SEO writing is fundamental to building a website’s ranking with the various search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. In general, writing for SEO is a complex and iterative process. By publishing relevant content, consistently over time, you build your business’ online visibility. If you’re new to SEO writing or just want to be more effective, we’ve created a SEO Template to make it easy and get better SEO results from blog articles or website content.
1. Focus Keyword.
The term “keyword” is a bit of a misnomer. It can be one word, but more likely its a topic, phrase, “search query” or question asked on a search engine page. For example, the spectrum group talks a lot about SEO, so a keyword we use is “what is SEO.” Think about how your target audience searches. What services do you provide? Or, what types of problems do you typically solve? That will provide a basis for your primary (your top ten) and secondary keywords.
Often our clients initially use industry jargon as keywords. That may be appropriate for a technical or business-to-business (B2B) audience, but most likely they aren’t immediately meaningful to potential buyers. A useful (and free) tool is Google Adwords; it reports the number of searches (globally and locally) for a keyword, its corresponding competition, as well as ideas and suggestions (the site’s best feature in my opinion).
By focusing on one keyword, the content you generate will naturally grow around it. Your SEO writing is for the bots, but more importantly, you are writing for humans. So keywords and relevant content must be closely linked.
2. Title Tag
Also called the SEO Title in the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin (one of our favorites), the title tag is not the title readers will see at the top of the post or page. Rather, it’s the title that appears in the blue on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This is the first information the human searcher will see about your site. It needs to contain the chosen keyword in the beginning and it needs to entice the reader to click it. You’re limited to 70 characters, so be clear and concise. Lastly, whenever possible, your company name should also appear.
3. Meta Description
Located in the same spot as the Title Tag, the Meta Description is expressly for human consumption. It is a 160-character mini-billboard that contains a description of your content that (hopefully) closely matches the search phrase or query. Action verbs along with relevant and timely information tempts a visitor to check out your site.
Probably one of the most important elements for search engine bots is the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Very few people actually type it in anymore. In many CMS (Content Management Systems) you have the ability to modify it. If you decide you’re ready to tackle this advanced feature, the only requirements are:
- it’s relevant to the title, content and keyword and
- the keyword must be present. If you do change the url of an existing page, be sure you create a redirect for that page as well.
5. H1 (Header) Title
Seen by humans and machines, the H1 Title is the first thing readers will see when they land on the page as it appears at the top of every article. Again, relevancy to your content is critical. Your keyword should appear at the very beginning of the H1 Title.
6. First Paragraph
By now you’ve written the keyword enough times so it’s very clear how it relates to the actual content. Ideally the first paragraph is around 125 words with at least one keyword link, preferably in the first couple of sentences. As you build content, you should also be linking to an associated top level page in your website as well as to other blog posts.
How can we help?
Need help in strategically updating your web content for SEO? Don’t have the time or bandwidth to generate consistent blog posts?
We are the spectrum group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss how to leverage customer testimonials.
photo credit body: Mark Hunter
photo credit body: D Sharon Pruitt