What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO is basically how a website is optimized to appear for certain search results on search engines like Bing and Google Search which is the most popular.
Types of SEO
SEO is basically divided into 3 types;
What is SEO content writing?
We will focus on SEO content that is part of on-page SEO. We can say that great content plus an on-page SEO app equates to SEO content writing.
SEO content writing can simply be defined as the planning and writing of content with the goal of ranking on search engines for certain search queries and keywords in order to generate quality traffic.
SEO copywriting: part of the big picture
SEO content writing, like any other marketing activity, is linked to an objective and a purpose, taking into account which stage of the marketing or sales funnel you are addressing. With that in mind, content writing is a major medium for the entire buying journey, and by the way, what is the content that can’t be found? Besides the initial dissemination on social networks (Facebook, Twitter) and emails, the search engine is a means of making your content discoverable.
3 main research objectives
Search intents are simply the reason behind a search, and people run search queries for different intents.
There are three main types of search queries, namely;
- Intent to seek information
- Transactional intent, and
- Navigation search intent.
Intent to seek information
When people search with the intention of knowing more or learning more about particular topics. This is research done by people looking for information or answers on specific topics. An example is “visa-free countries”, this search would be performed by a user who wants to be informed about visa-free countries.
If you link this to a marketing or sales funnel, it’s mostly research associated with the awareness stage that is at the top of the funnel.
When people search with the intention of finding a product or service offering to patronize or about to make purchasing decisions or already know what they want to buy. An example is “foreign used cars for sale in Nigeria”. This search query is likely done by someone considering where to buy foreign used cars.
This is mainly in the consideration stages of the sales or marketing funnel.
Navigation search intent
Navigation intent is basically when people search with the intention of finding a specific website, web page, or even a physical location. Search phrases or keywords are usually specific and often tagged. Examples could be; “Udemy courses”, “Gmail connection”, “betacar”, etc.
Also, Google search queries could be easily segmented into these parts, namely;
- “Know” – information searches
- “Do” – transactional searches
- “Go” – navigation searches
These search queries can help you segment your keywords by intent when writing content.
Having highlighted the above, it is important to understand that content writing has a lot of value and is very important for inbound search engine marketing.
So when you write, ask yourself;
- What is the goal ?
- Are you writing for yourself or do you really want to meet specific search intentions, with the value your content offers?
- What keywords and phrases would you like to rank for?
Keywords and content
When writing, the main goal is to write for people, not just search engines. If you follow these calculated steps it will make your content more meaningful and not a robotic piece of writing for bots and search engine bots.
It’s the idea of semantic search, also known as intent-based search, that allows Google to rank results based on intent and context. You want your content to be found on search because you want people to find your content and deliver the value they’re looking for.
How to apply keywords to content?
As mentioned earlier, you need to consider what the purpose of the content is. For example, you want your content to appear when people search for “What is SEO Content Writing.”
Note that there are 3 ways to group your keywords for SEO content writing. That is to say;
The first thing you would do is find or discover the main keywords. In this case, it could be “SEO content”. This is usually the most important keyword you want to rank for.
These are more specific additions to the main keywords. Example “SEO content writing”
These are other keyword strings that you want to include. Example: “content writing expert” or “content writer” or “content writer in Lagos”
Technically it is best to focus on 1 main keyword, then you can have around 1-3 secondary keywords and additional keywords respectively. Remember to keep it simple so you don’t stuff or stuff your content with keywords that are irrelevant to the content objective.
Keyword research for content writing
There are also ways to find keywords or what to write about by doing keyword research. This is even what you need to do before deciding what to write in many cases. It gives you an idea of where and how to focus your creative writing.
For example, you write for an automotive ecommerce platform and want to plan your blog’s content schedule for the month. You can group your content into 2 or 3 parts. Part 1 could be influenced by research data and part 2 could be based on intuition.
Since the focus is on writing SEO content for an automotive business, you need to identify the keywords that are relevant to your industry or niche that you find yourself writing for, and the goal is to rank. specific long or short tail keywords depending on the identified search intent or objective. You will need to use keyword tools to find out what those keywords are, then plan your content calendar to address the keywords chosen for the period. Make sure you take it into consideration; search volume, keyword relevance and difficulty.
Keyword research tools
1. Google Keyword Planner
You can use it to research major keywords in the industry you are in by entering products or services that are closely related to your business or by entering your website or competitor’s website and generating the list of keywords relevant to the niche. In this case, the automotive sales industry.
It is a quick and easy to use Google Keyword Planner alternative but with limitations.
You can basically use it to find out what keywords a website is ranking for. This will help you analyze competitors’ keywords and then replicate the keywords in your strategy.
By typing in a specific domain or keywords you can get a list of suggested relevant keywords, this tool is also good for analyzing what your competition is doing and learning from them. It also suggests content ideas based on the keyword entered.
Quick guide to using keywords in your content
The image above shows how a search result appears on Google SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
1. Use keywords in the title of your content: Make sure the title has your main keyword.
2. Apply keywords in the first 100-200 words of your content: Normally, this is even what influences whether a reader continues to read your content, so it makes sense that this could be a ranking factor.
3. Make the keywords as natural as possible: Use appropriate stop words and keyword alternatives or synonyms if necessary.
4. Use keywords in meta tags: The screenshot above shows a meta title and a meta description. This is the title and description of the content that search engines see in HTML format. Normally, the title of your content compensates for your meta title tag, and the first 20-25 words or 160 characters makes up for your meta description in most cases. However, there are some tools on different content management systems that make this task easier. For WordPress, you have tools such as; SEO Yoast, all-in-one SEO, and premium SEO pack that helps you edit meta tags for SEO.
5. Use additional and secondary keywords in titles and subtitles: There are 3 topics you can focus on; H1, H2 and H3.
Typically, your headline as the main headline is usually H1 (we covered that), H2 are subtitles, and then H3 can be numbered lists in bold or bulleted. Use only when relevant enough to your content.
Uchenna Innocent is a performance-driven digital marketing consultant with an interest in products, community, travel and user acquisition.