How should you write SEO content?

In a way your readers and search engines can both understand.

How do you pull it off, though?

The answer is much more straightforward than you might think.

SEO Basics

You’ve conducted Google searches so you know how they work. The top results are those that are the most relevant to what you typed.

The sites with the best SEO do the following:

1. Keyword research that tells them what people are using in search.
2. Correctly placing keywords throughout their content.
3. Create compelling blog posts that utilize keywords.
4. Anchor text that links to authoritative external sources.
5. Have authority sites in their industry linking to their website.

The authority and relevance of a website also come into play.

Google looks at the content to determine how much a particular word appears in a single piece of content; this determines relevance. Google calculates authority by looking at how many other websites have linked to yours and the trustworthiness of those links.

But make no mistake, building quality links to your site starts with the content.

Write Copy for Your Readers

You must demonstrate your authority to readers.

The purpose of the content is to entice the reader to take a specific action such as:

  • Subscribe to your mailing list,
  • Purchasing your product or service,
  • Stopping by a car dealership to take a test drive,
  • Or taking advantage of an in-store sale.

To get your reader to do any of this, you need to establish authority with your readers. That means you need to understand your target audience. Otherwise, you’re toast.

So get to know your target audience very well.

Two warnings to keep in mind:

  1. Writing content the search engines understand but ignores your readers will destroy your small business.
  2. Content that doesn’t move your prospect to take the desired action will also hurt you.

Write your copy in a way that gets your prospects to do what you want them to do is your first step to learning how to write effective SEO content.

Optimize Your Copy for the Search Engines

Once you get your copy to the point that it gets your prospects doing what you want them to do, you’ll need to optimize it do the search engines understand it too.

Use Keywords to Target Your Audience

Use tools such as the Google Keyword Planner to find the terms and phrases that your audience is searching for when looking for the product or services you offer.

Then use the keywords you find in your research to determine what kind of information they’re seeking, identify the problem that is prompting their searches, and develop topics that satisfy those queries.

How Do You Do Keyword Research?

It is well beyond the scope of this FAQ to train you on how to do keyword research correctly. However, the Ahrefs video below is straight money. So, happy researching!

Your Content Must Be Readable

The best performing content reads well.

When a prospect clicks to your website, and it’s readable, it makes them keep reading. This, in turn, pleases Google because it proves your site is relevant to the user’s query.

Experts call this the “dwell time.”

There are three levels of dwell time:

  • The user didn’t find what they expected and left lightning quick (high bounce rate).
  • The user found the content to be useful and stuck around for a few minutes.
  • The user found the content to be extremely useful and read as much as possible.

There are several things you can do to raise the dwell time of your website. Again it is beyond the scope of this FAQ to share them all with you. But the video below has everything you need in it to get started.

Don’t Just Touch the Surface with Your Content

The content that is performing the best for small businesses in 2020 is material that goes deep into their topic.

Readers want answers, so general information isn’t going to cut it.

Another reason why generic content isn’t going to do the job is that Google is much smarter today. Their algorithm has become more focused on content quality.

Write long-form blog posts of 2,000 words or more, which means you can cover topics multiple angles in them. Your prospects are searching for solutions to their problems, create content that helps them solve them.

Use Visual Elements

Something else to consider is visuals.

Relevant images that you already own work well. There are also many affordable stock images out there that make great additions to content. Please create the graphics yourself since stock images get overused.

Graphs and bar charts are also excellent additions to content.

Featured Snippets Formatting

Google offers small business owners, something called “featured snippets.”

These little blocks of information pop up on top of Google and can generate a ton of traffic to your website.

While you’re not guaranteed a snippet, you can do the following to get a shot at it:

  • Ask questions in your content and answer them.
  • Make sure the content is of the highest quality.
  • Use bullets and numbered lists like this one.
  • Use Google Scholar to find data and stats to use in your content.
  • Logically structure your content.

If your site gets a rich snippet, then your site will bump to the top of the SERPs over the number one result. Below is an excellent video by Matthew Woodward that will help you add snippets to your WordPress site.

Conclusion

Learning how to write SEO content isn’t difficult once you know how to do it.

It doesn’t have to be a complicated process whatsoever.

 Just know that content that focuses on the reader is the first step toward success.

When you recognize what your audience needs and write content based on those needs, they win, and so do you.