Best SEO Writing Practices For Killing Blog Posts
Well, all businesses achieve their digital presence through SEO writing. This is something you might have stumbled upon like a million times, well here you go again, but have found it hard to understand to wrap your head around it. Following SEO practices is vital if you want to rank yourself high on Google.
The advancement in the digital world has changed the way business is done. How often have you used Google to find something you want and have gotten it successfully? Well, 99% of the time isn’t it?
First things first…
1. What is SEO Writing?
Okay, let’s take off our technical hats and for once swim in the pool of layman’s language. Toning down the fancy SEO language for once.
Think of where you buy your vegetables or monthly provisions. I am sure from a familiar Kirana store. You trust that person for quality, don’t you? Maybe it was your close friend who suggested that store to you and you developed trust over time and suggested it to some of your other friends.
Well, by now you understand it right “word of mouth.” Word of mouth and genuineness help us gain trust.
Similarly, in the digital world, it is important to build trust. SEO techniques help you achieve it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tells a search engine (like Google) how and where to rank your page. SEO writing is the use of phrases and words that target a specific keyword(s) and increase the site’s visibility online. In simple terms, it is like digital word of mouth.
There are different techniques to achieve this ranking (visibility), which of course we are going to explore in this article. Remember ranking high on search engines through SEO is a slow and long-term process, it takes time.
With patience and practice, you are going to make it. A genuine effort fetches your loyal customers further upping your rank online. After the good is said and done, let’s unpack the power of SEO. All masters, of course, were once beginners. So let’s look at some of the great online resources to learn and understand the technique of SEO writing.
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2. Resources to Learn SEO Writing
Okay in this age of the internet and information, there are lots of advancements in technology. So learning about SEO writing is a constant process. What is new today might be obsolete in say six months.
So it is important to buckle up and keep learning and catching up with the new SEO trends. Here are some of the tools that might help you keep a tab on your progress.
a. MOZ Blog
If you are completely new to the SEO world then this is the right blog for you. If you have struggled to wrap your head around it, I am sure that you would have come across this site at least once.
Okay trust me, this site is brilliant. It is meticulously structured. It starts from an introduction to SEO and takes you deeper into understanding the mechanics of analytics. MOZ also offers keyword research (more on this later) service for their premium customers.
The blog is quite active. They post at least thrice a week. One of the greatest takeaways from their blog is whiteboard Fridays. Every Friday, one of their members explains complex concepts relating to SEO and marketing simply and briefly.
Now that is wonderful, isn’t it?
b. Google Webmaster Central Blog
Google Webmaster Central Blog is an official Google blog about SEO. Google shares updates about changes regarding crawling, indexing, and ranking algorithms.
This is a vital resource if you are serious about keeping yourself updated about the latest trends on Google ranking. It also includes step by step guide for beginners.
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c. SEMRush Blog
SEMRush is a great blog out there offering valuable content on search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing to name a few. As we step to the new year, check out their review for sites and SEO trends for 2020
Backlinko is one of the most trusted sites with high credibility. All thanks to its founder Brian Dean, whose sole vision and purpose are to offer valuable knowledge to bloggers across the world.
Backlinko conducts in-depth case studies about different sites and provides information about their performance on search engines. There are new articles of great quality once or twice a month.
e. SEO Theory
Founded by Micheal Martnez in 2006, SEO theory dives deeper into advanced SEO practices. So if you’re a beginner, get familiar with the basics first and then venture out into their blog.
It focuses primarily on webmasters and search issue management. Some of their notable articles include ‘Advanced SEO strategies for 2018’ and ‘7 Ways you Do SEO Wrong’
f. Yoast SEO Blog
How can we ever forget Yoast SEO Blog if we are into SEO writing? Yoast was founded by Joost De Valk, a great boon to content writers.
Most people might have recommended WordPress to start your first site. Yoast plugin is one of the reasons for it. Yoast Blog publishes articles informing its readers about WordPress SEO. It also explores other technical aspects of optimizing your writing.
Yoast SEO Blog and their free plugin is a great resource to kindle and nurture your interest in search engine optimization.
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Well once you have gone through these resources, what are you waiting for, lets up your game by applying these techniques into practice. After all, the application of knowledge is the panacea of learning!!
3. How to Write SEO-Friendly Blogposts
Well after speaking to a lot of friends and web designers, you might have bought a host on WordPress and have a site for business. How do you rank high among your peers and competition though?
Understanding the Purpose of a Blog
The primary purpose of Blogs is to publish articles related to your business or brand and get the audience to engage with it.
Your audience checks the blog to find a solution to the problem they are facing. Introduce a problem and offer a solution.
The blog is a space to grow your audience’s trust. It is like welcoming a new guest to your house. You must make them feel comfortable before offering coffee.
Blogs are generally used for publishing articles about your business or product. The techniques of SEO writing leverages your blog and articles. Let’s check them out right away.
It is always important to carry out basic keyword research before writing anything online.
You want Google to easily direct your readers to you. The easier it is for Google, the more traffic you get and hence a higher ranking.
Choose a word that is closely related to your business, this is your seed keyword.
A simple google search with the keyword term will let you know who your competitors are. Observe what they have written. Notice if there are any gaps. This is where you can write your article.
Remember your readers are interested in the angle you provide to a particular problem. Another great way would be to ask your audience directly, through FAQs or discussion forums, and start writing around it.
Connect to the Audience
So get your creative juices flowing and use keyword phrases that define you and your business. Understand your audience.
You do not want to offer what they are not interested in. It is important that you
- Connect to your audience.
- Know the age of your audience.
- Familiarize with the language audience use
- the language that connects your business to them.
Engage the Audience
Remember, SEO writing helps you get more people to participate and spread the word digitally. Your primary goal must be to let the audience engage actively in talking about your business or brand.
Understand the Search Intent
It is also important that you understand the context and the search intent of your audience.
Nowadays Google simply understands the context of information and ranks the pages accordingly. Knowing your users’ search intent will help you contextually address their concerns, increasing your ranking on Google.
The right content is beneficial to your business and your customers. Also, keep in mind to include more relevant keywords to your seed keyword. Google understands relevance, do not forget that.
Play with Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords
Use a combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords. If you use only short-tail keywords, it is difficult to make a mark in the huge digital competition.
There are a lot of people who search for these short-tail keywords therefore there are big, well-established companies that already have their presence for these keywords.
Long Tail Keywords – filter competition
Using a long-tail keyword lets you be more specific about your services and the solution you offer. Since it is very specific, by default you filter out a lot of competition.
Use Catchy Titles for your Posts
When most of your customers visit your blog for the first time, they just skim through. Remember the first impression is the best.
Make sure that your posts have a catchy title. Ensure that your seed keyword is included in the title. Preferably use it in the left-most position of your title.
Also, your title must have a promising tone. That is, on reading the title, your audience must feel that they are being offered something that they want. Try to avoid any kind of ambiguity and be precise.
Make Permalink your Friend
You could also direct the search engines to your article, by tactfully modifying the permalink (also called a slug) of your article.
By this, you are specifically telling the search engine what your article is about and helping the engines index your blog appropriately.
The Attention of Search Engine and Audience
Go easy on your audience. Make it easy for them to read through your article. Psst! Also, there is a secret here. It helps you make the most of your SEO writing
Here’s what you can do. Write to grab the attention of the audience and the search engine.
Headings and Subheadings Guide your Readers
Well, nobody loves reading long articles. Probably high school was the last that anybody ever read long essays.
So divide your articles and use proper sub-headings, letting your audience know what you are precisely talking about. If they are not interested in other sections, they can directly jump to the section that interests them.
You see, this entire article has sections and sub-sub-sections. How do you feel reading them? Good?? Use them!!
Header Tags grab the attention of Search Engines
Using appropriate headings and subheadings lets the search engines index your work.
Try including long-tail keywords to name each of your headings, subheadings, and sub-sub headings (H1, H2, H3…).
This grabs the attention of search engines.
ALT texts with Images Propel your Presence
Nobody likes to stare at words alone. Images and infographics make your articles more creative and welcoming. Readers typically spend a considerable amount of time if there are pictures.
When you insert images, make sure you include a brief description of the content of the picture.
Sometimes the internet connection might be slow and the image may not load immediately for your visitor. In such situations, this text, called the alt text, comes in handy for your reader. Proper alt text can help increase your presence on search engines.
Creative Video Titles lead to Play Button
With limited attention spans, most audiences prefer videos to find solutions to their problems. Including videos in your articles could be a great idea.
If you have an in-house video creator/editor, make sure that when you embed your videos you make sure you give your video an appropriate title that increases your digital presence.
Well, who knew that images and videos propel ranking right. There are a few more techniques that help you achieve higher indexing.
Simply put, it is adding references to your work. However, it is slightly different from the old-school method of referencing.
In the digital spaces, it is called linking. Linking helps you build trust and authority in the digital space. There are three types of linking:
Suppose you have a lot of informative articles on your blog and you are writing a fresh post, which slightly refers to the previous articles, you can provide a link to your previous post.
This is inbound linking. Inbound linking lets your audience know about other articles you have written.
Providing a link to relevant articles from other reliable websites, helps you increase your own presence. This is outbound linking.
Sometimes, the owners of other websites also mention your article on their site, directing the audience to your site, this is called backlinking.
Backlinks from sites of high domain authority (online trust factor) direct the attention of the search engines to your website.
This is exactly like buying a product because an actor you love and believe in is in the commercial.
Meta-Descriptions cajole your Reader
Meta descriptions are short descriptions about the nature and purpose of your content.
Using your seed keyword at least once in meta-descriptions helps you rank better on Google.
Don’ts of Meta-Description
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stuff your meta-description with your seed keyword. The typical word limit for meta-description is 155 words.
It is there only to give your audience a brief pitch to your article so that they enter your blog and go through the article.
If you have read through to this point awesome!! You might be thinking of how to become an SEO writer and how to apply for a job. Well here it is:
5. How to Become an SEO Writer
You don’t need a Special Degree
Well, a lot of many jobs require a specialized degree and training. The good news is that SEO writing does not need any specific degree as it is a skill-based job
Some companies prefer just any basic degree. You can be an engineer, teacher, or homemaker and still land a job as an SEO writer.
Develop a Portfolio to Showcase your Skills
Let us look at the techniques for landing a job. It is always a good idea to develop a portfolio of your work as an SEO writer. This helps your employer get an idea about your work and your role in their company.
Maintain a blog and keep posting articles adhering to best SEO practices. Your blog is your portfolio. Here is a list of a few more things you could follow.
Use LinkedIn to Leverage your chances
Make sure that you have an active LinkedIn profile where you follow and post articles, showcasing your SEO skills.
It is also a great platform to find and connect to people within your industry. Having great connections helps you land a job easily. Recruiting managers consider your LinkedIn connections while reviewing your profile.
Additionally, you could follow groups and communities on other social media platforms like Facebook.
Don’ts on LinkedIn
Please do not go to LinkedIn just in the need of a job. It is a platform to connect and start conversations with people.
You could maybe get to know people by sending them notes (messages). Do not spam. Striking the right balance is vital.
Acquaint yourself with the Basics of Programming
Of course, as an SEO writer, you would not be into heavy coding. Knowledge of these languages helps you understand the basic functioning of search engine algorithms which helps develop website content accordingly.
6. Tools for SEO Writing
There are tons of SEO tools available online. Most of them are free, with limited service offers and some are premium with advanced tools.
If you are starting your journey as an SEO writer, free SEO suites are all that you need to get started.
Ubersuggest is one of the most widely used tools out there for keyword research and content strategy. This is run by Neil Patel, one of the go-to people for all things related to content writing.
Ubersuggest lets you use three free keyword searches per day, beyond which you will have to use their premium service. Although it is limited to three trials per day, they offer great service for your keyword:
‘Content overview’ lets you know daily traffic, number of searches, and so on
‘Keyword ideas’ provides you with long-tail keyword ideas, backlinks to your competitors in the SERP section.
This should be good to get you started with outlining your article adhering to best SEO practices
SEMRush is another highly used suite. It offers both free and paid services. All you have to do is sign up to the website and you are good to go.
The free service offers you ten requests per day which includes
Domain analysis to give you site statistics and content ideas along with relevant keywords.
Competitor information, to help you borrow relevant keywords from their sites or even find a gap and address it in your article.
If three free searches are insufficient for you, you can always opt-in for SEMRush
c. Google Keyword Planner
The good news is that Google Keyword Planner is completely free. Sign in with any google account and you are good to go.
Google offers a paid service campaign on its search engine. As a part of this, they offer a keyword planner as a free tool. Plugging in your seed keywords here gives you an idea about other related keywords and the competition for the same.
It categorizes the keywords based on the following:
- Competition – low, medium, and high (the number of sites participating).
- Pricing – If you plan to run a campaign.
- Search Volume – Number of searches per month.
Using keywords from all three categories would turn out to be quite beneficial.
If you are trying to answer questions, which give you a lot of content to write, AnswerThePublic is just the right website for you.
With their free service, you have about 5 entries per day. Given any keyword, the site simply frames interesting questions that people search on google using that keyword. The site offers both pictorial and verbal representations of data.
They have all types of questions ranging from what, who, why, where, and how. You could even download this data as a CSV file and use it to brainstorm and outline your article.
e. Chrome Extensions
Chrome has several useful extensions that help you in your writing process.
KeyworsEverywhere and Ubersuggest extensions are simply brilliant in the service they offer. When you enter your seed keyword in google search with these extensions on, they provide you with
- Daily searches stats
- Graphical representation of the site traffic for a particular keyword
- Details about the cost per click (CPC)
- Related search terms (related keywords)
- Site reliability score.
These help you decide where to exactly get your data from and point your outbound links.
f. Social Media Bookmarks
Social Media Bookmarks like Pinterest, Tumblr, and Mix are great websites to get a vast amount of information from multiple websites at a time for your keyword.
Maintaining one single account for all these platforms is beneficial. These platforms rank websites based on the audience engagement they create.
You could use this to design a detailed outline if you are working on long-form content such as the one you are reading.
Well with all the free resources mentioned, let’s now look at a premium SEO tool that is widely used for SEO writing.
Ahrefs is a great premium SEO suite out there.
They are known to provide an in-depth and detailed SEO analysis through the data from millions of websites in their database. They also have a blog that is specially dedicated to SEO writing practices.
Ahrefs premium tools include:
- Site Explorer – Helps you with the details of backlinks and organic traffic.
- Keyword Explorer – One of their extensively used tools. It provides great insights into keywords used by your competitors.
- Site Audit – This lets you analyze your site ranking
- Content Explorer – Discover the most appropriate content for you
Conclusion on SEO Writing
Following the best SEO practices comes with constant effort and learning. You may have to go through certain resources over and over to get the hang of it. Do not limit yourself to free resources.
If you are serious, consider applying for premium certificate courses to gain in-depth knowledge about SEO writing. Check out our Content Writing Master Course to unleash the power of SEO today.
Let us know in the comment section, what are the SEO writing techniques you have followed in your articles.