7 Tips to Write Killer SEO Content for Humans and Search Engines
Search engines are a lot like Regina George and her girlfriends from Mean Girls. If you don’t meet their standards, they’ll look you up and down, say “You can’t sit us with us!”, and snicker as you make your way to the last few pages of Google’s search results. So if you want to be a part of the clique, you can’t afford to ignore the concept of search engine optimization (SEO) when writing content for your website, blog, or even social profiles.
A lot of businesses assume that SEO content is nothing more than spam-ridden junk to trick search engines to rank for specific keywords. While it rings true in certain cases, SEO content can be informative, engaging, and highly rewarding when done well.
In this article, we're going to give you seven tips to write great content for your brand that is both human-friendly and SEO-friendly.
Write for humans, not search engines
This is the most important rule of all when it comes to SEO content. If you’re writing with only search engines in mind, your readers will be put off by the keyword-filled content you create and Google will likely penalize your website for focusing solely on ranking high in search results. When you write content for your audiences, however, you will not only build a positive relationship with them, but your content will also gain organic traction over time.
Do keyword research
The first step in creating any kind of effective SEO content is doing keyword research. This means finding the right keywords to include so that users with relevant search intent can easily find your content. You want to make sure you’re targeting keywords that have a high search volume and low competition. When you’ve found those keywords, you can start typing away to produce content that will pique search engines’ interest.
Incorporate keywords naturally
Once you’ve selected your target keywords, it’s important to incorporate them into your content as naturally as possible. Don’t force them in where they don’t belong or you will likely lose your readers’ interest. Instead, write content that flows well and is easy to read. That way, your content will be optimized for search engines while being satisfying for your readers to consume.
Follow SEO best practices
Beyond writing content that your audiences will want to read, you also need to make sure that your content is search engine-friendly. This means using meta titles and descriptions that are optimized for your content at the same time as including keywords. Other best practices include optimizing images, linking internally, avoiding duplicate content, and building backlinks through guest blogging.
Write easy-to-read and scannable content
Search engines are still very much at the mercy of content that is easy to read. This means using long-form content with plenty of subheadings, bullet points, lists, and paragraphs. If your content can train a person's eyes to scan down the page without requiring them to take their eyes off the screen, then you've got killer content in your hands.
Don’t use automated content generation tools
Some businesses have the urge to purchase content generation tools in order to produce the most SEO content possible. While they may improve the content quantity, they don’t necessarily maintain, let alone improve, content quality. The type of content such tools generate is often nothing more than mediocre fillers which may not be relevant to your audiences and therefore, could damage your business’s online reputation.
Don’t try to game the system
There are certain black hat SEO practices that most search engines dislike. Tactics such as keyword stuffing, content spinning, and link schemes can get you penalized by Google and other search engines. These penalties can be difficult (if not impossible) to recover from, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Instead of using these spammy techniques, focus on writing quality content that is both informative and engaging and slot in keywords strategically when you’re done.
Humans and search engines: now that’s a combination we can all appreciate! Now that you know how to create content that is both human-friendly and SEO-friendly, it’s time for you to take your content writing game to the next level.