Text is the primary thing that drives the search engine. And consequently, good writing is the key factor for achieving good search engine results.
But it’s not the usual, good literary writing that will give you high search engine rankings. You have to practice SEO writing – a writing practice that incorporates serving both the search engine and satisfying your user’s experience.
When it comes to SEO writing, a lot of people think it’s just about putting keywords in tags in a very mechanical nature – this is not true and this is a practice that you must avoid.
In this article, I will give you guidelines that you can use to write your content so that both the search engine and your customers love your content. I will start with general guidelines first.
General Guidelines for SEO Writing
In general, you want your writing to be acceptable for both the search engine and the users. Search engines are mechanical creature in nature and your users are human. They respond to different things.
Search engines respond to relevancy, words, keywords and other technical stuff. Whereas human response to words emotionally. You have to write that satisfy the two of them.
Both have their own metrics measurement. Relevancy is a metric that is used by the search engine. And user interaction (sometimes can be measured with the Bounce Rate) is one metrics used by your user.
So, here are the general guidelines that you can use for SEO Writing – it applies to both the search engine and your users:
- Be clear on what keywords and relevant keywords you are using. Sprinkle your keywords on the title, description, tags, image tags and wherever else appropriate – you don’t have to force inject your keyword, just put them on places you see necessary.
- Authentic. Search engines love quality, unique content. Not just pages designed to rank high on Google.
- Interactive. Do you include comment form? Social media sites? Eventually, you’re writing for your visitors. Make them interact with your site, with you. Not with the spiders.
- Have 500+ words or more of content. In general, a good article should have at least 500+ words. This is one of the formula that Google use to determine the authority of your article. Note that all the 500+ words has to be of quality. Don’t do low quality 1000+ words article, it will not stick to your visitors or to the search engines.
- Informative and educational. You want your article to inform your visitors. Earn their trust and respect.
- Have a clear navigation. Having a clear navigation menu will help visitors to stick more to your site. If they like the content on which they landed into, they will be more happy to stick around your site and check out more of your content.
- Scannable. Not all people read every single word that you write. A general tendency for online surfer is to scan the information and stop when necessary. Your writing must be attractive, but it must also be scannable.
So the above guidelines are the general ones. Specifically, you can follow the four guidelines below when writing content for SEO purposes.
4 Specific Guidelines to Follow for SEO Writing
1. Determine 1 keyword and 4 related keywords before writing.
Before you start to write, pick one primary keyword and four related keywords to incorporate in your article. Start writing your article which include the main keyword on the headline and let the words naturally flow. This will make your writing a lot more easier.
2. Know your visitors.
How well do you know your visitors? Do you know their needs? Desire? Wants? Frustration? The more you know your customer, the better you are at writing content for them. You need to write to a person in mind, not to the whole masses.
Offer solutions to their problems. Explain concepts to them. Motivate, educate and persuade them. Serve them and make them your loyal fans.
3. Add Keywords to Headlines and Subheadlines.
I’ve told you to incorporate your primary keywords to your main headline on the first guideline. However, in an article, there can be more than one headline. There can be subheadlines and you should add keywords there (either primary or related) when necessary.
Incorporate HTML tags – h1, h2, h3 – as well on your headline to make it more search engine friendly.
4. Sprinkle your keywords NATURALLY. Let them flow with your article.
A good guideline to follow is to keep your keyword density to be below 2% on your article. That is, 2% or less of the words in your article can be your keyword so the search engine will not judge you for spamming. Remember that this is only a guideline, it’s not a rule that’s set in stone.
Don’t ruin a good article by these guidelines.
As an afterthoughts, writing for the internet is so much different than literary writing. Never use literary writing on the internet otherwise you’ll drive your prospects (and the search engines) away.
Practice is the key here. Make it your daily routine – write at least 1 SEO optimized article each day and you’ll be greatly rewarded by this new habit.