There is content pretty much everywhere you look, from scrolling through social media and reading a blog post to tuning in to your favorite podcast during your commute. For the SEO realm, there’s a lot of talk regarding the importance of high quality content writing, but it goes beyond the human element.
You can have top notch content or Pulitzer-worthy copy on your web pages, but your content marketing strategy won’t get very far if search engines can’t understand it. Your site’s written content plays a huge role in the success of your on-page SEO—the more SEO-friendly your content writing is, the better your ranking in search results (which means much more traffic).
For content writers, there has never been a better time to create web copy or write quality content for SEO. There’s no longer a need to keyword-stuff like in the olden days, and search engines are learning to understand and value natural, well-written content. But there are still a few things you should keep in mind in order to make those little crawlers happy. As far as SEO goes, here are some best practices you can use for writing high-quality page content:
Write for Your Personas
There’s a reason you spent so much time creating your business’ buyer personas—now’s the time to use them! An important part of writing is knowing your audience; for example, you wouldn’t use the same tone for a persona who’s a 45-year-old lawyer as you would for a persona who’s a 20-year-old college student.
Keeping these personas in mind while you’re writing will not only help you attract your target audience, but it builds trust and will help keep them interested and coming back for more. Writing for your personas will also help you create a uniform and consistent brand voice, benefitting your site’s overall effect.
People turn to search engines with questions, so unless your content is actively solving your audience’s problem or answering their queries, it’s going to get lost in a sea of competition.
Now, not all forms of written work are going to be able to incorporate this practice—while it’s crucial for content like white pages and reviews, this will be a struggle for those writing artistic and creative work. Again, this is an important practice to keep in mind, but it’s not the end-all-be-all requirement of engaging content.
Make Keywords Work for You
In the beginning, writing SEO-friendly content meant using the same keywords over and over and over again. While this was great for search engine optimization at the time, it made for a clunky, awkward and repetitive reading experience.
Then came enlightenment. Search engines can now pick up synonyms and keyword variations, so go ahead—flex those wordsmithing muscles. Work those short- and long-tail keywords. The more organically your copy reads, the better, especially since search engines will penalize content that comes off as spammy or keyword-stuffed.
Make It Shareable
Use Engaging Visual Content
Whether you’re using it to lure in clicks or to break up lengthy text, incorporating relevant and engaging visual content is key to your page’s success. This can come in the form of photos, charts, infographics, videos and even GIFs. Search engines can pull up almost as much visual content as written content, so no matter what you’re using, be sure to apply alt-text to as much as you can, especially for original content.
Optimize for Conversions
As nice as it would be to live in a perfect world where brands want to share information just for the sake of sharing information, we all know that that doesn’t usually pay the bills.
That being said, content that sounds intentionally sales-y and promotional doesn’t make for an enjoyable read (or much brand loyalty). A part of creating quality content is to optimize for conversations using CTAs to product and offer pages—so write like you live in that perfect world, then back your content up with brand-focused call to actions.
There are a lot of ways to create high-quality content, and while we’ve listed a few of the best practices for brands and businesses to keep in mind, this isn’t an exact science. Test out your own methods and types of content and see what performs best for you. And keep in mind that if your content isn’t evolving, your online brand won’t either.