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SEO Writing: 42 Tips for SEO Content that Ranks

le Sunday 19 November 2017 - Mise à jour Sunday 03 March 2024
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Temps de lecture : 14 minutes

My various discussions with clients have led me to write on the subject of web editorial content writing. Often, my clients wonder if writing for their website can be done by a simple copywriter, and if it's really important for their business.

⚗️ What is SEO writing?

SEO writing is a specialized form of online writing that helps online content rank as high as possible in search results (such as Google).

SEO writing contains keywords, semantic concepts that your target audience may type into a search engine's search bar to find the information they need.

SEO writing generates quality traffic.

Beware, SEO optimizations should not make the content difficult to read, repetitive, or lose its meaning and interest.

❓ Why is SEO writing different from traditional writing?

Entering keywords into Google is something we do every day. We type words into Google's search box to get answers to our questions.

Content contains keywords that are searched by internet users, and an SEO and content marketing strategy is often developed to define the types of content and targeted keywords for each type of query. The goal of SEO content writing is to produce text that will be seen AND read.

Writing for the web is much more than just inserting keywords into content: Google also wants to see authoritative content that fully answers questions and addresses the intentions of your readers.

Some copywriters still think it's possible to insert a bunch of keywords into content to achieve a high ranking (a technique also called "keyword stuffing").

Since the arrival of Google Hummingbird and Rankbrain updates, this is no longer the case.

✔️ SEO writing has a dual purpose

Google has become smarter, and things have changed. Now, your content must be high-quality content for Google to position it in the best spots.

In reality, your content must satisfy two targets: your readers and Google.

On the one hand, your readers must love it, share it. Your content must be relevant and a resource in your industry so that your readers appreciate it - something that informs, entertains, or enlightens them.

On the other hand, Google needs to see the content written and structured in a certain way to understand how the page meets an intent. Understanding these mechanisms allows your content to "compete" with other pages for the best positions.

This is where the best practices of SEO web writing come into play.

🗂 What are the tips for good SEO writing?

Many factors influence search engine ranking (a page's position in Google search results).

Below is a list of 42 tips for writing for the web, these tips are categorized by theme:

⚜️Writing Tips

1. Know your audience

Knowing who you're writing for is one of the most important writing tips there is. Your content can never really rank on search engines or sell effectively if it doesn't target a specific audience.

2. Use emotion

Good copywriters know the importance of using "power words" when creating content - they evoke emotion. Once you've struck an emotional chord, you connect with and influence the reader.

3. Use active voice

Most content authors agree that using passive voice is one of the many deadly sins of copywriting; it makes your content wordy and dilutes your message. On the other hand, active voice is direct, crisp, and energetic, making it persuasive writing.

4. Shorten paragraphs

Although blog posts and longer articles generally outperform shorter ones in terms of organic SEO, longer paragraphs scare away your readers. For best results, it's best to keep paragraphs short (2 to 4 sentences maximum).

5. Make your headlines sexy

An irresistible and well-thought-out headline will make people want to read your content. It's also what makes an exceptional first impression. Optimize it all with effective organic SEO, and BOOM... The magic happens.

6. Use subtitles

A catchy headline attracts readers, but how do you keep them on the page? Use subtitles. Subtitles (h2, h3 formatting tags, etc.) structure your content and guide readers through the text. They also perfectly guide your content for search engines.

7. Choose a good font

The right font (and font size) can make your content easier to read and visually more appealing, thus increasing engagement. That's why copywriters and bloggers pay so much attention to font choice.

8. Use bold and italic

If using bold and italic is good content optimization for SEO, it's not for nothing. By highlighting certain words and phrases to set them apart, it improves the readability and engagement of your readers. The more digestible your text, the more people will read your articles.

9. Write impactful meta descriptions

Like the title and title tag, good SEO writing is useless without attracting attention through the meta description tag. They directly affect the amount of traffic a web page receives from a given search result. And this, even if the meta-description does not directly affect your Google positioning.

10. Speak your reader's language

Do you speak like your readers? With blog writing, for example, it's best to adopt a conversational tone, using vocabulary similar to the target audience. As your readership grows, search engines will see it too.

11. Add photos for more clicks

Articles containing photos, infographics, and other visual elements display up to 94% more views: it's safe to say that excluding visuals is a colossal mistake! Using images also has some weight in terms of optimization for search engines (remember to fill in the alt attribute of the image tag).

12. Proofread

Spelling, grammar, and syntax errors kill your credibility. Ask a friend to proofread for you, or hire a copy editor.

13. Buy content

Not everyone is a copywriter. Even if you are, you may not have the time or desire to write. That's where a copywriting service can come in handy: a writing agency or a copywriter can handle SEO article writing and website copywriting for you.

14. Repeat information

This doesn't mean you have to mindlessly write a message several times in a row. Remind visitors of the main message you're trying to deliver by changing the form of your message. Online readers are volatile, and they may just skim your post. Remind them of your call to action (contact, service offer...) or other valuable information several times in your content. This will increase the conversion rate.

15. Write an introduction

Write a few lines of introduction to clarify what you're going to talk about. This saves your readers time, and they'll be more likely to continue reading.

16. Create the ultimate guide

If you have a complex topic to cover, consider creating a guide and dividing it into chapters rather than putting everything on one page. With a guide, you'll be able to cover all the details and bring your readers back for more details a second time. This guide improves indexing, generates more traffic, and ultimately leads to better positioning. You can rely on the Topic Cluster.

17. ​​Use case studies

Case studies generate much more traffic than other content. This type of detailed content is preferred because it is based on real evidence.

18. Make your content readable

It may sound silly! The easier the content is to read, the more likely your readers are to share it. Dedicate one concept per paragraph. No more, no less.

19. Don't try to please everyone

Focus on 20% (Pareto's Law) of your target audience when writing for the web. Write content that attracts the people most likely to convert into customers.

20. Don't write for the sake of writing

Longer content provides more value to readers, but only if it's of high quality. If you're writing a long article just to make it long, it won't work. Always add value. Reminder: it's also the quality that will allow your content to be shared.

Organic SEO Tips

21. Write longer content

Is longer content ranked better in search? It's certain (see the latest SEMRush study). Longer content (+ 1,500 words) also allows you to provide more added value to readers, which helps you establish your authority and expertise.

22. Ride the long tail

Organic SEO on high search volume keywords is difficult, especially if your site is new. That's where the long tail (keywords of more than 3 words) comes to your rescue. By refining your keyword strategy, you can significantly reduce your competition while increasing traffic and conversions.

23. Research intent

You should always make sure that the content and terms you use perfectly match the user's intent. When readers find your content, they want to get all the answers and detailed information without having to visit other sites or go back to Google. Tell them everything: this will positively affect your positioning.

24. Give answers

Here's another way to take advantage of the long tail: when internet users have questions, they type them into Google. When you answer these questions with insight and credibility as a content writer, your content ranks better, engages, and sells. Tip: use Google's "people also ask" box to find questions.

25. Forget absolute keyword density

Absolute keyword density is an SEO myth. While it's important to include strong terms in your content and not "over-optimize," there's no indication that search engines favor a particular density.

26. Do you speak Word Embedding?

Rather than focusing on keyword density, you should pay more attention to Word Embedding. Using keywords, synonyms, and related grammatical variants not only improves your chances of ranking in the SERPs but also prevents redundancy in your content. Test Seoquantum's semantic optimization right away.

27. The fresher, the better

Regularly updating your content is important for search engines. Google favors more recent and relevant posts because that's what internet users want. Your readers and prospects want the same thing - accurate and up-to-date information.

28. Cover trending topics

Since we're on the subject of content freshness... Covering new topics and trends in your industry is a great way to quickly reach the top of the SERPs (search results page).

29. Link it all

Linking to relevant resources and references in the body of your content can provide more value for your readers. Moreover, search engines consider websites with outbound links to trusted blogs and sites as more serious. This improves your SEO.

30. Link internally too

Internal links to other pages on your site are also important. Why? Because internal linking adds value and improves the user experience. Plus, search engines want to offer the expert on a subject to the user, so expand your content by breaking it down across multiple pages. Your internal link structure and tree also affect your site's crawl, i.e., its indexing by search engines.

31. Be unique

Plagiarism will penalize you. Not to mention that people don't want to read copied text. Be unique and original. Use anti-plagiarism tools to counter duplication.

32. Use optimized anchors

Include the right anchors for each of your links. Describe the content of the target page and avoid "learn more" or "click here" which don't add anything. In general, using anchors improves search engine ranking.

33. Get rid of irrelevant keywords

When you compile a list of keywords for your content, always refine the list and keep only the most relevant ones. This way, you'll have a better chance of generating traffic and ending up at the top of the SERPs. Reminder: SEO content = one intent = multiple keywords

34. Use SEO tools

Likewise, many free content optimization tools for search engines and online resources can help copywriters with the organic SEO of their articles. Here's a comprehensive list of the best SEO tools.

35. Use semantic SEO tools

There are tons of handy online tools to help you with your SEO writing. All it takes to find them is a quick search on Google. You can start right now with our semantic enricher.

Engagement & Promotion Tips

36. Monitor statistics

Tracking statistical elements such as page views, bounce rate, and time per visit can give you an idea of how internet users and search engines perceive your content. This can give you the information you need to refine and replicate it.

37. Use call-to-action (CTA)

What's high-performing content without a call-to-action? It's the button that will get your readers to do what you want them to do, which is usually the purpose of your content. Many action words are very useful for this.

38. Use email marketing

Promote your content through email marketing! Ask your audience to read it. Encourage them to share it. Once search engines notice increased activity, they generally reward your efforts.

39. Engage industry influencers

By citing influencers in your industry, you ensure that your content is authoritative. Some will share your message on their networks. This is a way to attract attention and get more traffic.

40. Use the sandwich for lists

When writing a list of X points, be sure to put the most important points at the top and bottom of the list. The information in the middle is rarely noticed. Engines are also fond of lists, so they should also contain keywords, which will improve your ranking.

41. Use phrases under CTAs

Put text near the buttons that visitors need to click on. The text will act as an additional persuasion element. This works well when combined with a call-to-action. These phrases are incentives, testimonials, or deadlines (like a "limited offer"). These small messages will help increase conversion, as readers will feel more encouraged to act.

42. Encourage sharing

Sharing on social networks generates more traffic, generates more backlinks, and spreads your content across the web.

To make it easy for the reader to share your content, place sharing buttons in convenient locations or use widgets. Also, consider the social media platforms your audience uses the most. Do NOT use ALL the options in your sharing widget, as you don't want to scare them away.

Now it's your turn. Did you find these web writing tips helpful? Did I miss anything? Share your experience in the comments below.

If you want to go further, I've prepared an SEO writing training course for beginners. This training aims to give you all the basic knowledge in creating strategy and writing SEO content. Discover the SEO writing training now.

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