S-E-O are three little letters that have caused a world of stress and confusion for many small business owners over the years. For those that don’t know, SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and refers to the process of properly directing search engine traffic to your website. Search Engine Land provides detailed guides that introduce and walk you through the SEO process. What we want to talk about now are the fundamentals of great SEO content writing for 2014, especially those fundamentals that stand out from all of the others.
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How then do you start building an SEO strategy that delivers? Let’s cover the first three fundamentals:
Audience: Get to know your audience. In fact, challenge yourself to know your audience intimately. Before you even begin to brainstorm content ideas, you need to know your target audience inside and out. What are their needs? What do they want? What motivates and drives them? What issues are they seeking resolution to?
Keywords: Forget about keyword stuffing. Keyword insertion used to be a science. We had to insert keywords and phrases in a precise manner in order for search engine algorithms to properly crawl, capture and display our content.
Word counts: Focus on content, not word count. Previously, we kept our optimized copy short because we believed short, sweet and simple sold better than long, educational and informative. Well, we were wrong. People don’t want a short, simple sales pitch.
Principle Element SEO Content Writing
- The headlines to the articles you write are crucial… you have less than 10 seconds to attract the user’s attention.
- On the Web, content is king and always will be. The Internet is the super-highway for any information you seek, whether you need the address to a restaurant or a new pair of shoes.
- There are many opinions out there about the length of content that search engines like. I don’t believe that there is any magical number, but I personally believe that the ideal length would be anywhere from 400 to 1200 words.
- It is easy to begin writing off topic, drifting on to a subject that is unrelated to the message you are trying convey. “Even if your topic is worthy of a 400 page book, as a writer for the web, you need to keep it short and to the point.”
- Keywords play an important role in the search engine optimizing of your site to include keyword variations and placement. It’s unfortunate that some writers cram their articles with too many keywords.
- Whether you are writing an article to submit to one of the online directories, for your website or blog or a guest post, you will have the opportunity to add your biographical information within the Author Bio box.
- When you write content, be sure to use the appropriate tags! Using the proper header tags to structure your content will show Google and other search engines that your content is well-structured and professionally written leading to a higher ranking.
- Make sure the content that you write for your website or blog has a Meta Tag Description. Even though the Meta description tags are not important to search engine rankings, they are extremely important in gaining user click-through from the search engine result pages (SERPs).
- You must write fresh content… search engines can punish a site that writes duplicate information that already exists online. Don’t find yourself copying someone’s content then passing it off as your own just to meet a deadline.