It’s done – you’ve put in the time and effort to create the perfectly written content piece, and it’s finally time to showcase it to the world. How exciting! With due diligence, you’ve plastered your content all over social media, and now It’s time to sit back and bask in all the readers you’ll soon get.
Only there seems to be one problem. No one is reading it. You know the content is good, great even. So what gives?
Well, every content writer ever knows that writing with SEO in mind isn’t only a good idea, it’s a necessity if you actually want anyone to read your content. It’s unlikely that your readers will make it past the first page of the Google Search Results Page (SERPs). That’s why it’s critical to your writing, your image, and your business to include these SEO Tips for Content Writers in your next content piece.
SEO for Writers Tip 1: Know Your Audience’s Voice & Tone
Voice and tone seem like an easy enough concept to master, but from one writer to another, nailing the voice your reader wants to read is easier said than done. Great content that receives high visibility isn’t randomly strewn across the social media sphere. Great performing content is targeted to, and written for, a specific audience. Writing an article about Alabama college football in the voice and tone of a California soccer fan isn’t going to go over well.
Writing numerous content pieces on the specific topic you are trying to highlight is important. However, SEO-conscious writers know to generate content on topics that appeal to the interest of their audience as well as answer any questions they might have. Writers who generate related content have a higher chance of being considered experts by their audience. It goes without saying that content written by a subject matter expert is more valuable than content written by an amateur.
SEO for Writers Tip 2: Keyword Research & Utilization
SEO conscious writers utilize keywords in the body of their content, meta content, headers, and throughout the content piece itself. This is done so search engines can categorize content correctly and display it as a search result.
Some tools that can help you discover the right keyword for your specific content topic and audience include:
Using the right keywords is absolutely critical to a well-written content piece. Tread carefully, though. Writers who overpopulate their content with too many keywords run the risk of sounding spammy. This is called “Keyword Stuffing”, and search engines can absolutely tell when something is written for a real person versus when something is written just for keyword use. It’s important to utilize keywords naturally and strategically. According to the experts at searchengineland, Google can and will slap you with penalties due to keyword stuffing, though “It’s most likely to happen to non-SEOs who just don’t know better and might decide to paste a word many times in a row, typically at the bottom of a web page.”
SEO for Writers Tip 3: Create Quality Content
Google’s Panda Update was rolled out in 2011 in order to address the amount of poor quality content that appeared in organic search results. According to Google, the Panda algorithm was designed to decrease the presence of “low-quality” content from organic search results while rewarding “high-quality” content by appearing more frequently in the most relevant search returns.
There are a number of flags that can trigger the algorithm and identify content as “low-quality”, defined as “content lacking in the depth of information, and therefore value, provided to the user”.
- Duplicate and “farmed” content: Content that has been copied from other websites, or appears in more than one place on the internet, can trigger the algorithm.
- Low-Quality User Generated Content (UGC): Guest posts and similar user-generated content riddled with grammatical and spelling errors and which lack any authority or trustworthiness in the “information” it supposedly provides.
SEO for Writers Tip 4: Optimize Page Structure
Understanding page structure is simple. The use of correct page structure makes it easier for search engines to organize your content and quickly understand what it’s about. Unorganized content is more challenging for search engines to categorize and will likely not flow naturally to the reader. If this is the case, Google will be less likely to deliver your content to users first.
Content strategists and writers should consider utilizing header tags like H1 and H2 for titles and subtitles respectively, with a few H3 or H4 header tags throughout the content piece. By utilizing headers, your content will not only be better organized for your audience, but for the search engines providing your content to said audience.
SEO for Writers Tip 5: Imagery
It pains the writer to say this, but most audiences are visual creatures. Incorporating images that appeal to the visual needs of your audience in your content can make a significant impression on them. Incorporating images will also create a valuable opportunity to backlink your content to the owner of the image, spreading your content to more audiences and across social media platforms.
When incorporating images into your content, it’s important to also include an alt text. Alt text (alternative text) is a line of text used in HTML code to tell the search engine what the image is, but also define the topic of the surrounding content and text. A good alt text describes the image in text and can also be used via audio screen readers to make the said image accessible to the visually impaired. Google considers alt text to be very important, so content writers should also.
An example of a “good” alt text for an image in a Blueberry Pancake Recipe can be: <img src=”pancakes.png” alt=”[BRANDNAME] Stack of blueberry pancakes with powdered sugar denver colorado”>.
Note: Alt Tags are becoming increasingly important to SEO strategies. More information on how to create a successful alt tag strategy for SEO can be found here: How to Optimize Images for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Health
SEO for Writers Tip 6: Know Your Meta Content
A meta title and description are the first aspects of a content piece that search engines review. Additionally, a strong, well-written, and clear meta description will encourage the user to click on your content, increasing your Click Through Rates (CTRs). This is where the reader is going to determine whether they wish to click on your content or move on to the next piece of content in the search result, usually a competitor. There is no doubt about it. Content can really only be considered quality if it includes a meta description. Writers who incorporate properly worded meta descriptions into their content will not only have their content rank higher, but they will also garner the appreciation of the SEO team, which can really only help your chances of ranking high in more relevant search returns.
Take it from us, content writing and SEO are very underrated, but the simple fact of the matter is without proper SEO, the audience will never see the content online. Writers need to consider SEO and incorporate these tips into the content they produce or else face the reality that knows one is reading their work.
Luckily, VisualFizz is here to help. For more info on SEO and how to improve your content and online ranking contact us at VisualFizz!