Next to keywords, content is king in SEO. Without the ability to deliver an engaging, quality piece of writing, no one is going to spend more than a few seconds on your page before finding something else. When you have quality SEO content on a page you are accomplishing several things at once. You are giving people a way to find your page, a reason to come to your page, a reason to stay on your page, and a call to action.
Content mapping is part of this quality and it relates to how information is framed and delivered on your page. Successful content mapping distributes information so that the reader’s most immediate questions are answered first, and they are guided to more specific and in-depth answers second. Where they are guided will depend on the topic. The content could lead the reader further down the page, to a different page on the site that deals with the specific matter, or to another site entirely, such as your main homepage. When creating SEO content, part of attaining quality will be in using content mapping to form specific, targeted messages that guide readers along a desired path ending in your product or service. Here are the writing tips to keep in mind so you can make the top content for your SEO.
Know Your Audience
It is a basic but important writing tip: you can’t appeal to a reader you don’t understand. Look at who you are trying to reach with this piece of content. Is the topic something they’d care about? Is the language too dated—or too recent—for them to understand? Are you even offering something the target would be interested in? You could write a targeted, youth-centric piece of content that will still fall flat if you’re trying to sell life insurance to 20-year-olds. Do the research and legwork to understand those you are trying to reach.
Explore Relevant Topics and Keywords
Not everyone searches for the same thing. One person might Google “hiking,” another might look for “hiking trips,” while another searches for “hiking trails” or “hiking equipment.” By understanding the different topics people look for on your subject, you can create SEO content that caters to each one. The result will be a strong selection of content pages that will collect a wider swath of readers. Take advantage of this and use the call to action to direct them to your main service or product.
Write Magnetic Headlines
Headlines set the tone of the article, form the first impression for the reader, and are a large part of what makes someone read or pass over your page. This puts a lot of pressure on the headline, but when done well it can really pay off. Be clear on what your content is offering and why the audience would want to consider it. Having said that, a writing tip that is often overlooked is that a bit of flair can go a long way in setting your headline apart. Would you be more interested in a page titled “5 Ways to Improve Colon Health” or “How to Care for the Amazing Colonic Cauldron”?
Beautify Your Presentation
Make your page interesting to the eye. Pictures, borders, backgrounds, and videos can all enhance the appeal of your page. A careful balance needs to be struck between word and image, however. In addition to being relevant to your content, visuals need to compliment the tone you want to set for the audience. One definite tip that can’t be overstated is to avoid any autoplay videos or music on your page. These are annoying and will turn readers away from what could very well be well-written SEO content.
Create Relevant and Keyword-Focused Content
By looking into the language people are using when they use their search bars, you can better shape your content to draw their attention. To re-use the above example, if your page is about “backpacking excursions” but most of your audience is Googling “hiking trips,” then you are going to miss out on them finding you. One of the best tips you can give an SEO writer is how to make their content relevant, and that starts with using the right keywords.
In most cases, people perform a search in order to answer a question. While general information pages can be useful content, a better writing tip is to think about what someone visiting your page might want and craft accordingly. This doesn’t mean all of your SEO pages need to be in the form of a Q&A session, but it does mean that they have to provide some form of concrete answer. In our hiking example, if someone is looking up “hiking equipment” then they likely want to know what kind of durability they should look for, where they can find equipment, or a list of items they would need. Keep these elements in mind when creating your content.
Being unique doesn’t just mean avoiding plagiarism—though obviously that’s important too. It’s about giving a reason for the audience to visit your content page rather than any of the others about the same subject. Do you offer more thorough information or a more “for dummies” style explanation? Do you offer a counterpoint or an alternate view? Do you cover more aspects of the topic? When your SEO content is competing against the SEO of other pages, the strength and uniqueness of your writing is going to be the determining factor in what people read.
It is a basic content writing tip, but so very important: proofread, proofread, proofread. Every writer cringes when they submit something only to realize later they misspelled a word, messed up word order, left out a word entirely, or some other simple mistake that could have been solved with a simple editing pass. Spell check programs can and will miss things and if you rely solely on yourself, you will likely go over it too quickly to spot all errors. The best proofreader is someone who hasn’t been exposed to your piece of content before. Embrace their aid.
Write Long Content
Knowing how to meet word counts is an important writing tip, but so is knowing that sometimes good content means longer content. This doesn’t mean you should pad out a piece of SEO writing, but it does mean that sometimes people will crave a meatier piece to read. If you are telling a narrative, exploring a history, offering analysis, or giving advice, then sticking to a 500–800 word count does a disservice to both your content and your audience. You can make a long, compelling piece of content by accepting what needs to be said and giving it the room to be heard.
People prefer relevant, up-to-date, and current content and so do search engines. Part of writing good SEO content is to keep your site relevant by regularly adding new articles, blogs, or pages to maintain freshness. Raw content, however, won’t boost your search rank on its own. Part of being fresh means being relevant to what’s going on in the world around you. Look at current events and find ways to tie them into your services, find new angles to discuss old subjects, or examine the latest trends.
Numero Uno Web Solutions is a provider of search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. We use these tips and more in our regular drive to produce quality SEO content for all customers. Click here to learn more about SEO techniques and how we can help improve your search profile.