Tag Archives: seo content writing

SEO content writing: Should you write content for robots or humans?

SEO content writing – should you write content for robots or humans

SEO content writing – should you write content for robots or humans

This is an age-old question, and it has been asked and answered umpteen times.

It is quite tempting to target search engine robots when writing content because after all we all want to improve search engine rankings. Not just improve, but possibly, get our legs at the first spot.

A FirstPageSage analysis has found that links that rank at the top on Google have an average CTR of 39.6%. Compared to this, the CTR of a link at the fifth position drops to 5.1%.

Therefore, it is tempting that writing for robots takes precedence over writing for humans. The problem is, it can be a pyrrhic victory if all the traffic that you generate does not lead to proportional business.

Whom to write for when you write content for SEO?

This Moz blog post tries to answer that. Although we all know that ultimately it’s the humans find your content on search engines, click the link, and come to your website or blog, to do whatever you want them to do, how to strike a balance?

Is there even a need to strike a balance? Shouldn’t good content automatically rank well on Google?

There are two worlds regarding this: an ideal world and an actual world.

In the ideal world, and even Google sometimes claims that this ideal world exists, you should simply focus on quality and your rankings are taken care of on their own.

It is like the concept of Dharma: you do your deed, and the outcome comes on its own.

But in the real-world things can be quite chaotic. Roughly 70 million new posts are published just on WordPress. Hundreds of billions of web pages are competing on Google to get at the top spot. Therefore, you cannot take the search engine robots for granted no matter how much you simply want to write for your human visitors. You need to strike a balance.

How do you do that?

SEO content writing: how to balance between robots and humans?

I’m writing about my own experience with search engines and humans. When I’m writing SEO content for my clients my first priority are the humans. I believe you write content so that it generates business for you. If it doesn’t generate business for you, no matter how much traffic you get, it is of no use.

On the flipside, no matter how good and relevant your content is if you don’t get targeted search engine traffic, all the effort of writing quality content goes waste.

Here are a few things I follow:

Use the primary search term in the title

This often proves effective. The primary search term must be an expression your visitors are most likely to use when looking for information regarding your topic.

For example, the focus of this blog post would be “Should I write SEO content for robots or humans?” or something like that.

Distribute the primary and secondary keywords throughout the text

But don’t force them. Keep them contextual. These are for search engines as well as human readers.

When you are making a list of primary and secondary keywords make sure your list contains all the words your target audience is likely to use. Be mindful that the way you talk about your business might be totally different from the way people talk about your business.

Use your keywords within the first 100 words.

The reason for this is that the Google crawlers may not crawl your entire web page or blog post. They may leave midway. This way, they will gather all the necessary keywords from the first or the second paragraph.

Use your keywords in headings and subheadings

Just as humans may skim your web page or blog post without reading the fine print, Google crawlers may do the same.

Both robots and humans skim your content by quickly going through headings and subheadings. If you use your target keywords in your headings and subheadings Google crawlers can make out what message you are trying to convey and they will also know what keywords you are using.

Write compelling titles and descriptions

These are meta tag descriptors, and they appear in search results when your link is ranked and displayed. The meta title appears with a hyperlink in the description appears below.

These are your marketing messages. Usually the main headline of your blog post or web page is the same as your meta title but they can also be different. Through your title you are targeting the search engine users.

Even if your link begins to appear in search results, if the title is not inspiring enough, people are not going to click. Use your copywriting skills.

Remember that if your CTR is low the rankings for the same link begin to deteriorate and if your CTR is good, the rankings improve.

Just as your title, your description is important too. Your description gives you further chance to convince search engine users to visit your link and read what you have written.

Use simple language

Writing is a beautiful, expressive medium. As a writer I wouldn’t advise you to curb your writing skills, but remember that people are reading your blog post or web page because they are looking for information and not for great literary work.

Use simple words and expressions. Express just a single idea in a single sentence. Don’t have paragraphs more than two sentences.

You can use a Flesch score analyzer in the beginning if you are not used to writing SEO friendly content. It scores your text between 0 to 100. The higher your score, the easier reading your content is. It can give you statistics such as ease of readability, average sentence length, and average number of syllables per word. According to various scores

  • A score between 90-100 is easier to read for a fifth grader.
  • A score between 60-70 can be easily understood by eighth and ninth graders.
  • Score between 0-30 is easily understood by college students.

Structure your content using the proper HTML tags

Appropriate HTML tags contribute a lot towards your higher search engine rankings.

<h1> is used for the main headline. It should be used just once on a web page or blog post. If you repeat it for every headline, it dilutes its effectiveness.

When you divide your text under various headlines the individual headline can be highlighted using the <h2> tag. They should preferably contain your keywords.

<h3> can be used for smaller subheadings that may come under the bigger headings of <h2> level.

In between you can also have bullet points as the Google algorithm thinks they usually contain useful information.

Be mindful of the length

Longer blog posts and web pages are known to perform better than the smaller ones but the rule is not written in stone.

Even a 300-word blog post can rank well depending on the reputation your domain enjoys and your brand presence on the web.

Nonetheless, write at least 1000 words. This is what I suggest to my clients. Even when I’m writing for my own blog I aim for 1000 words.

I have published more than a thousand posts and I have a decent presence on Google, so sometimes, I can also get away with small blog posts of 300-400 words.

My personal experience is, it is a mixture of frequency, relevancy, and eventually, the number of words you use, that decide your search engine visibility. The more high-quality content you publish (at least one post every day) the faster your content gets indexed by Google.

If you follow these guidelines, you pretty much automatically write for search engine robots as well as humans.

10 SEO copywriting tips to use whenever you publish a blog post

10 SEO Copywriting Tips

10 SEO Copywriting Tips

A big reason why you publish blog posts every day is that you want to improve your search engine rankings. During the past 15 years since I have been providing professional content writing services, I have come across only 3-4 clients who wanted to publish blog posts for the purpose of broadcasting their messages. Otherwise, the primary purpose is always improving SEO. I’m not saying there is anything wrong in that.

SEO copywriting is an integral part of writing for the purpose of improving your search engine rankings. Copywriting doesn’t always mean writing for ads or promotional literature. You maintain a business blog because you want to increase your sales. You want to convince your ideas compellingly so that your readers believe you and then do business with you. Whenever your writing involves convincing people, it is more copywriting and less content writing.

SEO copywriting and SEO content writing are often interchanged but the sole difference is that when you use copywriting when writing, you also promote your business.

SEMRush published an infographic listing 10 SEO copywriting tips to follow whenever you write a blog post or web page. Here is the infographic:

SEMRush infographic on SEO copywriting

SEMRush infographic on SEO copywriting

As the name suggests, SEO copywriting is meant to improve your search engine rankings. Therefore, you need to take certain steps, you need to follow some procedures, to make sure that you are optimizing your copy for better search engine rankings. Here are a few things you can do

1. Find the right keywords

There are rumors that Google no longer needs keywords and you can use contextual language to convey to Google what keywords to optimize your content for. But the keywords still matter. You can use various online tools to find the keywords people are using to find your business. You can even use as simple a tool as Google. When you search for something on Google, Google also suggests other search terms. The search terms are being used by people.

2. Find out which questions people are

Questions and their answers are ranked better by Google. Questions are generally a treasure trove of keywords because they use exactly the language people use when they are searching for your business.

Therefore, there is a greater chance of ranking a web page with a question “How to find the best content writing services” higher than a web page having a simple title as “We provide the best content writing services”.

3. Keep search intent in mind

Figuring out search intent further helps you refine your keywords and reorient your language. What is the reason people are trying to find your particular web pages or blog posts? Are you satisfying that intent? Are they able to find what they’re looking for? The more emphatically yes the answer is, the better will be your search engine rankings.

4. What are your competitors writing?

If your competitors are enjoying better search engine rankings than you, they must be doing something right with their content. What type of content are they publishing? What keywords and search terms are they targeting? The infographic suggests research at least 10 competitors before you start writing content for your own website or blog.

5. Gather original data

Original data helps you write authoritative content. You draw your own conclusions. You make up your own mind. You display concrete results to your prospective customers and clients. You can conduct polls and surveys on your website for original content. You can also write case studies and white papers.

6. Optimize headlines and meta information

Headlines hook your audience. Your headline tells your readers what awaits them and why they should read your piece of content. In SEO copywriting writing headlines is one of the most important aspects of writing content. Meta tag information is the web page title and the description. This information appears in search results and have a great impact on your CTR.

7. When SEO copywriting, write easy-to-read text

Write smaller sentences. Write smaller paragraphs. Express a single idea in a single sentence. Don’t use complicated words. Remember that many people might be reading your web page or blog post on their mobile phone and on mobile screens it is difficult to read longer sentences.

8. Include relevant images

Images complement your copywriting. Images are not an integral part of copywriting because copywriting involves writing words, but when you are writing for the web you need to use images that keep your readers hooked. Images also present a welcome distraction.

9. Use appropriate CTA

Call-to-action is very important in SEO copywriting. You may not tell your readers directly to do this or do that, there must always be a hidden intention. What must your readers do after reading your web page or blog post? Should they subscribe to your newsletter? Should they download your e-book or white paper? People’s response to your call-to-action is an important KPI of your SEO copywriting.

10. Link to other blog posts and web pages from your current piece of writing

Interlinking solves multiple purposes. It makes it easier for search engine crawlers to crawl important parts of your website or blog. It also helps your readers find relevant information on your website or blog. It prevents you from writing duplicate content because if there are some concepts you have already written about, better link to them rather than writing about them repeatedly.

SEO copywriting is important at multiple levels. It allows you to write engaging content that prompts people to take an action while they are on your website or blog. It provides relevant information and at the same time encourages people to reach out to you for doing business. The SEO part is, writing your content in such a manner that it is interesting to read for humans and at the same time easier for search engine crawlers to crawl, index, make sense, and then rank for the appropriate keywords.

Content writing advice: Do not cram too many keywords when writing web pages and blog posts

I have observed that many clients want to incorporate as many keywords as possible when they are sending web page or blog post specs.

Even when I tell them that I will focus just on a couple of keywords and not more, they send me LSI keywords.

Using LSI keywords is not an excuse to use more keywords; LSI keywords are alternative keywords for the main keywords. But they think that LSI keywords can also be used to incorporate a greater number of keywords.

Although sometimes it is possible to use lots of keywords in a web page or a blog post contextually, in most of the cases, they end up diluting the main topic.

Want to improve your search engine rankings through strategic use of keywords?

Do not use highly competitive keywords – use longtail keywords comprising at least 3-4 words.

Use keywords such that they help you write about the main chosen topic with greater clarity and focus.

The more divergent keywords you use, the more you dilute the SEO power of your content. This adversely affects your search engine rankings.

 

Writing content for multitask unified model – MUM

Writing content for Google MUM

Writing content for Google MUM.

Google is implementing a new machine learning technology in search called “multitask unified model”, in short, MUM.

MUM is touted as 1000x more powerful than BERT (bidirectional encoder representations). For years we have been talking about how right now machines cannot read through images for search purposes, but MUM will be able to do so. It is multimodal in the sense that it can understand information across text and images and in near future, it will also be able to understand information in video and audio.

You may also like to read: Optimizing your content writing for the BERT algorithm update

The new algorithm can also process 75 languages for the purpose of search results. For example, if you post a query in English on Google and if the algorithm thinks that a better answer exists on a Japanese website, it will bring up the Japanese website after translating it into English.

Yes, now, you won’t just be competing for space in your own language, but also with 75 other languages.

Up till now, within search, Google’s main revenue model has been PPC ads. More revenue opportunities can be created by finding contextual results when people search, and then, offering commercial products and services for further exploration. Google wants to provide “context-rich” answers.

Ultimately, the company hopes, the company aims to achieve a “richer and deeper search experience”.

What does it mean for content writing? All my clients want me to write content that helps them improve their search engine rankings. How can technologies for algorithmic logics like MUM can be incorporated into the process of content writing?

Good content is based on targeted queries. If you’re looking for a content writing service for your logistics company, you are more likely to search for something like “content writer for my logistics company website” or “content writing services for a logistics website”, and other variations.

When the MUM-powered search algorithm goes mainstream, two main things are going to happen that concern your search engine rankings:

  1. Google may find content related to “content writing for logistics company website” even on websites in different languages and show them in your language if it thinks they have a better answer for what you’re looking for.
  2. It may also showcase information on why your logistics company needs a quality content writing service that can help you improve your search engine rankings, educate your visitors and lower your bounce rate.

Frankly, most of the blog posts and articles trying to explain what exactly MUM is are simply regurgitating what Google has published on its own blog. Everybody is using the hiking example used by Google – they haven’t been able to come up even with your own example. Hence, the understanding of the technology is still unfolding.

But the main takeaway is that the search algorithm is not just going to focus on the query that is submitted to Google for bringing up search results. It will also use its own logic to decide what more information could be useful to you and then present that information to you. It may combine multiple links into a single search result to give you a comprehensive, context-based result for your query.

Is MUM all about writing and publishing pillar pages and topic clusters?

Right now, it seems like it. How do you create a complete context? By packing everything into what you are writing. But you cannot write very long web pages and blog posts because then people won’t read them. What do you do? You create a pillar page with the main topic and then you create a series of topic cluster pages or the contextual pages that present all the needed information that is related to the main topic or the pillar page content.

In the end, what matters is the relevance and quality of the information that you publish on your website or blog. Write relevant content. Maintain a close relationship between your topic and the body text. High-quality, relevant content always stands the test of time.

What do I deliver through my content writing services?

What do I deliver with my content writing services?

What do I deliver with my content writing services?

I have been telling my clients increasingly that when they are paying me, they’re not paying for the words and sentences that I write. They are paying for the value that I deliver.

I’m gradually shifting away from the messaging that conveys that I deliver content writing services. Of course, I write content and hence, I deliver content writing services, it isn’t just the writing that are offered. Through my writing, my clients benefit because

  • Their search engine rankings improve.
  • The quality of their interaction and engagement elevates.
  • They communicate their proposition clearly.
  • They establish themselves as an authority.
  • People stay longer on their websites and blogs.
  • They generate more leads.
  • Their business grows.

One may say that these are standard benefits that are assumed delivered when someone writes content, and I agree.

Every content writer must talk in these terms. Every website thrives on the shoulders of its content. Without content, a website has no meaning. Just imagine, you go on a website, and you find just images and graphics. Will you do business with such a website?

Or say, there is written text on the website, but it is uninspiring. It uses staid language. There are grammar mistakes. There is no flow consistency. The inherent narrative is missing. Most of the time the readers leave midway, forget about doing business.

Quality content writing is invaluable. Everyone, including content writers and people who hire them, need to understand that without written content, without content that convinces and converts, the website holds no meaning.