Writing for SEO
Writing For Today’s SEO
If you have been keen enough, you have probably realized that the vast majority of internet marketing advice suggests writing naturally for users and not necessarily for the search engines. While this statement is generally true, I am of the view that it contains a bit of untruths. I have in fact seen web sales pages and articles that don’t have keywords at all. This is because they are writing for users.
But this is all wrong because, in my view, I think it is still important to write for search engines though not in a way that sounds that we are writing for the search engines.
This is my philosophy: in business, the main goal is to make as much money as possible. When I got started in SEO for the first time, I was trained on how to craft posts that would attract back links. Although this now seems so horrid, back in the day, it was quite popular. As a trained journalist, I found this grossly appalling as I thought it was the worst usage of English, not to mention poor ethical claims that this stuff had any credible advice in it.
I still believe that good research is vital in writing, which is why I continue to employ my journalistic skills and styles to date. Eventually however, as I continued to learn more about SEO, I soon saw the sense. It comes down to whether you want money or not.
But the biggest problem that most people face is that they don’t know the techniques of writing for SEO. Some of them just keyword-stuff or totally forget about including keywords in the text. Therefore, let’s get to the nice stuff. I will teach you some of the most effective tricks I use to not only write for SEO but also in a way that sounds like I am writing for the readers.
Natural SEO Writing Tip #1: Use Skill to Fit a Keyword in Your Page Title
It is important to make your title clear, enticing and specific and any other thing that would make a great headline. However, you need to ensure that it also has a keyword in it. The keyword should be placed in a way that does not make the title awkward. I always try to incorporate the primary keyword into my headlines. This makes each of my posts to contribute to my overall website theme and at the same time create relevant but yet dissimilar keywords throughout the place. Look at the example below:
WordPress security – “It’s the least you can do, avoid being irresponsible about it”
In the example above, I intentionally start with the Keyword (WordPress security), which is then followed by an even more attractive afterthought. The keyword placement should be as close to the beginning of the title as possible. You may also use a colon in accomplishing this but I chose to use a dash in this example.
It would have been easier to just write a title like: How to Secure Your WordPress Site’. However, there are millions of web articles with the title above and also, it would not let me use my targeted keyword.
“Web development case study: Developing a not-for-profit website for a nursing organization”
The title contains two keywords which are web development case study followed by non-profit website. In fact, I got a new client just because o optimizing that title. This means that it works for real.
There are times when for you to target a keyword you want to incorporate, it is necessary to alter the tense of your title. For instance, assume that we want to rank an article for Technology Writer Vancouver. If I write some samples that I want people to see and gauge my writing, I could have a title like Technology Article Samples. The problem is that this would not target the keyword. Consider the title below:
“Being a technology writer in Vancouver for electronics equipment”
Notice that the noun has been changed to verb, which makes it all the more interesting because actions tell a story.
Natural SEO Writing Rule #2: Have Interesting Title Tags
Title tags are not the same as page titles. It refers to Meta title tags which normally go in your site’s code as opposed to the article title. In other words, a Meta tag is a title appearing at the top most part of your browser bar, adjacent to favicon. In case you are using WordPress, you can be able to see as well as change the Meta tag title on every page. Alternatively, you could post it through installing a Search Engine Optimization plugin such as Yoast’s WordPress SEO.
But should you give a damn to title tag given that it only appears up in code? The answer is yes and this is because other than showing up in the website code, it also appears on search results. The search results are read by both humans and Meta descriptions.
What makes this WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin great is the fact that it lets clients as well as I see how the pages would appear on Google Search Results. By having a look at snippet preview, I often ask my clients if they would click on this page were it to rank at the top of Google for the keyword or if they would scan further and look for something more interesting.
It is instances like these that writing for SEO while not sounding like you are doing so get really tough. You need to be both thoughtful and creative. Not only do you have to incorporate a keyword but you also have to make it look and sound good. And you have to do this in only 70 characters.
Still using the above example of Technology Writer Vancouver, my Meta title could appear like:
“Technology writer Vancouver | Joyce Grace technology writer Vancouver”
But this is boring. Look at what I did:
“Best Technology writer you can ever find in Vancouver”
The bottom line is to use the keyword and still be interesting.
Natural SEO Writing Tip #3: Have Specific and Relevant Sentences
One thing that annoys me most regarding doing my clients’ SEO audits is when they fail to use in the article body a keyword that a customer would utilize to search their company. Assuming that you are a property seller, consider the following opening paragraph:
“We are a boutique firm offering the best services to our clients. We are so great. We have won many awards and also have a great proven track record. Check our testimonials page to see what out esteemed clients say. By choosing us, we promise to make you happy as we offer the best services.”
Nowhere in that paragraph is what you do or sell mentioned. Specificity not only helps your search rankings but it also boosts your marketing efforts. It is important that you inform both the search engines and humans regarding what your website is about.
In order to achieve this, people write things like these to make the company rank better:
“Property Sales in Vancouver! We are a top boutique company providing the best services to our clients. Not only are we amazing but we have also won several awards selling real estate in Vancouver. Check out our testimonials page and see what our customers are saying. If you choose to work with us, we guarantee to make you happy as we offer the best property services in Vancouver. We aim to form a long-term relationship with all our customers in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, North Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, USA and Canada.”
This is the best example of how to write foe the search engines. So how can you do it right? Check out the paragraph below:
“Ours is a boutique company that specializes in selling property in Vancouver, Canada. We have a track record that is proven and which demonstrates our capability to sell your real estate. Also, we have bagged numerous awards in real estate industry. We have worked for companies A, Person B and Organization C, and all of them would attest to our outstanding customer service, our friendliness and attention to detail. If you choose to work with us, we promise to do our best and make you happy as we offer the best services and at the same time ensure that you’re the sale of your Vancouver property remains our top priority. We aim to form a long-term relationship with every one of our clients”
With such an opening paragraph, you will have nailed it. It may not be the exact same way that we talk in normal situations but it nonetheless does the job. Also, it’s not jarring as the bad example above does. Note also that it keeps away from saying that “we are the best” and such kind of stuff.
Natural SEO Writing Tip #4: Heading Tags Should Only Be Used For Headings!
You need to always remember that heading tags do not serve to make fonts bigger. They should only be used for headings. Avoid also using them for paragraphs.
Heading tags exist to point out the section of the content to enable users know what they can expect by reading the entire paragraph below it. Given this, it is sensible to use a keyword. This is because by incorporating a keyword, you will make it easy for the search engines to understand your site and at the same time also help your users.
Therefore, if you deal in marketing software and want to do on-site SEO using heading tags, the H1 tags you us should say something like:
“Our software let you manage your entire marketing material right from one dashboard”
However, the example fails to use the keyword that the fictitious marketing software company aims to target for.
Instead, it ought to say something like”
“Using our marketing software, you will be able to run manage your email marketing, PPC campaigns and blog content writing all from a single dashboard.”
After that, the ensuing paragraphs should make an effort to discuss in detail about how the products listed above can help businesses. However, to make the content easy to read, you may have to use subheadings.
The example below shows how the H2 tag would appear the:
“E-mail marketing on easy-to-use platform”
Email marketing is the keyword in this case. You could simply use Email marketing as the H2 tag as it will still make a nice heading that not only helps your readers scan through the text but is also reasonable enough.
Immediately after the H2 tag, don’t introduce H3 tag. Instead, have a paragraph that explains what the heading is all about.
Avoid using heading tags to keyword-stuff. ALSO, don’t overuse heading tags on the page thinking that they will help your page to rank better. Another thing is to avoid using heading tags in your links. Finally quit using heading tags for enwrapping an image.
Look at the example below:
“Manage Your WordPress sites from a single dashboard “ManageWP”
If you didn’t notice, I included the keywords below into strategic spots in this article:
• Writing for SEO
• Write for SEO
• Natural SEO writing
I was conscious not to overdo it. You will also realize that I strategically incorporated the above keywords into article body, page title, heading tags and Meta title while not appearing like I struggled too much.
If I would not have used them, the search engines would have been unable to find this page. The bottom line is to balance things off. You need to be creative, make use of real headings and sentences, speak naturally and avoid overdoing it.
Online business and the blogging world mean that as writer, you don’t need your skills for writing epic novels, professional news stories or poems. Rather, you are tasked with literally taking care of business. This means that you need to take care of social and search visibility of a business. My stance therefore is that, if you intend to write an article, make sure that it earns you more money. In other words, it ought to drive tons of traffic to your site. If your article cannot be read by anyone, you are not helping a business. You need to get your article out so that it can be read by many people who then get to know about what you offer.