Everyone knows the farther you get from the top of the page of Google, the weirder the internet becomes. That’s why most websites aim for the top of search engine results, but how do you convince algorithms that your content is what people are searching for? The best strategy is SEO writing.
Why is SEO writing important? It gets your online content to the top of search engine results so more people see it. In this guide, we’ll give you expert advice on SEO writing, including how to come up with SEO content writing topics. But first, let’s take a deeper look at the meaning of SEO.
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing is online text content strategically written to appear prominently in search engine results. The acronym “SEO” stands for search engine optimization, so the general definition of SEO is anything that improves search engine results.
SEO writing largely relies on SEO keywords, which are specific words and phrases related to your web pages that people commonly use on search engines. Much of SEO writing skill lies in not only using the right keywords but also using them in the right places.
Let’s say you sell used books online. Your keywords would be phrases people type into search engines when they want to buy used books, such as “vintage books,” “print books,” or “where to buy used books online.” You could use these keywords to create online content built around related topics, such as an article about the ten most valuable vintage books.
Why is SEO writing important?
To be clear, not all writing needs to worry about SEO. Only online content that aims to attract more web visitors should consider SEO keywords. SEO writing is mainly for online businesses—anyone who needs more traffic on their web pages.
For such businesses, SEO writing is an essential part of online marketing, or attracting more business online. Using SEO articles in this way to increase visitors to a website is known as content marketing.
SEO writing doesn’t just increase online traffic, it also helps with lead generation, or finding new customers. If people visit your website from the search results, they are more likely to buy something, even if your product is unrelated to what they first searched for.
Content marketing is often why companies write blogs, which are perfect for publishing SEO articles that target different keywords related to a business. In e-commerce, SEO writing is necessary for product descriptions so that interested shoppers can find the product they’re looking for.
Just like persuasive writing, SEO writing is so important in business that it’s already a useful skill for building writing careers. If you’re interested in professional writing like copywriting, teaching yourself SEO writing could be a worthwhile career move to help you get more jobs.
5 tips for writing SEO articles
1 Use titles, headings, and subheadings
SEO writing is more than just using the right keywords; you have to use them in the right places. Search engines consider some parts of SEO articles more valuable than others, specifically the titles, headings, and subheadings. In other words, those are the best places to use SEO keywords.
The title of a web page is perhaps the most important for SEO writing, so be sure to use your main keywords. Try to fit your other keywords in headings and subheadings if you can, as these also hold extra weight for search engines. If your SEO article doesn’t have many headings, feel free to add some for the sake of SEO.
2 Link to other SEO articles
SEO goes beyond just writing. A more advanced technique involves adding hyperlinks to your content. For example, if you have a number of blog posts or webpages on marketing, link them to each other in the text—a post on sales techniques could include links to posts on cold emails, customer service, etc.
However, to further improve your SEO, try to get links on other websites besides your own. Some common strategies include guest posting, where you write an article for another site’s blog, or an article exchange, where you and a colleague post articles on each other’s sites.
When you link to your articles, pay attention to the anchor text, the text that hosts the hyperlink (usually blue and underlined). The anchor text is another great place for including keywords, so try to embed your links in phrases that use the article’s main keyword.
3 Fill in meta descriptions and image alt text
Meta descriptions and image alt text are often overlooked by beginners in SEO writing, but they are both very useful in improving search results. Above all, you should find a way to write your keywords into them.
Meta descriptions are brief summaries of a web page, used by search engines as a preview of what the page talks about. Do you know that slightly grayed text underneath a page’s title in Google search results? That’s the meta description.
Image alt text is a little harder to find. Alt text is a brief description of what an image shows, mainly used by screen readers to describe an image to the visually impaired. Alt text is not usually seen by site visitors, but it is used by search engines, especially for image searches.
4 Write keywords organically
When some people first hear about SEO writing, they try to use their keywords over and over again as a shortcut, a technique known as keyword stuffing. However, search engine algorithms are a little smarter than you might think.
Keyword stuffing doesn’t actually work because search engines penalize you if you repeat the same keywords too frequently. Instead, take a Goldilocks approach—not too much, not too little, but somewhere in between.
The best strategy for adding SEO keywords is to use them organically, creating a narrative where those words and phrases appear natural. With SEO articles, you still want to prioritize both flow and clarity in writing, so don’t force keywords in where they don’t belong.
5 Add a snippet
Have you ever googled a question like “What is a something,” and at the top of the search results is a preview of a web page that gives the definition of what that something is? That preview with the definition is known as a snippet.
Snippets are a shortcut to getting your web page at the top of certain search queries, especially “what is…” questions. If you’re writing an SEO article about a specific topic, include a snippet definition of that topic—a quick sentence or two that provides a clear definition or the meaning of the word.
To use snippets even more effectively, place them near the top of your SEO article, especially directly after a heading. For example, this article uses a snippet for SEO writing, located directly after the first heading: “What is SEO writing?”
Finding SEO content writing topics and keywords
One of the biggest challenges in SEO writing is discovering SEO content writing topics and keywords. Your entire SEO strategy revolves around using the right keywords, especially choosing content topics that provide opportunities to use them. However, the best SEO writing topics do more than just spam keywords; they also appeal to what your target visitor wants to read.
If you have a marketing budget, you should first consider using a paid SEO tool like Moz Pro. Paid SEO tools leverage search engine data not available to the public to tell you which keywords work best with your particular industry. Other tools like Clearscope can help with the actual SEO writing, suggesting how many times to use each keyword and rating your writing style.
If you don’t have extra money in your budget, there are a few free strategies you can use to find SEO content writing topics and keywords. First, check out Google Trends, a free SEO tool that shows you how popular a particular search term is. Google Trends also allows you to compare multiple keywords, so you can see which one is preferred.
Another easy method is simply to play with the autofill of your target search engine. Because autofill options are based on real searches, you can use autofill as a free way to see what’s popular.
For example, if you sell sneakers on Amazon and you want to see which keywords are popular in Amazon’s search engine, try typing in something generic like “sneakers.” Underneath your query, you’ll see a few new autofill options, such as “sneakers for women walking shoe” or “sneakers for men on sale.”
SEO writing FAQs
What is SEO writing?
SEO writing is online text content strategically written to appear prominently in search engine results. The initials “SEO” stand for search engine optimization, so the basic meaning of SEO is anything that improves search engine results.
Why is SEO writing important?
SEO writing is a type of online content marketing that is aimed at drawing more traffic to a website. The higher the site appears in search results , the better chance people will visit your site. The more people visit your site, the more sales you’ll get. SEO writing is simply a method for attracting new potential customers.
Where can you find SEO content writing topics?
SEO content writing topics are built around keywords. To discover the best keywords to use, you can either use a paid SEO tool or try a free method like Google Trends. The best SEO writing topics don’t just use keywords; they also take into account what your target visitor wants to read.