Once upon a time, SEO content writing meant to optimize content with proper keywords to secure a higher rank in search engines, like Google. However, that term has lost relevance in today’s SEO landscape. That’s because SEO content was solely dedicated to the search engines, rather than humans.
And Google algorithm no more approves of it.
Because, Google algorithm is gradually becoming a programmatic representation of the human searcher. Naturally. The algorithm is trying to promote the most relevant site that caters to the searchers.
So, the answer to “how to rank” is to serve what’s perfect for the searchers. The new definition of SEO content should be to write content in a way that people can really enjoy.
The bottom line is, and we cannot stress this enough, SEO friendly content is no more only about stuffing keywords.
But wait, there’s more to it.
How to Write SEO Friendly Content?
SEO friendly content clearly and comprehensively answers the searchers’ intent and has a high degree of trustworthiness and authoritativeness.
That’s a whole lot of information in a single sentence. Let’s break it down.
Answering the searcher’s question is the first and foremost criteria for being SEO friendly content. This means the content has to be dictated by the questions posed by the audience.
Therefore, target audience plays a significant role here. Rather than sprinkling irrelevant keywords across all the pages, it’s better to write a user-centric content.
Here are some shortcut tricks that you may try:
- Select a Relevant Topic
Before writing content, get some topic-ideas from “people also ask” or “searches related to” section. These are the queries that people are actively looking for on the web. Now, answer as many questions (of course, they have to be related and relevant to your niche) as you can in your content.
And voila! Google (or any other search engine, for that matter) may favour your content for being comprehensive and user-centric, and reward it with a higher rank.
- Mind the Clarity
Pose yourself as a searcher. Do you like to get an answer that is vague, convoluted, and clunky; or specific, direct, and straightforward?
We don’t have to give an answer, right?
Google’s mature algorithm, too, thinks in a similar manner.
Let’s start from the basics. No matter how much meticulously researched content you write, your entire effort can be ruined for some simple (we mean, silly!) grammatical errors.
Don’t hesitate to use potential tools such as Microsoft Word’s “Grammar and Refinements” settings. It may help you to:
- Replace complicated words with simpler variants.
- Go from passive voice to active.
- Swap wordiness for crispness.
- Organize the Content
It’s not only enough to write an informative content, but it’s equally (or perhaps, more) important to organize the materials in a concise manner.
In fact, a relevant, concise, and structured content has a higher chance to get ranked for the featured snippet. It’s the top organic result placed right after the ad. And Moz reports that the CTR (Click-Through-Rate) can be increased from 2% to 8% once a content is placed for a featured snippet.
Here’s a pro tip: the ideal length for each paragraph must be between 40-50 words to rank for a featured snippet. Learn more such unconventional yet effective tips to optimize your content for featured snippet and drive more traffic to your site.
By now, you must be wondering, why we haven’t yet come across keyword optimization – the sovereign ruler of SEO practices!
Well, let’s dig into that now!
How Can We Use Keywords?
Yes, this is a million-dollar question and every SEO geek has a distinct opinion about it. But before addressing this, we need to know how we should NOT use the keywords.
Back in 2010, when Panda, Penguin, and BERT algorithms were yet to hit us, our SEO content practices solely depended on:
- Adding the target keyword and some close variants in the content for a number of times.
- Including the keyword to various “magic” places such as the title tag, meta description, H1, and so on.
- Writing a certain length of article to achieve rankings.
But Google’s algorithm has matured and according to the experts at any SEO agency, such practices are no more relevant.
Now, getting the content ranked is not a matter of stuffing keywords; in fact, that may lead to penalizing your site. It’s about offering an exceptional experience to the users and satisfying the searchers’ intent.
Check out how you can do that.
- A Radical Shift from Keywords to the Queries
When we assign the writers to optimize a content for certain keywords, their motif change from “How can I provide the answer to the searchers’ query?” to “How can I include these keywords into the content?”
This approach is what we need to address first. While writing content, you need to focus more on the answer rather than stuffing keywords. In fact, Google’s Penguin algorithm penalizes sites with irrelevant keyword-stuffed content.
Here, take a look at the optimum keyword density for a content and don’t go overboard.
- Long-tail Keywords to the Rescue
Long-tail keywords are more specific than generic ones. Therefore, you may expect to get qualified leads on your site. People searching with only “SEO” perhaps have no clue what they are looking for. But someone searching for “cost-effective local SEO services in Mumbai” or Logo design services in Kolkata has a higher chance to convert.
So, stop spending bucks on numerous vanity keywords and pick one or two long-tail keywords to drive better results.
Also, since fewer websites compete for long-tail keywords, these come at a lower bid. You see, killing two birds with one stone is not simply a proverb!
- Maintain a Natural Flow of Writing
We have already discussed some pro tips to write engaging web content. These are all the more relevant in today’s age of BERT algorithm. This is a neural network oriented technique for Natural Language Processing (NLP).
To put it simply, it can help Google better discern the context of the words in a search query.
For a better understanding, let’s take a look at the basics of NLP. This branch of artificial intelligence deals with linguistics and aim at enabling the computers to comprehend the manner of natural human communication. BERT lets the language model to realize the word-context based on its surrounding words.
No more do you have to include the exact keywords that affect the natural flow of reading. Therefore, instead of “how many orange varieties are there?”, you may write “how many varieties of oranges available in the world?” This maintains a conversational tone of writing.
You can also use related variants of a word (for example, ‘adults’ for ‘grownups’) and still get rank on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). As long as your answer meets the searchers’ query, you are good to go!
Go through the SEO trends 2020 to learn more about how to survive in the age of BERT algorithm.
The first mistake that most people do is to distinguish between SEO and flesh and blood searchers. Consider the duo to be similar and it will channelize your SEO strategy in the right direction.
Nowadays, SEO ecosystem revolves around E-A-T content. A content that has a high degree of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness is considered to be the SEO friendly content.
So, there you go – focus on searchers’ intent, generate valuable content and expect to achieve a high rank anytime soon.
You may also take a look at how to write social media engaging content because it has a great impact on driving brand awareness.
Don’t forget to thank us later!