How To
14 min read

How to Write SEO Content for Your Site: A Guide for Beginners

Soniya Khubchandani

July 25, 2022

In the past, SEO was all about keywords. If you had the right combination of words and phrases, you could rank for anything.

But times have changed. Google has gotten more intelligent and sophisticated, so it takes more than keyword stuffing to rank well in search results.

You need great content that's not just optimized for keywords but interesting to readers and fulfills their search intent. The only way to do that is to make sure your content is full of relevant information, properly organized, and easy to read.

In this guide, we'll talk about everything you need to write SEO content as a part of your content marketing strategy—from choosing the right words to structuring your sentences for maximum SEO benefit and more!

What is SEO-friendly content, and why is it important?

Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the volume and quality of traffic to your website by using on-page search engine optimization techniques.

SEO content, also known as search engine optimized content or "written for search engines," enables search engines to understand what your page is about, what keywords you want it to rank for, and how it can improve the user experience.

The primary purpose of SEO content is to make sure that your site is accessible for Google to crawl, understand, and index. If your website's content doesn't adhere to Google's guidelines for SEO-friendly material, then it won't be able to rank well—no matter how good it looks or how many links you have pointing toward it!

Reasons why SEO-friendly content is critical

  1. It helps Google and other search engines understand what your page is about, so they can give it a higher ranking if it is structured correctly and covers the topic thoroughly.

  1. It makes it easier for people to find what they're looking for on search engines, which means they're more likely not to bounce back to search results to find a better solution.

  1. It gives the reader an easy way into your site or blog organically, which builds brand awareness and traffic for your site. The easier it is for them to understand what you're offering, the more likely they'll be satisfied with their experience and become a returning visitor.

How to write SEO content for search engines and humans

As Google's algorithms are constantly changing and improving, there is no definite answer on how to write SEO content. However, by following some basic principles and best practices, you can ensure that your content has a better chance of ranking well on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Here are some tips for SEO content writing to follow:

1. Look for a proven topic by doing keyword research

Finding a good topic and focus keywords to write about is instrumental in creating SEO-optimized content.

Choose a topic relevant to your business with keywords that have decent search volume, along with being an expert so you can provide quality content to your readers.

Start by discovering keywords people are already searching for that relate to your businesswith an SEO tool like SEMRush or ahrefs, which can help you find relevant keywords that you can rank.

You can also look at competitor websites that have already written on your subject and think of ways to create better content than they have.

Another way to develop a good topic is to think about what questions people are asking that relate to your business. For example, you can use a tool like Answer The Public to find out what questions people are searching for, then create content that answers those questions. This strategy will not only help you rank for those keywords, but it will also give your audience the information they're looking for.

Another option is to check Google Trends to see what topics are trending in your business and if you can write an article about them. 

2. Analyze search intent

Whether you are an SEO professional or a marketer, understanding search intent is critical to your success. Search intent refers to the purpose behind a user's search query, and by understanding it, you can ensure that your content meets their needs.

Search intent can be informational, navigational, transactional, or commercial.

Types of search queries
Source: Inchoo

Each type refers to a different stage in the buyer's journey, and by understanding which kind of intent someone is searching with, you can tailor your content accordingly. Informational

Informational searches typically occur early in the buyer's journey when users are still gathering information about their options; instead of selling them something directly, your goal should be to provide useful, relevant information. How to articles, tutorials, and listicles are great for informational content.

Commercial

When someone is researching a product, brand, or service with the intent to purchase based on the content they read and their preferences. Product reviews or best lists are good examples used heavily in affiliate marketing sites.

Transactional

Transactional searches typically occur later in the buyer's journey. Therefore, when users are ready to make a purchase, you should optimize keywords for that sales pages to easily complete their transactions. Keywords with buy or product names are typically used in transactional searches.

Navigational

Navigational searches are usually done when users are looking for a website or company, which means your site should show up first if they are searching specifically for you.

The best way to analyze search intent is to look at the search query itself.

What are the words used in the query? Are they short or long-tail keywords? Where can you find this query on a SERP, and what kind of pages appear there? What intent does their content target? Do they match your page? What's the searcher's goal? What do they want to achieve by typing this query into Google or other search engines?

By analyzing search intent, you can ensure that your page appears for queries relevant to what you're offering and adjust your content accordingly. In addition, analyzing search intent can help you decide the post type, angle, and structure of your post.

3. Write an outline

When you're writing a blog post or any other type of text, outlining is extremely helpful because it allows you to organize your thoughts in advance and make sure they're aligned with the goals of your piece. If you don't have an outline before writing, it can be tough to keep track of what needs to get done—and even tougher to decide what should come next when it's time to revise.

How does an outline for SEO content writing help? 

  • Stay focused on the main ideas of your blog post

  • Make sure that each main idea is covered in detail

  • Avoid getting stuck in the weeds with more information and tangents

It is best to brainstorm what needs to be included and then structure the document accordingly to avoid leaving anything out.

For example, if you're writing a blog post about a new product launch, some key points might include:

  • An introduction to the product

  • What problem the product solves

  • How the product works

  • Why customers should care about this particular launch

  • What the product offers that's different from competitors' products

  • How to get started with the product

  • Any special deals or promotions that are available

  • A call to action, such as inviting readers to learn more or sign up for a free trial

If you don't have an outline, it would be easy to forget one of these elements when drafting or leave them out entirely during revisions. But with an outline in place beforehand, it's much easier to ensure that your final piece is complete. The next step is to start writing the first draft of your blog post, using the outline as a guide.

If you want help creating an outline for your blog post, check out Copy.ai's outline generator, which can create a high-level outline in seconds.

4. Write the first draft

Writing the first draft is often the most challenging part of the process. It's intimidating and overwhelming, and you feel like your work isn't good enough.

But here's the thing: It doesn't have to be perfect. When you're just getting started, it's best not to focus on perfection at all—instead, write down anything that comes into your head and see what you come up with.

For example, if you're writing an article about how to make a delicious meal, don't start by thinking about what ingredients you'll need or how long each step will take. Instead, start by writing down all of your thoughts on making the ultimate meal: What kinds of foods would be involved? What are some of your favorite meals? What kind of atmosphere would surround this meal? How would it make you feel? 

The more detailed and specific you get with these questions (and any others that come to mind), the better off you'll be when it comes time for editing and revision later on down the road!

Tips for writing the first draft

  • Start by brainstorming. Get all of your ideas down on paper before you start writing. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure you don't forget anything important.

  • Don't worry about grammar or punctuation. Just get your thoughts down in whatever way makes sense to you. You can fix errors during the editing process.

  • Write in short, simple sentences. Again, this is just a first draft—you can refine your language later on.

  • Keep going until you reach the end of your story/essay/etc.

It's okay if your first draft doesn't make perfect sense at this point. You can always go back and add, delete, or change things later. The most important thing is just to get started!

5. Edit your content

Editing is the key to writing a great piece of work.

It can be challenging to edit your first draft when you start writing. You're so excited to get the words on the page that you want to keep going. But editing your work is crucial!

Advice for editing your first draft

  • Read your draft aloud and make any necessary corrections in grammar, spelling, or punctuation.

  • Edit out unnecessary words and phrases, like "very," "really," "a lot," etc., which we call word clutter. You can cut out these words and see if anything feels off. If it does, replace them with more specific words.

  • Make sure that each sentence flows smoothly into the next one. If a sentence feels choppy or out of place, reword it to fit better with the rest of the paragraph.

  • Double-check all dates, names, locations, etc., to ensure that they are accurate and up-to-date. Nothing will lose a reader's trust faster than outdated or inaccurate information.

  • After making all of the changes, put your draft aside for at least an hour (or overnight if possible). When you come back to it, you will be able to see it with fresh eyes and discover any errors that you may have missed the first time around.

  • Once you are sure that your paragraph is as perfect as possible, ask someone else to look at it. The second set of eyes can often catch errors you have missed, no matter how many times you have read your work.

When editing, don't worry about making every single word perfect—just try your best to make sure everything makes sense and flows smoothly.

6. Make your content visually appealing

Adding visual elements to your blog posts can make them more engaging and visually appealing. This can help grab readers' attention and keep them engaged with your content. 

Additionally, visuals can also help convey information more effectively than text alone. Therefore, including visuals in your blog posts can be a great way to enhance the overall quality of your content.

For example, if you're writing about the different types of trees in the world, you can use images of each tree as illustrations. That way, readers can see exactly what kind of tree you mean when you write about "the pine tree." You could also include photos of similar trees that aren't pine trees—like spruce trees or cedar trees—to show how much variation is in what we consider "pine."

Another option is using videos and animations instead of static images. These tend to be more engaging because they move around on their own and keep readers' attention longer than simple images would alone!

Finally, optimize your visual content for SEO by reducing their file size using image compression plugins and giving them descriptive names. Add relevant alt tags that describe the visuals to optimize your content further.

7. Write a compelling title and description

The title is the first thing people see when they find your article on Google or their social media feed. A good title optimized with keywords can also help search engines understand your post and give it better rankings. If you want to do well, take some time to write a compelling title that will attract readers.

The description is also important as it can help convince potential readers to click through to your post. Write 1-2 sentences that accurately describe what they will find in your article that leaves them wanting to know more.

Tips for adding meta titles and descriptions

  • Keep it short and to the point: around 60 characters, or 580-600 pixels, for the title and 155 characters, or 900-920 pixels, for the description.

  • Use rich keywords: include 1-2 keywords that accurately describe your article's content. These will help people find your post when searching for something related.

  • Make it appealing: remember, you want people to click through to read your article! Write a title and description that makes them want to learn more about what you have to say.

Pro Tip: Write catchy, SEO optimized titles with our SEO blog title generator in seconds.

8. Make your URL readable

URL Readability
Source: Moz 

When you're trying to optimize your content for search engines, you must make your URL readable.

User-friendly URLs are easy to understand and remember, so you should make your URL as simple as possible. Follow these tips to make your URL user-friendly:

  1. Keep it short and sweet. The shorter your URL is, the better it will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). Long URLs have been shown to have lower click rates than short ones, so it's worth condensing your URLs. This will help with both user experience and SEO.

  1. Use hyphens in between words, making them easier to read by both humans and search engines alike. 

  1. Use keywords as part of the URL structure as close to the beginning whenever possible. This will ensure that Google knows what content you're trying to show off when someone searches for those keywords specifically, giving you a better chance of higher rankings.

9. Add relevant internal links

An important factor in SEO is the internal linking of your content. You should link to other related pages or posts on your website from within your content. By doing this, you help search engines understand what your page is about and how it relates to other website pages. Additionally, readers will appreciate the easy navigation between related topics on your site.

Tips to improve your internal linking

  • Use optimized anchor text with keywords that are descriptive and relevant to the page's content it's linking to.

  • Make sure that each link has a target URL that makes sense for the page.

  • Ensure all links are clickable with no broken images or links that don't lead to pages that aren't found (known as 404 errors).

  • Add internal links to new content as soon as it's published. This will help search engines find and index your new content more quickly.

After you have written your content and made it optimized for search engines, upload it into your content management system. Doing this will help make sure that each site page is indexed correctly in search engines, further improving your SEO.

Extra tips to get your content ranked in search results

You've just written a great piece of content. You're excited about it, and you can't wait for people to read it. But before you get too happy, there's one last thing to think about: How do you make sure your content gets ranked higher in search results?

Here are a few tips to help get your content rank better in search results.

Make your content the go-to resource on a topic

 

This means that people should be able to find all the information they need about a specific topic in one place—and they shouldn't have to go searching around the web or clicking through multiple pages of links just to get there.

Include unique data 

People don't often share content just because it's interesting or entertaining—they share it because they feel like the person or organization behind it has something valuable to say. Make sure your content includes unique information and data that no one else is offering, and you'll be more likely to get links to your site, which will help your content rank even faster.

Perform content optimization

Using tools like SurferSEO and MarketMuse allows you to analyze your content against the top Google search results for your target keyword you want to rank. As a result, you'll find certain keywords relevant to your topic that you may have missed and naturally add more content surrounding those keywords.

List of tools to help you write great SEO-friendly content

Writing great SEO-friendly content can be a little tricky. But with these tools, you'll be well on your way to creating content that your customers will love and Google will appreciate.

Copy.ai

Copy.ai is a new tool that can make SEO writing super easy. All you have to do is input a few details about your topic and hit enter. Copy.ai will then write an entire blog post for you, complete with headlines, body copy, and a call to action. You can then edit the content to make it more suitable for your brand.

Copy.ai can also help you generate content ideas with our free content idea generator. Just input a few details about your topic, and it will create a list of potential topics for you to write. This is a great way to come up with ideas for new blog posts or even just to get some inspiration for what to write about next.

It also writes content that is both human-friendly and Google-friendly, meaning that your site will be more likely to rank high in search results. This tool can save you hours spent brainstorming topics and writing copy, making it an invaluable asset for any business owner or content marketing manager.

See the entire toolset of Copy.ai in action here and try it out for FREE!

Google Keyword Planner

Google's Keyword Planner is a great tool to help you come up with ideas for content. It's a free tool created by Google to see which keywords are searched, their estimated monthly search volume, and how difficult it can be to rank organically for them. and how often they're searched. This can help you determine what topics are most popular in your niche and what you should be focusing on in your content.

Simply enter in a few keywords related to your topic, and the planner will return results that'll give you an idea of what people are searching for.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is another excellent free tool that can help you develop content ideas. Enter in a keyword or phrase, and the tool will return results of popular questions people are asking about that topic.

This is a great way to determine what people want to know about your niche and what information they're seeking. It's also a great way to come up with ideas for blog posts, as you can simply answer the questions in your post.

Yoast SEO

It is a great all-in-one SEO plugin for WordPress, and it includes an amazing content analysis tool that can help you analyze your posts before publishing them. The tool will give you feedback on readability and SEO issues with your post and give you recommendations for fixing those problems.

Yoast can make your content search-friendly by enabling you to write your focus keywords into your blog post. It can also help you write better page titles and meta descriptions, including checking the length to make sure they fit on mobile and desktop devices.

Hemingway Editor

When you write for search engines, it's important to make sure that your content is as readable as possible before submitting it to Google. The Hemingway Editor lets you do just that—it helps you find mistakes in your grammar, structure, tone, and word choice.

It also gives you suggestions on how to improve your writing by showing how long sentences are or whether they use passive voice instead of active voice. If you've ever wondered if there's a way to make your writing more readable without losing the meaning of what you're trying to say, Hemingway Editor is for you!

Keyword Density Checker

Writing SEO-friendly content can be a challenge. It's not just about using keywords; you also have to put them in the right place and use synonyms to make sure your readers aren't getting bored.

Here comes Keyword Density Checker—to help you quickly and easily check the density of your text and make sure it's optimized.

For example, let's say your keyword is "SEO tools." You want to include this keyword in your content about 1-2 times naturally for every 100-200 words. Using Keyword Density Checker, you can quickly check whether your text meets these requirements and make any changes if needed.

Grammarly Premium

Grammarly is a very effective tool to help you write SEO-friendly content. It's a spellchecker that can also check grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

It's available as a browser extension or as a desktop app, so it's easy to use on any device.

Grammarly will give you suggestions for improving your writing based on its analysis of your text—so if there are any errors in capitalization or missing words, it'll let you know about them and show you what the correct versions are. You can even set up a personal dictionary so that Grammarly learns from your writing style and improves over time!

Copyscape

Copyscape is a great tool for checking if your content has been plagiarized. It's easy to find out if a piece of content has been copied from somewhere else and can help you make sure that your content is unique.

You can also use Copyscape to check if your content has been appropriately cited and referenced. If you're using someone else's work as a reference, it's important that you credit them properly with a source link.

Conclusion

We've talked about everything you need to know to write great SEO-friendly content in this guide.

Don't worry if it's a little overwhelming—we've included all the information you need to get started.

Just remember that writing good content is an investment, and if you follow these guidelines, you'll be on your way to creating amazing content that will help grow your business.

We hope this guide has provided the information and guidance you need. Your next step is to put these best practices into action—and start seeing results!

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