SEO Writing: How to Write Content for People and Optimize for Google - Astute

Content marketers often face the challenge of writing high-quality content that is optimized for search engines while also appealing to people. Writing content for people, not search engines, is a best practice. To build your blog audience, you need to write content for people that solves a particular problem and appeals to the end customer. Let’s look at how to balance the two elements of SEO writing and content writing for people in order to improve your search engine results while remaining true to your audience. 

What Is SEO Writing?

SEO writing includes planning, creating, and optimizing content to rank in search engine results. Additionally, it is a way to optimize the effectiveness of your content to position yours in front of others targeting the same search terms. 

Write Content for People 

SEO is a powerful practice that increases the chances of your content ranking in search engines. However, it is essential to always keep your audience front of mind when writing content. In order for your customers to actually read your content, it has to pique their interest and address their needs. Additionally, it has to remain personable. Just SEO writing will ultimately hurt your results in the long run. 

Optimize for Search Engines 

There are various elements that will help elevate your content’s rankings. Some valuable on-page optimizations include: 

1. Headlines 

Your headline will single-handedly determine whether someone will want to read your content further, so it has to immediately grab their attention. It should not be more than seventy-two characters for the whole title to be visible in search engine results.  Headlines with numbers, specifically odd ones, are highly attractive to readers. Additionally, it should always include your primary keyword. In some cases, long-tail keywords work great here. 

2. Headline Tags

Google reads content similar to an outline, so formatting your writing with clear headlines will help search engines understand what your content is trying to accomplish and what keywords you are targeting. Using H1s, H2s, and H3s will automatically change your headlines’ font size, so your content is clear and easily digestible. Additionally, it is good to target keywords in headers whenever possible.  

3. Keyword Frequency 

Although keyword frequency is not as effective as it used to be, it still plays a role in organic ranking. Keyword frequency depends on the length of your content. WordPress plugins, such as Yoast can help determine how often you incorporate your target keyword throughout the copy. It is essential to note that although keywords are important, keyword stuffing, excessive use of keywords, and header tag stuffing can negatively impact your results. Be sure to always use them in a natural, conversational way. 

4. Internal Links

Optimizing with internal links increases the chances of readers exploring other content on your site. There is no rule for link building, but some best practices can help you achieve better search engine results. You should link to relevant pages on your site, more in-depth guides or content, and use appropriate anchor text that flows with the content. 

5. Meta Descriptions 

A meta description will inform search engines of what your content is about. Your meta description should be a concise explanation of the piece and include your primary keyword. Additionally, it should be 150-160 characters long. The Yoast plugin will help determine if your meta description is a good length and whether or not you included your target keyword. 

6. Site Speed

Site speed plays a critical role in whether a user remains on your site. Your content could be valuable and interesting, but users will become disinterested and leave if it is slow to load. If your site speed is more than two seconds, this ultimately leads to a bad user experience and fewer conversions. 

The Takeaway

Unique, high-quality content plus on-page optimization is your recipe for success. The primary goal is to create content that ranks well and persuades people. Following these strategies will help you drive more traffic and remain an authentic brand by keeping your audience front of mind.