Writing for SEO: How to Boost Your Search Rankings
Following SEO best practices helps boost the search rankings of your web content and articles, ensuring your organization’s brand and content reach your intended audience. Here are three important considerations for SEO strategy:
1. Define keywords and include them in your web content.
Start with a search audit to find out how your site is currently ranking for its competitive keywords. There are several free and paid tools that can help you determine a baseline and find out how you compare to your competitors. Assess the notable and unique keywords or key phrases that are central to your organization and its content. What keyword universe do you need to be a part of?
From there, make a list of possible search terms using a keyword planning tool that can help you generate keyword ideas. Seeing how keywords and phrases rank for search volume, cost per click, keyword difficulty, competitive density and number of results can help you prioritize your list.
Then, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. Go through your website and optimize the copy by updating page/article titles, meta descriptions and body copy to include your keywords and phrases. But don’t go overboard: Search engine algorithms recognize keyword stuffing, so it’s essential to use keywords naturally and logically.
2. Know what your audience is searching for.
Getting into the mindset of your target audience is essential in writing for SEO. For example, if someone were to search for information about your organization, its activities and mission, how would they word their search? What would they find? What related or similar content might they also be searching for?
A real-life example is how one publisher’s news article about a lunar eclipse rose to the top of the Google News search results. After checking the top searches on Google Trends, it was clear many people were looking for information about what they thought was a solar eclipse happening that day. Adding the popular (but misinformed) solar eclipse search term to the article headline and body copy— to clarify that it was not a solar eclipse but rather a lunar eclipse taking place—resulted in a high volume of visitors to the publication’s website.
3. Revisit your strategy regularly.
The worldwide web is anything but static. Search engine algorithms consider the date that pages were last updated, so your content needs to be refreshed regularly to stay relevant in search results. Making minor updates to articles and webpages is also an excellent opportunity to revisit relevant keywords and incorporate a new trending topic.
Having a sound SEO plan takes time and resources. It’s important not only to have the conceptual strategy and tactics in place but also the operational plan to maintain it.