Writing for SEO

Most of us want our online content to be found, and the most common gateway between you and your readers is a search engine. To get search engines to find and connect people to your content, you need to write with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind.

Start with Keyword Research

Writing for SEO starts with keyword research. If your content is not optimized to rank for search terms that people actually use, it may live in obscurity. Take time to think about the terms you want to be found for and do research to confirm how people are searching for that type of content. Using the same vocabulary as your target audience is critical to SEO success.

Understand Intent

As you determine the right keywords, you need to be sure that when people are using the words and phrases you find, they are actually looking for what you offer. This is referred to as search intent.

You want to optimize with the words and phrases used by searchers who are looking for what you offer. Tricking people to get to you will not lead to success. If you don’t meet the searchers needs they will move on.

As you’re doing keyword research, analyze the search engine result pages (SERP) for the keywords so you have an idea of the intent behind the keyphrases you’re targeting.

Don’t Get too Creative

Search engines are not your high school English teacher. They are not wowed by your creative vocabulary. They don’t give extra credit for finding new ways to say things. Instead, they get confused.

Search engines do understand that some words can have the same or similar meanings. Use that to your advantage! Don’t stuff your text with contrived occurrences of your exact focus keyphrase. Instead, make sure you use synonyms of your keyphrase.

Write from the User Perspective

When you write, put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Speak to their interests and questions. In short, write about the things they care about.

Readers don’t care about your internal structures, product jargon and preferred way of looking at things. They want to know what problem of theirs you will solve or what they will get out of reading your content.

Make your content about your user, not yourself!

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