Anyone writing for a living these days needs to know the basics of SEO (search engine optimization).
The power and influence of search means that knowing how to optimize a piece of content has become almost as important as knowing how to spell. What would Elmore Leonard have made of that?!
Luckily, incorporating the principles of SEO into your copywriting is not difficult. Make it a part of your regular writing routine and you’ll turn out perfectly optimized content every time.
To get you on the right path, here are our 7 tips for SEO writing:
Find your keywords
Once you’ve settled on a topic, research what people are interested in and asking about that topic. Make a list of the words and phrases (long tail keywords) that keep cropping up.
Open a spreadsheet and start compiling topic-keyword lists for future reference. It’ll save you time further down the track.
Use your keywords
As you write your blog, make sure your keywords appear regularly.
Use them in your headline, your sub-headers and in the opening sentences of paragraphs so they’ll get spotted by Google. That’s what will bump you up the rankings.
Use your own words too
Remember too that SEO is not all about robots.
Not too short, not too long
Bite-sized content is great and easy to read, but search engines like blogs and articles that have substance.
Typically, you should aim for between 300 and 600 words to find the happy medium. That gives you plenty of scope to include lots of detail (and keywords) without giving visitors the impression that your article is too long or hard to read.
Use an optimizing tool
If you’re publishing on a platform like WordPress, there are free plug-ins that will get you SEO-friendly in no time.
Tools like Yoast are easy to use and give you real-time analysis on your content, images, meta descriptions and everything else.
Again, it’s a simple process you can go through with every piece of copy you write.
Take a last look
This isn’t just an SEO tip, it’s one of the most fundamental principles of all writing.
When you’re satisfied that your article is done, dusted and ready to go, force yourself back to the beginning and read through it one last time.
You will always find things you can improve, both for your SEO and for those real people who are going to be reading what you’ve written.
Never settle for draft 1!
Give it a push
You’ve done the hard part. Your beautifully optimized content has been published. Job done?
Remember too that if your content is ‘evergreen’, you can continue sharing it into the future.
There you have it – our 7 simple SEO writing tips.
If you’d like to find out more about our SEO and Digital PR services, please get in touch – we’d be delighted to talk to you.
(Image via branddignity.com)