In the last 25 years, search engine optimisation has come a long way. The days of posting large amounts of low-quality, low-content content and expecting search engine rankings to rise are long gone.
Today, SEO is both an art and a science. It requires content writers and digital marketers (now the same) to understand search engine ranking factors, prioritize search engine intent, and post valuable, high-quality content that appeals to users and customers. Google algorithms.
This blog post will cover nine SEO-friendly content writing tips to improve rankings. But first, a public service announcement for all digital marketers and content writers: remember that content writing and SEO go hand in hand when developing a strategy to drive organic traffic to your website.
SEO is not a magic skill that only technicians can execute properly. At its core, SEO is about writing content that is better than the competition’s, and yes, utilizing best on-page SEO practices and techniques along the way.
So without further ado, here are nine tactics you can use to outperform your competitors in search engine results.
1. Understand search engine ranking factors
Before you can outperform your competitors, you must first understand the key signals used by search engines to evaluate and rank content. The four most important ranking factors are content, links, site structure, and HTML tags.
Google has prioritised content as its number one ranking factor since the 2011 Panda algorithm update. When you publish content, whether a blog, a web page, or a front page, it should cover a specific topic in depth, be well written, and provide value to the reader.
According to Search Engine Land’s periodic table of SEO factors, the seven most weighted content ranking factors are:
Quality: well-written and valuable
Research: demonstrates authority
Keywords: Incorporate search terms appropriately.
Freshness: it is timely and relevant
Multimedia – Includes images, video, or audio to improve the user experience.
Answers – Provides a direct response to the search query.
Depth: covers a topic in depth
Understanding what each of these factors means and how to apply them is the first step in writing competitive content.
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Links, site structure and HTML tags
Aside from content, the second, third, and fourth most weighted ranking factors are links, site architecture (how your site is built), and HTML tags.
Search engines consider non-content factors such as inbound and outbound links, URL structure, page load speed, time on page, and keyword usage when crawling and indexing your site.
Search engine algorithms serve users the best content from the best websites. Search engines will find it easier to crawl and index your content if you incorporate best practises for links, site structure, and HTML into your website content. The more quickly and precisely a search engine crawls and indexes your content, the higher your rankings and traffic will rise.
2. Use the right keywords
Although the digital marketing community has debated whether or not keyword research is dead, keywords are still an important part of SEO.
Keyword research helps you:
Determine what topics people are talking about.
Identify search volumes by topic.
Understand how difficult it can be to classify a topic.
Each piece of crawlable content you create should have a unique primary keyword goal and use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords (natural variations of your primary keyword) at all times.
Before you begin writing, consider topics you know buyers will be interested in.
Then do keyword research to identify the best ranking opportunity. The type of keyword you target will depend on the type of content you are creating.
If you create informational content, focus on targeting long-tail keywords that reflect user intent. These keywords are usually more specific and have lower search volumes but can drive highly targeted traffic to your website. On the other hand, if you create product or service pages, target more transactional keywords that indicate the user’s intention to purchase.
Once you have identified your target keywords, incorporate them strategically throughout your content. Place them in the title tag, meta description, headings, and throughout the body of the content. However, be careful not to overdo it and engage in keyword stuffing, as this can harm your rankings. Instead, aim for a natural and seamless integration of keywords that enhances the readability and relevance of your content.
3. Optimize your content structure
An optimized content structure helps search engines understand the organization of your content but also improves the user experience. When users land on a page, they should be able to quickly scan and find the information they are looking for.
To achieve this, follow these best practices:
Use descriptive and keyword-rich headings (H1, H2, etc.) to break your content into logical sections.
Include subheadings (H2, H3, etc.) to further divide your content and make it easier to navigate.
Use bullet points or numbered lists to present information concisely and scannable.
Incorporate relevant images, videos, or other multimedia elements to enhance your content’s visual appeal and engagement.
Additionally, make sure your content is mobile-friendly and optimized for different devices. With the increasing number of users accessing the internet via mobile devices, having a responsive design and ensuring that your content is easily readable on small screens is crucial for SEO success.
4. Write compelling meta titles and descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions are HTML tags that concisely summarise your web pages in search engine results. These elements influence click-through rates and play a role in search engine rankings.
To optimize your meta titles and descriptions:
Include your target keyword naturally in the meta title and description, preferably towards the beginning.
Make them compelling and engaging to entice users to click on your link.
To ensure that they display properly in search results, keep them within the recommended character limits (typically around 60 characters for the meta title and 160 characters for the meta description).
Avoid using duplicate meta titles and descriptions across multiple pages, as this can confuse search engines and dilute the relevance of your content.
Regularly review and update your meta titles and descriptions as needed, especially for high-priority pages or when targeting new keywords.
5. Focus on user experience
The user experience (UX) of a website is critical to its SEO and overall success. Search engines strive to provide the best results for user queries and take into account various UX metrics when determining rankings.
To improve the user experience on your website:
Ensure fast page load times by optimizing images, minifying code, and caching techniques.
Make your website navigation intuitive and user-friendly, allowing visitors to easily find the necessary information.
Design your content layout to be visually appealing and easily read, with appropriate font sizes, line spacing, and color contrast.
Ensure your website is mobile-responsive and provides a seamless experience across different devices.
Incorporate internal linking to guide users to related and relevant content within your website.
Regularly monitor and analyze user behavior metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rates to identify areas for improvement.
By improving the user experience, you not only enhance your chances of ranking higher in search results but also increase the likelihood of users staying on your website, engaging with your content, and ultimately converting into customers.
SEO writing services require a holistic approach that combines content creation, keyword optimization, technical SEO, and user experience. By understanding search engine ranking factors, using the right keywords, optimizing content structure, writing compelling meta titles and descriptions, and focusing on user experience, you can achieve the best results in SEO writing services.
Remember, SEO is an ongoing process requiring constant monitoring, analysis, and adaptation. Stay updated with the latest SEO trends, algorithm updates, and user behavior to ensure that your content remains relevant and competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.