One of the best ways to get organic traffic is by creating SEO-friendly content. If you want to drive free organic traffic to your website then this post is for you.
Many bloggers are scared of SEO. I get it, they think it is complex. When I started blogging, I used to believe that SEO is only for bloggers who are blogging for years.
But I realized that I was wrong. That’s when I started learning and implementing SEO strategies.
I am, by no means, an expert on SEO marketing. I have learned a bit about SEO (as it would take years for anyone to become an expert in SEO) and how to write SEO-friendly content.
I applied it to my (as well as a few clients’) posts. Therefore, I thought to share all of it with you.
By the way, if you struggle to understand the basics of search engine optimization for Google, check this free training by Mike Pearson who has his Google SEO figured out and making over $10,000/mo with each of the two niche blogs he runs.
This post is all about SEO and how you can use it for driving traffic from Google. It is everything I know about writing SEO-friendly content.
So, here goes.
I want to start with two misconceptions most beginners make.
2 Misconceptions About SEO Beginners Make
Here’s what you need to avoid thinking about SEO. This is what it is not.
1- SEO Is Difficult.
It is not. Most bloggers think it is difficult and try to avoid it. Yes, there’s a technical side to SEO but it is for those who have been practising it for years.
The tips I’ve shared below are beginner-friendly and don’t require any technical knowledge.
2- SEO Won’t Bring Results.
Some bloggers implement something they learned somewhere and expect results. And they don’t see any results. Unfortunately, this is not how SEO works.
You have to be consistent with writing SEO-friendly articles and give it some time. You will see results.
SEO may take time but it gets results.
So now when you know what SEO is not, let’s learn what it is and how to make an article SEO-friendly.
What Is SEO Friendly Content?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a process of optimizing a website to make it appear on search results more often.
Okay, this is SEO but why is content important for SEO? What does SEO-friendly mean for content?
Look at it this way.
A website is made up of content. That pretty much sums up why content is important.
Therefore, optimizing a website for SEO involves optimizing its content.
An SEO-friendly content is written using keywords and following other SEO practices to get more visibility on search results.
However, as I have already told you above, there’s technical SEO but today this article is focused on how to write SEO-friendly articles.
Now when you know what is an SEO friendly article let’s learn how to write it.
How To Write SEO Friendly Articles For Beginners?
You can follow these steps as a process to write SEO-friendly content for your website.
1- Understand The Search Query Intent.
The first step in SEO is learning to understand the search query intent.
A search query intent is the user’s why and what behind the query.
Why did he search for that term? What type of information he wants?
In general, there are 3 types of search intent.
- Informational – It is used when learning about something.
For eg – HP Laptop. The user is looking to learn more about HP laptops.
- Navigational – It is used to find a better location.
For eg – The best Apple laptops with discounts. The user wants to navigate to websites that are offering discounts on Apple laptops.
- Transactional – It is used when a purchase is to be made.
For eg – buy MacBook Pro. The user is looking for a site to buy a MacBook Pro.
These intents are used by the users who are looking for something. Google is smart and can determine the intent pretty well.
Most bloggers use the wrong keywords and wonder why they are not ranking.
For example, if you use informational keywords and want to rank for transactional queries then you won’t rank.
If you want to sell web hosting then targeting “what is web hosting” won’t rank you.
So how do you determine the user intent behind the query?
To understand the query intent you should use the free Google search bar.
Type the keyword you want to rank for and hit enter. Now analyse the results that come up.
Are these landing pages? Or informational posts? Tutorial? List-post?
Do this for a lot of keywords and you will be able to determine the user intent behind every keyword.
2- Find The Right Keywords
After you have understood the search query and user intent it is time to find out the right keywords.
The right keywords are those terms for which your website could rank.
If it is a new website then it won’t rank for a highly competitive keyword term like “SEO” as it is already saturated by established websites.
Therefore, you should not waste your time and energy on these keywords.
Instead, find the right, low competitive, long-tail keywords with a good search volume.
These are 3-4 word long similar keywords but with less competition.
For an overly saturated (short tail keyword) term like “SEO”, a potentially better long-tail keyword with higher chances of ranking is “what is SEO?”
It would be a perfect choice if you want to rank for an informational keyword.
This will help you find your target keyword.
3- Use Keyword Phrases (LSI Keywords)
After the Google Rankbrain update, it was easier for algorithms to relate similar terms.
For example, for Google, the term “blog post” is the same as an article or content. Such keywords are called LSI.
When you use these terms in your content, not only it makes it more reader-friendly but also helps algorithms categorize your post better.
You can use the free tool LSIGraph to find LSI keywords.
Add these keywords to your list.
4- Create An Outline For Your Blog Post
After you have made a list of keywords it is time to create an SEO-friendly content structure.
Go through each blog post that is on the first page and create a common outline of your post.
You must also include a few extra points to make your article unique and interesting.
I explain how to structure a blog post in this post.
TIP – Use the “people also ask” section to add FAQ sections to your posts.
5- Give It A Unique Title.
This step is crucial.
A good headline can get you all of the clicks while a bad headline can drastically decrease your position.
When no one clicks on it, Google will notice that the users are clicking on the other posts therefore they deserve a higher position.
And your rankings can be decreased.
Therefore your heading must be able to convince your reader to click on it.
Don’t make them clickbaity. Don’t promise anything that your content can’t provide.
I use this formula to write headings for my posts.
“Adjective” + “keyword” + “promise”
For example, 17 Easy Ways To Grow Blog Traffic In 30 days.
Practice writing helpful headlines including your keyword.
6- Optimize Introduction
Google bots scan the first 100 words in a blog post. So you want to include your main keyword there.
Some other tips to write an SEO friendly introduction are:
- Ask a question.
- Tell them the problem and how you are going to solve it.
- Keep it short.
- Keep it interesting.
You can do this by telling them what they would learn or by sharing a story related to the topic.
If your introduction is interesting it will make your readers want to stay.
7- Optimize Headings With Keywords.
Google bots also skim through headings and subheadings therefore adding keywords to them is a great way to boost SEO.
A thing to keep in mind is that keeping them human-sounding. Don’t stuff keywords.
TIP – Use an LSI keyword with similar intent to write an SEO friendly URL. Shorter URLs are generally preferred.
8- Add Attractive Images.
No one likes reading a boring black and white page filled with text. You won’t keep them longer this way.
You need to beautify your content with images, GIFs, Videos and more.
Interestingly, you can use these images to boost SEO.
You can add keywords to the alt and title tags of these images. This way you boost your chances of ranking on image search.
However, you wouldn’t want to write keywords only. You can get penalized for stuffing keywords.
Alt tags are for physically challenged people.
These are used to tell them what the image is about. Therefore, try to tell them what is in the picture including the keyword in two or three lines.
9- Add High-Quality Internal And External Links.
The article you are going to publish is new and it hasn’t been online for any days.
So, to pass the link juice and give it some boost you need to add high-quality links.
You can add internal as well as external links. For external links, try to find links with higher DA (domain authority) than yours.
To find out the DA of a website, use this free tool by Moz.
Add internal links that are relevant to the content.
10- Write For Readers.
After learning all these things it is easy to create robotic content.
But you should always avoid it and focus on writing for your readers.
Some of the things to consider when writing reader-friendly content are
- Don’t stuff keywords.
- Keep your sentence short.
- Write in basic language. Don’t use overly stylish words.
- Keep your paragraphs short.
- Use subheadings.
If you use WordPress consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or Rank Math. These plugins are very helpful.
PRO TIP – Use LSI keywords to avoid using the same keyword again. This will help you make your copy natural.
11- Off-Page SEO Practices.
Of 200 and more ranking factors, backlinks come in the top three positions.
A backlink is a link from another website to your website.
Google rewards blogs with more backlinks because a backlink works as a vote that this content is worthy.
Therefore you should focus on gaining backlinks to the content you write. But how do you do it?
Enter guest blogging.
Guest blogging is when you write a blog post for another blogger who is in the same niche as yours.
You write content for the blogger and get a backlink in return. It’s a win-win.
12- Write Long Articles.
Long-form articles perform better on search engines.
It is because these are more detailed and comprehensive. While short articles are considered thin content and are not very informative.
Keeping your articles longer than 1500 words is good. It can be short but make sure that you explain everything.
A good way to make sure that your content is detailed is before closing a topic ask yourself if you included everything you know about it? Is there anything else your readers should know about?
Reading your content a couple of times also helps.
13- Update Old Content.
Updating old content is one of the best SEO tips you can learn.
As a content creator, it is easy to get into the cycle of constant content creation. But after you have been blogging for a while you will realise that the blog posts you had written when you started are not optimized for SEO.
Also, they may contain some useless information. Therefore, it is better if you update them.
Updating old posts will not only boost your SEO but also helps in improving DA.
How to make your old content SEO friendly?
It is simple. Do quick keyword research and add those keywords to the older version.
You would also want to
- Remove old information.
- Add new information.
- Add new images.
- Update meta descriptions.
So this is how to create SEO friendly content that ranks on Google.
I hope you have some tips and tricks on writing SEO friendly articles.
Learning SEO is one of the best investments you can make if you are serious about growing your blog.
It takes time but all you need is to get started. With these SEO tips, I hope you have something to start with.
You cannot become an SEO pro overnight. You will have to learn SEO writing.
Keep patience and keep learning SEO.
Author: Ekta Swarnkar is an SEO content writer and blogger at Tia Says. She has been writing content for two years. She started her blog to share blogging and writing tips with beginners. Take her free blogging resources here.