Though it can seem quite complex, search engine optimization (SEO) is simply a way to direct relevant organic web search traffic to an organization’s web pages to improve their visibility online. Better SEO value allows companies to reach potential consumers, clients or other leads in their target market who are already searching for what a company has to offer. However, for those unfamiliar with SEO, the process of writing content specifically to help increase traffic to a website can still seem intimidating.
Before beginning to write any SEO content, writers need a basic understanding of SEO best practices. If you’ve done some research about SEO and want to create optimized content, a few key strategies can make your efforts more successful.
Use keywords strategically. A keyword is a word or phrase that someone might search for that sums up the topic of a web page or article. Keywords are the basis of SEO and help search engines find relevant pages.
- The keyword most relevant to a given topic should be in the title of the piece. For example, if you’re writing an article about sales training, your title could be “How to implement sales training in your organization.” You should then use the same keyword again in another subheader, as well as two or three times throughout the piece where it organically fits.
- Though you should include keywords multiple times throughout SEO landing pages, it’s important to avoid keyword stuffing. This occurs when writers forcibly apply keywords in places where the word doesn’t really fit. The content begins to sound keyword-focused and search engines will likely flag the content, pushing the page lower in the results. Though keyword stuffing was once an effective way to appear higher in web search results, search engines have updated their algorithms to penalize the practice because it defeats the real purpose of SEO.
Make readability a priority. A well-written piece will still appear fairly high in search results even if the writer has not actively integrated SEO strategies. Keywords are simply a way to supplement good content to achieve additional website traffic. That being said, any online content, whether with strategic keywords or not, can be improved for better SEO value.
- Keyword stuffing not only dings a page, but it also negatively impacts readability. The best way to prioritize quality content over keyword stuffing is to come up with a relevant topic first, then choose keywords that align with the topic. This can help writers generate relevant and effective content that they can later optimize for search rather than forcing keywords into a piece of content.
- Structuring your article using bulleted and numbered lists also improves readability. Search engines prioritize content that is easily digestible for readers, and bullets or numbered lists help break up large chunks of information.
Understand how SEO and paid search are different and how they complement one another. Many companies either confuse SEO and paid search or miss how these two practices can complement one another. While SEO revolves around organic search traffic, paid search involves advertising within the sponsored listings of a search engine and paying the search engine each time that the sponsored link is clicked.
- Popular keywords on paid search platforms are those that the most people are searching for. This means that popular paid search keywords can be great keywords to use in your SEO content.
- Though SEO and paid search are different, they can work in tandem. Organizations that have seen success in writing SEO content will likely see even more benefit from running a paid search campaign that targets more niche topics. This paid campaign can run alongside a company’s organic search optimization.
Search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways organizations can drive more organic traffic to their websites. Though it requires some time and intention, writing engaging SEO content does not require immense technical expertise.
By reaching potential consumers, clients and other leads who are already looking for what a company can offer, companies can reach a more targeted and receptive audience with their content. For help creating engaging and effective SEO content, creating a robust SEO strategy or running a paid search campaign alongside your SEO content, reach out to our experts here.