We are way past the time when SEO content writing was all about stuffing a web copy of keywords and prioritising quantity over quality.
Today’s SEO defines great content as something more relevant, useful, and dynamic. One that uses a group of elements and methods to not only appeal to search engines but to users as well.
Hence, if you’re looking to build your blog audience and succeed with your SEO marketing strategies, you have to get smarter with your content and go beyond just writing a blog copy.
Writing Content for Users and Optimising for Google
Great content should accomplish two goals: to appeal to the end-users and to rank well in Google.
There are no shortcuts or hacks to pulling off great content that attracts readers and ranks high in the search engine. But, what’s there is the key rule in creating an SEO copy: deliver relevance and value in content instead of focusing merely on keywords.
If you can do it successfully, you can expect your content to rank high because it will be so engaging and useful that Google will surely take notice. But, beyond the value you provide your readers, there are also elements that you should not forget to include in your copy and that’s what you’re going to discover in this article.
The Essential Elements to Focus on When Writing SEO Content
When writing an SEO copy, you at the minimum should know what keywords you’re targeting and make sure to include them in the title of your content. It’s widely accepted that if you could keep the title to 60-72 characters long, with the keywords closer to the front of the title, the better.
NOTE: Limiting the title between 60-72 characters will guarantee the full title appears on the search result, increasing the likelihood of a click-through.
The emphasis on keywords in the title makes it easier for search engines to understand what your topic is about. It also makes sense from a user standpoint, as they’re more likely to read an article with a title that reflects back the keywords they searched for.
2. Meta Description
Meta descriptions provide an overview of what your topic is. Because these are the attributes that users see in the search engine results pages, they somehow influence whether or not you get the click.
When writing meta descriptions, you’ll want to start off with the keyword phrase and make sure that it summarises what the page is about. You’ll also want to keep them under 150 characters, including spaces, so they’re fully visible in the search results.
BONUS: For mobile, limit meta description to 113 characters.
The content itself is a crucial element of SEO writing and the key to creating a great one is to make sure that it’s unique. You’ll also want it to focus tightly on the topic and contain keyword phrases that are seamlessly placed all throughout.
Most SEO agencies in Singapore today agree that long-form content has greater chances in ranking better in organic search than a short copy that runs from 200-500 wordcount. In fact, statistics show that blog posts with over a 1,000 wordcount or those that are worth 7 minutes of reading do better on average.
4. Keyword Frequency
Keyword frequency is the number of times you used your targeted keywords on the page. As previously mentioned, stuffing with keywords is no longer as effective as it used to but, the keyword density—which refers to the ratio of keywords to the total word count—remains to have an impact on your organic rankings to some extent.
The only way to tell if your page is spammy is to measure its keyword density. It’s generally agreed that a keyword density of greater than 5.5% could have your page penalised by Google for being guilty of keyword stuffing.
5. Page Links
Links serve as the basic building blocks of your content. These could be links to your own or to another website, which signal to Google that you lead users to more valuable and relevant content.
The rules for page linking are not set in stone. But, below are some of the accepted practices:
- Link to relevant pages within and outside your website in the body
- Link to more in-depth guides or articles on your or another website
- Link using appropriate anchor texts
These are guidelines relevant to the best practices in SEO today. As with any other strategies digital marketing agencies employ, all these will get updated to keep up with the constant changes in Google metrics.
In addition to all these, there are other elements that make up compelling SEO content. These include the URL structure, keywords in image alt files, tags and categories, many other on-page elements that are of equally great importance.
However, if you focus on the five elements mentioned above, you’re basically covering the essential elements of a great SEO copy.
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