Writing for SEO | 2021 Guide & Techniques | Kaweb

Writing For SEO - Ultimate Guide in 2021

So you want to rank?

Well, writing for SEO is a tricky business, especially if you’re new to organic search.

But there are some clever best practices and techniques we know from our experience that we can let you in on.

We’ll go through how to start writing for SEO and what to keep in mind.

That way, you can start creating SEO-friendly content and rank for your target keywords.

What do ranking keywords bring? Traffic!

So before we get into the nitty gritty ‘how to’s for SEO writing, let’s go through some quick fire top tips that get missed so often.

And then we’ll break some of the different types of content down into 4 parts.

10 Top tips if you’re writing for SEO

  1. Write for your audience

If your content is genuinely super valuable, it won’t be full of jargon, difficult to read or over the top.

You’re writing so that you can be found, so make your copy reflect that.

Remember that every article doesn’t need to be a pushy sales one.

Be informative, relevant and interesting, and build yourself up as an authority figure that your audience wants to get helpful information from.

2. Keep it all to yourself

That means keep everything linked to your website.

That way, you can track all of your website traffic, including any referral traffic.

Always try to link back to your website as best practice.

3. Write good headlines

Avoid boring your audience.

Make titles punchy, add some brand personality if it feels right, and remember to get your target keyword in if you can.

Just remember that your title is the deciding factor for people wondering whether to click on to your website.

Don’t put them off, reel them in!

4. Use your keywords

Google wants to know what you’re writing about, so it can rank you for it.

But it won’t just guess if you don’t include any.

So naturally optimise for keywords you want to appear for, and don’t keyword stuff.

Find out how to do keyword research for SEO.

5. Structure it right

We’ve seen so many blog articles that ramble on and on and then just, end.

Don’t do that. Instead, add a title, a number of sections with sub sections and paragraphs appropriately.

Then, summarise and include a call to action, that takes your user to the next step.

For example, link them from a new article to another relevant one, or a relevant category page.

Make it purposeful and enjoyable to read. Your audience will want to come back, and want to take action.

6. Add some pictures

Make them relevant to the copy it sits next to, don’t just throw in any old image.

Add an ‘alt text’ which describes the image to Google, and include your target keyword, if it’s natural.

For some originality, try to avoid stock images because they can look generic, and instead create your own branded photos.

7. Use social media to gain traction

Post a link to your new content on your social media platforms.

Write an engaging social post, get people interested and add a link to it.

If people click your link and land on the page, even if they read it and then leave, Google will still notice this as traffic (you’ll see this under ‘social’ traffic). Don’t forget to get Google Analytics set up for this one though.

8. Role model natural link building

If you add a link to your own website on your new article and your article then gets picked up by an external website who share it, you’ll get any referral traffic too.

Make it easy for people to access your website and make things shareable.

9. Track your content

Don’t make the mistake of not using Google Analytics. You can watch how it performs.

See if people bounce or spend time reading, and then how many people take an action afterwards.

You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t when you’re writing for SEO, so you can keep people on the site and eventually convert them into a customer.

10. Change it up

Variety is the spice of life, they say. And that goes when you’re SEO writing too.

So many companies write a blog for the sake of a blog, and then more blogs.

But a bit of research time might show you that people are looking for something more visual, like an infographic, that they can quickly share on social media

Or, if it’s more detailed content, produce a downloadable e-book, so that people can save it, and use it themselves.

Extra top tip in SEO writing!

11. Add links

When you add an internal link to your anchor text, you give easy access to more insightful pages to your user.

You’re also providing Google with an indicator as to what the linked page is about.

Just don’t forget to make sure your anchor text includes the target keyword for the page you’re linking to

You can find out more about internal linking in SEO.

Those are some of the top tips when it comes to writing content for SEO. But there are lots of types of content that you might write when you’re maintaining your website. So let’s look at how to write for SEO in different forms.

Part 1 of 4: Writing product descriptions for SEO

This might depend on the type of product you’re trying to sell.

If your product is a simple, well-known consumer item like a t-shirt, you’ll need to provide your user with some basic information.

But you might need to display other product info if it’s a more complex product. So, here is some advice for writing product descriptions for SEO.

  • Identify your target audience – before you do anything, you need to pinpoint exactly who you are trying to engage with
  • Tell users what the product does – mention the benefits
  • Add your target keyword to the page – where you can, and where it’s natural – there’s evidence that including your target keyword when you’re writing product descriptions for SEO can increase rankings
  • Use visual content displays – bullet points can work well
  • Provide basic information – colour/prices/stock/delivery levels if applicable
  • Be selling, but don’t go overboard – if a user is on a product page, they’re like to be interested, but they might have hesitations, so do highlight your strengths as a trustworthy brand, but don’t claim to be a market leading expert if you’re not
  • Include a drop down where applicable –  add ‘more product info’ that details technical specifications if they need to be added
  • Touch on your user’s persona – if they’re after comfort, practicality or affordability, describe your product to match their needs. As you do this, put yourself in your user’s shoes, and ask yourself “so what?”.. if you’re not persuaded or at least interested, you need to tailor the copy more to your persona
  • Inject some of your brand personality – people connect with real brands, so if you’re fun and familiar, eccentric or more formal, add your stamp to the page
  • Insert some images – your users are going to want to see what they buy, before they buy it (and add your optimised alt text!)
  • Use simple language that’s easy to comprehend – your user might be at the very end of their buyer’s journey about to purchase, so avoid long, difficult words and use snappy, short and sweet text to push them through quickly
  • Display your content in a user-friendly way – did you know that people tend to scan in a F-shape, starting from the left?
  • Drop in some urgency and emotion-fuelled words – like the below example

Which would YOU purchase?

“Buy this dress” 

OR

“NEW! Introducing our gorgeous and feminine number. Shop online now.”

We know which one we’d choose as well.

Part 2 of 4: Blog writing tips for SEO

If you think you can just type out an article that’s slightly related to your industry, throw any keyword mention in, and appear on page one the next day, you’d be wrong.

First thing’s first, keep in mind the top 11 tips at the start of this page.

And then use the following steps as a guideline for article writing for SEO.

1. Do your homework

Once you’ve got a keyword, look at the SERPs to establish what the keyword intent is behind that term, so you know what type of content you need to produce.

It might be a ‘how to’ article, a product page, a demonstrative video, a landing page for an e-book.. the list goes on, but for the purpose of our article, we’ll talk about blog writing tips for SEO.

2. Get a structure going

Map out all of your sections, and keep in mind the purpose of your content.

3. Break your blog down

No-one wants to see one huge paragraph on the page.

Use headings, paragraphs, bullet points, visual arrows, images and so on.

4. Take your user on a journey with the right words

Don’t just jump from one point to the next and don’t confuse your reader.

Try to make sure your reader knows what’s coming up next, so that the copy flows.

That way, you should have a happier reader at the end of the article, and you never know, they might click to another resource page if they feel informed or entertained, instead of just leaving.

5. Use industry-known keywords and phrases

Steer clear of unnecessary jargon.

People will digest the content easier, and quicker, and Google will like this better too.

Don’t keyword stuff. In fact, there are tools you can use to check for overuse of keywords if you’re unsure.

But a handy (and one of the most effective) way of manually checking is by reading your own content.

If it sounds unnatural, you’ve probably over-done it.

6. Add internal links

There are two reasons why you should do this.

The first is that you’re giving your reader easy access to other pages they might like on your website, and Google rewards this.

The second is that when you add a link to your anchor text, Google reads the words of that anchor text and takes this as a ranking signal for that linked page.

So add your primary keyword!

7. Poof your own work – only joking, proof it!

It’s all well and good creating informative content that your users will find helpful, but if it’s got errors all through it, the quality level comes right down.

And Google (and your readers) will notice it a mile off.

Don’t let bad grammar, punctuation and spelling damage your brand.

8. Publish new content on a regular basis

This says to Google you’re an active website, and that can make it crawl your site more often.

But remember, avoid posting for the sake of it. Your content needs to be top quality and meet the search intent every time to be classed as ‘quality’.

It can help to create a calendar so you can stay on top of what’s getting published when, especially if there are different members in your marketing team.

9. Use an SEO plugin if you’re new to organic search

There are plugins that can essentially scan your content as you write it and tell you how often you’ve used a keyword.

It’ll also tell you if it’s easy to read and if you’ve got a sufficient level of internal links. If you don’t want to mess about with plugins, or you’ve just not got the time, our SEO specialists can do it all for you!

10. Optimise your article length

Google likes shorter and longer variations of content, depending on the search intent.

If the target keyword starts with ‘how to’ or ‘where is’, it’s likely to rank a snappy bullet point breakdown as a quick answer, or a local 3 pack that opens Google Maps.

But if it’s a term where the user is looking for in depth knowledge, long form content can be more effective. That could be 2000 words, and maybe more. But you’ll need to check the SERPs to find out first.

Part 3 of 4: Writing meta descriptions for SEO

Meta what? A meta description is the second part of the meta data.

Take the below example. The meta description starts with ‘Buy Lava Lite..’ and the meta title is the bit in blue.

rich snippet search result

If you use WordPress or a similar content management system (CMS), your meta description can be found in your SEO settings of that page near the bottom. It’s one of the first factors Google assesses when it decides where to rank you, so it’s important to get it right.

Here’s how to start writing meta descriptions for SEO:

  • Keep it within the character count of 155 – otherwise you’ll get an irritating, messy ellipsis like this (…), so use Google’s SERP tool to preview it – note that Google can over-ride your meta description, and display something else it thinks is more relevant. But best practice is to write one.
  • Try and add your target keyword – this should be the same keyword that’s in your meta title, so if it’s not, something is wrong
  • Use an active voice – passive and boring content are less likely to get clickthroughs typically
  • Add a call to action – get people to read your article, discover a new product.. just make sure there’s an action
  • Don’t mislead your user – make sure your meta description and your page content match, otherwise you’ll get a bounce rate (and frustrated readers!)
  • Make it unique – avoid duplicate content in SEO anyway, but if even if you’ve got similar pages on your website, your meta descriptions should be unique and engaging

Part 4 of 4: Writing meta titles for SEO

Your meta title is perhaps the biggest factor Google considers (next to meta descriptions and many, many others) before ranking.

Before we go any further, let’s clarify that your meta title isn’t the same as a H1. Your meta title is what appears in the SERPs, like the above Argos example. Your page title is the ‘title’ your users see when they click on your page, which is of an equally high value when it comes to ranking.

Here is some basic advice for how to go about writing meta titles for SEO:

  • Write something punchy – this is what people see before they decide to click on your website, so make them want to do that
  • Include your primary keyword – fore-fronting your meta title with your keyword works well, so it’s the first thing users see
  • Keep it in your character count – the limit is 70 characters, and you can use the handy tool to check – we’ve popped it here again

And that’s a wrap on the very bare bones of writing for SEO.

You might also be interested in some of these useful articles from our digital marketing blog:

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Written by Katie McDonald in Digital Marketing