower than 20kb, without sacrificing quality so that the loading time of your page remains low. On-page optimization also includes keyword optimization, title tags.
- Improve user-friendliness: Enhancing the user-friendliness of your website is another crucial element to write for SEO. A good user experience will longer the dwell time of a user on your website. So, it will increase your SEO ranking. In the same way, if you provide a bad user experience on your site the dwell time will decrease, and the bounce rate of your site will increase. Increasing the bounce rate affects your site performance. You have to create engaging content and minimize the loading time of your site to improve the user experience of your site.
- Write long posts: Articles that have long content get 40% better traffic than articles that have short content. Google algorithm down rank thin content. So put information as much as possible. It is generally suggested that if you want to write SEO-friendly content you must write at least 2500 words. When you decide on a keyword to write for, you must do a competition analysis before starting to write. Type the keyword in the search engine and go through the first 2-3 posts under the same keyword. Always try to write content in more word count than those websites have written. It will give a signal to Google that you have written something extra and increase your rank.
These are the guidelines for writing SEO content. However, you have to stay updated with Google algorithm updates and have to keep changing your SEO accordingly. Hope this post will help you to create better content. If you have any questions related to SEO, feel free to ask in the comment section below.
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