One of the biggest challenges content writers face is entering the right mindset that is required of them to write good quality content that adheres to SEO principles. Whilst a writer wants to be able to write freely without any constraints, the SEO wants to make sure that the content produced is optimised with keywords, proper headings, and other factors. This might be a hard task at first, but by time and by implementing these 6 simple steps into your routine, you will be able to see improvements in ranking and overall search traffic.
1. Conduct keyword research
When writing content for blogs it’s crucial that we keep in mind the principles of SEO, which means that, first and foremost, it is important to conduct keyword research to identify the keywords that are searched in relation to your topic. In my case, I always use Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
It is essential that we do not “assume” what people are looking for, but check with actual data from Google. Remember that we want to get noticed by Google in order to be accessible to the public, and this can only be done if we take into consideration what users are looking for. Are users typing in “ restaurants in Malta” or “Malta restaurants”?
Remember that even the positioning of the words, the inclusion and exclusion of words, as well as spelling, makes a difference when it comes to keywords. Simply swapping round two words, or using American spelling rather than British, can mean two completely different things. Here’s an example of this:
Moreover, decide whether you would like to geo-target keywords according to location, or not, as this will also make a difference. If you would like to consider both options, you can draw up a list of keywords for each, compare them in your spreadsheet, and evaluate the best way to utilize different variations of keywords in your content.
2) Write for people not for Google
Ok, before you jump at me from behind your laptop screen, let me explain this phrase which appears to be contradicting the previous point. What I mean is that, obviously we are taking into consideration what Google wants to see, i.e. what the most relevant and searched keywords are, however what happens very often is that this is what content writers end up heavily focusing on, forgetting their audience is HUMAN.
We need to keep in mind that the content we are creating needs to appeal to people, and needs to be written FOR people. So how do we go about these two different scenarios, and how do we leverage them? Very easy – as stated before, have a good look at the keywords that are most relevant and important to you and make sure that list is available to you when you need it. Then, just try and envision how some of the keywords would fit in your content and where, and just let loose and start writing what you want to write.
After you’re done, have another good look at your list of keywords and try and evaluate the effectiveness of the keywords used in the text, and whether you can fit in some of the keywords from the list into your readily-written text. Don’t force this though! The idea is to simply make use of keywords whenever you can and in as natural a manner as you can.
Also, think of how you can work them into your internal and external links by using important keywords in your anchor-text.
3) Longer is better
This point is true for various reasons. First of all, writing longer blog posts will get you noticed by both Search engines and users. It is no surprise that search engines tend to give preference to longer, more in-depth blogs and this is not only due to the fact that longer articles tend to have a range of different keywords scattered all over, but it also has to do with how much the user finds the content useful and to his/her liking.
Remember that Search engines want to generate the best results for users searching for a particular topic, and if you don’t make the fit, because your page/website has a high bounce-rate for instance, then that is going to show Google that your website is not useful. Therefore, the more information and value you give to your readers, the better chance you’ll have at having a lower bounce rate.
4) Always check your data
You always need to check your analytics to see how well you are doing. Use Google Analytics to monitor bounce rate and time on site. The lower the bounce rate and the greater the time on site – the better. If the situation is the other way round, then this is a clear indicator that something is wrong.
Either the user is not finding the content useful because of the way it is written or perhaps because the information is not relevant, or it could be due to other reasons that do not essentially have to do with writing, i.e. design.
If the design of the website put the user off, then it is useless having good quality content because as soon as the user lands on your page and is put off by the looks of it, he will not bother to read anything but will most likely leave immediately within a few seconds.
Moreover, it would be highly beneficial to you if you checked how your performance in ranking is progressing, in relation to particular keywords. There are a few software applications that provide this kind of service, but our favourite has got to be SEMRush.
5) Re-purpose previous blog posts
To continue adding to the point above, always check data and re-visit previous blog posts as you might need to make some tweaks here and there to make your content or your keywords more relevant. Trends change in everything, and so the search trends.
This month, the most searched keyword could be “malta properties for sale” and next month it could be “properties for sale in malta”, just to give you a simple example.
6) Share, share, share on social media!
You’re not done yet before you blast social media platforms and get your content out there! Remember, the more you share, the better so do not shy away from sharing your blog on Facebook, Twitter, Medium and other social media platforms.