SEO Content 2017: Here Are The 5 Tricks of Professional SEO Writers
Business blogging is both an art and a science.
To amass a loyal audience you have to be a gifted wordsmith and have this undefined something that makes you capable of putting all your thoughts neatly onto paper, day in and day out.
But creating successful content also requires being well-organized and having a list of reliable go-to guidelines of on-page optimization ready to go. And by successful content we mean SEO content.
SEO content refers to online write-ups that have been written for the enjoyment of others, but are well-optimized for search engines too. They attract, engage, convert users into leads, spread on the web like wildfire, and rank high for targeted phrases.
If you already know the theory but think actually applying it is easier said than done, you’re in the right place.
In this article I will reveal some SEO content writing secrets and help you become a more successful SEO writer.
So let’s start from the beginning:
Headlines are the primary SEO element of any blog article. A well-crafted headline helps in two highly beneficial ways:
- The words included in your headlines indicate a strong ranking signal, and according to this study, they are the second most important on-page SEO factor which correlates with Google rank.
- An appealing headline can strongly boost the CTR of any article. A short snippet (preview) of your article shows up in search engines after typing in a specific phrase. This preview is part of a list containing 10 results and consists of a title tag (this is your headline), URL and meta description.And this short snippet – the preview of your content – is your playground, and you should play with it to win searchers’ clicks. This is your opportunity to stand out, so make the most of it by squeezing it like you would your last lemon.It’s easy to spend a significant amount of time on the meat of your content and forget about the power of a headline.But focus on crafting it right and devote more time preparing and testing a few headline versions for each write-up.What is more, go through your past articles and review their headlines. Are they crafted in the best possible way, or is there still some space for improvement?Enhance them with up-to-date on-page SEO practices, apply power words, numbers, and maximize their potential.
Systematically tweak your headlines and compare their monthly performance, before and after their makeover, to measure the change.
Thoroughly researching keywords by using various keywords tools and resources is a must-do before you start writing. It is the only way to get a long-winded list that is full of variations and synonyms of your main phrase.
Utilize the Google Keyword Planner, Wordstream Keyword Niche Finder, and other keywords research tools. It’s a good idea to look into the Unamo Social Media Monitoring Tool as well to see what additional keywords appear in your topic’s word cloud.
In my previous article, How to Use Unamo Social to Analyze Viral Marketing Campaigns, we observed how the word cloud works by taking a closer look at Reserved’s viral campaign, “Polish Boy Wanted.” The word cloud dynamically generated the most used keywords over the different stages of the campaign.
The word cloud showed completely different phrases at the beginning of the campaign when no one knew the video was scripted, compared to the words which started to appear after the company admitted the video was produced by their agency.
As of now, the whole campaign has gone silent, but you can still look at the historic data to see what words in mentions the word cloud regards as the most popular.
Unamo will enrich your findings with practical knowledge by showing you phrases that people actually use when mentioning your brand.
There is a popular case study about a swimming pool company whose organic traffic grew from less than 10,000 to 80,000 monthly visitors within 6 months. Marcus Sheridan achieved this growth in visitors by blogging 2-3 times a week.
What’s his secret?
Marcus admitted that he targets long tail keywords in each write-up and this is what has elevated the site to the top of search rankings.
In this way, he has created a complementary and the most educational swimming pool blog in the country.
Within 18 months, the blog had elevated the website to an elite status in the swimming pool industry. By now, the long-tail keyword campaigns were paying huge dividends. Within hours of writing an article with specific keyword goals, we were showing up on the first page of Google.
This story is a perfect example of the type of blogging success you should strive for.
It’s highly important that you don’t just pick random topics to write about. Before you start putting fingers to keyboard, have a complete content strategy in mind and treat each article as if it were one piece of a jigsaw puzzle, vital for creating the perfect, bigger picture.
Long tail keywords should be an essential part of your content strategy. Think about it.
Targeting broad phrases won’t bring you any ranking wins because it’s tough for any new blog to jump over the market giants. (Market giants are the leading companies in a specific industry. They are tough competitors that own strong domains which have often been operating for a decade or so, and they aren’t beatable when it comes to the number and quality of produced resources.)
But with long tail keywords, it’s different. Long tail keywords aren’t strongly targeted by the market giants because they don’t promise a high search volume or any specific traffic shifts (at least seemingly). They are also called low volume KWs.
However, when you target for long tail keywords correctly, you optimize your content for many various phrases – one article to one long tail phrase – and this will bring you less people, but ones that are much more purchase-oriented.
Let’s take another look at the swimming pool company. Below are a few examples of long tail keywords they rank #1 or #2:
- above ground pool prices
- cost of inground pool
- above ground fiberglass pools
- automatic pool cover costs
- variable speed pool pump
Don’t they look like they fit into a bigger picture? Try to recreate this strategy in your own company.
Why are meta descriptions worth mentioning even though Google openly admits they are not a direct ranking factor? Because they prolong and strengthen your headlines’ (title tags’) impact.
A searcher types a specific phrase in the Google search box and Google pulls out the results. These results include URLs, title tags (this is your headline) and meta descriptions.
Leverage meta descriptions in order to interest your users. This short HTML attribute will determine if you will get the clicks or not; so crafting it well is essential to your SEO success.
If you work on WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to influence how your specific result will look in the search.
The Yoast SEO plugin makes things much easier because it’s like having a user-friendly editor with actionable suggestions ready at your disposal; you’ll find out exactly how long your title and meta description should be and what improvements should be made.
Links play a key role in content optimization and we cannot forget about them.
First of all, internal links define the content hierarchy for your whole website. Read more about how to arrange your site architecture correctly for SEO by reading 9 Effective Site Architecture Tips for SEO, written by Adam Tanguay from the DIY website builder, Weebly.
And secondly, external links help search engines determine the topic relevancy of the articles published on your site. So when planning your publications, remember to also determine which links you will include.
Having one topically-related internal link referring to another post on your blog within each paragraph is perfect. Remember that the anchor text should be strong: it’s best to use the headline of that blogpost and hyperlink it.
Read more about anchor texts here: Anchor Text 101: The Ultimate Guide.
Similarly, include at least one dofollow link that directs to a high quality resource in each paragraph.
In this way, you surely won’t go overboard with the amount of links but will have a clear plan to stick to.
Though there are many more tricks of the trade used by professional SEO writers, these 5 seemingly small tweaks will nevertheless have the strongest impact on your SEO success. Implement them today and you reap the low-hanging fruits tomorrow.
Also published on Medium.