An effective approach to marketing requires making the most of your time.
Writing for blog posts or web pages can be a very time-intensive portion of the work, from topic selection to structure, the writing itself, editing and final publishing. A piece of writing for a blog or webpage is an investment in your company and your message—and Search Engine Optimization is a key piece of turning all that time into a more engaged, loyal audience.
SEO is what gets your writing recognized by search engines and viewed by more readers. That’s the real objective, right?
More specifically, SEO is the process of writing content that will rank higher on search engine pages, and it involves knowing your users, knowing your keywords, and placing those keywords on your web pages and headers.
There are a few ways to better optimize your writing for SEO purposes and drive quality readers to your website. Start with these 5 tips:
Research Your Keywords
Do your research to find the keywords your target audience will use when typing in that Google search bar. Learning these keywords gives you a clear direction of the words that will be critical to include in your writing in order to boost your search engine ranking.
The research itself is simple—use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to find popular search terms related to your business or message.
Optimize your headlines and titles
Your headlines and title will tie together your blog post or web page. Headers will clean up the look of your page with a clear separation of sections or ideas—be sure to craft them using the keywords that best reflect the content and intention of your message.
Take an additional SEO boost within your title by including your main keyword or offer. Incorporating a number, content teaser or additional buzzwords like a “how to” can take it even further.
Get an added boost with external links
Don’t be afraid to use external links to your advantage. Create a bridge from your content to more well-known sites by linking to them within your content. Search engines will recognize the links to high-quality, influential sites, and your readers will too. The opportunity for additional information, backed by a reputable source, will be appreciated.
Link to your own content as well
Internal links to your own site can be just as helpful, enhancing your content while leading readers to more of your work. This allows search engines to better create a sitemap for your content, and allows readers to better get to know your business and expertise.
Just avoid generic, obvious phrases like “click here”—instead, incorporate the link naturally within a descriptive call to action.
Write for your audience first
As much as SEO writing focuses on keywords, the real key is to remember that you’re writing for real people. While search engines drive the exposure of your content, an engaged audience will drive its effectiveness—so stay mindful of your page layout, write well-structured sentences, and maintain a clear message that offers value to your readers by answering a question, solving a problem, or otherwise providing value related to your business or product.
Incorporate your keywords in a way that feels smooth and natural, not forced or awkward, keeping your audience in mind. Maintaining a flow and a simple sense of readability will keep them engaged and provide a quality experience that encourages them to keep returning to your content.
These 5 key elements for SEO writing are a great foundation for content that readers and search engines will recognize. You already have the quality content; just use these tips to take that content further on search pages and seen by more potential customers.
This content was originally published here.