SEO content writing centers around producing content that is designed to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal of SEO content writing is for the content to rank in the SERPs quickly after being posted because it was created with SEO in mind.
If you want to create content that ranks on Google and other search engines, SEO content writing is a strategy that can help you significantly boost those rankings without having to do too much extra work.
After you read this article you will know:
- What is SEO Content Writing?
- Why is SEO Content Important?
- How to Write SEO Content
- Why Updating Content is a Great SEO Content Writing Strategy
What is SEO Content Writing?
SEO content is just what it sounds like. It is content written with search engine optimization in mind. So simply put, SEO content writing is the practice of writing content that is designed to rank in Google and other search engines.
While it sounds straightforward, SEO content writing requires a delicate balance between content that catches the users’ attention and content that search engines rank highly for your target keywords.
Technically, SEO content can include anything from product pages and landing pages, to things like interactive tools and even videos, but a majority of SEO content happens in blog posts.
Because they tend to be longer in nature, blog posts present the most opportunity to use valuable keywords and attract more traffic to your website.
Why is SEO Content Important?
No matter what kind of website you have, organic traffic to your product pages is probably limited
SEO content writing should be an integral part of any SEO strategy, and without it, it’s hard to receive the full perks and benefits of SEO.
Creating content with SEO in mind ensures you have helpful and relevant content on your site that engages your visitors and makes them want to stay on your site for longer.
Having content like that is an excellent way to increase your site traffic and enhance your position in the SERPs.
At the end of the day, you want to get your content in front of as many users as possible, and SEO content writing can help you accomplish that.
Many customers are looking for a solution to a problem, but they won’t go directly to product pages to find that solution. Instead, they often end up reading blog articles that refer them to the solutions they need.
So if you can produce quality SEO content that connects the reader to the solution they need, it’s easy to see how SEO content can quickly start paying dividends.
How to Write SEO Content
Now that you know what SEO content writing is and why it’s important to make it a priority, we’ll cover some of the best tactics for writing great SEO content.
For best results, these tactics should be combined into an overall approach to SEO content writing.
Before we dive in, I think it’s helpful to mention that all of these SEO content writing strategies have a common theme: write quality content.
If content writing isn’t one of your strong suits, you’re not alone. No one starts out as an excellent content writer, but with a little practice and some effort, you can become one.
For some helpful best practices to get you started, check out our 13 Best Content Writing Tips.
Write for Your Audience and Target Multiple Keywords
If you want your content to be found by the users you want to engage with, write content for them, and do so targeting multiple keywords.
No matter how solid your content is, if you do not optimize it with targeted keywords, it won’t reach the right people.
Keywords are words or phrases used to identify what users are searching for. They are also used to describe the topic that you’re writing about.
In a perfect world, the two are in sync, which means the terms people enter into search engines direct them to your web page.
In order to choose valuable keywords, you will need to know the who, what, why, and which for the words and phrases your target audience is searching for.
This requires doing some research into your audience, keywords, and topic choice.
Since you already know what you offer, it’s up to you to identify the type of audience that wants or needs your product or service.
Once you have identified your audience, use keyword research to find relevant and valuable keywords. The more target keywords you can find the better.
After you have found your keywords, you can start coming up with content topics that incorporate those keywords and allow you to create content that would appeal to your target audience.
If you know who your target audience is and have your keywords and topics chosen, it’s time to start writing.
Focus on Readability
Now that it’s time to start writing, you will want to focus on readability.
Readability and user engagement go hand in hand, and readability is a big factor in how Google ranks web pages.
What it really comes down to is that Google is trying to mimic human search behavior. The search engine has algorithms that allow them to read text like a human being.
Google is already good at doing so, but as it improves its ability to understand and skim texts as a human would, the importance of readability increases. Focus on conveying information is an understandable way.
In order to write good, readable content, make sure your content is clear, logical, organized and simple.
You want your content to be formatted so it is easy for readers to skim. Try using short sentences and breaking up long paragraphs. It can also be helpful to highlight or break out your most interesting bits of content.
Additionally, readable content should use an active voice as well as transition words to provide the readers with direction.
The more readable your text is, the longer users will spend on your page. The longer they spend on your page, the better you rank in the SERPs.
Dive Deeper and Write Longer
A great way to stand out in the SERPs is to write content that dives deeper into a topic.
Taking a topic further tells Google you likely know what you are talking about.
Google awards expertise and authoritativeness, and longer content tends to demonstrate at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill.
Not only that, but Google will actually punish you if you provide insufficient content for the purpose of the page.
When writing content for SEO purposes, look for topics that have multiple angles or aspects that you can build off of, and then try to write long-form blog posts that have at least 2,000 words.
A good way to accomplish this is by writing ultimate guides like our WordPress SEO: Complete Beginner Guide.
Guides like this offer readers everything they need to know about a topic in one place, meaning they don’t have to visit other sites for additional information. On top of that, they give you an easy way to pack the content with valuable keywords.
Writing longer articles takes more time, but the rewards for doing so are worth your time and effort.
Use Relevant Images
When most people think of SEO content, their first thought is probably about text or copy.
However, images present a valuable opportunity when formatting content for SEO.
In fact, articles with images have been proven to get as much as 94% more views than ones without.
The human brain likes for content to be broken up and easy to consume, and images help with that. You should try to use images with all of your content, and focus time on finding relevant images that enhance your content.
The image should reflect the subject of your article and/or have illustrative purposes that add to the article. For best results, use original photos over stock photos, and place images near relevant text.
Provide Relevant Facts and Cite Them
The internet is filled with “experts” making claims, but not all of them are as qualified as others.
Which is why supporting your content with relevant facts and data and properly citing your sources is so important.
When you provide reliable sources for your information, you are showing readers (and search engines) that you did your research and you know what you’re talking about.
Outbound links (especially to high-authority websites) are a signal to Google and readers that your content is accurate and trustworthy.
Format Content for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets have begun to get a lot of attention in search results, and that’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere.
If you aren’t familiar with featured snippets, they are the small blocks of information that are displayed on a results page after a user asks a question.
As you can see in the example above, featured snippets occupy prime real estate in the first spot at the very top of the page.
Not only do these featured snippets show up first, but they can actually steal traffic away from the results that occupy the No. 1 spot in the SERPs.
In order to increase the chances of your content being chosen for a featured snippet, you will want to make sure that it is well-formatted and designed to respond to question-based queries.
Some good tactics to try when writing content for featured snippets include:
- Make high quality content and structure it logically
- Use numbered and bulleted lists
- Include reliable stats and data
Why Updating Content is a Great SEO Content Writing Strategy
The tips covered above are great methods to use to ensure you are keeping SEO in mind when creating content, but chances are, if you weren’t familiar with them before, there’s probably content on your website that has not been optimized for SEO.
While that might sound like a negative thing because you wish you had incorporated SEO into your content strategy earlier, it actually presents a terrific opportunity to boost your existing content’s SEO.
You probably put a lot of time and effort into putting together the content that currently lives on your site, and it would be a shame for it to go to waste.
That’s where updating your content comes into play in your SEO strategy. Instead of working on cranking out new content, simply revisiting your old content to optimize it for SEO can give you a major boost in the SERPs.
Doing so requires less work than creating new content, and has a chance to deliver faster results.
There are several benefits to updating your content.
Below are several of the most popular reasons updating your content is a good idea, and how they can quickly increase traffic to your site.
Additionally, if you aren’t sure whether you should update or delete out of date content, check out What To Do With Old Content On Your Website – Rewrite or Delete?
One of the absolute best reasons for updating your old content is that it enables you to improve your click-through rate (CTR).
Think of the last time you were doing some research. If you came across two similar articles, one from 2012 and one from 2020, which one would you click on?
Chances are, you would click on the one from 2020, and you’re not alone. If you perform a Google search for almost any word or phrase, you will probably notice that most of the top results were published in the last two years.
Whether you’re talking about SEO or a million other topics, things tend to change quickly, and information that was once accurate could be completely off base now.
Which is one of the reasons people tend to click on articles with more recent publish dates.
The good news is that when you update an article, it also updates your publish date, which makes it more appealing and in turn increases your CTR.
The higher your CTR for an article, the higher it is likely to rank in Google’s SERPs.
Give Google What it Wants: Fresh Content
Google has a well known craving: fresh content. Recently-published content ranks higher in the SERPs, especially when it’s content on a topic that tends to change or evolve regularly.
Publishing new content is awesome, but if you’re not refreshing your existing content from time to time, there’s a good chance you are steadily sliding down the search engine rankings.
So why not spend some time updating the content you have already worked so hard to create?
Whether you create a new publication date or just update and save a post on WordPress, your content will reflect a more recent date. This means that whenever Google decides to crawl your site again, you should see a spike in traffic.
If you put in the effort to make sure your content is fresh, you should reap the rewards of your work in the SERPs.
Catch Old Mistakes and Improve Content Accuracy
When you update old content, you have a chance to make it better. This includes catching mistakes you missed the first time around, and improving the accuracy of your content.
No one likes revisiting old content and catching glaring spelling or grammar mistakes, but it happens. Instead of being disappointed in yourself when you catch these mistakes, take a second to go back into the article and fix them.
Bad spelling and grammar hurts the user experience on your site, which will cost you in the SERPs whether directly or indirectly.
So go back and mistakes when you see them, and also spend some time updating posts with new info or updated content. Doing this improves the worth of the article and creates a more valuable resource for readers, which should be reflected in your rankings.
Once you’ve fixed old mistakes and shored up your content’s accuracy, change the date to reflect the update and push it out on your site like you would a new article.
Find and Fix Broken Links
Another good way to update and improve your existing content’s SEO is to check it for any broken links and replace them with relevant new links.
Links break. That’s just a fact. When they do, it can cost you valuable traffic.
You may have used a good link when you published an article, but sometimes the resources you linked to no longer exist. This can happen for several reasons such as a URL has been changed or the website as a whole has been shut down.
Regardless of how a link broke, broken links will still negatively impact your place in the rankings, and no matter the size of your website, manually checking all of your links will prove time-consuming and ineffective.
Luckily, finding and replacing broken links en masse is fairly easy, especially with the help of the WordPress Broken Link Checker Plugin.
This free plugin monitors and tests all internal and external links on your site looking for broken links and will alert you of any problems so you can replace broken links with working ones.
For more information on how to install, set up and use the plugin, check out our Broken Link Checker walkthrough.
Link to Better, More Current Resources
While you’re in the mindset of fixing broken links, it’s also a good idea to update other unbroken links with newer, better resources.
If you’re revisiting old content, there’s a decent chance that there are new resources you can update it with that didn’t exist when you first published it.
We know outbound links are one of Google’s ranking factors, so beefing up articles with better resources can only add value to your page.
This applies to internal links as well. Any articles published on related topics since writing the initial post can and should now be linked to when updating content.
Improving the resources in your content can rejuvenate sliding blogs posts and lead to a big boost in the SERPs. It’s also more efficient than creating original content or performing massive overhauls on older content.
As we covered above, articles with images get 94% more views than articles without them.
So if you come across any articles while updating that you didn’t include imagery with, you can easily give it a boost in the search engine rankings simply by adding a photo.
Not only should you invest in high-quality visuals, you should also see if there are other opportunities to improve your articles with various forms of multimedia.
Using different forms of media shows that your content is more diverse, which Google rewards.
Increase Frequency of Google Indexes
Another cool perk of updating old content is that you should see a spike in overall site traffic, not just the posts you updated.
That is because when you update old content, you’re telling Google you have new content and increasing the regularity of which search engines crawl your site.
When Google crawls your site more frequently, it is more likely to pull your most recent information to include in the SERPs.
Share and Promote
Last but not least, be sure to share and promote your work.
You’ve taken the time and put in the work to refresh your content, so share it with your followers, just as you would new content.
A good rule of thumb for creating or updating any content is to make sure share buttons are prominent and easy to find.
Take this article for example. Notice how easy it is to find the social share buttons.
Doing this makes it easier for others to share your work and increases the chance of your posts becoming a viral hit.
In this article we’ve covered what SEO content writing is and why it matters, as well as how to write for SEO and how updating your old content is a solid SEO content writing strategy.
Writing great SEO content isn’t rocket science, but it does take some time, patience and practice to perfect.
Once you’ve mastered SEO content writing, be sure to check out our in-depth WordPress SEO: Complete Beginner Guide for more helpful tips.