Writing for SEO is like any other copy writing – except it’s not. Marketers must keep in mind the delicate balance of strategic keyword placement and fresh, engaging content. Think of SEO writing as an algebra equation – both sides of the equation must be equally satisfied. On one side, forcing keywords into your content when they don’t flow makes for poor readability for potential customers. On the other side, not enough strategic keyword placement? What customers? They won’t stick around long enough to find you on page 10 of Google’s search results and your competitor will get their business instead.
Delivering Engaging Content
We are discussing content first, because you should always be writing for your customer, above all else. Put yourself in their buying mindset. Analyze the buying process. Think about their needs. Supply them with answers to their questions – questions they may not have even known they had. Give them options. Offer them value. Customers want to be inspired to make a purchase. Include creative multimedia to paint a picture of what their lives might be like once they purchase your product or service. Keep your content structure condensed and concise. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, if you can create engaging content that reflects these values and skills, you’re in business…unless of course they can’t find you on Google.
Developing Keyword Strategy
As we all know, search engine ranking can make or break your business. Not optimizing your website to appeal to search engine spiders will keep your potential customers at bay, and all that engaging content you just wrote for them will be for naught. Strategizing relevant keywords starts in the same place you learned to deliver great content – with your customers. Get into their brains. If you were researching a product or service, where would you go to find the answers? To the Great Google, of course!
What would you search for? What would be your fastest route from point A to point B? But, don’t just rely on your intuition alone, take those ideas you have on how to get there and do some keyword research to determine which words will produce optimal results. Balancing low competition keywords and high search volume can be a balancing act all its own. However, recognizing the needs of your customers and the valuable features of your products or services should help make those decisions a little easier.
Now that we have both engaging content and a keyword strategy, we can begin to solve the equation – making sure both sides are equally balanced. Placement of your determined keywords within your content is essential to successful SEO. Remember, we don’t want to over-stuff our website or blog with randomly placed keywords – we want optimized content that is engaging to our customers.
Place your keywords strategically in the URL, meta description, title, subheadings, the first sentence of the body copy and subsequent paragraphs thereafter. If you are including images or video, include keywords in the “ALT” attribute. Use different forms of your keywords (ex: design, designing, designed, etc.). Keep in mind that keywords located at the top of pages and at the beginning of sentences and paragraphs will procure the best results. Finally, remember to track your keyword rankings and make changes over time to improve results.
Now, go forth and prosper, grasshopper.