What is SEO Writing? 7 Beginner Tips to Rank on Google

September 24, 2021

SEO writing is the art of planning, creating, and optimizing content to appear on the first pages of search engine results. Writing with SEO—or Search Engine Optimization—in mind is crucial for driving more customers to your website as part of your inbound marketing strategy.

 

If you need to be convinced, just look at the stats: More than 90% of global traffic comes from search engines like Google. SEO even brings 1000%+ times more traffic than organic social media.

 

So, how do you make sure you create content that as many others as possible will read? Get started with our SEO writing tips and techniques below—and get in touch if you want our team to do your inbound marketing for you.

 

 

SEO Writing: 7 Beginner Tips to Make Content Go Further

1. Don’t Treat SEO Writing Like an Afterthought

Did you know that the vast majority of online content gets no organic search traffic from Google? According to a study from search marketing industry leader Ahrefs, 90.63% of all pages get zero traffic from Google, and 5.29% of them get ten visits per month or less.

 

To rise above the majority, one important step is to be prepared to change your content creation process. SEO needs to be baked into all your writing, from content planning through to drafting, editing, and CMS staging.

 

2. Plan Content Around Search Intent

When planning your content, make sure to take search intent into account. In other words, think about why your audience is going to be searching for your website.

 

According to leading SEO software, SEMRush, there are four main types of search intent: Navigational, Informational, Transactional, and Commercial. So for example, if someone searches for “visual effects” they could be:

 

  • Navigational search: Trying to find a visual effects company nearby
  • Informational search: Curious to learn what visual effects is
  • Transactional search: Looking to hire visual effects services
  • Commercial search: Comparing different local visual effects companies

 

When planning content strategy, start by brainstorming topics that your audience cares about, that will also target one or more of these search intents.

 

3. Strengthen Your Ideas with Keywords

It’s also important to research and find exact keywords while planning content strategy.

 

Let’s go back to using “visual effects” as an example. If you’re writing a blog on “visual effects” but far more people search for the term “VFX” on Google, it’s better to use your time and resources to incorporate VFX into the article instead.

 

This is a simplified example, but as a rule it’s always best to strengthen your content ideas with data.

 

Examples of ways to find keywords include:

 

  • Using SEMRush’s Keyword Magic tool
  • Looking on social media sites like Reddit or Quora to see what questions around the topic others are asking
  • Using Google’s autocomplete in a web browser’s incognito mode

 

When searching for “VFX” in Berlin, for example, Google’s autocomplete shows potential keywords that others have already searched for:

With SEMRush’s Keyword Magic tool, you can also see data on how difficult each of these different keywords are to rank for in your region (under KD%):

4. Aim to Create Long-Form Content

Once you have your content plan and keywords in place, it’s time to work all your research into your writing.

 

Though Google doesn’t necessarily look at word counts, writing a more in-depth, comprehensive piece of content is considered a good practice for SEO writing, in order to rank well.

 

There are many factors that drive this, including how many other websites link back to your page as reference. In other words, how many backlinks your page has. This is one of the major factors that will affect your ranking on Google.

 

To help ensure your piece goes into enough depth, try to think about other relevant angles on your topic that someone who searches for it could want to learn. For inspiration, do a quick Google search and look at what details the other top-ranking pages have mentioned.

 

For example, when Googling “Best VFX Software” the first result (from Filmora) mentions prices, features, and compatibility with Mac or PC. These are details you might want to include in your own article.

 

Another way to create more depth is to look at Google’s autocomplete function, or the “People also ask” bar for more ideas. For instance, in the “Best VFX Software” search, the “People also ask” bar suggests best free VFX software—a section that could add more depth to your article:

5. Prioritize User Experience

Here’s a short quiz: Which section of text is easier to read?

 

“What do you want people to say about you?” This is often the first thing we ask a new client, because it asks them to imagine the look of success. Not only are the answers illuminating, but everything that comes back is short and sweet. Just like good messaging.

 

Good messaging isn’t complicated. It’s accessible. Whether the goal is to educate, hook, or inspire, you only have a short time to do it—so you have to make it count. Only an elevator pitch is asked to do so much with so little.

 

Or,

 

“What do you want people to say about you?” This is often the first thing we ask a new client, because it asks them to imagine the look of success. Not only are the answers illuminating, but everything that comes back is short and sweet. Just like good messaging. Good messaging isn’t complicated. It’s accessible. Whether the goal is to educate, hook, or inspire, you only have a short time to do it—so you have to make it count. Only an elevator pitch is asked to do so much with so little.

 

Most readers will say that the first was easier, and for good reason. Just like great messaging, great SEO writing needs to be as accessible as possible. That means leaving plenty of white space between short paragraphs, as well as adding external links to prove your point.

 

It also means using short sentences and dividing your content up into relevant headers and subheads so that it’s easy to scan through.

 

6. Think About Your SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)

Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs, are also important to be aware of while writing for SEO. When most of us Google something, choosing the best result is a split-second decision.

 

This means your article title tag and metadescription (the short blurb underneath the title) have to be both interesting and snappy in order to attract the most clicks.

 

For inspiration, always do some research with your target keyword to see what kinds of article titles and metadescriptions there are already on the front page.

 

Examples of ways to write better metadescriptions include:

 

  • Keeping your metadescription to 155 characters or less
  • Using the active voice and making the metadescription actionable
  • Including your keyword within the metadescription and title of your article

 

If we search for “Artificial Intelligence News” for example, it’s easy to notice the first result has a title and metadescription that includes these exact or similar terms. It’s also in active voice and is short. Unlike the second result, the metadescription isn’t cut off:

7. Don’t Forget Quality

Of course, word count, keywords, structure, and metadescription alone won’t make a difference unless your writing is also engaging, accurate, and relevant to your audience. This is the absolute gold standard rule when it comes to SEO writing.

 

In order to stand out, always try to create unique, informative content that your audience will truly benefit from – using vocabulary that is targeted for them.

 

This will make your writing much more likely to be shared, as well as have quality backlinks from other websites pointing to it.

 

Most importantly, don’t be tempted to use black hat techniques like keyword stuffing—or adding an unnatural amount of keywords into a webpage.

 

This may have once worked, but Google’s algorithms are now getting smarter by the day and will now penalize content that sounds unnatural. To future-proof your content, quality is always king.

 

Want to learn more? Let us help you get future content to go further and audit your pre-existing content. Get in touch today.