SEO blogs and articles are a really, really important part of our online PR services and social media management.
At The Content Factory, we write around 40 SEO blogs and articles per week for our clients — not including landing pages — and each one helps drive traffic to their websites. Regularly posting fresh content on your site is one of the easiest ways to introduce potential customers or clients to your brand.
Of course, you can’t just throw a bunch of words on a page and expect people to come running. Pro SEO article writing services know that if you build it, they will come… but only if you build it the right way.
Here are the 9 secrets of professional SEO article writers.
1. Get your keyword research on.
If you’re going to post content on your site anyway, you might as well take the time to make sure Google takes notice of your effort.
Find out which keywords and phrases people are searching for (as well as what you can be competitive in), and make yourself a keyword spreadsheet. Keep track of how many times you work the keywords into your content, and use the right tools to track where you rank for the keywords you target. SEMrush is our favorite — in fact, we love SEMrush so much, we’ve become affiliate partners with them, and when you click here you’ll get a 7 day free trial.
Don’t know where to get started? Check out our comprehensive guide to keyword research for SEO.
2. Put the keywords to work.
Once upon a time, being an SEO content writer just meant dumping keywords into your copy — but that’s not how the game is played anymore.
While it’s still a good idea to include your target keyword throughout your article, peppering your copy with forced keywords won’t really move the dial much (and often, it’ll hurt it). As is the case with any bit of SEO strategy, you’ve got to be tactical.
Include your keyword in the title, in the first 300 words, and in the first H1 or H2 (though, it should be noted that it isn’t necessary to hit both — just make sure you have it in one of them). After that, you should be trying to use variations of your keyword.
As an added note, it should never be a struggle to fit your keyword in your copy. Ideally, your keyword should feel natural in your writing — if you feel like you’re starting to write jibberish, you’ve gone too far.
Remember, the people using search engines are searching for that particular phrase because they want to know more about it/buy it, so it makes sense to give them what they’re looking for. You’ll get more clicks if you do — it’s one of the tricks of the trade for professional SEO article writers.
3. Write about something people care about.
Before you set out to do any kind of SEO writing, ask yourself this: who cares?
We’re not being facetious, here — too often, article writers just pump out content for no real reason, with no real strategy behind it. They forget that actual humans need to want to read this stuff — you’re not really writing for Google’s algorithms, you’re writing for people!
When you’re writing, you should always seek to offer some sort of value to your readers. What can you tell them that no one else can? What service can you provide that’s unique? What knowledge can you share that can’t be found anywhere else?
Nobody knows your business like you do — so use that to your SEO advantage.
If not, you can at least discuss news relating to your business. When in doubt, look at your list of SEO keywords and see what kind of list, link bait or in-depth posts you can work those keywords into. Don’t be afraid to interview some experts, either (if you quote them and feature their expertise in your post, they’ll be likely to share your content via their social channels — this way, you can leverage larger networks to increase the size of your own).
4. Know the basics of technical SEO
All the keyword optimization in the world won’t help you if your site isn’t even indexed.
First off, understanding how Google crawls pages and hands out link authority can help you build a strategy. After all, content writing isn’t just about writing a singular blog post — it’s about writing (and linking up) a bunch of them.
If you have a good understanding of how your blog is structured, you can help make everything a little bit more efficient — which means that a backlink to one of your posts will give your site the maxium benefit.
It also helps to understand how to optimize a website for more than just keywords.
Keeping your images small, ensuring that there aren’t too many popups on a particular page, or simply being able to make sure that your blog posts are indexed are all skills you should have as an SEO writer.
5. Make it long enough to count.
Sure, 100 words of fresh content is better than no new content at all — but how much value can you really deliver in a Tweet?
Search engines tend to give preference to longer blogs and articles, and for good reason. Try to shoot for at least 600 words, but if you can get to 1,000 or more, go for it.
There has been a lot of research that shows that search engines tend to favor “in-depth” content of at least 2,000 words — we’ve seen this work for ourselves and our clients, and many of TCF’s most popular blog posts are at least 1,500 words.The longer your content, the more value you’re going to give your readers, and the better chance you’ll have at lower your bounce rate. (Speaking of that…)
6. Watch your analytics.
SEO writing isn’t fire-and-forget — you shouldn’t just post your content and walk away.
In fact, you should be regularly monitoring your content using Google Analytics. According to data gathered by the folks at SEMrush, time on site, bounce rate, and pages per session are all as important (if not more important) than keyword density.
When you think about it, that’s not that surprising. If your site has a high bounce rate, that means that visitors to your site aren’t staying for long, likely because your page isn’t providing them with the information they’re looking for. If your bounce rate is high, there’s a good chance your page isn’t optimized for the appropriate keywords.
You should be warned that there are plenty of non-content related things that can cause your bounce rate to skyrocket.
Aggressive pop-ups, slow loading times, obnoxious ads or images, and any other ugly design element can push visitors away. Writing good SEO-based content isn’t just about the words on your screen — it’s also about how your visitor sees them. If they are obscured by bad design, no one is going to stick around to read them.
Optimize the optimization of your web content writing.
If you use WordPress as your blogging platform, there are lots of free online PR tools (in the form of plugins) you can take advantage of. At The Content Factory, we use Yoast and Shareaholic, along with several others. Free and easy web PR is as simple as hitting the “install now” link.
7. Edit your work.
The main difference between professional SEO article writers and regular people is an eye for self editing.
Programs like OpenOffice, Google Docs and Microsoft Word make it easy — the red and green squiggleys give most of it away. Having an eye for aesthetically pleasing formatting is also important. Stay away from super long paragraphs and sentences that go on for miles.
If you’re able, it’s always a good idea to have someone else take a look at your work before you hit publish. Even if they aren’t an SEO writer (or editor), a second set of eyes can catch a lot of easy to miss mistakes.
8. Become your own online PR agency.
Once you’ve written and posted the fresh content, the SEO work is only half complete.
The final step of all web content writing is acting as your own online PR agency — link to your content all over the place. Comment on blogs and link back to your site. Submit your content to Reddit and StumbleUpon. Social media management and web content writing go hand-in-hand, and as soon as you hit the “Publish” button on your fresh article or blog, you should tweet your heart out.
Want more PR advice? Check out our 5 DIY Internet Public Relations Tips.
9. Realize that becoming an SEO writing expert takes time.
SEO writing is a skill — and like every other skill, you aren’t going to master it overnight.
But here’s the thing — that’s totally okay. See, when you’re writing SEO content, you’re always going to want to go back and edit your content as your analytics start to give you specific insights. Even if you don’t hit gold on your first try, you can keep perfecting your piece of content until it starts to rank.
Likewise, every piece of content you write is yet another notch in your belt.
With that said, not everyone is going to have success with SEO writing.
Not everyone is an expert writer, and if you don’t have a writing background, you might struggle. Our advice is to give it the ol’ college try. Do your best, and see what you can accomplish. After a few months, if it just isn’t working out, you can find additional training, a content writing service, or a content marketing company to do it for you.