How to Write for SEO and Reach Your Customers
Why is learning how to write for SEO crucial for business owners?
You’ve just finished writing a “masterpiece.”
The one article that will convince your target audience that what you have is what they need.
And you just know that hundreds (if not thousands) of people will read your article…
share it with their friends…
…and ultimately buy your product or service and earn you hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars.
But when you click publish?
No one buys, shares, comments, or even reads your article.
It’s a disaster!
Where did you go wrong?!?
You didn’t write for SEO.
No matter how valuable or convincing your article is, no one will even find it if you don’t write for SEO.
That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at how to write for SEO and reach your customers.
Let’s dive in!
What is SEO Writing?
In a nutshell, SEO writing is writing in a way that will put your article on top of search engine results for your target keyword. This will allow you to reach your target audience and potentially convert them into your customers!
There are two characteristics of excellent SEO writing:
- Writing in a way that allows search engines to understand what you’re trying to rank for, and
- Writing in a way that will keep readers glued to the page
A perfectly written SEO article hits the perfect keyword, ranks on the top of the SERP, and brings thousands of readers every month.
Sound like something you’d want?
Well then, let’s get right to how it’s done!
How to Write for SEO: Make Search Engines Understand What You’re Going For
Search engine algorithms are smart.
They can take vague search queries like lyrics to a song and give you the exact name + music video for that song.
When you’re the one searching, this “smartness” comes in super handy.
However, when you’re creating content that you want people to read, you can’t rely on how “smart” Google and other search engines are.
You have to help them index your article properly so your target audience can find it.
Now let’s have a look at how to help these engines understand what you’re going for.
How to Write For Search Engines Tip #1: Choose a Good Target Keyword
The first step in SEO writing is selecting a good target keyword.
I could write an entire article on how to choose the right keywords, but in a nutshell, you’re looking for 2 things:
- A keyword that your target audience is searching for, and
- A keyword that you can easily tie to your product or service
Let’s say you’re a tax preparer in Los Angeles. A keyword that would hit both of these targets would be “Los Angeles Tax.”
It’s a great keyword since lots of people are searching for it:
And a good number of these people are your potential clients since people are likely searching for this keyword because they need help with their taxes.
If you show up first, imagine how much business that would bring you.
You can read more about finding good keyword ideas for your business in our content marketing guide
And once you’ve chosen a target keyword, your entire article should revolve around it.
Because when it does, that’ll be great for SEO writing, and it’ll make indexing your site for search results much easier.
How to Write For Search Engines Tip #2: Put Your Target Keyword In Your Title, Introduction, and Headers
Now that you have a target keyword, it’s time to put it in places where the search engine will notice it.
In the past, this meant keyword stuffing.
People would add their target keyword as many times as they could on their articles – even to the point of making it grammatically incorrect.
Essentially, the more you stuffed your keyword, the bigger your chance of winning it.
Nowadays, search engines don’t fall for simple tricks like that anymore.
If you try keyword stuffing today, don’t expect any results.
However, it is still essential to add your target keyword in the right places.
If you want your article to rank for “Los Angeles Tax,” you’ll have to put that exact phrase on your article’s title, introduction, and as many subheadings as is natural.
You’ll also want to add that to your title tag and meta description.
Doing so will make it a lot easier for search engines to figure out what your blog post is about.
And it’ll make it a lot easier for them to understand what type of people are looking for an article like this.
How to Write For Search Engines Tip #3: Use Secondary Keywords
Secondary keywords are keywords that are closely related to your target keyword.
Using these for SEO content writing will help you get greater reach and (once again) help search engines index your article better.
Let’s take that article about Los Angeles tax – a good secondary keyword to target would be “Los Angeles Property Tax” or “Los Angeles Income Tax Rate.”
That way, someone who searches for other relevant keywords like those will still end up on your article.
Secondary keywords can also include variations of your target keyword.
For example, you can cut “Los Angeles Tax” down into “LA Tax” or change it into “Tax in Los Angeles.”
Again, adding variations of your target keyword into the body of your article may increase your reach and website traffic.
How do you find secondary keywords?
You won’t have to do too much keyword research to find these.
All you need to do is think about search intent – or what exactly your audience is looking for.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes, and think of the terms that they might search for.
You can even use Google for help.
Type your target keyword into the search box, and see what the suggestions are.
This will give you an idea of what people are looking for, since “Los Angeles Tax” is a pretty broad keyword.
You can take the ones that make sense for your article and sprinkle them in.
If you can use them in the subheaders, that’d be great as well.
How to Write for SEO: Glue Your Readers Eyes to the Page
Those three steps up there will help you write content that search engines can easily index.
However, the SEO writing process is a lot more than just satisfying the algorithm.
You have to satisfy your readers as well.
This is critical because if you’re just writing blog posts for search engines, you’ll find that your search engine rankings will be rock bottom.
Search engines are smart remember?
They’re trying to satisfy the people who use them for answers. So if people aren’t spending time on your article, this signals to search engines that it has no value.
The easiest way to keep your readers glued to your article is by writing awesome high-quality content.
When people fully digest everything you’ve written, this will not only bring them closer to converting into a customer, but it will also signal to search engines that people find value in your content.
However, writing awesome content might look a little different from what you expect.
What do we mean?
Let’s find out!
How to Write SEO Content For Your Readers #1: Break Up Your Paragraphs
If there’s one thing you need to know about people on the internet, it’s this:
People have short attention spans.
Sure, there are some intelligent people out there who can read long essays without taking breaks.
But for the average person on the internet?
It’s not that your potential customers aren’t intelligent people. It’s just a fact that most people today only have an 8-second attention span.
That’s why if your paragraphs drag on and on and on, there’s a very high chance that this will bore your readers.
To make matters worse, the internet is full of distractions.
They might get a chat message.
They might see an exciting advertisement and click away.
Or they might tell themselves they’ll come back to your article when they have more time (hint: they never will)
That’s why your paragraphs shouldn’t take more than 8 seconds to read.
When writing content, a good rule of thumb is never to use more than three sentences in a paragraph – whether you’re writing blog content, landing pages, or any SEO-friendly content.
You want to keep your readers’ eyes on the move.
Jumping from paragraph to paragraph.
Dragging them lower…
and lower down your article.
That’s something that the modern content writer aims to do – get people to the bottom of their SEO content by making it easy for them to read.
Another way you should break up your content is by using subheadings.
Using H2 and H3 headers to give a logical flow to your content is something that all readers appreciate.
Plus, these H2 and H3 headers are the perfect place to insert some secondary keywords.
If you’re looking for an example of how to do this, check out how we’ve written this article!
Notice how well organized it is?
How to Write SEO Content For Your Readers #2: Add Images
Do you remember when you were a child, and you preferred books with pictures?
Well, guess what?
People on the internet are like that.
Images are essential for SEO content. They make your articles and blog posts so much more interesting.
This is especially important if you have a complex idea that you want to share.
Giving your readers visuals instead of forcing them to rack their brains and imagine what you’re saying is the way to go for SEO writing.
But don’t add irrelevant images!
And please, don’t stuff your blog post with cheesy stock photos.
Upload images that add to your content, images that compliment or support it.
You want to give readers a short break from reading text here and there, and images are one of the best ways to do it.
In the same light, you could also throw in videos if you have good ones.
How to Write SEO Content For Your Readers #3: Use Bullet Points, Numbered Lists, Quote Boxes, and More
Again, break up your text plenty of times so you can make your article easier to read.
Another way to do this for SEO writing is by using breaks such as:
- Bullet points
- Numbered lists
- Quote boxes
See what we did there?
Using these makes information easier to digest.
For people who are scanning, this will also make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.
How to Write SEO Content For Your Readers #4: Write The Most Valuable Content on the Internet
Last but not least, make sure your content is the most valuable of its kind on the internet.
If you want to get a flood of organic traffic on your website by your content strategy, you’ll need to do better than everyone else around you.
Because why should people read your article if someone else wrote a better one?
It only makes sense that most of the search traffic goes to the most high-quality content available.
So all while keeping all these SEO writing tips we’ve mentioned here, you have to remember that it’s the value of your message that matters the most!
Bonus: Add Character To Your Writing
I’ll throw this in here as a bonus since this is HARD to do.
If you want to stand out from your competition, you need to write posts packed with character.
It’s something that even some professional content marketers can’t do.
Yes, they hit every checkbox.
They choose the best target keywords, find the best related keywords, break up their paragraphs, and provide relevant content for their readers.
But at the end of the day, their SEO content just comes out dry and boring.
Not only that but there’s also an anecdotal ranking factor involved here.
We say “anecdotal” since there is no hard evidence on this.
Based on our (and many other SEO experts’) experience, articles with an entertaining writing style take the top spot for their targeted keyword.
Is it because the entertaining style keeps people on the page longer?
Or maybe Google’s algorithm can pick out this style?
All we know is that adding character to your SEO writing process is great for everyone!
Need Help With Getting to the Top of the Search Results and Reaching Your Audience?
Getting to the top of the search results is not easy.
Even if you do follow all our tips here and write the best SEO content in your niche, we can’t guarantee you’ll rank #1.
Because SEO writing is just one factor in the crazy world of SEO!
That’s why if you want to grab that top spot, gain a flood of traffic, and enjoy new leads and new sales on autopilot, you’ll need to work on a lot more!
Check out our SEO education articles to find out more!
Or, if you want the professionals to do your SEO for you, sign up for our FREE SEO audit and learn how we can work together!