SEO Writing: How to Write for SEO (10 Easy Steps for Writers)
What is SEO Writing
SEO writing is the process of writing content that search engines can easily understand. This is done by intelligently adding search phrases or keywords in your content without doing keyword stuffing. SEO writing is also known as SEO copywriting or search engine optimization writing.
Step 1: Choose your keywords (both head and long tail keywords)
This process is known as keyword research and its very important for a simple reason. You need to write content around topics that people search for and keyword research will tell you that.
By following this process every time you write new content, you help search engines understand your content better and if your content satisfies what users want, this will eventually translate to higher rankings, social media shares and more incoming links.
Step 2: Craft your page title
The next step is to start thinking about your page title. Choosing a good page title is critical for the success of your page or post, so allocate the necessary time to come up with a title that:
Your goal is to create a title that is unique otherwise you limit your chances of getting a top-10 position since Google rarely shows pages with the same title in the first 10 results.
Step 3: Create an SEO Friendly URL (add your main keyword)
Step 4: Write the content (long enough)
It all depends on the topic and keywords. For some topics, you might need to write articles that are over 2000 words, for other topics you can provide a comprehensive answer in 800 words.
But, this is a general guideline and not applicable for all cases. My recommendation is to find the average length of the first 10 results and try to provide a bit more content but better than what is already published.
Step 5: Add your keywords in the first paragraph
By adding your keywords in the first paragraph, you give a big clue to Google as to which keywords to associate this page with. It’s also good for the users since you can help them understand that they are on the right page.
Step 6: Create headings using long tail keywords
Search engines follow the same pattern, especially for long form content. They scan the page and they look for certain elements to understand how a page is structure and what topics or keywords the content is covering.
To further improve the SEO friendliness of your copy, try to use some of your long tail keywords in the headings. Take a closer look at the headings of this article and notice how I have added long-tail keywords in my headings.
Step 7: Add LSI related keywords in your content
With the introduction of machine learning to Google search algorithms (known as RankBrain), Google is trying to truly understand what the searcher wants by using natural language processing.
Semantic keywords are keywords that have the same or similar meaning. You can find these keywords using tools like LSI Graph. Here is a screenshot of the LSI keywords for “SEO writing”.
So, you need to go back to your copy and enrich it with LSI keywords in a natural way. You may have to re-phrase some of your sentences but it’s a step that can improve the relevancy of your content.
Step 8: Link to other pages on your website using relevant anchor text
When you publish a new page, it has to match your site’s topics. This improves relevancy and rankings. One of the ways to ‘tell’ Google that your content is relevant with the rest of the site, is to use internal links.
Internal links although they are not as powerful as SEO backlinks, they are still used by Google as a way to understand what the linked page is about, especially if the right anchor text was used in the link.
They also help users learn more about a topic (look at this article again and notice how I have used internal links to give users a way to find out more information about a topic).
How to Write the Most Engaging Social Media Posts
Globally, as of July 2021, there are an estimated 4.48 billion social media users (almost 57% of the world’s population). Facebook still reigns supreme with an estimated 2.853 million users, followed by YouTube in second place.
Here’s where it gets tricky – each social media platform has its own tips, tricks, algorithms, and best practices. Content that performs well on LinkedIn isn’t likely to see that same success on Twitter or Pinterest if posts are simply copied and pasted uniformly across every channel.
How to Write Social Media Posts That Won’t Fail
You can (and should) still monitor your social media analytics to see which posts engage with your unique audience the most, but as far as coming up with a tried-and-true formula, there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel.
1. How to Write Facebook Posts That Get Liked and Shared
The #1 social media platform isn’t exactly a one-and-done content formula because it handles multiple types of media, and different posting techniques can work well depending on the goal you’re hoping to accomplish.
- Video is the best performing content. However, Facebook campaigns are most effective when you vary your types of posts, so mix it up with photos, infographics, text, gifs, memes, blog posts, press releases, links, et cetera.
- The ideal length for a post is around 40-80 characters. As a general rule, short posts on social media perform better than long ones.
- End with a question. People are more likely to engage when you reach out to them for their opinions or feedback.
- Post interesting content, even if it doesn’t pertain directly to your brand. Facebook’s audience has a limited tolerance for self-promotion, which means if you want to keep your followers engaged, it doesn’t hurt to post about more than just your business. Be sure to keep your topics related to your niche, though.
- Make it visual. Text is easy to scroll past, but graphics help to make people pause while they’re skimming through their newsfeed. Even if you’re publishing a post that’s strictly text, Facebook makes it easy to transform it into a visual graphic.
2. How to Write Effective Tweets on Twitter
Posting on Twitter requires smart, concise word choices to convey your message within a limited space. It can take a little extra practice, but once you get the hang of it, your tweets will take off.
3. How to Write Engaging Instagram Captions
Instagram is all about visual content, but that doesn’t mean you can skate by with insufficient captions. If you want your audience to interact with your content, your words do matter.
- Use emojis. Instagram + emojis = ? For real, though, emojis have proven to be incredibly effective on Instagram.
- Use relevant hashtags. You’re allowed up to 30 hashtags, but don’t just pick the ones that are currently trending (especially if they don’t really pertain to your media). Instead, try to vary your hashtag use. Select a few broad, popular ones but also mix in some niche-specific hashtags, plus one or two branded ones. For example, Coca-Cola created the branded hashtag #ShareACoke for an Instagram campaign.
- Break up long text into paragraphs. Instagram is still a bit tricky about this. If you want to have paragraphs with white space in between them, you have to hit Enter, then add a space on the blank line before you tap Enter again. But the extra step is worth it, because big blocks of text are difficult to read.
4. How to Write LinkedIn Posts That Perform
LinkedIn is primarily a networking platform where business professionals and brands share industry insights, news, and updates. The latest “epic fail” video going viral on Facebook isn’t going to fit in with what LinkedIn’s audience expects.
- Long-form content works well. Don’t hesitate to share articles and blog posts on LinkedIn. This audience is more likely to take their time and read what you have to say, so you can also type longer posts than you normally would on other platforms that are meant to be skimmed. Just be sure to stay organized and professional.
- Add a handful of hashtags. While hashtags dominate Instagram and Twitter, they fell flat when it came to Facebook. LinkedIn falls somewhere in between. Relevant hashtags are good to include, but in moderation and preferably tucked at the end of your post.
- Brand your content and graphics. Professionals are likely to share studies, research, infographics, statistics, and industry updates. If you’re posting content, make sure it’s branded so you get the credit when it’s shared. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk always includes his signature and Instagram/Twitter handle on his content.