Effective SEO content writing involves writing content for the search engines as well as human beings. SEO content writing has some fundamental qualities. If you stick to these qualities, you experience a significant improvement in your search engine rankings.
With a big share of search engine traffic coming from Google, whenever we talk of search engines and SEO content writing, we normally assume its Google.
Over the years Google has evolved its ranking algorithm in such a manner that it isn’t just the the fundamental qualities of your written content on your web page or blog post that has an impact on your search engine rankings. Social proof of the quality of your content is as important as the content itself.
No matter how advanced the search engine ranking algorithms become, it is going to be very difficult for them to match human intelligence because human intelligence doesn’t just depend on mathematics and logic.
Human intelligence depends on past experiences, emotional biases and future expectations. So, when people access your content, when they view your content, an entire ecosystem of emotions, experiences and bits of knowledge is used to evaluate your content.
Effective SEO content writing takes into account all these factors when creating optimized content for your website. SEO content writing takes into account the needs of humans and the factual information that the search engine algorithms need to process the nature of your content.
Where is your audience coming from? What problems your visitors are trying to solve? What information they already have? What are their backgrounds?
There can be hundreds of such attributes that can only be thought of by human beings, and only professional SEO content writing can achieve this feat.
Therefore, in its ranking algorithms, Google has incorporated user behavior also. So, no matter how great your SEO content writing is, unless it earns social validation, unless people react to it positively, it is not going to enjoy good search engine rankings.
Fundamental qualities of effective SEO content writing may include
- A compelling title
- Main keywords in the title
- Keyword and search phrases within the body text
- Focusing on a problem and its solution
- Quality of SEO content writing
- Ease of reading
- Linking to other internal webpages and blog posts
- Strategic use of images
- Formatting and arrangement of the text
- Length of web pages and blog posts
These fundamental qualities of SEO content writing may be described differently on different websites and blogs, but the underlying features never change.
I repeatedly say on my blog that there isn’t much difference between quality content and SEO content. Quality is of utmost importance.
The only thing that changes in SEO content writing is that you arrange your content in such a manner that it’s easier for the search engine crawlers to access the main part of the content, analyze it, and then rank it for the right keywords.
Below I’m discussing in detail the points listed above
A compelling title for your web page and blog post
Your title is so important that it has a direct impact on the rankings of a particular URL. Some people also call it the “headline”.
Why is your title important?
The concept takes its cue from the traditional printing business. Ever heard the phrase “screaming headlines”?
People used to buy newspapers and magazines after reading the headlines. If the headlines were not compelling or interesting enough, those newspapers and magazines wouldn’t sell.
On the Internet, people don’t click your link if you don’t have an interesting headline.
Whether your link appears in search engines or on social networking websites, it’s the headline, your title, that prompts people to click your link.
Your title is the promise you make to your visitors, of what you are going to deliver. Headlines and titles are so important that many SEO content writing services charge extra money for coming up with creative and optimized titles.
Main keywords in the title
In terms of effective SEO content writing, what does a keyword mean?
A keyword isn’t just a random word or expression to lure people to your website through SEO content writing. It is an expression being used by your prospective customers and clients to find you.
It’s important that your keyword phrase appears within your title or headline. People tend to click your link more if your hypertext contains a search term they have just used.
Keywords and search phrases within the body text – most important part of SEO content writing
Although a greater number of SEO experts discount the overall importance of keywords in the body text of your web page, they matter for effective SEO content writing.
Keywords and search expressions, when used naturally through SEO content writing, convey to the search engine algorithms what you are talking about.
If keywords didn’t matter, how would the search engines distinguish one link from another?
The use of keywords within your body text also keeps your SEO content writing focused. Writing SEO friendly content doesn’t mean going on a rampage with your keywords.
Just make sure you don’t overuse them. After a certain number of times, their appearance in your content writing begins to have a negative effect on your SEO. High quality SEO demands a judicious use of keywords while professionally dealing with the topic.
Effective SEO content writing means focusing on a problem and its solution
Why do people use search engines?
They are mostly searching for solutions to their problems. They are seeking answers to their questions. They are looking for opinions and reviews. They are looking for suggestions.
They want answers to their questions. They want solutions to their problems.
A quality SEO service knows that.
Are you solving their problems? When they visit your link, do they find what they are looking for?
Google has a way of finding whether you are delivering the promise you have made through your headline or not.
Web pages in the form of questions and answers, problems and solutions and lists of tips fare better on Google.
When people ask, “What do SEO writers do?” I tell them SEO writers convince search engines that they have exactly the answer people are looking for.
Quality of SEO content writing
The quality of your SEO content writing is as important as the keywords and search phrases that you use. In fact, the quality of your content is MORE important.
Effective SEO content writing these days involves writing optimized content as well as highly engaging content. Unless your writing is able to engage people, it is not going to enjoy higher search engine rankings.
Quality SEO content writing means
- It is well-written
- It is written in a conversational style that is easily understandable
- It does not have factual errors
- It delivers on the promise made in the title
- It does not have spelling and grammar errors
- It is unique and not a rehash of something published somewhere else
- People feel encouraged to share with and engage with it
- Ultimately, it convinces people into doing business with you
Ease of reading
As mentioned above, your SEO content writing should be conversational and easily understandable, and this is one of its fundamental qualities.
Avoid using complicated jargon. Use simpler and shorter sentences. Use shorter paragraphs.
When you are writing SEO content, you are not aiming for a Pulitzer prize. You just want better search engine rankings along with creating engaging content.
This is not just important for your human readers, it is also important for search engine algorithms because when you use simpler language and a simple structure, it’s easier for them to analyze your content.
Many SEO and content experts recommend that you follow the Flesch–Kincaid readability criteria, though, I wouldn’t advise you to over-obsess with it. Just use your natural style.
The Flesch–Kincaid readability grade followers recommend that use a writing style that is easily understandable to a 6th-8th grader.
Again, there is no need to over-simplify content because on many blogs I have seen people go to ridiculous lengths to create even single-sentence paragraphs.
Having said that, I sometimes use single-sentence paragraphs these days when I feel that a paragraph has said what it means to say.
Try to capture one thought in one paragraph.
When you are trying to find SEO writers for your SEO content writing job, make sure that your writers are not obsessed with their writing styles and understand your need.
Linking to other internal web pages and blog posts
This technically may not be a part of the fundamental qualities of effective SEO content writing. Linking to already existing web pages and blog posts on your website makes it easier for search engine crawlers to access an index content.
This also helps you avoid creating duplicate content. If there is a concept that you have already explained in another web page or blog post, why rewrite it? Using the appropriate hypertext, link to the web page of the blog post, instead. Linking to appropriate content within your website and outside of it, is an integral part of SEO content marketing.
For example, read this if you want to know what is SEO content.
Strategic use of images
Aside from the cliché that “one picture is worth a thousand words” visuals actually help you keep your readers focused on your content.
Including images these days is an integral part of effective SEO content writing.
Most of the SEO tools advise you to maintain a particular ratio of text and images and if you don’t maintain that ratio, you get negative markings for your SEO score.
Formatting and arrangement of the text
Of course, text is important for meaningful SEO content writing, but you also need to make it easier for people to read and comprehend your content.
To achieve this, you need to format and arrange your text in a user-friendly manner. Most of the people will be accessing your content from their mobile devices. So, make sure that your content is easily readable on mobile phones.
Use headings and subheadings to organize various sections of your web page or blog post. If you need to list multiple points, use a bulleted list.
Also use the bold font type to emphasize in particular sections or words of your text.
Basically, make your text easily scannable. The information should be organized in such a manner that if a visitor simply goes through the headings, subheadings and the bullet points, he or she should be able to get the gist of your entire web page or blog post.
Length of web pages and blog posts
Google these days prefers longer web pages and blog posts. This is to weed out what they call “thin content”.
Longer web pages and blog posts are difficult to write and hence, they act as a deterrence for spammers and people who just want to create junk content to generate search engine traffic.
Try to write normally 1100-1500 words.
Does it matter?
My personal observation is, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. It depends on the sort of web pages and blog posts you are competing with.
Longer web pages and blog posts are preferred, yes, and they definitely have a positive effect on your SEO, but there is no need to go on and on if you have got nothing to say.
Remember that ultimately it is the quality of your content writing that makes the difference, not how long or how short it is. Make it relevant. Try to provide as much information as possible. Try to make it as comprehensive as possible.
So, these are the 10 fundamental qualities of effective SEO content writing. The way they are presented may change, but their inherent implication remains consistent.