The Ultimate Guide to Writing SEO Friendly Content
You’re reading my blog, which means I like you. And because I like you, I’m going to tell you the secret to building a blog audience. There is no secret to building a blog audience. All you need is content that is optimized for search engines that also appeals to your target reader. It’s that simple.
Just kidding. There’s nothing simple about writing SEO-friendly content but there is a way to do right. That’s why I wrote this guide to creating content for SEO, because SEO blog articles are super, duper, ultra-freaking important if you want to introduce potential customers to your brand.
How To Write For SEO in 2020
The first thing you should know about writing for SEO in 2020 is that you shouldn’t be writing for SEO. You should be writing for your audience. If you do that correctly, the SEO will fall into place. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a little more to it than that, which this guide will explain in depth.
But before you move any further, you must understand this – anyone can throw words at a page and publish what sticks, but if you don’t write content that people want to read, no one is going to read it. Period.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can jump into the nitty gritty stuff. Prepare yourself for the rabbit hole that is SEO content writing.
What is SEO Content
SEO content is any type of content designed to attract search engine traffic and help your web pages rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). Though all web content is designed to attract a reader, SEO content is written and structured in a way that is not only pleasing to the reader but also to the search engine that will deliver that content to the reader.
Understanding SEO Content Writing
There are three major elements to SEO Content – keyword research, page structure and content writing. You must utilize all three if you would like to create content that actually delivers potential customers to your website.
Though SEO content creation is a straightforward process, it does require strategy, research and discipline to get right. It also requires an understanding of how and why an audience uses a search engine like Google. That’s where search intent comes in.
What is Search Intent
SEO content writing is all about understanding search intent (the ultimate goal of the user when they utilize a search engine) and creating content that caters to the end goal of the user, but that’s where things get tricky.
Let’s say, for example, that a user goes to Google and types in house remodeling. Are they looking for a contractor to remodel their house or instructions on how to do it themselves? To answer that question we have to dig into the three types of search intent:
Informational – The user is looking for information about anything, like the weather, or french bread recipes. These users may also have a specific question that they need answered, like how to write for SEO or they might want to learn more about a specific topic, like astronomy.
Google’s understanding of informational searches is truly remarkable. It knows, for example, that users who search for chicken noodle soup are looking for recipes, not the culinary history of the dish. It even knows when it’s helpful to include videos, images and featured snippets (more on that later).
Navigational – Users with navigational intent are using the search engine to find a specific website, like Facebook. Ranking high for a navigational term is nice but, keep in mind, that it’s only beneficial to your organic traffic if your web site is the site the user is actually looking for.
Fun Fact: Facebook is the top navigational Google search in 2020, with more than 150,000,000 searches per month.
Transactional – Users with transactional intent are, you guessed it, looking to buy something. Many transactional searches include an element of commercial investigation, where users utilize the search engine to research what they want to buy in the near future. Though most transactional users intend to buy something, many need more time and convincing before they actually make a purchase.
At the end of the day, the success of your SEO content depends on how well you understand the different types of search intent and create content that caters to the users ultimate goal. Ok, so, how do you determine the search intent of your audience? With keywords and keyword research.
How do Keywords Work
As the name implies, keywords are key words and/or phrases that users type into Google to find what they want. Google then scans the web for content with those keywords and delivers the most relevant pages to the user. That’s what a search ranking is.
To determine which keywords to include in their SEO content, content writers conduct keyword research, which is the process of analyzing keywords to gather insight into user intent. SEO content writers then use that insight to inform content strategy and write content that will rank for those terms.
How to Avoid Keyword Stuffing
But there’s more to it than using keywords that exactly match a person’s search in your content. Keyword stuffing is a bad thing and good SEO content writers know how to avoid it like the plague. It’s not only bad craftsmanship, it negatively affects your ranking.
Remember, SEO content is supposed to inform, educate and engage readers. You can’t do that if your content is full of clunky phrasing that doesn’t make sense and sounds stupid. Not to mention that Google hates keyword stuffing and may even slap you with a penalty that removes your page from the SERP entirely.
What are Google Algorithms
Speaking of Google, the other thing you need to understand if you are to write SEO content is the Google Algorithm. In short, an “algorithm” is a process or set of rules used in calculations or other problem-solving operations.
In the case of Google’s algorithm, the problem is how to deliver the most relevant web pages to a particular set of keywords. After years of updates and tweaks, Google determined that the answer to that question is “Quality First”.
Remember, Google wants it’s search results to make sense to the user. So, it’s engineered it’s algorithm to give preference to in-depth pieces of content that are likely to remain useful. It also rewards websites that deliver quality content by ranking them higher in the SERP.
How Does Google Determine Quality
Google’s algorithm is remarkably sophisticated and I don’t have the right set of degrees to properly explain every facet to you. Fortunately, all you need to remember to create awesome SEO content is E-A-T.
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness, and it’s how Google defines quality content. Here’s how it works. Google Quality Raters look for expertise, authority and trustworthiness when judging how good a site or page provides what they need. They then judge whether or not they received a good online experience and if the content meets their standards.
If the raters determine that a user will feel comfortable reading, sharing and recommending the content to other readers, that content earns the website a higher E-A-T score. The higher your E-A-T score, the more likely a reader is to choose your site over the competition.
SEO Content Writing Services
I’ve thrown a lot of information at you so far but it all boils down to this – there is a correct way to write SEO content and there is a wrong way. Content farms love to spout off mountains of keyword stuffed garbage and label it as long-form content, but Google can tell the difference and wont reward you for it.
Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for crappy content or pay a premium for the good stuff. All you have to do is contact me for a consultation. I’ll worry about all this stuff while you sit back and enjoy the rankings. Click here to get started.