Search engine optimization is by far one of the most important things to consider when filling your website or blog with content. The keywords you choose to focus on could determine what kind of audience you reach and how well your website ranks in search results.
However, it’s not just a matter of choosing the most popular keywords and plugging them into your texts as much as possible. There’s way more nuance to it. Hence, here’s everything you need to know about SEO writing and how to choose keywords to rank well.
What Is SEO Writing?
First and foremost, it’s worth understanding what SEO writing is. To put it simply, it is content writing that takes into account search engine optimization. In other words, this content is meant to rank well in search results thanks to the details you add to it (e.g. keywords, links, formatting, etc.) Obviously, SEO usually focuses on Google, but other search engines can be taken into account too.
Justin Gardner, an expert from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online, explains, “SEO is crucial for you to generate traffic on your website. It helps you reach more potential customers, improve brand awareness, expand your business, and so much more. And at the center of it all, you’ve got keywords. Sure, SEO is more than that, but keywords are still by far the most important element for your content to rank well.”
What Should You Focus On?
So, how can you get started? What should you focus on when working with SEO writing? As mentioned above, keywords stand front and center for your SEO writing, but you should also be familiar with all the relevant terms to understand how to perform your keyword research:
- Keyword: This is a word or phrase that you will be using throughout your content to rank for the said keyword in search results. For example, when someone searches for “cheap Christmas family gifts” and your content contains this keyword, your website will appear in search results.
- Keyword Research: This is the research you do to find out which keywords are the most suitable for the piece of content you are writing. It’s important to remember that there are different types of keywords you can use (e.g. short-tail, long-tail), so you shouldn’t stick to a single type of keyword during your research.
- Volume and Difficulty: The search volume of your keyword is the number of searches performed for the said keyword throughout a single month. The higher the volume is, the more popular your keyword can be considered. Keyword difficulty refers to a number between 0 to 100 that shows how difficult it is to rank in search results for a particular keyword. The higher the number, the more difficult it will be for you to rank high in search results for your chosen keyword.
Victoria Dudley, an expert from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge, says, “Having at least a vague understanding of the different SEO-related terms will help you make better choices during your research. You can’t just come up with a keyword and use it. But if you understand what volume and difficulty are, you can make better choices and thereby get the most out of your SEO writing.”
How Should You Perform Research?
Now that you have a basic understanding of what SEO writing is, it’s important to understand how to perform your keyword research. Luckily, it’s not that difficult:
- Topic: Choose the topic you will be writing about. If it is too general, it’s better to narrow it down. You don’t need to come up with a title just yet.
- Ideas: Brainstorm ideas for your topic. Which points do you want to cover? What type of content will this be (e.g. guide, opinion piece, etc.)?
- Words/Phrases: Write down your ideas and come up with words and phrases that are relevant to these ideas. These could be industry terms or phrases you would expect people to search for when they want to get information on your topic.
- Search: Type your words and phrases into Google or another search engine and see which suggestions you get. These are some additional keywords you can use.
- Tools: Use keyword research tools to help you get more ideas. Also, use these tools to check the volume and difficulty of your keywords.
- Filter: Choose the keywords you will be working with. Try to get the ones that have high search volume and low difficulty. Mix short-tail and long-tail keywords. Consider using even longer keywords for voice search optimization.
Michael Wall, an expert from an essay writing service reviews site, points out, “When it comes to keyword research tools, there are many options for you to choose from, both paid and free. It’s a good idea to start with the popular ones like Ahrefs because they have more tutorials online and are easy to learn how to use. Once you get more experience, you can try out other tools and find the one that works for you the best.”
What Are Some Best Practices to Follow?
Before you jump into your research and SEO writing, it’s a good idea to learn some best practices and common techniques used for these. Here are some tips to follow:
- Realize that there is never a guarantee that you will rank well even if you choose keywords with high volume and low difficulty indicators. Mastering SEO is hard and takes time, but the more you learn about it and the more practice you get, the better you will become at it.
- Remember that keywords are not the only thing you should work on for your content to rank well. Search engine optimization also includes such things as sit navigation, internal and external linking, formatting, and more. Focus on keywords for now and then start using other techniques too.
- Get to know Google better. To do this, perform any kind of search and look at the way results are displayed. Pay attention to the featured snippet, the “people also ask” section, the ads at the top and at the bottom of your search results. And of course, analyze the top three or five results for your chosen keyword to understand why these websites rank above all others.
- Work on your writing skills by creating different types of content. It’s also a great idea to make an outline every time you are about to write a new piece of content. It will help you organize your ideas and present them in a more coherent way. Moreover, having an outline can help you with formatting your content too.
- Learn more about the topics you are writing about. The more of an expert you become, the more reliable you can be as a source of knowledge on the subject. Besides, knowing more about your topic will help you find more relevant keywords and use them to rank in search results.
- Experiment with your keywords more. Don’t ever try to only stick to short-tail or long-tail keywords. The two types work best when used together. Think about the synonyms you can use for the keywords you have chosen. For voice search optimization, use longer keywords that sound more like queries because that’s how people talk when making voice searches.
- Don’t overstuff your content with keywords. Seriously, it won’t do you any good. It looks bad and reads awful. Moreover, Google can see when you are using certain keywords too often – and it does not tolerate it. Find a balance and try to introduce more variety into the keywords you use.
- Use keywords in things besides the content itself. For instance, your headline, meta description and tags, URL link, features image tags, and excerpt can all have one or more of your chosen keywords.
- If you need to, don’t be afraid to seek help. It’s easy to find a professional in the field to consult you or even do the whole SEO writing thing for you. Just type “SEO agency” into the search and you’ll get millions of results to choose from.
- Always look for resources online to help you improve your understanding of SEO writing. The more you learn about it, the more you can improve your content and the better it will perform. Google’s algorithm is still being developed with updates happening from time to time, so it’s important for you to be up to date with the way things work.
The bottom line is that you should treat SEO writing seriously and spend enough time on keyword research before you start writing. Use the tips in this article to help you get started with SEO writing and choose the right keywords for your content that will rank successfully.
About the Guest Author
Lafond Wanda is a professional content writer, copywriter, content strategist, and communications consultant. She started young with her writing career from being a high school writer to a university editor, and now she is a writer in professional writing platforms— her years of expertise have honed her skills to create compelling and results-driven content every single time.