I tried my best to make this list easy to understand, and I hope you’ll see it as a pocket guide on the best practices for SEO content writing.
These are 17 ideas on how to improve your blog content to increase organic traffic.
Hopefully, you don’t have to burn bridges, climb mountains, and read all the thousand books and courses I took before you start seeing results.
17 Best Practices for SEO Content Writing
For beginners, you should understand what SEO writing really means.
Click on that link and understand the process before you read this one.
But if you already did, I won’t’ waste your time. So, Let’s go.
#1. Choose long-tail keywords
What are short tail keywords?
- Short-tail keywords – 3 words or less
- Long-tail keyword – more than 3 words
Most short-tail keywords are already taken. The big guys in your industry have the resources and staff to create great content. They have been in the industry for a long time, and they have created lots of content and backlinks.
Their pages will come up if you type one word into the search box. Depending on your industry, it will be difficult to outrank them for one word or even three words.
So, when you are planning your SEO strategy, you should focus on long-tail keywords.
Don’t focus on keywords like “business,” “business growth,” or “grow my business.”
Focus on something like “how to build a business on Instagram.”
Where do I find the keywords?
Use tools such as:
- Google Keyword planner
- Google Trend
You can also check places like
- Amazon suggestions
- Google suggestions
Look at people’s comments, reviews, and questions.
People type the keyword. So it’s perfect to use what they’re typing. And with the tools I mention, you can decide if those words are worth targeting in your strategy or not.
In other words, first, create content that satisfies people’s wants. This is the most important SEO content best practices I have mentioned before:
Always focus on what readers and crawlers want.
#2. Imitate what’s ranking at the top of the page
Study “Search Engine Result Page.” Your aim is to appear at the top, so it is alright to familiarize yourself with it. Study it.
Pay attention to the following:
- The top websites on the page
- Their source of backlinks
- The keywords that appears on the page
- The type of content that appears first (videos, listicles, audios)
- The format of the contents (subheadings, images, anything unique about the pages)
If a website is ranking at the top, then it is a standard for you to rank. Follow the same process, but improve the content.
#3. Write great headlines
When you saw this post on Google, what did you notice first?
Yeah, it’s the title.
You read it and then decide if the rest of the post will be worth it.
Learn how to write great titles, headlines, and descriptions. Your mission is to force searchers to stop in their track, give your headline a second look, and click it.
#4. If you can’t include your keyword in the title, then use it early in your post
Look at this:
This process lets crawlers determine quickly what your page is about and rank it accordingly.
#5. Rank for one long-tail keyword
You might think you are smart and include as many keywords as you can.
That’s not a best practice.
People will leave when they can’t find what they are looking for or if your content is confusing.
And that’s bad for your bounce rate. So, yes, you might add a few other keywords, but not many of them.
The best practice is that if you write the best article, it likely includes other random keywords.
#6. Reduce the size of your images
Add the image at the right size you want your reader to find them.
They shouldn’t be too big for mobile users especially.
Large images load too slowly, and it doesn’t help the user experience.
User experience is another profession/topic entirely, and you don’t’ want to ruin it for your visitors/users.
#7. Use keywords in images
If you are using Yoast Plugin, it will notify you about how to insert images.
For beginners, add keywords to the Alt Text.
Use a better name like your domain name + your blog title. Don’t use something like 3289.jpeg.
#8. Change the details on the page only when it’s important
For new websites, it takes time before Google finds and collects information about your pages.
When you make changes to a page, such as the structure and URL, it might affect the information Google has about the page. Then your page might rank lower after you make changes to it.
Leave pages as they are unless you need to improve something.
Most times, this is not a problem if your website is set up correctly. Your information should update automatically with the right system or plugins in place.
But keep this point in mind anyway: Edit pages when it’s important. Then, visitors won’t start seeing different information on the same page every two days.
#9. Link your new content to old content
If you have been following some best practices for content writing, you must have heard about internal linking. In short, link one page to another page, like showing the reader the paths to follow around your website.
But if you want Google to index (collect information about) your page faster, you should edit older content and include the new link to your new blog content.
#10. Share your content
If you share your content, you will:
- Connect with people who need it
- Get feedback on what you write
- Build backlinks
Where can you share your content?
- Social media
- Places like Quora and Reddit
#11. Format your content for skimmers
One of the best SEO content best practices is to use
- bold texts
- Short videos
40% of your visitors won’t read your blog posts. They are there to find what they need and leave.
So prepare for that.
Do you know why listicles are so interesting to read?
They are so easy to skim.
#12. Request for backlinks
Find websites that will link to your pages or blog posts.
This is one of the toughest things about SEO, and it is the key thing that can make a lot of difference.
Remember, your authority is the most important thing to crawlers. So they usually measure it through backlinks.
How can you get backlinks?
- Send cold emails to other bloggers
- Guest post on popular websites
- Publish content in different places
- Network with people in your industry (tech blogger meet other bloggers, website designers, tech guys, and tech products sellers)
#13. Subscribe to pro SEO tools
Tools will make your life easier. They are helpful if you want to grow faster. They can alert you on what you’re doing wrong or need to do if you want your page to rank.
Many SEO tools have features, guides, videos, and blog posts to educate you on what to do.
I like the videos on Ahref and their blog posts.
I can’t tell you the ones to buy. Check the first point in this post and do your research.
#14. Include a short video summary of your blog post
A short video works fine if you want to reduce the bounce rate on your website content.
Videos are also easy to share on social media. Make it short, between 1 – 3 minutes.
#15. Target a few short-tail keyword
Your aim is to become the big guys in your industry. So you have to write content that will put you in that place.
Avoiding short tail keywords means some important topics will not be available on your website, and people will look for answers elsewhere.
That’s not so good for building trust and authority.
I know about this because I talk about backlinks in SEO writing, but I haven’t written extensively about it yet.
So, target a few short-tail keywords in your plan. They might not get to the top of SERP, but they can get traffic through social shares and internal linking.
Who knows? You might just get lucky with ranking after some time.
#16. Write something Interesting
When I think about this, I remember websites like Waitbutwhy. The articles on the page are lengthy. They could pass for Amazon short reads.
Look at the length of the blog posts on Waitbutwhy.com
Look at that traffic in the last 6 months:
Look at the top keywords:
The type of articles you see on the website is something you have never thought about before. It’s practical yet seems new. It is like explaining a strange concept to you in a way that has never been discussed before.
If you can do that, it’s’ a huge win for the world and the internet. It’s’ an extreme example of the best practices for SEO content writing.
#17. Write great content
Writing great content is one of the main reasons people share your post, read to the end, or even link to it.
If your post is great, it will keep getting traffic for years and years later.
(Yes, you might need to update it.)
So put in the effort and write something better than what’s ranking at the top of SERPs.
Writing great content is a little different than writing something interesting.
Great content solves the reader’s problems. Something interesting is like research, a compelling story, something people have never thought about.
Such types of writing can be classified as exceptional best practices for SEO content writing because it’s hard to do.
You need resources. Your content writer must be a good storyteller that can keep readers engaged for 30 or more minutes in a world where 10 minutes seem too long for many people. It is not something you can do daily. It might take weeks or years to have one post because of the quality of research you need.
Think about writing a topic like “a guide to living in California through the eye of a French Woman.”
That will take days or months to write because you need to live there or contact and interview those who did. It might even take years.
Depending on your plans, you might have to invest in research and write something that isn’t easy to come by anywhere else.
Write helpful detailed, and valuable content instead. For example, if your blog talks about phone apps, write something really helpful about a phone app problem.
Know what not to compromise
You can ignore some of the advice on the list because they aren’t’ a straight-line path to getting the amount of traffic you want. You have to consider other things like:
- The competition in your industry
- How long do you want to commit to a strategy
- The resources you have for tools and skilled writers
Stick to the most important things in best practices for SEO content writing
You have two important tasks in your content writing for SEO:
- write for humans and crawlers. But it can be summarized in one sentence: make your readers happy. Google will know, using the reports such as bounce rates, and they will rank your page.
- Secondly, get backlinks.
Don’t forget to shoot me a message if you need a freelance SEO writer using the contact form above. I’ll catch it.
If you are just starting your business and you have a limited budget for marketing, you might want to check this: Should I hire a SEO consultant?