Content writing isn’t all SEO.
Although 99% of my clients approach me to write content for them so that they can improve their SEO, sometimes, search engine optimization is their least concern.
In fact, they even feel awkward about talking about writing content for improving their rankings. Recently I worked on a landing page copy that explains visitors why it is important to focus on keywords. But that’s a different issue.
The connection between content writing and SEO
To understand how your content writing has a direct impact on your search engine rankings, you must think from the perspective of search engine algorithms.
What is the purpose of a search engine algorithm?
It wants to find the best possible information for the user.
Now, a typical user isn’t concerned about how a search engine like Google manages that.
If she doesn’t find the right information, she is going to assume that Google isn’t good at it, even if she herself is not using the right search terms.
For example, there is a big difference between searching for “content writer” and “I need a content writer”.
When you search for “content writer” what do you mean?
Do you want to become a content writer?
Do you want to know how a content writer works?
Do you want to know what the term means?
How does Google know what you want?
Although it shows you the results, these results are not going to be precise because the search term may carry different meanings for different people (intention).
On the other hand, if you search for “I need a content writer” or “looking for a content writer for my business”, or “SEO content writer for real estate website”, Google knows what you’re looking for and accordingly, shows you the results.
Hence, as a professional service providing content writing, although “content writer” is a search term that represents what I do, it doesn’t exactly help my clients find me when they need me.
What I write and publish on my website, consequently, has a direct bearing on my SEO.
How your content writing may be sabotaging your SEO
You harm your SEO when you are constantly writing and publishing content your customers and clients are not trying to find.
As explained above, for my own website, I’m not interested in optimizing for “content writer” because one never knows what the searcher is searching for.
I’m not saying that people searching for “content writer” are definitely not looking for a content writer for their business, but it is such a high-competition keyword that it is not worth my time.
One of the biggest mistakes people commit is that they don’t do the needed research when preparing a list of their keywords.
The bulk of your traffic doesn’t come from your primary keywords such as “content writer” or “web designing” or “mobile app development” or “running shoes”.
I’m not saying these terms are not good. It would be excellent if you could rank on the first page for these terms.
But bigger companies, or individuals and organizations who have already built a considerable quantity of high-quality content around these keywords, are way ahead of you.
Even if you try to catch up with them, since they have already had a head start, you will be spending all your resources on these keywords, with little success.
This is one reason: focusing on primary keywords.
The other reason is, assuming that your target customers and clients are going to find you anyway, no matter what you publish.
Remember that search engine algorithms don’t have feelings.
They depend on artificial intelligence. They depend on machine learning. They analyze your words. Hence, if you don’t use the right words, they’re not going to pay attention to you.
So, even if your messaging is correct, if you are not using the right keywords, you are going to sabotage your SEO.
When does content writing improve your SEO?
When you are writing content for your website, you must focus only on those keywords and search terms that are going to fetch business for you, directly or indirectly.
I have used the caveat “directly or indirectly” because you also need content for brand building.
Not all traffic converts.
For example, if more people know about the fact that I’m a content writer, it is better for me.
When they need a content writer, they will know how to find me.
If they like what I constantly publish, when someone they know needs a professional content writer, they may recommend my website.
Hence, when you are writing content for your website, focus on two possibilities:
- Content writing for brand awareness.
- Content writing to get customers and clients.
Make a list of topics that will help you raise brand awareness. Then write content on those topics.
Make a list of topics that can fetch you customers and clients. Then write content on those topics.
Easier said than done, I know.
This is where you will need to spend time on research.
You cannot simply assume that people are going to use certain keywords and search terms because you feel that they should be using those keywords and search terms.
Pay close attention to Google suggestions.
Use Google Analytics to know what keywords and search terms convert better compared to the others.
Use your own logic.
What is the intention of people searching for content on your website?
Although you are writing and publishing content to improve your SEO, you also want to inform people, to educate them, so that they can make a better decision.
Hence, if I create a web page or a blog post on a topic like “looking for an SEO content writer”, I may be writing something like How to hire the best SEO content writer to improve your rankings, but my purpose is not to educate you and then send you somewhere else.
No, I tell you how to hire the best SEO content writer and then also tell you why I am your best SEO content writer.
This is brand awareness as well as selling your business.
Focus on precise keywords as much as possible. It may mean generating more content, but it also means reducing advertising costs. And of course, improving your conversion rate.