Content Writing Basics for SEO – The 5 “Dos”
Understanding how your content carries serious weight for your SEO is a great way to ensure you’ve got solid foundations for an optimized website. In this blog, we’ll be reviewing 5 SEO Content writing “dos”, as well as, 5 Content writing “don’ts” for creating great web copy.
Writing content that is accessible, scannable by Google bots, and valuable to the site user takes a bit of nuance. Having key points to follow while writing or reviewing content will help keep your website relevant and ranking.
The 5 “Dos” for Content Writing to Boost Your SEO
Below you will find a 5-step checklist of what to do when writing content for your website. These will help to ensure Google is indexing yours correctly, and for the right audience.
1.) Write Original Content Of Your Own
When a search engine sees your content is on other websites, it will not find your content necessary to index or rank highly. When describing your services, don’t copy/paste from an article or dictionary, be sure to write them in your own words.
There are still SEO companies producing “mass content” for websites that, at one point, were still working to get folks ranked. “Mass content” is essentially content that is written for a single industry that can be plugged into many websites at once. For example, there are hundreds of dentistry, plumbing, and construction company websites out that all have the same exact service descriptions. They likely share the same homepage content and just swap out their name and location. While this was previously a good way to save money and still get ranked with decent keywords, it now hurts your SEO. This is what we mean by a search engine not finding the content relevant to index. Again, it will be seen as available information on other websites. Search engines like Google like to keep things fresh, so your content needs to be.
2.) Identify Your Company Consistently and Naturally.
Every page should have a brief introductory paragraph that uses your company name. If you’re focusing on local SEO integrate your location into the content, as well.
It may feel redundant, but to search engines, it helps ensure every page of your business’s website is indexed correctly. Equally, the user may not land on your homepage first depending on what they searched. For this reason, it’s good to reinforce they’ve gotten to the right place no matter what page they hit first.
3.) Write User-Friendly Content
Be sure you’re writing to the clients you want. If you offer niche services that a very specific target audience would only seek, use a voice they will find approachable. Do your demographic research and look at how they communicate and interact online. If your services are offered to a broad audience, be approachable and easy to understand for anyone who finds your site.
For example, your language and tone will be very different for a demographic of new retirees than young professionals. There’s no guessing in this game though, so be sure to do your demographic research and really find that voice. Equally important are your page names and what we refer to as “call to actions”.
Call to actions are ways to encourage potential customers to reach out, ie: “Contact us for a free estimate”. These should be worded clearly, and never in all caps or with exclamation points. Essentially, avoid anything that makes it feel like someone is yelling at the user. Phrasing such as “Contact our team to book a free consultation, today” is good. Whereas, “Contact us NOW for a FREE Estimate!!!!!” can be flagged as “spammy” by a search engine such as Google.
Page names should be clear and obvious, not coy or silly. Unless you are on the Coca-cola level of brand recognition, using campy or silly names for pages is not a good idea. Statistics show that most folks (and all bots) won’t take time to read unclear content, they’ll move on. If there is a blog page, name it as something obvious such as “blog” “news” or “articles”.
4.) Use keywords Research
Do keyword research to ensure your content has the right words and phrases for search engines to find your website. This will aid in getting the kind of clients your business is seeking on your site. There are a number of ways to do keyword research.
One way is by using Google Trends, which is a free tool that evaluates which keywords are performing best with your content. If you need to narrow it down to more specific areas, and/or cities, you can do that with Google Trends! Below are examples of how to use Google trends for nationwide keyword research and local business research.
You can also use WordStream’s free keyword research tool, linked here. This shows how different keywords rank amongst both Google and Bing, as well as showing the dollar value of a keyword.
After finishing your keyword research, plug them into phrases that you’re using for headers, title tags, call to action, and content. If the results bring up a lot of websites and services that do not pertain to what you do, rethink the keywords. If you bring up results for your top competitors, you’re on the right track.
5.) Optimize Headers Content
When you’re doing keyword research, it’s good to really think about what will be best for your headers. These are the first things that search engine bots will scan on the first pass over your website. They influence where you stand, so they have a great impact on your SEO. Equally, the impact of each header is congruent with the which header you are using. Headers should be used in numerical order down the page and not for styling. For example, Header 1 should be the only Header 1 and will always be the first header of the page. Header 2 will follow, Header 3 after that, etc. You can have multiple sections that have Headers 2, 3, 4, just not Header 1 again. Remember, always keeping the headers in numerical order.
Equally, headers need to be relevant to the page content and contain complete thoughts. They are designed to provide both humans and bots with an idea of what information they can receive on the page. Below are two examples of headers, one that isn’t following best practices and one that is.
Using Best Practices:
Homepage, Header 1: NAME OF COMPANY Residential Construction Company
Homepage, Header 2: New Home Building & Renovations in CITY, STATE
Homepage, Header 3: About Our Master Carpenters
Not Using Best Practices:
Homepage, Header 1: NAME OF COMPANY
Homepage, Header 2: Services
Homepage, Header 3: Who We Are
Write Great Content, Get Great SEO Results
It’s easy to overlook the weight that content carries for establishing solid SEO, but you’ll likely find yourself remiss in doing so. Not only does your content support great SEO because of how it communicates to the bots, it helps your customers. The more your customers can find you and find what they need from you quickly, the better. If the potential customer finds your website, it’s important they don’t bounce off quickly as a high bounce rate hurts SEO.
Overall, it’s worth the time and effort to establish solid content on your website right out of the box. It’s equally as important when it’s time to do an overhaul of your website. Either way, you got this!