Are you looking to optimize your Web content without becoming an SEO expert?

With the emphasis increasingly on attracting users via organic search, it’s essential for writers, editors, and marketing managers to keep SEO-oriented research techniques in mind as they create content for the Web, whether for blog posts or key Web pages.

Here are some key tips we’ve culled from recent writings and posts from leading Search Engine sources and experts including Google, MOZ, and Search Engine Journal.

Find Your Keyword Focus

If you don’t think you need a keyword focus, think again: You do. The question is really how to go about it.

We recommend coming up with your own short list of keywords – or keyword phrases – that match the content in mind. The discovery process for this looks like the following:

  • Decide on one or two keywords you think your page or post is about.
  • Try your keywords out through a search of your own. See what comes up. What is your competition doing for those keywords?
  • FIne-tune your keyword list through use of a keyword tool. There are lots of them, but Google’s Keyword Research Tool is a good starting point. Create as long a list as you like, but then boil it down to the ones that have some traffic. Don’t go for the top keywords if there’s a lot of competition – as you’ll never out-craft the folks who are paying for the keyword(s) through PPC.
  • Come up with a set of short set of keywords or keyword phrases that you can use in your writing.

Construct an SEO-friendly Framework

It would be wonderful if you could create your content and magically users find it, but it really helps if you pay attention to the technical details of search engine optimization.  This involves planning to use your keyword(s) in as many of the following as you can. Planning it in advance (in Word) is useful in order to avoid missing any of the following:

  1. SEO page title (what shows up on the browser tab)
  2. Page meta description
  3. UR
  4. One or more headline tags (preferably H1) within the page
  5. Internal links
  6. Alt-tags of any image used on the page
  7. Utilize built-in SEO tools, if available for your Content Management tool (like Yoast SEO for WordPress) to help you hit your marks.

Writing for the Web

Web-friendly content is largely just good writing. Search engines and users will both respond to prose that has the following attributes:

  • Built-in questions for those seeking answers
  • Strong sentence construction
  • Variety of short and long sentences
  • Variety of the keyword phrases used (instead of the repetition of a single keyword or keyword phrase)
  • Active verbs
  • No cliches
  • Make good use of bullet points and bold to draw attention
  • Proof your copy and/or use writing tools like Grammarly, to help you with misspellings or grammatical errors.

Need a deeper dive into this topic? We also recommend these in-depth explorations:

Search Engine Journal’s Post on SEO Writing in 2018

MOZ’s Whiteboard Session – SEO Checklist

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