Over the last few years, content writers have been high in demand. They’re well-rounded individuals who can write in many different tones and on a plethora of subjects. However, in order to reach a wide audience and to truly make a splash, they should also know SEO. What exactly should you pay attention to SEO-wise? We’ve singled out 7 important content writing tips for better SEO that could help you generate more traffic and also boost conversion rates.
This article will cover:
- Site Speed
- Effective Keywords
- Keyword Frequency
- Page Links
- Meta Description
- General Writing Tips
1. Site Speed
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a website that’s really fast. Speed is especially important for mobile pages. You may have heard that from 2018 page speed became a ranking factor for Google in the mobile-first index. If your website is slow, it’ll have fewer conversions, a high bounce rate, and a low number of page visits. Website speed is a sign of great user experience, and in general 2 to 3 seconds or less is a good page load.
Anything higher than that will most likely lead to people leaving your page. To evaluate the page speed you can use Google’s Page Speed Insights.
2. Effective Keywords
Keywords are the key words and phrases that people enter in search engines to find certain content. They are one of the core elements of SEO. Choosing the right keywords can be a tricky task, but it can be greatly beneficial for anyone’s business. What’s important is that keywords speak directly to whatever it is you’re writing about! One of the tools that could help you in this regard is Google Ads Keyword Planner.
This is where you should use keywords:
It’s all about making a great first impression. Title tags are the first thing your potential audience will see, so do your best to capture their attention. For starters, your keyword should appear once in the title of the article or the page you’ve created. You should be mindful about the length of your title tags though. Google starts cutting them off after around 50 – 60 characters, so try to avoid this truncation and keep them short.
This is the brief summary of what your page is about. If you’re using one of the SEO tools, than you’ll be able to set your own meta description. You should insert a keyword here and also one of the related keywords. Contrarily, without an SEO tool, meta description will be generated from the first 160 characters of your content.
H1 is the main heading on the page and can be used only once. Other tags, from H2 – H6 are optional and can be used several times, as long as you respect the hierarchy. Why are headings important? Well, most times people tend to read headings carefully in order to get a picture what an article could be about. If you use headings, it’s also easier for search engines to read through well-organised content. That’s why you should play your cards wise and place keywords in headings as well.
You should also focus on long-tail keywords. This is something that can help you beat the competition, as that’s how in reality people browse the web.
Pay close attention to how many times the chosen keywords appear within your content. If the frequency is too low, then Google may think that your content is not relevant to a certain query. On the other hand, if the frequency is too high, there’s a risk of keyword stuffing.
That’s a thing to avoid, as the text will be unpleasant to read. Plus, it’s something that search engines seriously condemn, and you risk getting a penalty for it. Overall, keywords shouldn’t appear more than once per every 200 words of your content.
We’ve already highlighted the importance of using keywords, but you should be wary of how you write your content in general. This is the actual core of your writing.
You’re most likely familiar with the Panda algorithm. Panda penalises ‘thin’ or low-quality content and it prevents those kinds of websites form ranking high in Google. That’s why you should try your best to create engaging, high-quality texts, which will be useful to your intended audience.
If you wish for your content to have SEO value, it must be beneficial to researchers. For instance, someone wants to see which WordPress pizza themes are most popular. Do your research, make a selection, explain what makes them better than the rest, and help your visitors choose.
Create posts that are at least 1000 words long and focus on what your subject is. As previously mentioned, make sure to use keywords in your introduction and throughout the text, in particular long-tail keywords. Also, don’t forget to refresh your content from time to time.
Google constantly changes its algorithms, so be sure to update articles regularly.
4. Page Links
Why are page links important and what do they have to do with SEO? Well, for Google, it’s all about making information available to everyone.
Therefore, if you use external links, it’ll mean that your content is valuable and can also be found elsewhere. For Google, this is really important. Its bot renders a webpage, follows the first link it stumbles upon, then the next, and so on. It learns how pages are connected, and also how relevant they are.
Internal links could potentially lead to more visits for your website. Include links to similar subjects you’ve already tackled within your content and connect the pages. You should also use anchor links, as those significantly improve the user experience and are also great for SEO. That’s important for longer posts as search engines sometimes create direct links to parts of the text that have been anchored.
5. Meta Description
As previously mentioned, this short description will appear in search engines as something that tells people what your page is about. This snippet will appear under your headline and it’s what will make people want to click your link. Because of that, you should add at least one keyword to your meta description.
Regarding the length, the recommended one is of 155-160 characters, however, these days it’s possible to find even longer descriptions. There are pages which set their meta descriptions to be as long as 300 characters. However, the best advice would be to keep important info within the first 155 characters.
Make sure to write it in active voice and also, if possible, include a call to action. Adding a simple Learn more, Get it now could encourage people to click your link.
Try your best to write a unique meta description. If too many of them are similar, that could jeopardise the user experience in Google.
A well written piece of content shouldn’t be incomprehensible. It’s as simple as that. You want everything to run smoothly so avoid keyword stuffing. Otherwise, you risk a poor user experience on your website. To measure how easy it is to read your content, you can use some readability tests, e.g. the Flesch Reading ease. This one is commonly used, and these are the scores:
90.0-100.0: Easily understood by an average 11-year-old student.
60.0-70.0: Easily understood by an average 13-15-year-old student.
0.0-30.0: Best for university graduates.
Why is this important for SEO? Well, Google is trying to mimic humans. That means that it scans texts in a human-like way, it recognises synonyms, etc. Voice search is also on the rise.
Google wouldn’t list results with words that are too difficult to understand. For a given question, your page must provide a concise answer. Imagine someone wants to learn how to change the author of a post in WordPress Classic Editor and Gutenberg. You should get straight to the point and explain that as simple as possible, as in the article that’s linked.
7. General Writing Tips
No matter the topic, these are some of the guidelines that could help you in creating great, SEO-optimised content.
For starters, keep your sentences short. Less than 20% of your sentences should have more than 20 words. The length of your text matters, too. As mentioned, Google doesn’t tolerate thin content, so your posts should be at least 1000 words long.
Writing in a passive manner is something that can confuse readers easily, since it can be unclear who’s acting. To avoid having a text that is hard to read, it’s best to write using an active voice as much as possible.
Your paragraphs should contain around 150 words, which makes about 3 – 5 sentences. Use headings. There should be around 300 words between headers to keep a good content structure. As mentioned, you could use headers from H1 – H6, though most commonly used are H1 – H3.
We covered 7 content writing tips that you should stick to for better SEO. All of them combined will help you rank better in search engines and also generate more traffic to your web pages. It may take you some time to master them all, and that’s ok. Success won’t come overnight, but be persistent! Monitor your statistics, use Google Analytics, and keep track of things that could be changed for the better. Especially check bounce rate and time on site.
Create quality content, be patient and disciplined, and in time, the results will speak for themselves!
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