I have personally experienced that content writing in itself can improve your search engine rankings. But with so many people competing for limited space on the SERPs, you need to take extra measures to highlight your content and make it easier for the search engine crawlers to make sense of it.
When you are regularly publishing content on your website or blog, I am assuming that you have a CMS or a blogging platform. Most probably you are using WordPress.
You may also be using something like Drupal or Joomla! but the basic thing is, when you are regularly publishing content, you need a publishing software. You can’t be creating and uploading independent HTML pages.
Every CMS gives you a GUI to write and publish content. Within your content you can have HTML elements such as <h1> and <h2> tags, images, hyperlinks and bulleted lists. You can also have page title and description meta tags.
In most of the cases, these are more than enough to improve your search engine rankings and there shouldn’t be a need to use an extra SEO tool.
Nonetheless, as I have mentioned above, to make sure that your quality content is crawled, indexed and ranked by Google and other search engines, you use SEO tools to analyze your content and incorporate keywords.
Do I use SEO tools along with content writing to improve my own search engine rankings?
Yes I do.
What SEO tools do I use along with optimized content writing?
In the very beginning I used the All-In-One WordPress SEO plug-in. Oh yes, I have been using WordPress since time immemorial.
Although WordPress allows you to create the title of your blog post or web page, per se, there are no or little provisions for adding meta tags. Besides, sometimes, you want your blog title and the actual HTML title to be different.
The blog title is the main headline that you see atop every blog post. Normally, it comes between the <h1></h1> tag.
The title of a post is the meta tag <title></title> and so is the description <description />.
WordPress by itself does not have provisions to add these bits of information. There are important for your SEO. To add them, you need an SEO tool.
As I have mentioned above, in the very beginning I was using the All-In-One WordPress SEO plug-in but later, I don’t know when, I started using the Yoast SEO plug-in. Both these plug-ins allow you to enter title and description information. The advanced version of Yoast SEO also analyzes your text for keywords.
For a few years I have been using SEOPressor. This is also a WordPress SEO plug-in. Along with giving the usual stuff like deciding separate title and description for your posts and also for Facebook and Twitter postings, you can enter three keywords and it analyzes your text.
Sometimes, when you are using your keywords, you may end up overusing them. SEOPressor warns you if you are overusing or under using your keywords and then makes suggestions. It also makes LSI keywords suggestions – alternative keywords that you can use to improve your SEO.
If your text-image ratio is low, it advises you to add more images.
I don’t use SEOPressor often (although I pay for it every month) because I find it constraining. To mark your blog post “optimized” you need to score beyond “75”. Since lots of effort is involved to reach the mark of “75” and beyond, instead of focusing on the quality of the content, you may end up trying to reach that mark.
Besides, reaching that mark isn’t a guarantee. Many times, I have been able to feature my blog posts among the top three results on the SERPs despite scoring below “60” by the SEOPressor analyzer. Conversely, even after crossing “90” the posts appear on fourth or fifth page.
But, anyway, whenever I want to make an extra effort at creating an optimized post, I use it.
Do I use another SEO tool along with content writing?
Not necessarily. Being a content writer, I am more obsessed with creating quality content rather than worrying about the SEO features recommended by the SEO tools.
I believe, or rather, I have experienced, when basic SEO needs are taken care of, such as having your keywords in the title and description, having your keywords in the first 100 words of the blog post or web page and then scattering them with different alternatives throughout the text, you begin to get higher search engine rankings.
I also use the Google Search Console regularly to submit the newly created blog posts or the old blog posts that I have just updated. You don’t need to wait for Google to come and crawl your content. You can submit your link and ask Google to crawl it. This way, your link is crawled, indexed and ranked comparatively quickly.