Are you someone who has always wanted to try your hand at writing for a living? Perhaps you simply want to try an alternative income source. SEO content writing is one way many people are choosing to earn extra money — or make an entire living. Sometimes, though, even the most talented writers feel overwhelmed at venturing into the realm of writing for search engine optimization purposes. The algorithms, keyword needs, and content hierarchy doesn’t need to be scary, though. Simply use these tips to help you write your first article.
1. Treat Researching Keywords Like an Art
For your SEO writing to make an impact, you need to include the right keywords. Writing for search engines tends to be more technical than creative writing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still treat it as an art. Strong SEO uses more than one keyword. It uses phrases, images, URLs, and much more.
Consider your topic first. Imagine you’re writing about golden retrievers. Naturally, you’ll want to use the phrase “golden retriever,” but consider what your article is about as well. If you’re writing about how to care for the breed, use phrases like “how to potty train a golden retriever” or “what to feed a golden retriever.” Create a URL that uses the breed’s name to boost it higher in search engine results pages. Even the names of your image files matter. “Golden retriever” is more focused than “dog1,” so be specific when naming images.
Some keywords perform better than others. Just like art, SEO writing often includes trial and error. If the first keywords that you research don’t perform as well as you’d like, further your research and change them up. SEO algorithms change frequently. Update your content to keep up with the changes.
2. Create an Outline of Your Article
Do you remember when you had to write papers in high school? Chances are your teachers asked you to turn in an outline of your topic and what you planned to write about before the final paper was due. The outlines were invaluable for helping you organize your thoughts, and they are just as important now.
Keep your readers in mind as you outline your article. What will they want to learn about first? Disperse your keywords and phrases throughout your outline to help you determine where to include them as you flesh out your article. As you research your topic, consider what other top-ranking articles may be leaving out. Maybe the other articles about golden retrievers talk about when to feed them and how much to feed them but don’t mention which foods are best. Including a section about storebought and homemade dog foods provides new information and will likely help your search engine results ranking.
3. Build a Hierarchy Throughout Your Content
Your SEO content starts as soon as you create your title, which should use an H1 tag. Use your keyword research to create a hierarchy for your content. When creating links, do your best to use anchor text that includes a keyword or phrase. Break up your content with H2 and H3 headers that use keywords. There are several other ways to make your content easy to read while following SEO practices as well.
- Use bullet points like these ones to break up content
- Create alt attributes for images
- Write strong meta descriptions and title tags that include your main keyword
- Add bold text where appropriate
Above all, don’t let yourself overthink. New writers especially can become so engrossed with including keywords that they accidentally include too many. Overusing keywords and phrases is just as detrimental to your writing as not using enough. The best idea is to include one about every 100 words. By keeping these tips in mind, you are well on your way to becoming a successful SEO writer.