What is SEO content writing and how critical it is that you know how to incorporate your primary, secondary and long tail keywords into your overall writing process?
SEO content writing means writing in such a manner that it’s very easy for search engine crawlers to access your content and make sense of it.
Why is it important that the search engine algorithms should be able to make sense of your content writing?
It is because if they cannot make sense of your content, they won’t be able to rank it for the appropriate keywords.
When you are writing SEO content you keep in mind the phrases, the search terms and the keywords people may use, to be able to find your website or one of its links, and then you create content using those phrases, search terms and keywords.
SEO content writing in no way means mindlessly using your keywords. These days, the quality and the relevance of your content is as important, and sometimes even more important, than your ability to use your keywords.
The importance of keywords in SEO content writing
Ever since the advent of search engines and it became important to get good search engine rankings, the importance of keywords to improve your SEO always invites heated discussions.
Content marketing and SEO have been combined. SEO content marketing has evolved into a branch in itself.
There was a time when keywords were important. Okay, they are still important, but there are also a zillion of other factors that are important for your SEO.
Those factors are beyond the scope of this post because here I’m just focusing on the importance of keywords in SEO content writing.
With so many changes occurring in Google’s ranking algorithms, do keywords still matter?
To understand this, you need to understand what are keywords.
Keywords may sound important and even intimidating when you feel that they can have a big impact on your search engine rankings and then these search engine rankings can have a big impact on your business, but they are not as intimidating as they seem.
Keywords are basically the search terms people use so that they can find your business (not particularly your business but something of that sort).
These keywords can have just a single word, a couple of words, a small phrase, a complete sentence, or a question.
Would you like to get better rankings for “where can I find handmade table napkins” or “handmade table napkins”?
The person using the first search term actually wants to find handmade table napkins.
The person using the second search term may be looking for handmade table napkins, but he or she may also be looking for just some sort of information on handmade table napkins.
You may target both the search terms but for you, if you are selling handmade table napkins, the first search term is more important.
So, how do you target the search term, or the keyword or, the longtail keyword “where can I find handmade table napkins”?
This is called optimization.
This is where the importance of keywords in SEO content writing arises.
To get targeted traffic you have to use the right language. In the above example, “where can I find” and “handmade table napkins” are very important parts of your main keyword if you are selling handmade table napkins.
Your text must suggest that your web page will tell the search engine user that yours is the place where he or she can find handmade table napkins.
Your keywords are like the building blocks. They help you stay focused when you are writing content, especially content that needs to rank higher on search engines.
Consider the above example again. You know what keyword to be found for.
So, when you are writing SEO content for this particular search term you know that you don’t want to write about the technique of making handmade table napkins or what are the benefits of using handmade table napkins.
Although you can touch upon these issues, your primary concern is telling the search engine users that they can find handmade table napkins on your website when they want to know where they can find them.
Should you over-obsess over your keywords?
Keywords are important but let them not dominate the way you write your content.
Focus on providing the right answers to the right questions.
When you provide the right answers, you are automatically using the keywords or the search terms being used by your prospective customers and clients.
I want to draw people to my website who are looking for a content writer or a content writing service.
So, if I write and publish content about “need a content writer”, or “looking for a content writer” there is a small chance that I will be focusing on “how to become a better content writer”.
This is because I’m not selling educational material on how to become a better content writer; I’m selling my content writing services.
Even such small changes can make a big difference.
How can you avoid such costly mistakes?
You can avoid such costly mistakes, again, by focusing on the questions and search terms people may use when searching for your services, rather than obsessing over your keywords.
Remember that your prospective customers and clients may use a totally different language for your business than what you use.
Yes, it is important to prepare a list of your target keywords and search terms, but once you have created the list, focus more on solving problems rather than covering all the keywords.
I always suggest my clients that when they focus on solving problems they automatically cover their important keywords.
How to use keywords when doing SEO content writing
Keywords are important in SEO content writing. The search engine algorithms look for your keywords at certain locations of your web page or blog post.
Although these laws are not written in stone, SEO experts and experienced content marketers suggest that you use your keywords
- In the beginning of your web page or blog post title
- Within the first 100 words of the body text
- Once every 200 words
- Within H1, H2 and H3 tags at least once
- In the last paragraph
As I have written above, your rankings may depend on many external factors, so you don’t necessarily need to adhere to these guidelines regarding where to put your keywords while doing SEO content writing, these are better practices to follow.
If you are targeting a longer phrase, it isn’t necessary that you always have to use the complete phrase. Use the complete phrase, if it is possible, within the title and then a couple of times within the body text.
After that, you can use the various parts of the phrase, creatively, in different ways.
For example, if I want to optimize for “SEO content writing services” I can use the exact phrase in the title and a few times within the body text and then at various places I can use individual words “SEO”, “content writing” and “services”.
There is always a danger of over-optimizing so always be careful of overusing your keywords.
Overusing your keywords can be more damaging than not using them at all.
The importance of keywords in SEO content writing is going to prevail for many more years not because there is no other way but to rely on this, the so-called “outdated strategy”, it’s just that, using them makes perfect sense. This is how you speak. The keywords are a part of your language. They are always going to be important.