Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is a great way to boost your visibility online, but it can be hard to know where to start as a beginner. SEO writing is a solid option, as the basics are not too hard to grasp and it allows you to show off your expertise in your niche.
SEO writing is a very broad topic, including things like product pages, category pages and more on-page SEO tactics. However, for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus mostly on SEO writing in blog posts. That being said, these tips can be used for almost any type of SEO writing for your website! Read on to discover all you need to get started with SEO content writing.
Good content is a great way to bring in new clients. But if your potential clients can’t find your content, it’s essentially worthless. This is where SEO comes in.
Search engine optimisation is all about improving your website so that it ranks higher in search results in hopes of driving more visitors to your website.
SEO writing entails creating content with search engines in mind. This way, when people search for something related to your business, you have a better chance of being featured on the first page of search results, and a higher chance of that person visiting your website.
The point of SEO writing is to create content that answers questions your potential customers have. That’s why the very first thing you need to do is some keyword research. A keyword is essentially a typical search query that someone in your target audience might make that could lead them to your website.
In order to find organic keywords that are relevant to your business, a good place to start is by creating some basic categories. These could be your products as well as questions related to them. Think about what questions your customers typically have as well as the issues your business can solve for them - these could be a source of inspiration for some keywords!
There are many great tools to find out keywords related to your business, including the Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Ahrefs. Google’s is the only free tool of the bunch, making it ideal for beginners. These tools let you find the number of monthly searches for your keywords as well as how much competition there is around you. They may also suggest some related keywords to target.
The goal of keyword research is to find topics to create your SEO content around. Once you’ve got your keywords, you can start thinking about blog post titles you could write about.
In order to outrank your competitors in Google search results, you first need to know what kind of content they’re publishing. When it comes to SEO writing, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with every blog post. You simply have to find out what other people are doing - and then do it better!
If you have access to a paid keyword research tool like the ones outlined above, you can easily find top-ranking content for whatever keyword you want to target. You’ll also find out the recommended word count for your chosen keyword this way. Otherwise, take a look at relevant content you can find on the websites of your biggest competitors as well as pages that come up when you google your chosen keyword.
Now it’s time to actually write your blog post. Hopefully, through keyword research and looking into competitor content, the blank page doesn’t seem quite as scary. It can be helpful to start off by coming up with your title and subheadings - or in SEO terms, your H1, H2 and H3 tags (and so on).
H1 is your article title. It should include your keyword and be an accurate depiction of the article content. You should only ever have one H1 tag per page. H2 tags are your subheadings. They are a good way to break down your article into sections and make it more easily scannable. They can also be used to add further emphasis to your keyword or emphasise some secondary keywords you’d also like to target. H3, H4 titles (and on and on) are subheadings under subheadings.
For the “body copy” of your SEO blog post, keep your paragraphs short (no more than five lines or so), and your sentences uncomplicated and not overly long. This makes your content a quick and easy read, strengthening the user experience.
Make sure to pepper in your main keyword as well as any secondary keywords you’d also like to rank in Google for. Do make sure you do this in a way that feels natural, though, and don’t overuse any single keyword. This is known as keyword stuffing and is penalised by Google. Your main keyword should appear in the first 150 words of content.
Internal linking to other pages on your website helps search engines crawl your website and understand its structure better. Meanwhile, external linking to trustworthy, well-known websites helps give your website more legitimacy in the eyes of search engines.
Once you’ve got the “meat” of your article ready to go, it’s time to address your metadata. This is the content in your blog post that is mostly visible to search engines only.
Your meta title (aka title tag) can be different from the visible name (H1 tag) you’ve given to your blog post. This gives you a chance for further keyword optimisation. Your title tag should be no more than sixty characters long so that it doesn’t cut off in Google search results.
Your URL slug is the string of words after your website address that point browsers to this particular piece of content after the slash symbol - as in, www.website.com/blog-post. Keep this slug short and add your target keyword to it.
The meta description of your blog post is what appears in search results under your title tag and URL. This should be a short, keyword-optimised summary of your blog post. You should aim to keep it under 160 characters so that it doesn’t cut off.
There are lots of free “SERP simulator” tools out there that you can use to test how your blog post will appear in search results and whether your meta description is short enough. Here’s just one.
Another thing you should keyword-optimise is the alt text of your images. Search engines can’t read images very effectively (yet!). The alt text is a short line of text that describes the image to the search engine and the visually impaired. This is another place you can add your keyword, as long as it makes sense in the context of the image.
SEO can seem complicated to the beginner, but hopefully, by reading our guide, you have a good idea of where to get started with SEO writing.
If you’d like to learn more about SEO, visit our blog for more handy guides. Check out our guide to on-page SEO to start for some more tips for optimising your website content for SEO. And remember that you can always get in touch with us if you’d like some expert help to drive more organic traffic to your website.