Do you know how to write SEO content that is fun, informative, and authoritative at the same time? Even if your content is ranking great on search engines, it doesn’t mean it’s good enough to persuade the readers to become paying customers. Here are a few simple tips that will show you how to write SEO content.
Find Out What Your Audience Wants
Before you learn how to write SEO content, you need to figure out what your target audience wants to read.
Keep track of what people are sharing or linking to. To do that, try the following methods:
- Search under your keywords on Ahrefs, Quora, Yahoo Answers, and Buzzsumo.
- Check social media to see what people are talking about online. For instance, Twitter’s custom feeds feature allows you to track hashtags or words relevant to your industry/content.
- Invite visitors to your site to fill in a survey.
- Visit forums relevant to your niche.
- Use Google Alerts to get notified whenever a page or article mentions your keyword(s).
Once you know what your audience wants to read, you can come up with a content plan tailored to meet their needs.
Come Up With a Catchy Title
The title is the first thing that readers see; thus, it’s the most important component of the content that will lead to engagement.
In fact, statistics say that a whopping 59% of people share articles without even reading them, just because they like the headline! Titles appear on search engines, social media, and email newsletters so it is of utmost importance that they’re catchy enough.
- Optimize your title for the human audience first, then try to optimize it for search and social as well. Do this by incorporating the keyword you’re ranking for, if possible at the beginning of the title.
- Keep your title under 70 characters. This way, it won’t get cut off in search results but it is also optimized for social sharing. Analysis has shown that articles with titles composed of 8-14 words were most commonly shared. The ideal number of characters you’re going for is exactly 56.
- Find out what language and vocabulary your target audience uses and work with it. There are a few general rules that make for captivating titles, such as the use of strong language, use of alliteration, inclusion of visuals, etc.
Using blog title generators and analyzers is a great way to craft a perfect headline that will attract your audience. Some of these free tools, like Impact’s BlogAbout, ask you to simply write your keyword and they come up with a list of possible titles. Others, like CoSchedule headline analyzer, ask you to write the title which they analyze and report back with a score and grade.
Hook Them Early
Once you’ve captured people’s attention with a catchy title, you have another difficult task – write a great first sentence that will make them interested in what you have to say.
Here’s how to write SEO content that will hook your audience from the very beginning:
- Open with a shocking statistics. Use something your audience is not familiar with and will make their jaws drop.
- Ask a question to get your readers thinking.
- Start with a quote. Find one that will surprise your readers and tease their imagination, just enough to make them continue reading.
- Giving too much background can bore the readers. Start immediately with the problem that your content is addressing. Don’t just define it, go straight to the pains it is causing so that the readers can identify with it.
Make Sure Your Content Lives Up to Its Title
Respect the readers and serve them accurate facts. No matter how tempted you might be to write an ultra-bombastic title, misinformation will make you lose your reader’s trust.
Same counts for the content itself. You may have the most captivating title in the entire online world, but if the article doesn’t keep the promise the title makes, people will leave your website without taking further action. And probably never come back.
If the audience considers your content to be helpful, they will have confidence that your product or service is beneficial for them as well.
Here is how to write SEO content that is helpful:
- No one knows your business better than you. You’re an expert and teacher about topics from your niche. By educating your readers, you build authority and trust. However, be careful not to be condescending or arrogant. Use their language and stick to simplicity.
- Solve a problem. Identify the problems your audience has and offer a solution. When they see your advice works, they’ll come back for more.
- The web is swamped with information, oftentimes conflicting, which confuses the audience. Use your expertise to serve accurate and useful info that will clear up their confusion.
Marketing experts know that emotions play a huge role in the people’s decision-making process. Just take a look at the commercials that air during the Super Bowl every year or annual lists of best commercials on YouTube. Most of them are charged with emotions, whether positive or negative.
If you want to play safe, try to create content that evokes positive emotions, such as happiness and satisfaction.
Here’s how to write SEO content that will fill your audience with joy:
- Use optimistic, cheerful writing voice.
- Share inspirational success stories.
- Encourage your readers to achieve their goals.
Braver content writes can try playing on the negative emotions card using the PAS formula (Problem-Agitate-Solve):
- Identify your problem.
- Describe their pain and frustration, make them want your solution.
- Reveal how you’re going to use your expertise to solve their problem.
Make Your Content Scannable
Research has shown that reading from a screen is 25% more difficult than reading from print. Almost 80% of the readers online only scan through the texts, picking up random phrases or sections to read. They simply don’t have the time to read word for word.
This, along with the fact that the average attention span of Internet users has decreased to only 8 seconds, is enough to make you pay attention to your content’s scannability. Here is how to write SEO content that is easy to consume and won’t chase your visitors away.
- Short sentences & paragraphs. Your paragraphs should ideally consist of 3-5 sentences, whereas the sentences should consist of 16 words at the most.
- Use attractive headers. Keep them between 4 and 10 words. Write them in a sentence format so that the readers know what to expect.
- Use clear & understandable language in your content. Write just like people talk, always making sure your grammar is perfect. Use short words (3 syllables or less) that people know and understand. Avoid overusing passive voice and too many prepositional phrases.
- Highlight the key points, words, and ideas in the text by using bullet points and bold text and bullet points.
- Link to other content to provide additional information in order not to overwhelm your readers.
The best way to make your content scannable is to write listicles (just like BuzzFeed). List articles are very popular because they don’t require too much effort – they allow the brain to process and memorize the information easily. From an SEO perspective, lists make it easy to incorporate keywords naturally. They also allow the search engine bots to scan and interpret the content much faster.
You can check how easy your content is to read and understand by using tools like https://www.webpagefx.com/tools/read-able/
Don’t Over-Promote Yourself
Suppress any urge to mention your product, service, and/or company in the content you’re writing. Readers don’t want to read promotional materials. They’d rather decide on their own whether you are offering exactly what they need.
The best way to convert readers into leads is to add a CTA (call to action). One of the most efficient ways is to ask them to leave their email. However, if you want your email list to grow faster, you need to offer something in return, such as an e-book, post-specific resources, free webinars, etc.
CTAs are usually placed at the end of the articles you publish, but they can also be located on other prominent positions on your site, such as the homepage, pop-ups, or sidebars.
Focus on Quality
Even though the content length is an important factor when it comes to search engine rankings, focus on quality first.
Don’t write long articles that don’t make sense, just for the sake of word count. Also, be careful with over-optimizing your content for SEO or overusing keywords. You don’t want your writing to be illegible or sound awkward.
Conclusion on How To Write SEO Content
Well-written content is more likely to drive more website visits, which are potential conversions. The more people read your content, the more your authority rises in the eyes of search engine bots. Eventually, good rankings are inevitable.
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