Seo content

The 3 best skills SEO content writers need to be successful

I have worked with other SEO industry professionals from all walks of life, from technical SEO specialists to web developers, for decades.

I think every individual in an SEO context needs to bring some innate skills to a role, but there is also an expertise that is often best learned on the job itself.

SEO content writers know this as well as anyone.

If you want to get into digital marketing as a content marketer, you might be surprised that strong writing skills are needed but not enough.

There are many basic SEO concepts that content writers should become familiar with if they intend to do their job well in writing content that ranks for their clients.

Here are three skills SEO content writers need to be successful in the industry.

1. Various writing skills

No surprise here: The first basic skill an SEO content writer needs is the ability to master different styles of writing.

When a copywriter joins an agency, there’s a good chance they’ll be tasked with generating content for all kinds of clients.


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Employees at digital marketing agencies know this to be true: Content writers can spend the morning writing for a candy company and funeral home, then turn to a blog post about the construction industry later. .

The content itself is different for each of these customers, but what matters is the tone.

Tone is something readers can’t exactly discern from the words themselves, but rather from the sound of the words when put together.

Funeral home content deserves a serious, simple, and compassionate tone, while candy ad copy calls for light, fun writing.

A solid SEO content writer not only instinctively knows what kind of tone to use, but also how to go about using that tone in a way that interests readers.

Speaking of engagement, this next skill is also absolutely crucial for any SEO content writer who wants to be successful.

2. Understand the search intent

The content writers you employ in your digital marketing agency don’t have to be accomplished SEO gurus to be successful in their roles.


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But there is also one method of writing content that fits well with SEO as a whole, and that is understanding the searcher’s intention.

If content writers want to be involved in their work, they need more than just professional writing skills.

To be engaging, writers need to generate the content that online users actually want to read, rather than just throwing topics at the wall to see what sticks.

Now SEO professionals and other industry experts are familiar with all the tools that content writers use to determine what people are looking for, tools like BuzzSumo and SEMrush.

Knowing these tools is not the difficult part; it’s using the information they provide to work, to create better content for readers.

Once content marketers are adept at navigating the topic generation features of these tools, it’s up to them to turn those topics into lightning rod content that actually answers user questions.

There are four main types of search intent that content writers should keep in mind when writing.

  • Informational – when people want to know things.
  • Navigation – when people want to visit a specific website or web page.
  • Transactional – when people want to buy things.
  • Business survey – when people are looking for products that they are interested in buying.

Writing for different search intents requires different approaches on the part of the content writer.

At the same time, every piece of content is still designed to get readers to buy the customer’s products or services.

For example, an informative content could be a list of the 10 best fashion styles for the coming season.

Then in each item the writer can link to a customer’s product.

Meanwhile, writing for an ecommerce site would require a bit more open transactional content to get readers to buy a product.

Plus, content writers know that each type of content written for a certain context will use different keywords.

Depending on how your digital marketing agency is set up, your content writers may be tasked with performing this keyword research themselves, or they may receive it from SEO specialists.


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Either way, knowing how to use the right keywords should always be part of an SEO content writer’s toolkit.

For example, an informative search term might be something like “best brands of trampolines”, while a transactional query might be “trampolines for sale online”.

A strong writer will know how to use these terms in a natural way to respond to what people want to know.

3. Write for topics on keywords

The last skill that any professional SEO content writer must have is the ability to write topics on keywords.

If writers are now getting into SEO content marketing, they should know the history of keywords in SEO.

Previously, people wrote for keywords because Google put more emphasis on keywords in the late 90s and early 2000s.

People have used black hat techniques to insert keywords into the content.

All of this is now penalized because it results in a bad user experience.

Now what SEO content writers need to do to get their content ranked is focus on writing topics rather than keywords.


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Yes, there is a place for keywords, but if a piece of content focuses too much on its introduction, it won’t be read well by users and Google won’t rank the item as well.

Instead, copywriters should do their best to make the content original and relevant to the original query.

They should focus on answering the real question in as much detail as possible.

To see what’s already ranked, copywriters can analyze SERPs and then work to improve their content.

Closing thoughts

I think it’s wonderful when a professional writer, maybe someone who doesn’t know anything about SEO, wants to break into the industry.

I don’t want to downplay the fact that it does indeed take strong writing skills to be a successful SEO content writer.

I just want to focus on the marriage that needs to take place between good writing skills and SEO knowledge in people who want to call themselves content marketers.

Digital marketing is not going anywhere!


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To all professional copywriters with an interest in SEO, I hope you learn from this article and immerse yourself even deeper in the fascinating world of content marketing.

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