How to Write for SEO

A blog or social media post is not the same as penning War and Peace, but writing is a mental challenge, no matter the format or word count. Writing for SEO has a specific aim that requires a unique set of skills because copywriters write for both readers and for Google crawlers that index and rank the authority of your site. Through what Google’s revealed and experimentation, content marketers follow a certain blueprint. Today, using specific keywords peppered within the content, for instance, is common knowledge outside of marketing circles. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Here are some other foundational guidelines on how to write for SEO.

The Nuts and Bolts of Copywriting

One way to optimize your content is with a reflective meta description, the little snippet Google pulls when someone searches a keyword relevant to your page. You want to keep meta descriptions under 150 words and include similar keywords, though an identical match isn’t necessary. Speaking of keywords, the standard rule is to incorporate a keyword once in the first 100 words of copy, then at other natural opportunities throughout the article.

It may seem awkward to slip in a keyword at times, but never forgo sentence structure to cram in a keyword because it’s jarring and obvious. It’s more effective to use them in headers and secondary headers. You want to grab the reader’s attention because far more people will read your headline than your copy. So, think about it and make it punchy. 

Copywriters should always be linking. A link is similar to an endorsement. They show that you’re willing to share another site’s information. Google approves that behavior because it makes internet searches work better. You can also link within your own website to make it easier to navigate, which Google also rewards. Good writing, like proper grammar and spelling, is considered by the algorithm as well.

Overall Content

Some SEO writing can take more creative energy than even Dali could muster. Content should be easy to read and helpful to the reader. It should be engaging, too. When I started writing SEO blogs, one of my first clients was a sandbag company. Can you think of anything duller than a sandbag? Sand itself is certainly more interesting than a bag of it. Empty bags might even be more thrilling. Week after week, I dreaded writing 800-words for the company, but it’s the writer’s job to create informative, compelling copy regardless of the product. 

A helpful trick is to research timely or relevant events and incorporate real-life examples in your copy. Find reliable references that you can continue to use. Always keep a note of when you see well-written SEO. Copy what that person did, but make it your own. It’s how the whole world operates. I failed miserably with the sandbag company, which is why I am offering this link—best sandbags—as an apology

I should have practiced and improved by reading and writing. Shepherding a reader to the end of an article is an accomplishment that deserves a parade. Even if you’ve given your heart and mind to your magnum opus of a blog post, chances are most people will not read it for more than 17 seconds. It took almost 2 minutes for you to read up until this point, so most of you did not make it this far.

For those of you who did, you can read a more in-depth look at SEO, and see how it can assist you and your business.