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Content writing is a time-consuming process, and maximising the value of your efforts is crucial. If you’re new to this it can be difficult to know where to start, let alone how to write SEO friendly content. I’m sure you’ll want to ensure that your web content generates a return on investment in the form of organic web traffic over the medium to long term, so it’s important to optimise it for search engines.
In this in-depth guide, we will explore the strategies and techniques covering how to write SEO friendly content that resonates with both search engines and your target audience.
However, before we dive into the details, it’s essential to understand that not all content has the potential to drive significant traffic through search engines. If there is no existing demand for a particular topic, it’s not possible to optimise it for SEO and expect a surge in organic traffic.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write “low volume” content. If you have valuable information and insights to share with your audience, go ahead and create it. Even if your audience doesn’t yet know they need it, you can distribute the content through other channels like social media and email. When users eventually start searching for that information, your content will be readily available.
Now, let’s delve into the process of how to write SEO friendly content!
How to Write SEO Friendly Content & Choose the Right Topics
To drive organic traffic, you need to select topics that your target audience actively searches for. While optimising your key product and service pages is crucial, it’s also important to broaden your content to cover relevant topics that potential customers might be interested in. Conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify relevant topics (keywords) that meet the following criteria:
- Search Volume: Focus on search terms that have a reasonable search volume to ensure there is existing demand.
- Relevance to Your Audience: Choose topics that align with the interests and needs of your target audience.
- Relevance to Your Business: Select topics that are directly or indirectly related to your business offerings to attract relevant traffic.
- Realistic Difficulty: Assess the competition and difficulty level of ranking for the chosen keywords to set realistic expectations.
- Enthusiasm: Start with a topic or something you care about, or are really interested it. Trust me, while going through the process of how to write SEO friendly content, something you already an interest in will make it easier.
Helpful Tools for Keyword Research
Free: Google Ads Keyword Planner (provides volume ranges and competition scores)
If you’re interested in all the digital tools and tech stack I use, you can check out my digital tool kit.
How to Write SEO Friendly Content by Formatting & Structuring Your Content Appropriately
Different types of content tend to rank well for specific topics. Before you start writing, perform a Google search for your chosen topic and analyse the first few results. Take note of the content formats that consistently rank highly. This will give you an idea of the most appropriate format for your own content.
Common content formats that often perform well include:
- How-to articles
- Opinion pieces
- Product pages
Regardless of the chosen format, keep in mind that Google prefers easily digestible, well-structured content. Implement the following techniques to enhance readability and user experience:
- Use a H1 for your main heading and H2s, H3s, etc to break down the content into logical sections and make it easier to skim.
- Keep paragraphs short to facilitate reading on screens.
- Use bulleted lists to highlight key points and improve scanability.
- Incorporate HTML tables when appropriate to present information in a structured format.
- Use a table of contents to enhance the user experience by providing a clear overview of the content structure, and signals to search engines that your content is well-organised and comprehensive
Remember, while learning how to write SEO friendly content, that your goal is to create content that is user-friendly while also satisfying search engine requirements.
Optimise Page Elements for Each Topic
Once you’ve identified the topics you want to focus on, it’s crucial to optimise various on-page elements to clearly signal to search engines what your page is about. This is one of the most important elements of how to write SEO friendly content.
Key elements to optimise include:
- Page Title Tag: Craft informative and keyword-rich title tags that accurately describe the main content of the page. Ensure the title tags are neither too long nor too short, as Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters. Make sure your keyword is used at the beginning of the title. You should also look to add the following to your SEO title:
- A positive or a negative sentiment word: One of the most effective strategies to increase click-through rates on your website in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is by crafting titles that evoke powerful emotions. It’s important to note that we’re not referring to just any emotions, but specifically strong emotions. In this context, the type of emotion matters less compared to the intensity and impact it has on the audience.
- A power word: These words evoke strong emotional responses from the target audience, ultimately driving engagement, inspiring action, and significantly enhancing conversion rates. Some examples of commonly used power words include “exclusive,” “unleash,” “irresistible,” “discover,” “transform,” “proven,” “ultimate,” “empower,” “guaranteed,” and “life-changing.” These words create a sense of anticipation, urgency, and desirability, compelling readers to take action.
- A number: when it comes to getting people to click on your headline, adding numbers can really help increase the likelihood of getting that click. Tread with caution though! Inappropriate use of numbers can actually decrease organic click-through rates. So, it’s crucial to only include numbers when they are necessary and relevant.
- Opening Content: The opening 100 words of your content should align with the focus topic/keyword and provide a clear introduction to the article.
- Headings: Use H1 and H2 headings to structure your content and include relevant keywords when appropriate.
- Meta Descriptions: Write concise, compelling meta descriptions that summarise the content and entice users to click on your page in the search results. While meta descriptions don’t directly impact rankings, they can significantly influence click-through rates.
- URL Structure: Keep URLs short, descriptive, and keyword-rich. Avoid using generic auto-generated URLs and opt for URLs that provide a clear indication of the page’s content.
Prioritise E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
Another vital element of how to write SEO friendly content is adhering to E-A-T. In addition to traditional SEO factors, Google places a high emphasis on E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) when evaluating content quality, particularly for Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) topics such as finance, medical advice, and legal information. In recent years, an additional “E” has been added to emphasise the importance of Experience.
The updated Google search quality rater guidelines now suggest that when evaluating a content creator’s expertise it includes their firsthand or life experience related to the topic they are discussing. Google acknowledges that pages created by individuals with personal experience in a subject matter often offer trustworthy and valuable insights.
Trust has emerged as a central aspect of E-E-A-T, with Google emphasising its importance. Untrustworthy pages are deemed to have low E-E-A-T, regardless of the level of experience, expertise, or authoritativeness they exhibit. While experience, expertise, and authoritativeness contribute to a quality rater’s assessment of trustworthiness, building and maintaining trust should be a priority when aiming to meet Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines.
How you can enhance E-E-A-T for your content
- Expertise: Ensure that the content is written by authors who are genuinely experienced and knowledgeable about the topic. Establish the author’s credibility by linking to their profile page, which should showcase their relevant credentials and other online profiles. Implement “author” schema.org markup to indicate the author’s expertise.
- Experience: Emphasise the practical experience of your authors or contributors when relevant to the topic. Highlight their professional accomplishments or personal experiences that lend authority to the content.
- Authoritativeness: Prove the authority of your content by including outbound links to other reputable sources and receiving inbound links from trustworthy domains to your content and website.
- Trustworthiness: Demonstrate the trustworthiness of your content by citing reliable sources for any claims or critical information provided. Additionally, ensure your website is secure (HTTPS) and include clear contact information and privacy policies.
Specific E-E-A-T Strategies for your content
To demonstrate first-hand experience and foster trust, consider the following strategies:
- Share Personal Insights: Draw from your personal experiences related to the topic at hand. Provide unique perspectives, anecdotes, and real-life examples that showcase your direct involvement or observations.
- Professional Background and Credentials: Clearly communicate your professional background, qualifications, and certifications that establish your expertise and demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning in your field.
- Authoritative References: Cite reputable sources, studies, and research papers that support the information presented in your content. Referencing authoritative and trustworthy publications adds credibility to your claims.
- User Testimonials and Reviews: Incorporate user testimonials and reviews whenever possible, particularly if they endorse your first-hand experience or validate the effectiveness of your recommendations. Genuine feedback from satisfied customers or clients reinforces trust in your content.
- Transparency and Honesty: Be transparent about any potential biases or conflicts of interest that might arise from your experience or affiliations. Disclose relevant relationships or sponsorships to maintain transparency and ensure your audience can make informed judgments.
- Case Studies and Success Stories: Present detailed case studies or success stories that highlight how you have applied your expertise and achieved favourable outcomes. Use data, metrics, and testimonials to substantiate your claims. Here’s one of the latest SEO projects I worked on, where I was able to identify a huge gap in the market for a client and scale organic traffic at an incredible rate, as an example.
By incorporating these strategies into your content creation process, you can enhance your E-E-A-T and establish yourself as a trustworthy and reliable source of information. Remember, gaining and maintaining trust is an ongoing effort that requires consistency, authenticity, and a dedication to providing valuable content to your audience.
By focusing on E-E-A-T, you not only improve your content’s visibility in search engine results but also build credibility and trust with your audience.
With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s crucial to optimise your content for mobile users. Ensure that your website and content have a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes. Mobile-friendly websites tend to rank higher in mobile search results. Test your website’s mobile-friendliness using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and make necessary adjustments to improve the user experience on mobile devices.
How to Write SEO Friendly Content?
To write SEO-friendly content, prioritise user engagement signals like bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rate. Enhance readability by using clear language, breaking up text, and incorporating multimedia. Include relevant internal and external links for added value.
Readability and User Engagement
Search engines consider user engagement signals, such as bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rate, as indicators of content quality. Enhancing readability and user engagement can positively impact these signals. Here’s how to write SEO friendly content that will get results:
- Use clear and concise language: Write in a way that is easy for readers to understand. Avoid jargon or complex terminology unless your target audience is familiar with it.
- Break up the text: Use shorter paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings to break down the content into easily digestible chunks. This improves readability and encourages users to stay on the page.
- Incorporate multimedia: Include images, videos, infographics, or other visual elements to make your content more engaging and visually appealing.
- Internal and external linking: Provide relevant and useful internal links within your content to guide users to related articles or resources on your website. Additionally, include authoritative external links to support your statements and provide additional value to readers.
Optimising for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are the brief answers or summaries that appear at the top of search results, providing users with quick information without needing to click through to a specific website. Optimising your content to appear in featured snippets can increase your visibility and attract more organic traffic. Here are some tips for optimising for featured snippets:
- Identify “snippet-worthy” keywords: Look for keywords that commonly trigger featured snippets in search results. These are often in the form of questions (e.g., “how to,” “what is,” “why does,” etc.).
- Answer the question concisely: Craft a clear and concise answer to the question in your content, preferably in a format that search engines can easily extract and display as a featured snippet. This can be in a paragraph, list, or table format.
- Use structured data markup: Implement schema.org markup, such as FAQ or How-to schema, to provide explicit information about your content and increase the chances of appearing as a featured snippet.
Ongoing Content Optimisation
SEO is not a one-time task; it requires ongoing optimisation to maintain and improve your search rankings. So at least when it comes to learning how to write SEO friendly content, you’ll get lots of practice! Regularly review and update your existing content to ensure it remains relevant, accurate, and up-to-date. Monitor keyword trends, user feedback, and search engine algorithm updates to identify opportunities for improvement. By continually optimising your content, you can stay ahead of the competition and maintain a strong online presence.
Monitoring and Analytics
Track the performance of your SEO efforts using analytics tools like Google Analytics or other SEO-specific tools. Monitor key metrics such as organic traffic, rankings, click-through rates, and conversions to evaluate the effectiveness of your content and make data-driven decisions. Analysing this data will provide insights into what is working well and areas that need improvement, allowing you to refine your content strategy and maximise its impact. It will also help you learn how to write SEO friendly content as you see what performs well, and take these learnings forward.
Remember, SEO is a long-term investment, and results may not be immediate. It takes time to build authority, gain visibility, and rank higher in search results. By consistently implementing these strategies and staying informed about SEO best practices, you can create content that resonates with your audience, satisfies search engines, and drives sustainable organic traffic to your website.
Bonus Tips for How to Write SEO Friendly Content
To further enhance the visibility and effectiveness of your content, consider implementing these additional strategies:
- Internal Linking: Incorporate internal links between related articles to help search engines understand the context of sub-topics within the main topic. Internal links also help distribute PageRank throughout your website.
- Social Sharing Buttons: Include social sharing buttons in your blog posts to encourage readers to share your content on social media platforms. While social shares don’t directly impact search engine rankings, they can increase visibility and attract inbound links from other websites.
- Explore Related Topics: If a specific page or blog post attracts significant organic traffic, use tools like AlsoAsked.com and AnswerThePublic.com to identify related topics that users are searching for. By expanding your content to cover related topics, you can capture more organic traffic and provide comprehensive information to your audience.
In today’s digital landscape, creating high-quality content is not enough. To ensure that your content reaches its intended audience and generates organic traffic, you must optimise it for search engines. Writing SEO-friendly content involves a strategic approach that combines keyword research, formatting, on-page optimisation, and a focus on expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness, and experience (E-E-A-T). It’s vital that you learn how to write SEO friendly content, or hire an expert that can.
By choosing the right topics based on keyword research, you can align your content with what your target audience is actively searching for. This helps you attract relevant traffic and potential customers who may not have been directly looking for your specific product or service. Providing valuable information through your content establishes your credibility and positions you as an industry thought leader.
Formatting your content appropriately based on the type of content that ranks well for your chosen topic is essential. Google prefers well-structured content that is easy to digest. Use headings (H1s and H2s), short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and HTML tables to enhance readability and user experience. Remember, one page should focus on a single topic to maintain clarity and optimise key elements like title tags, meta descriptions, image alt text, and page paths.
Optimising page titles and meta descriptions is crucial for search engines to understand the content of your page and display it appropriately in search results. Craft relevant, concise, and engaging titles and descriptions that encourage click-throughs and accurately represent your content. Additionally, pay attention to mobile optimisation, as mobile-friendly websites tend to rank higher in mobile search results.
To boost your content’s visibility and user engagement, focus on readability. Use clear language, break up text into manageable sections, incorporate multimedia elements, and provide internal and external links to enrich the user experience. Consider optimising for featured snippets by identifying snippet-worthy keywords and crafting concise answers that lend themselves to being displayed as snippets.
Remember that SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly review and optimise your content to ensure its relevance and accuracy, keeping up with keyword trends and user feedback. Track the performance of your content using analytics tools, monitor key metrics, and make data-driven decisions to refine your content strategy over time.
Checklist for Writing SEO-Friendly Content
- How to Write SEO Friendly Content & Choose the Right Topics:
- Conduct comprehensive keyword research.
- Focus on topics with reasonable search volume.
- Select topics relevant to your audience and business.
- Assess competition and difficulty level for chosen keywords.
- Use Helpful Tools for Keyword Research:
- Free tools: Google Ads Keyword Planner.
- Paid tools: SEMrush and MOS.
- How to Write SEO Friendly Content by Formatting & Structuring Your Content Appropriately:
- Analyse top-ranking content for your chosen topic.
- Use appropriate content formats such as how-to articles, opinion pieces, lists, or product pages.
- Implement techniques for readability and user experience:
- Break down content with H1s and H2s.
- Keep paragraphs short.
- Use bulleted lists.
- Incorporate HTML tables when appropriate.
- Include a table of contents for a clear overview.
- Optimise Page Elements for Each Topic:
- Craft informative and keyword-rich page title tags.
- Include positive or negative sentiment words, power words, and numbers in title tags.
- Align the opening content with the focus topic/keyword.
- Use H1 and H2 headings with relevant keywords.
- Write concise and compelling meta descriptions.
- Keep URLs short, descriptive, and keyword-rich.
- Prioritise E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness):
- Establish expertise by showcasing author credentials and using schema.org markup.
- Emphasise relevant personal experiences and professional accomplishments.
- Provide authoritative references and trustworthy sources.
- Demonstrate transparency, honesty, and trustworthiness.
- Optimise for Mobile:
- Ensure responsive design for different screen sizes.
- Test mobile-friendliness and improve user experience.
- Readability and User Engagement – How to Write SEO Friendly Content?:
- Use clear and concise language.
- Break up content with shorter paragraphs and subheadings.
- Incorporate multimedia elements.
- Include internal and external links for further information.
- Optimise for Featured Snippets:
- Identify snippet-worthy keywords.
- Craft clear and concise answers in appropriate formats.
- Implement structured data markup.
- Perform Ongoing Content Optimisation:
- Regularly review and update existing content.
- Monitor keyword trends, user feedback, and algorithm updates.
- Refine content strategy based on data-driven decisions.
- Monitor and Analyse Performance:
- Use analytics tools to track organic traffic, rankings, CTR, and conversions.
- Evaluate content effectiveness and make necessary improvements.
- Extra Tips for How to Write SEO Friendly Content:
- Incorporate internal linking for context and PageRank distribution.
- Include social sharing buttons.
- Explore related topics to expand content coverage.