Online marketing is a massive industry. And, needless to say, there are a bunch of tools and strategies that marketers can use to their advantage.
Having all of these options at your disposal may get overwhelming.
Nonetheless, there’s an evergreen, organic digital marketing strategy that no business should ignore:
Undeniably, when it comes to SEO, stellar content, and your copy are the most influential factors to your rankings in search engines.
Whether it’s you or someone else, having a knowledgable SEO content writer for your digital marketing arsenal is dangerously advantageous.
Below we’ve devised the ultimate SEO content writer’s guide to creating SEO-optimized content for your business’s website that ranks.
Here’s the breakdown:
What SEO is and why it’s important
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
SEO may sound somewhat complicated, but it just means a way of getting your content to appear near the top of the search results for a given search engine.
In most cases, SEO usually refers to Google, but it still applies to other search engines like Bing and Yahoo.
But is getting to the top really that big of a deal?
To put it shortly:
To give you the long answer:
Think about when you’re searching for something online.
How often do you go past the first page, let alone the first few search results?
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t do it very often.
75% of online users never even go past the first page on Google.
But there’s a good reason for this.
Search engines are designed to put the best and most relevant content they can find up first, so it makes sense that you never have to go much farther than the first page.
So as a business owner, how can you put this information to good use?
Well, to put the best content first, Google must have systems in place.
Side note: While I’m only mentioning Google specifically, most of the information in this article applies to other search engines as well.
They use algorithms to help determine which pages are relevant and high-quality. And while these algorithms are a well-kept secret that’s continuously changing and improving, the basic principles stay the same.
Learning these SEO principles and putting them into place can give your business a massive boost in growth and online traffic when done right.
How SEO content helps business owners
So now, we know what SEO is, but we haven’t really gone into the details on how it can help you.
According to the Search Engine Journal, around 51% of all website traffic comes from organic searches.
And one of the best ways to generate organic traffic is by getting to the top of the search engine results.
Getting to the first page isn’t just another vanity metric; it’s one of the best ways to generate a huge ROI from your marketing budget.
From the tech giants to the local businesses, almost everyone’s hopping on the SEO train, and you should too.
How to start with SEO?
So we know a little bit about SEO now; it’s a way of getting to the top of results in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
We also know what it can do for business owners now; by increasing organic traffic, it can help bring more customers to your business with an impressive ROI.
So, how do you start with SEO?
Well, you’ve got two options:
Option #1: You can learn to optimize content for search engines yourself.
Option #2: You can outsource it to some professionals, such as an SEO agency that has SEO content writers at their disposal.
Both of these options have some great draws, as well as a few downsides, so let’s get into option #1 first.
How to write SEO-optimized content
SEO is a great place to start in marketing because it’s not too hard to get a handle on, but it still has quite a few layers.
So we’re going to break it down into some more digestible pieces:
Rule #1: Content is king
When building SEO strategies, one of the most powerful tools in your kit is compelling content.
And by content, I mean things like blog posts, long-form posts, and articles.
But why is content so essential for a strong SEO strategy?
Well, here are a few of the reasons:
- Google tries to avoid putting dead websites near the top of the results. To avoid being classified as a dead website, you’ve got to update it regularly. When you post content on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, you’re viewed as more of an authority. This shows Google that you’re still active and worth putting near the top.
- Content is a great way to address your audience’s questions and concerns. When your audience continues to keep coming back for answers to questions, it shows that you’re an authority in your industry.
- Blog posts and articles, especially long-form articles(1500+ words), keep viewers on your website for longer. The amount of time visitors spend on your website is another role that plays into your rank on Google.
- Valuable content is one of the best ways to start getting backlinks & social shares to your site naturally.
- Long-form posts make it much easier to fit in the most relevant keywords for your strategy without overstuffing your content.
As you can see, content isn’t just vital to SEO for one reason:
It covers so many of the necessary factors that help you reliably rank on Google that’s nearly impossible without high-quality content.
Rule #2: Always provide value
Content may be the king, but if your content isn’t providing any value to your audience, your strategy is bound to flop.
Without valuable content, you’ll run into a few problems.
For one, people might visit your website if the headline’s good enough. But getting them to stay on-page or return is going to be tough if they don’t think they’re going to get any value out of it.
Again, the amount of time people tend to stay on your website has a significant effect on your rank.
Not only that, but without providing value, you’re going to be hard-pressed trying to build backlinks and getting your content shared.
One example of content that provides value is our website’s blog.
If you take a look at the content we put out, it’s not just random fluff to attract clicks.
That’s because we want to ensure we’re giving as much value as we can by helping readers with their marketing strategies. This lets us kill two birds with one stone.
First, we get to provide our audience with real value.
Two, we’re filling all of the above slots in our SEO strategy, helping to establish us as an authority in the marketing space.
Rule #3: Targeting the ultimate keywords
Targeting the right keywords are one of the most critical parts of any SEO strategy.
A keyword can be any word or phrase that you want to show up for when someone types it into a search engine. You don’t want to target just any keyword. For instance, when you type the word “dog” into Google, this is what you get:
Notice how Wikipedia, one of the most well-known and visited websites out there, ranks first?
That’s because they’ve built a ton of authority for themselves as an “information center” of sorts. This would be an obvious example of a keyword that you don’t want to target.
Ideally, you want to target low-hanging keywords. Low-hanging keywords are keywords that are less competitive for ranking. This is important because there’s more to keyword-ranking than just picking a popular search term.
One on hand, you want to rank for relevant phrases and keywords that have a lot of search volume.
For instance, if you’re writing SEO-optimized content for law firms, you want to appear when people search for things relating to law firms.
So far, it seems simple, right?
But there’s a problem; it’s going to be extremely difficult to outrank a highly-authoritative website like Wikipedia for any keyword.
So if you’re trying to get your dog toy store ranked on Google, it’s going to take a bit more than just including the word “dog” a couple of times in your blog.
Usually, shorter, more basic keywords are going to have vast amounts of competition from some massive players.
So you should mainly stick to “long-tail keywords,” at least in the beginning.
Short-tail Vs. Long-tail keywords — What’s the difference?
Short-tail vs. long tail is an important distinction to understand for SEO.
Short-tail keywords are one or two-word phrases, think “real estate” or “dog.”
When you’re first starting your SEO strategy, it’s best to stay away from short-tail keywords.
Since they’re such popular terms, everyone and their mother are trying to rank for them, and this includes high authority websites.
Long-tail keywords, however, are three, four, five, or even higher word-count phrases.
Think “how to train your dog to sit.”
Naturally, fewer people are going to be searching for how to make their dog sit than will be searching for dogs in general. So, it only makes sense for there to be less competition for terms like these.
But don’t mistake less competition for less value. In a lot of ways, the long-tail keywords are more valuable than the short-tail ones.
In this chart from Ahrefs, the last three sections of the curve represent long-tail keywords. And according to the chart, long-tail keywords make up about 40% of all online searches.
While 40% might not seem all that impressive at first, consider the fact that Google gets around 63,000 searches per second. Not only that but since long-tail keywords are highly-specific, they tend to convert better than their short counterparts.
So while they may seem less attractive at first glance, long-tail keywords are just as valuable, if not more valuable, than short-tail keywords.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of keywords, it’s time for an important point to make:
Targeting the right keywords may be a vital part of any SEO strategy. But SEO is a more complex beast than that, and keywords alone aren’t going to rank you high for competitive results.
Rule #4: Building backlinks & authority — your secret weapons for SEO success
Although content is king, just because you created an awesome piece of content doesn’t mean you’ll rank high on Google.
So how is it determined which websites deserve a first, second, or third place on Google’s first page?
Well, one of the other most-considerable factors in ranking your website is domain authority.
If you’re an authority in your industry, it’s likely that the content and webpages you put out are worthwhile to read, which means more people will want to see them.
That’s why Google puts a lot more trust in websites and pages with authority in their niche.
If we go back to the Wikipedia example, that’s why they have a much easier time ranking for the keyword “dog” than a new website would. Wikipedia has established itself as the go-to source for all sorts of information on the web, so Google has more faith that their content is going to be high-quality.
So how does Google know whether or not a website has high authority?
Again, it’s not a simple answer with just one factor. But one significant factor that Google uses to determine a website’s authority is backlinks.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a backlink is a link that traces to your website from another website.
The reason that Google values backlinks are that they’re a good indicator of quality content. If your content is good enough for people to share it on various sites around the web, it’s probably doing something right.
Here we can see that the Wikipedia page on dogs has an estimated 1,206,758 links back to it.
While getting 1.2 million links may be a bit out of reach for many websites, you don’t need that many to improve your Google rankings.
Rule #4.5: Not all backlinks are good.
At one point, many websites were getting away with abusing the system.
They would point tons of links to their websites from low-quality domains. Google, often enough, sees this as spam. But Google’s algorithm has smartened up a bit since then.
Now, only backlinks from other relevant or high-authority sites have a significant positive impact.
Notice how I said a significant positive impact?
That’s because linking from a low-quality or spam domain does have an impact, a negative one.
Google penalizes websites that get too many links from low-quality domains to ensure that people aren’t exploiting their system.
They might encourage good SEO practices, but they aren’t big fans of websites who try to exploit the algorithm.
So be mindful of where you’re getting your backlinks.
So how long does SEO content take to rank?
This one isn’t so much a thing you have to do; it’s just something to keep in mind when getting into the world of SEO.
SEO takes time.
You’re not going to see results immediately as it takes a bit for Google to start noticing your website.
With SEO, patience is the name of the game, especially with new sites.
Don’t expect to get a new website ranking #1 on Google within the first few weeks; in some cases, it can take months to rank a website well.
Should you hire an SEO content writer?
Not everyone has all the time to learn the ins and outs of SEO and get good at it, because SEO, just like any other skill, takes some time and practice to get right.
Creating good SEO optimized content isn’t necessarily hard, but it takes a bit of practice. And as you can see, there’s quite a bit that goes into it.
If you’re someone who doesn’t have the time or the desire to write their own SEO content, there’s a great alternative.
For many business owners, it’s not possible to fit all of the time needed into their busy schedules.
Not only that but when you pick up SEO as a side project or an addition to your already-running business, you won’t be able to specialize in it.
So while it’s entirely possible to get your own content ranked, it can be beneficial to hire the job out to dedicated experts.
That’s when hiring a professional SEO content writers is a great idea.
Instead of dedicating all of the time needed to become decent at SEO, you can have a specialist do the job for you.
In many cases, this is the better option, since it allows you to focus on other aspects of your business while the writer can focus on your SEO-specialized content.
How to hire an SEO content writer
If you’ve decided to hire an SEO-experienced writer, you’ve got one more problem on your hands.
Where do you even find an SEO writer?
Not to worry, while the search for a good SEO writer can seem daunting at first, here are a few good places to get started:
- Social Media. When searching for talent, social media can be an excellent tool.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform that’s specifically for helping businesses and professionals connect. While on Facebook, you can find freelance groups where you can post job listings and have freelancers apply to your job.
- Freelance Websites: Another place you could find talent is a dedicated freelance website. Platforms like Upwork and Freelancer are viable options. Though keep in mind that while freelance SEO writers on these platforms have public reviews and ratings, they can still be hit or miss when it comes to skill.
- Job boards: Another option is a job-posting board like Problogger. Though these have similar problems as the freelance websites. There’s tons of talent on them, but it can take a bit of digging before you find the right writer since there’s not much vetting on many of these boards.
- Marketing agencies: Marketing agencies are a great place to find talent too. For one, much of the vetting is already done for you; you don’t have to sift through dozens of profiles and hope for the best since agencies have to vet their own talent.
Usually, digital marketing agencies that offer SEO services are typically going to be your safest bet out of all of these options. At these agencies, you can get the help of professionals that’ll be able to walk you through the SEO content creation process with transparency.
Pleasing Google’s algorithms with great content
While Google’s algorithms mostly remain a mystery, once you understand the basics, you can start improving your rankings.
So to recap, here are the relatively-simple steps to crafting SEO-optimized content:
- Understand the basic rules of SEO. Remember: Google’s #1 goal is to get the best content in front of the users.
- Content is king: Consistently provide high-value content in the form of blog posts or articles.
- Find the right keywords: Learn which keywords are perfect to rank for and which ones are too competitive at your current stage by doing keyword research.
- Build backlinks to build authority: Page and domain authority is essential to ranking on Google. So, make sure you have a good link-building strategy to boost your domain authority.
- Optional – Hire an expert to increase your chances of success and save time: While it’s entirely possible to do it on your own, hiring experts to do the job will save you time. Hiring professionals will guarantee SEO is executed properly for your website’s content.
When you combine all of these pieces and add them to your content marketing strategy, you’ve got the recipe for a high-ranking, high-authority website that drives loads of organic traffic.
Getting the right help for your SEO-optimized marketing strategy.
Here’s the bottom line:
Optimizing your business’s website content for SEO is essential for your long-term marketing strategy.
Whether you’re writing the content yourself or outsourcing it to a professional SEO content writer, you need to understand the basics.
If not done properly, a poorly executed, SEO-optimized content marketing plan can drive some lousy results. However, when your business’s SEO is on point, you’ll end up with an organic marketing strategy with a crazy ROI.
When it comes to SEO, things can get hectic. That’s why sometimes it’s best to hire a professional digital marketing team that can handle all of the moving parts for you.
Are you ready to drive organic leads to your business with SEO? Contact us today to take your business to the next level. Don’t forget to request our media kit and review our case studies.