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  • Writer's pictureKathy Wilson

Tips for Writing for Readers, Not Just SEO

One in four business owners admits having no knowledge (or only a vague idea) of what search engine optimization (SEO) actually is, so don’t feel bad if you’re uncertain about it. While keywords are important in any SEO undertaking, it’s always most important to write for your human reader. A search engine may direct users to your site, but engaging and informative content keeps them there. With the following tips and a bit of practice, you can place your business atop the search results in the segments you target.

What is SEO Content?

SEO is simply the practice of ensuring search engines like Google® can locate and identify what you’ve posted. SEO content is anything you write for the purpose of positioning yourself at or near the top of search engine results and maximizing user contact through those results. If you post something on the web with a goal of generating search engine traffic, you have SEO content. Your content may take any form. Take note, however, that most of the information in videos and infographics is embedded, making it unreadable to search engines. Carefully optimize the rest of your post to ensure the necessary information is available to search engines.

Do Your Homework

Let’s say you own a bakery. You have an excellent gluten-free cheesecake and you want to make internet users aware of it. The first step is to conduct your own search as if you were the customer you’re trying to reach. Which search words gave you the desired results? Is a particular item trending? Let these results inform your keyword choices.

Engaging Keywords

Once you’ve identified your keywords, use them strategically. Remember, though, that this does not mean simply repeating keywords ad nauseum. Rather, place them strategically. For example, you could use your primary keyword in the title of the piece you’re writing. You absolutely want to include it in your first 100 words. For a blogpost of 500-800 words, having three to five keywords is ideal. Search engine algorithms recognize “lawyer” and “attorney” as the same thing, as with “cheesecake” and “cheese cake.”Don’t let yourself become entangled in minutiae.

Organize Your Page

Organizing your content logically not only assists search engines, it helps users find related resources or information quickly and easily. This extends the time users spend on your site and provides a more positive user experience. The more positive the user experience, the more likely that user is to return to your site in the future.

Post, Share, and Tweet

Once your content is available on the internet, increase its visibility by sharing it on social media. You can include links (internal and external) and images to attract even more consumer engagement. Making your content shareable and including various backlinks to it notifies search engines that your content is valuable. This makes it more likely your content will rank higher and appear more frequently in search results.

Keep People First

It’s important to understand that emphasizing your SEO efforts is both wise and worthwhile, but probably won’t show results overnight. The single most important factor is that humans find your content logical and interesting. Keep your prospective customer foremost in your mind and success will follow. Ironically, if you write solely for search engine algorithms, you’re more likely to fail. Users will find your content dull and unhelpful, undermining any early gains search engines may have provided. Always keep the user experience your highest priority and the metrics (traffic, shares) will increase.

Keys to Success

Attend to details to improve the user experience. Ensure your site speed, tags, and rankings are in order. (This should be your first order of business.) Write only as much as necessary to convey your ideas clearly, but remain concise. Writing filler wastes time (yours and the user’s) and decreases efficiency. Write with a particular message. Just as every post should be concise, every post should have a specific purpose. People will better engage if they know that, when you do post, you have something valuable or interesting to share. Boring posts shorten engagement and result in a negative user experience. Remember to use headings strategically. They break up long posts and make them appear more user-friendly. Such posts appear easier to read and your headings help your SEO efforts.

Plan and Revise

Your first steps are to identify your primary goal in SEO marketing and your ideal consumer. With this information, you can plan and implement your SEO strategy, modifying and adjusting as you see what works best within your target. Establish a content calendar to help you keep posts fresh and topical. These also help prevent deadlines from surprising people. Rushed copy is seldom quality copy. You might want to include recurring features as well. Regularly evaluate your successes so you can repeat those strategies. You’ll also want to revisit older content. Is your post on electromagnetic waves getting more hits from people who searched for solar radiation? Revise your keywords accordingly.

Post and Dominate

Unleash the power of the internet to help your business thrive! With a little research and planning, you can have search engines pointing customers to your business. It’s an investment in your future success. The Profit Link specializes in helping small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area attain their business goals. SEO strategy is a part of that. Contact us to build strategies to deliver your unique message.

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