As we roll through 2021, marketing teams across all industries are looking for tips and tricks on how to improve their content marketing strategy. While plenty of content writing trends exist, on-page search engine optimization (SEO) content writing is one area that you’ll want to be paying particular attention to.
When trying to create content worthy of sharing, it’s no longer enough to pour your passion into the topic. Writing about something you are passionate about helps improve your overall piece, but you’ll need to take things a step further. How? By implementing proper on-page SEO tactics to ensure that your page or blog piece is found by the right person who needs it the most.
What is SEO Content Writing?
SEO content writing is a tactic for writing content that is adequately optimized for search engines such as Google or Bing. When optimized correctly, the search engines’ web pages and blogs are easily identified as relevant responses to common search inquiries. Therefore, the search engines will rank them higher so that users can find your piece easier.
What Makes On-Page SEO Content Writing Different?
Some marketers don’t understand that various SEO practices can and should be used during their content writing processes. The three primary types of SEO include:
- On-page SEO: Properly optimizing your website and blog content to be indexed/ranked for consumers to find easily.
- Off-page SEO: Optimizing your off-page presence, such as your social media pages and content you create for other websites (guest-post blogs).
- Technical SEO: Involves properly optimizing your website (the behind-the-scenes stuff) and your server to help search engine crawlers navigate and index your site.
Now, if you’re focusing on SEO content creation for your website pages and blog posts, then you’ll want to focus your attention on on-page SEO best practices. This is what’s going to make your content stand out to not only the search engines but your ideal audience as well.
7 Must-Know Basics of On-Page SEO Content Writing
Unfortunately, when most marketing teams think about SEO content writing, they believe it’s a complicated, time-consuming process that doesn’t provide enough benefits to invest in it.
Here’s the good news—SEO content writing is much more doable than you might think. Sure, if you’re going to get the job done right, you’ll need to invest in a few tools, but once you begin reaping the benefits, that investment will pay for itself in no time.
If you’re looking for tips and tricks on how to do SEO content writing, here are several must-know basics required to create a properly optimized piece of content for your website with a focus on one of the largest elements: keywords.
1. Begin Your SEO Content Writing with Keyword Research
If you’re serious about creating SEO content that will benefit your brand, then you need to be either conducting keyword research or investing in a firm that can help research for you.
While there are various free-to-use tools out there, to reap the most benefits from your research, you want to invest in high-quality SEO research tools, such as Ahrefs, Keywords Explorer, and SEMrush. These tools help you identify relevant keywords that you should be using in your content while ensuring that these keywords are still relatively easy to rank for.
Suppose you don’t feel comfortable conducting your keyword research. In that case, you’ll want to invest in the help of a team of professionals that can provide you with high-quality content strategy research to help guide you in your SEO content writing efforts. Proper keyword research and targeting certain pages towards a specific keyword is vital for your online success.
2. Include Your Target Keyword in Your Page or Blog URL
Once you have your keywords ready to go, you can start creating your on-page SEO content. While most people will dive directly into optimizing the content first (and there is nothing wrong with that), you want to make sure you are utilizing your primary or focus keyword, what we like to call a target keyword, in your page or blog’s actual URL.
This tells search engines and those who stumble across your page exactly what your content will be about.
3. Make Sure Your Target Keyword Appears in Your Title
You’ll also want to make sure you are including your target keyword in your title tag (H1 header). Again, this helps both readers and the search engines identify exactly what your content’s topic will be. This is still one of the largest signals that tell search engines what that page is about.
4. Don’t Forget to Include Your Keyword in the Meta Description
Your meta description is more on the technical side (as is the blog’s URL). However, you must write an optimized meta description that includes your focus keyword and some other related keywords.
That’s because this is valuable real estate that consumers refer to when searching through the search engine results. If your description can utilize proper keywords and is formatted in a way that can directly address a consumer’s pain point, your content will likely rank higher up on a search engine result’s page.
It will also help grab the attention of potential leads as you provide them with a snippet of information that could be of real value to them. If you don’t utilize meta descriptions, you’re almost guaranteeing that searchers will skip over your content because they will have no way of knowing how your content is relevant to their needs.
Google says meta descriptions don’t directly influence rankings, but they certainly indirectly influence rankings. This is done through the marketing message. When the target keyword is used within the meta description, it becomes bold, further appealing to the searcher.
5. Use Your Keywords Appropriately in Your Header Tags
While we already touched on the importance of using your target keyword in your primary title tag (H1), you want to make sure you use them in the various header tags of your webpage and blogs.
However, when building them into your various H2 and H3 header tags, you want to be very careful that you aren’t stuffing the piece. Keyword stuffing is considered black hat SEO because it is seen as a method of manipulating the search engines unfairly in your favor.
Instead of focusing your attention on just using your focus keyword, make sure you are using variations of it or other variations. This will also help because it presents an opportunity for your piece to rank for these variations, too.
6. Remember to Always Write Naturally – Don’t Keyword Stuff
Speaking of black hat SEO, when you’re focusing your time and attention on SEO content creation, you want to make sure you’re strategically using your target and related keywords throughout the piece. Don’t just add keywords to add them. You must make sure you’re always writing naturally.
Your content will only be effective if your reader gets something out of it. If you are packing it full of complicated keywords or trying to use unnatural keyword phrases, then your readers will have a hard time trying to understand what you have to say.
Additionally, the search engines will penalize your piece—if not for black hat SEO practices, then for being irrelevant to those with specific search queries.
7. Don’t Forget to Optimize the Images on Your Pages
While it’s essential to optimize the written content on your pages, it’s also critical that you take the time to optimize the image and other visuals on your pages properly. That means:
- Writing relevant descriptions
- Utilizing your focus keywords in the description, alt text, and upload name
Investing in SEO content creation is a marketing tactic that all marketing teams should be considering as we move further into 2021.
By focusing on your on-page SEO content creation, you’re guaranteeing that you’re not only creating content that will do well on search engines but that you’re producing content that addresses the very specific needs of your ideal audience.