For those who are good at writing, the SEO community has created a huge career opportunity. The SEO industry has evolved tremendously and the demand for good content writers couldn’t be greater.
From writing blog posts, page copy, and meta descriptions, there are many opportunities to tap into the SEO content writing profession. Having the ability to dissect data and research, and come up with great ideas, can help leapfrog your career forward.
In this post, we discuss several tips and practices to help you level up as a full-time, part-time, or freelance SEO content writer. Keep in mind, SEO copywriting has become a lot less about using keywords and more about engaging users. Below we pull insights from How to Write for SEO and advance your skills and understanding of SEO copywriting.
- Read Before You Write
As with any SEO content writing project, seldomly does it begin by opening a word doc and jumping right into the writing process. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it, and a substantial of the process is reading before you write.
As with most aspects of SEO, there’s a high level of research to find information, data, and insights to help instruct the content brief you’re writing from. Finding and reading supportive content can help fuel ideas to bring your content to life.
Absorb what’s out there so you can position your piece accordingly. Get a lay of the search land and size up your competitors. You can’t put out mediocre work and expect to see substantial and sustainable SEO gains.
- Keyword Inclusion Best Practices
Unlike SEO from decades ago, today it’s more about where keywords are positioned versus how often they’re mentioned.
Here are a few SEO copywriting tips about keyword inclusion:
● Use keyword data more for planning than writing copy. Search data is a powerful tool to build a content brief and an outline. The “SEO” in “SEO Copywriting” is more about the framework and structure than it is the creative process.
● According to the experts at Outreach Monks, target keyword inclusion is of paramount importance when writing page titles and meta descriptions. As an SEO copywriter, practice writing creative, engaging, and keyword-friendly titles and descriptions.
● If you have a very precise key phrase that you’re targeting, try to use it in the first paragraph or two, and again naturally throughout the page. Prioritize readability and engage users.
● Apply the concept of keyword proximity. Again, you don’t need to be using the exact match form of the target keyword more than a couple of times, especially long-tails. And related to this is next point…
- Learn to Write Title Tags for SEO
As mentioned above, keyword inclusion in the page title tag is an important SEO priority. But like any form of SEO copywriting, it helps to be unique and attention-grabbing. There’s no big secret behind how to write title tags for SEO. Some tips and best practices are:
● Include your target keyword early, ideally at the beginning of the title tag.
● Keep it simple. Page titles should be succinct and to the point. Emphasize clarity and onciseness, and avoid wordiness.
● If it fits, perhaps include aspects of secondary keyword targets and variations where appropriate.
● Avoid lengthy page titles over 65 or so characters. Some say 63 characters. Others say 70 max. Just use your best judgment and don’t sweat it.
The process of how to write meta descriptions for SEO is a natural extension of your page title tags.
- Learn How to Write Meta Descriptions for SEO
Writing meta descriptions for SEO requires a bit more creativity and finesse. Although Google shows different iterations of meta descriptions in the search results, depending on the user’s query.
Here’s are a few tips on how to write meta descriptions for SEO:
● Like page title tags, include your target keyword early in the meta description (ideally within the first 60-70 characters).
● Empathize with target search users and highlight the value, benefits, and what’s in it for them.
● Try to keep meta descriptions under 155 characters in length. Your SEO won’t fail if it’s 160. But it might get cut-off in the SERPs.
● Use verbs/action words when possible, like “Learn, Discover, Explore, Find, Read, and Check out.”
● Write meta descriptions using punchy, clear sentences and avoid complex, hard-to-read sentence structure.
- Master the Art of Writing ALT Text for Images
Next to titles and descriptions, there are also simple tips on how to write ALT text for images for SEO.
The “ALT” tag is meant to be “Alternative” text to describe what the image is about. So naturally, it should be descriptive and true to the image/photo/graphic.
In addition to image file naming, it also helps to include target keywords in the ALT tag. This can slightly improve on-page SEO as well as increase the likelihood of the image appearing showing up in Search.
By today’s standards, great SEO content writing is more about producing content so engaging and compelling that people will want to share it and link to it. Easier said than done, right?
Becoming a great SEO content writer is focused on creativity over keyword inclusion.
Focusing on serving users while also balancing SEO elements appropriately.