SEO Basics for Content Writing – Drive Traffic to Your Website

SEO Basics for Content Writing. In this blog post, we’re going to cover what you need to know when it comes to SEO writing for your blog and website in a way that produces real results. 

You are going to learn SEO writing tips for your blog and your website that you can immediately apply and see better results. We are going to start with the fundamentals.

Build a checklist, with a list of points that you can immediately use to SEO optimize your blogs and web pages.

Research

Please do not jump into content creation without doing your research, it’s like building a house without a blueprint, going on a treasure hunt without a map. If you create content without doing your research you might as well not create content. 

Focus Keyword

Everything starts in SEO writing for your blogs or your web pages by finding the right focus keyword. Once you have a focus keyword, you should plug that into Google and get synonymous keywords from the searches related to at the bottom. 

This is also known as Google autosuggest.

SEO Basics for Content Writing

How do you find your Focus Keyword? 

I use a Long Tail Keyword finder tool on India #1 hindi blogging site “hindime.net”. Here’s the link. Below is a screenshot of how the tool and keyword results look like.

SEO Basics for Content Writing
SEO Basics for Content Writing

The 3 top paid tools are ahrefs, Semrush and keyword finder all three are going to give you a different dashboard. But in the end the data, the metrics you need are all there. It’s up to you to kind of find a tool that you enjoy that you get comfortable using.

ahrefs.com provides a tremendous amount of data. Semrush gives access to in-depth keyword analysis and Google SERP position analysis. Keyword Finder is equally simple and easy-to-use. 

Keyword Relevancy

Now what are you looking for whenever you use a keyword research tool. First you want relevancy. Your keyword is absolutely no good, if it’s not relevant to your customers, the products you’re offering or the services you’re selling.

This is why keyword volume the amount of people searching per month does not matter compared to the relevancy. Let’s say you sell the special pet grooming brush that only works for labradoodles. Would you want 10000 people searching for dog brush or would you want 5 customers searching for a Labradoodle grooming brush for sale.

That’s a five word keyword, it’s not going to have a lot of volume. But someone searching for that keyword especially with the word ‘for sale’ in it has a much higher likelihood of buying your product.

So step one relevancy, don’t be misled by the vanity metrics. 

Keyword Difficulty

If you have a new site, do not go after high-scoring keywords. It’s a temptation because you want to go after the big guns right? But you should stick to 40 or below in keyword difficulty if you’re a new site, why? 

Well new sites really don’t have a chance of ranking for difficult-to-rank-for keywords. Remember you don’t want ranked into the top ten, the top three or the top five, you want to rank at the top. But to rank there you need a low competition keyword, there’s no ifs and or buts about it.

Content

Let’s say you researched, you did your homework and you have found the right focus keyword. Step five is going to be content and I hate to say it but this stuff doesn’t get any easier. In fact, it gets tremendously harder. Content is your most important ranking factor. 

Let me repeat that content is your most important ranking factor. Google is people first. And that’s why content is the most important ranking factor, your content better be good.

Now that you have your keywords. You know that your focus keyword needs to be your topic.

URL Length

Your URL or Permalink must be the focus keyword alone don’t add in a bunch of other words. If you put your focus keyword as the URL you keep it that chances are you’re going to win and studies have shown that the shorter your URL, the higher your likelihood to rank for that term.

Brian Dean, the author of backlinko.com, has shown with research material that your url should be 50 or less letters. If it exceeds 50, so does your chance of ranking on the first page. 

Citations

Citations are important, make sure you’re sourcing credible facts from credible sources. Keep your anchor links for these resources two to three words and only link out to the best. Make sure you’re not linking out to a link of a link which often happens in our internet world.

You want to go straight to the source to tell Google, hey I did my research. Content quality is everything. If you’re posting typo ridden, low-quality, subpar content that you haven’t proofread you’re not going to earn the top position in Google. 

You are competing against millions of blogs going out every day. What makes yours better. You have to create effective, helpful and valuable content. Let’s stop publishing subpar content. Think of your content quality in terms of 10x content.

10x Content

Rand Fishkin of Moz coined this term way back in 2015. 10x content simply means that you create content that is 10 times better than anything else out there. Make sure you’ve studied the top results in Google for that keyword so you can figure out how to outperform them.

And there’s a lot of opportunity for that, a lot of the top results in Google for these low competition keywords are outdated, straight up ugly, full of typos, the list goes on. Do your research, know how to do better and have a chance to rank. 

Formatting

Formatting is important. Remember to format your content. Long paragraphs are not going to get read. Ensure your paragraph does not have more than 150 words in it. Make sure your sentence does not have more than 20 words in it.

Don’t be afraid to insert some color into your content. Your opener and closer are super important, your opener is your hook. It’s going to keep people reading and your ending is what is going to pull people to the next step.

Finally, I’m going to hit you with some evergreen tips and image optimization. Evergreen tips to avoid having to go back and heavily edit your content. 

Avoid Dates

As far as possible, avoid dates in your url as well as your topic. If you have to do a date, use it in the second half of your header. For example, SEO Basics for Content Writing – Drive More Traffic in 2020. That’s pretty relevant, you should keep that. 

Just remember that won’t be evergreen. Ask yourself, is it worth the effort to add a date. Because a year down the line, this content piece will have to be revised for freshness or contemporary reading. 

Image Optimization

Your image optimization is very important. Don’t forget this last stuff before you upload your featured image. The image that you are going to represent your blog with, be sure to rename it with the focus keyword. 

So the focus keyword needs to be in your alt tag. It’s always extra good to rename it even before you upload it because that not only adds the alt tag but it gives your image, the file name of the focus keyword. 

If you are using WordPress, use a plugin called Smush (image below). 

Smush Plugin for WordPress

This plugin quietly compresses your images in the background. Make sure your blog images are not larger than a 100 KB. Because heavier images slow down your website and increase load time. 

Table of Contents Plus

If you’re using WordPress, download this plugin right away. As it will help you organize your long-form, 2000-word blogs in a beautiful table of contents. Refer to the image below.

Table of Contents Plus Plugin

It is important from an SEO point of view that your content is easily scannable. So, a first time visitor to your blog can quickly scan a long article to deduce what he is diving into. That saves readers a lot of time in deciding whether an article is exactly what they are looking for.

Plus the table of contents makes the post look beautifully organized and arranged in numbered points. For example, a reader wants to go straight to the last section. He can easily click on the link and go to the desired section of the article.

Table of Contents

These were my tips on “SEO Basics for Content Writing”. The 12 points will certainly drive more organic traffic to your website. If you’ve questions about any of these points, feel free to comment below, and I will get back to you.

 Check out our popular post on improving Google ranking for your website.