In this article, you will be introduced to SEO content writing. Once you know what type of written content to create (B2B or B2C) and where to share it, you must now help your buyers find it. Your next step, and today’s lesson, is to make sure your written content can be found in search engines. More specifically, in Google search results.
Search engines are the gatekeepers to all of your written content. Their complex algorithms select which content will be most helpful and relevant to their users.
So how can you help your buyer while at the same time ranking on the first page of Google? This is a question we hear often from our clients creating written content. Let’s dive in.
At the end of this lesson, you will:
Understand how to create SEO written content
Realize SEO is not more important than being helpful
See the 4-step process of creating search engine optimized written content
What is SEO content writing?
SEO content writing is the process of creating written content and optimizing it to appear in search results. The better the optimization, the more likely your written content is to appear in front of your buyer when she is searching on Google.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Optimization is the key word here because search engines require that you optimize your webpage. This is because Google wants to ensure their users find the answers they came to find.
To do so, Google and other popular search engines have created processes that allow them to understand the solutions being presented on webpages. Without adhering to these processes, you make it difficult for Google’s algorithm to do its job and understand your written content.
Think of Google as the post office. Just as improper packaging and labeling results in an undeliverable package, failing to provide Google with proper “labeling” and “packaging” also results in undeliverable content.
So be conscious that you must present what you write in a Google-friendly way. But don’t lose sight of the most important element of content writing: the buyer.
Your buyer and their problems come before search engine algorithms and their processes. Be helpful in your content and avoid losing your humanity for the almighty Google.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Ranking on the first page of Google is determined by a number of factors. There is no exact formula to follow, and this is what makes the practice of search engine optimization a bit of a mystery and an art form.
There are many “indicators” Google considers when ranking your page, such as page load speed and mobile optimization. For the purposes of this lesson, there are three key indicators you will need to understand. These three indicators are:
Page titles and headings
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are the links to your written content from other websites.
For example, you create a piece of written content about the “effects late nights have on work productivity”. Since this is a great piece of content, other websites link to it in their own content.
A productivity startup may mention you in their blog post. If they provide a link to your website within their article, you earn a backlink. The more high quality backlinks your written content accumulates, the more likely Google is to show it to their users. Remember, quality over quantity applies here.
Page titles and headings improve SEO
Page titles and headings make it easier for Google to understand your content.
The more specific your page title, the more likely your buyers are to see your written content in search results and say “that’s exactly what I’m looking for” and click to read it.
Remember that most of your buyers will skim before reading. When they spot something that specifically addresses their question or problem, only then will they will stop and read. In the eyes of Google, this is engagement with your content.
The more engagement your written content accumulates, the more likely Google is to show it to their users.
Word count impacts your SEO
There is an enormous amount of written content created and published every minute of every day. Inevitably, people searching for answers want cohesive, comprehensive answers to their questions to avoid sifting through this large amount of content.
The result is that Google prefers longer and more comprehensive pieces of written content. The reason? Because it saves their users time. It spares them from searching around for answers. This is a good user experience.
So don’t fear creating longer articles. The longer the article, the more likely Google is to consider it worthwhile to show to their users.
With these three key indicators in mind, let’s examine the process of creating content with the intention of ranking it in Google’s top search results.
4 Step SEO Content Writing Process
1. Identify which questions/problems buyers want answers to.
To find what people find relevant around your area of expertise, do a Google search to better understand what questions your buyer is asking.
On the first page of the search results, you’ll see articles and blogs. These articles rank well because users have told Google (via clicks) “this has the answers I’m looking for. Thanks Google!”
This gives you a starting point and brings you to an important question: can I improve on the answers already provided, can I provide a fresh perspective, or should I look for a different problem to solve?
2. Find keywords for SEO content writing
Once you have a good idea of what questions to answer, you will now create a list of keywords for the chosen topic. These keywords help Google and your buyer quickly understand what problem your content is addressing.
There are many keyword research tools available. Google’s own Keyword Planner tool (available through your Adwords account) is a great starting point. It can help you better understand what your buyers are typing into the search bar to answer their questions.
3. Structure your written content for skimming
Make the headings in your content easy to follow to help your buyer. Like road signs, headings guide your reader to move along and stop only when they’ve found the answer to their problem. Remember, few are going to read every word of your written content.
Headings also help Google understand the contents of your written content. A best practice here is to include your target keywords in your headings. Click here to read a more comprehensive guide on structuring your written content headings.
4. Be helpful and informative
Making sure your written content is found in Google’s search results goes beyond SEO tactics and keyword research. Your content efforts must come from a whole-hearted desire to help your buyer solve a problem.
If it does not, and you’re concerned about building your email list, or monetizing your content, you will struggle to consistently produce relevant content. Eventually, someone who put their buyers ahead of their own needs will come along and begin writing better content.
So, when you finally start writing your content, don’t lose yourself in the SEO game. Instead, be unapologetically helpful. Don’t sell your soul to the Almighty Google (please excuse our dramatics).
TL ; DR Summary
Once you know what type of written content to create (B2B vs B2C) and in what medium to share it, you must ensure search engines can find it and deliver it to your buyer.
SEO content writing is the process of creating written content so it appears in your buyer’s search results at the time they are searching for answers to problems.
Three key indicators matter to Google when ranking your content. These are backlinks, page titles / headings, and word count.
When deciding what content to write, do a Google search to understand what questions your buyer is asking. Before beginning to write, prepare a list of search terms and keywords you will include within your written content.
Structure your written content for skimming. Remember, few are going to read every word of your written content. Help them by using headings.