Do you want to write SEO friendly content? Well, this is an art which could take your blog or your writing career to the next level.
Anyone can write an article, but it takes special kind of practice to write SEO optimized articles.
I run multiple blogs and we have several authors working day and night to keep these sites updated with fresh, quality content. Sometimes, however, quality can drop (which usually happens due to a lack of knowledge).
Every blog post is like a web page in terms of search engine ranking and you can optimize each post with specific keywords for search engines.
When writing these SEO friendly articles, there are several things that you should keep in mind.
Whenever I hire a new author to work on one of our blogs, I have to give them manual inputs and checklists to help them to write better articles. Apart from selecting topics, there is a complete SEO checklist that must be followed.
(Note: I used to send this information out in an email to all the authors in my blog network. So I thought it would be a good idea to compile all of this information into a post. This way, readers will also benefit from this information and learn how to write SEO articles as well.)
Also, note that in this post I will not be covering keyword research as keyword research requires a detailed post of its own.
If you really want to make a difference for yourself or for your clients, without research, you are simply shooting in the dark.
In this stage, you want to determine a few things:
- Keyword to target
- Length of the article
- Type of the article
- Analyze existing articles for outline
People also ask questions
Do yourself a favor and get a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRUSH first. They both offer trial which will help you to do better research your topic and help in proper optimization of Keyword. These tools will help you to understand what is the right keyword you should be targeting.
Type of content:
Also, put your target keyword in the Google search to see what kind of articles are currently ranking. This is part of the research and will help you understand what kind of article Google think is better for such queries.
You may notice some pattern in the search result. For example, certain queries will only show listicles as shown in below screenshot:
Length of the article:
Use a free tool like SEO Rambler to identify what is the common length of articles that are ranking for your target keyword. This will give you an idea of how lengthy your article should be to stand a chance to rank on the first page.
SEO Word limit
As shown in the screenshot above, the first-page average word for my target keyword is 2445 and average for the top three average is 3576. I would naturally ensure that my SEO optimized article should be at least 3600+ words. I have actually talked about this in-depth in my earlier guide on “Long-form content for SEO“.
Alright, once we are ready with these data, now is the time to create an outline.
Analyze the top 10 results for your target keyword. I know it’s a lot of tasks but again, SEO writing is not easy and so is ranking #1.
Based on your understanding, create an outline of your content. It’s a good time to learn about brainstorm and outline from this free guide.
People also ask
Search for your target keyword in Google search and it will show a section called “people also ask”.
Pick the questions that make sense with your article intent and answer them in your article. But, don’t stop here, as when you click on one of the questions, Google will add more questions after that.
This is one smart way to ensure your SEO optimized content answers queries that people are looking for.
Alright, now it’s time to start writing and optimizing your article for SEO.
Now, I use WordPress as my content management system and even if you are using something else, the next tips on SEO copywriting remain applicable to you. If any perticular step doesn’t make sense for you, do check our comment section as it is full of useful questions and answers.
Post Title and Meta Title
First, you need to understand the difference between post title and meta title.
Post title: How your reader sees the title of the post on your website.
Post meta title: How search engines show your post in search results.
If you have not specified a meta title in your SEO settings, your post title will be treated as the meta title.
It is important to have your keywords in the meta title.
You can read more about this here:
How To Optimize A Post Title For Readers And Search Engines
Pro Tip: Keep your post titles less than 66 characters.