One of the most frustrating challenges for companies is trying to create engaging content for readers that is also optimized for SEO. If you’ve ever read a blog with a sentence something like this: “It is important to remember that your dentist in Miami plays a key role in your overall health,” then you’ve run into a blog writer who hasn’t quite learned how to overcome this challenge.
Keywords don’t always “flow” as well as we’d like because they are collected from random, lazy queries the average person types into their search engines. As a result, someone writing content has to make those awkward phrases sound natural. That’s not easy.
The good news is, it is possible to write content that is both reader and SEO-friendly. Use these savvy copywriter tips to help finesse your skills and become a pro at creating effective, high-ranking content.
Evolve Your Keyword Research
It’s time to move away from the habit of relying on outdated keyword research. Instead, evolve your approach to research with these tips:
Start leveraging free, more effective keyword tools to do the job for you, like AnswerThePublic.
Use Industry Forums
Keep in mind more people are using voice searches these days, which means using long-tail keywords and phrases is important. A trade secret is to use Quora to find the important questions people are asking. This industry-related forum is where experts and rookies gather to share information, providing ideas for both key phrases and blog ideas.
Google it Differently
Although Google’s keyword planning tool works well, it can be even more helpful to read the SERP’s “related searches” section. These questions are another excellent resource for related keywords and content ideas. The same can be said for leveraging Google’s Autocomplete suggestions. This is a gold mine of the most common queries for similar topics, making your keyword research easier.
Check Out Competitors
As a final step, click on the top-ranking links that Google ranks for your keywords. Enter that site into competitor keyword search tools to “steal” keywords likely contributing to that website’s success.
Use Keywords Elsewhere
For those awkward but essential keywords, consider using them in other places. By doing so, you get the same boost to SEO without the worry of ruining the flow of your content. Some good places to start include:
- Meta descriptions
- Image names and alt image tags
These behind-the-scenes elements allow you to take advantage of keywords without overusing them or interfering with the readability of your content.
Use Compelling Titles
Search engines love clear titles, while readers want compelling titles that tell them what your post is about. When done right, you can meet the needs of both. An optimized title includes your target keywords within the first 60 characters. Sticking to this character count ensures your keywords show up in the search results to accurately convey what your post is all about. There are some great free tools like CoSchedule that analyze titles for SEO effectiveness and then recommend how you can improve them.
Create Logical Structure
The basic structure for a blog includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction provides an overview that hints at what’s to come, while the body copy fills in the blanks with specific details. Your conclusion then sums everything up and can also include a CTA. Headings and subheadings make your content “scannable” so people can scroll and scan the content, while bullet points help condense and summarize information in logical bites.
Create SEO Friendly URLs
What? Yes, this might sound odd, but you can customize your URLs. In fact, it is not only one of the most important SEO elements but also one of the most overlooked. That makes SEO-friendly URLs a great way to outrank the competition. But how does one create SEO-friendly URLs?
- Keep your URL short to about three to five words, including your target keyword.
- Use hyphens to separate words and use lowercase to avoid redirects.
- Take out unnecessary words and tell the reader what they can expect to find when they click the link.
Keep Paragraphs Short
Headings, subheadings, and lists help keep everything organized and easy to read. You can improve readability by using shorter paragraphs with two to three sentences. Also, break up the visual monotony of long paragraphs by including some bullet points now and then.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!
Don’t just optimize your blog content. Spread the love around:
- Meta descriptions: Google shows a summary of your content called a meta description below your blog title in the SERPS. You can optimize this blog summary with your target keywords, keeping them under 160 characters. Blog platforms like WordPress provide a section to add your meta descriptions.
- Images: Search engines can’t “see” images, so help them out by using Alt text, descriptive titles, captions, and filenames that describe your images.
- Include schema markup: Schema markup makes it easier for search engines to scan and analyze your content so they can understand what each part of your content means. You can add schema markup using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
- Add links: Links to other relevant information and services on your site, along with backlinks to authoritative sites for things like statistics, help optimize your pages.
- Mobile: Be sure your web pages are optimized for use across all devices, especially mobile phones.
- Length: Don’t go the easy route with short blogs. Although a blog should never contain fluff to increase word count, choosing topics worthy of about 2000 words helps SEO. Longer blogs are more engaging and improve time on page, which Google loves.
- Include links to share: Make it easy for readers to share your content with social media links and a “like” option to show Google people value your post.
These tips help optimize content to create SEO-friendly pages.
Keep Things Fresh
High-converting content tends to be up-to-date and relevant. Keeping a regular publishing schedule, introducing new topics, or even refreshing or adding an addendum to existing content can all contribute to new information. You don’t have to go too crazy with posts. A schedule of one to two a week is more than enough.
It takes some time and skill to learn how to write SEO-friendly content that also provides an enjoyable read for visitors. However, these tips can help you improve your copywriting to encourage more visitors to share your content, return for more information, and hopefully generate leads.
Search Engine Optimization is critical to your business’s online success. With the right marketing partner, your SEO strategy can start converting leads like never before! If you need a little help with this, we’re happy to chat!