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A guide to how to use SEO in content writing

You don’t have to be a digital marketing guru to benefit from SEO – anyone can follow the basics to improve their search ranking.

SEO, or search engine optimisation, isn’t going away anytime soon. More business owners are realising the importance of optimising their content for Google and other search engines, particularly as they move online following the pandemic. If you’re wondering how you can use SEO to good effect, don’t worry. In this blog post, we discuss what SEO is, why it’s important and how to use SEO in content writing to improve your visibility.

Table of contents

  1. What is SEO in content writing?
  2. Is SEO important for content writing?
  3. How to use SEO in content writing
    1. Select optimised keywords
    2. Include your keywords strategically
    3. Play with structure
    4. Seek backlinks
    5. Publish quality content frequently
  4. A note on keywords

What is SEO in content writing?

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SEO is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website or web page in Google and other search engines. In order to rank higher in search results, you need to optimise your content for SEO. This means including keywords and phrases that people are likely to use when searching online for information. You can also use other techniques like link building and social media marketing to improve your SEO ranking.

A variety of different professionals use SEO to their advantage including content writers, webmasters, business owners and even bloggers. Digital marketing professionals also use SEO to improve their clients’ visibility and ranking in search results.

Is SEO important for content writing?

Yes, SEO is important in content writing because by optimising your content for SEO, you can ensure that your blog posts are more visible. This means that more people will see your content and potentially click through to your website. For businesses, this could mean an increase in sales and a boost to your reputation.

Another reason why SEO is important for content writers is that it helps you to rank higher in search results. When someone searches for a particular topic online, the first few results that appear are usually the most relevant and the ones they’re most likely to click through to. If your website or blog post is one of these results, you’re more likely to get traffic from potential readers. Being buried far back in the search results means that your content falls behind your competitors.

How to use SEO in content writing

It’s clear that SEO is important, but how do you use it in content writing?

1. Select optimised keywords

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In order to optimise your content for SEO, you need to include keywords and phrases that people are likely to use when searching for information online. These tend to relate to your core services and location. You can find these keywords and phrases by doing keyword research on sites like Answer the Public, Ahrefs and Ubersuggest.

Another effective method for carrying out keyword research is to use Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to see how often particular keywords are being used and also suggests other related keywords that you may want to consider using in your content.

Read More: How to create an effective Google SEO content strategy [with template]

2. Include your keywords strategically

Once you know which keywords you want to target, you can include them in your content. The best practice approach is to use them in strategic places rather than including them everywhere.

The places your keywords will work hardest for you are in the title, opening paragraph, at least one heading and your page’s meta title and meta description.

If you’re in charge of publishing the content, then it helps to have the target keyword in the alt tags too. You can also use them a few times in the body of your content, but don’t go overboard – keyword stuffing can actually harm your search ranking.

3. Play with structure

How you set out your content is vital as it lets the search engines know whether your content is easy to read – both for their bots and human readers. Use helpful headings to direct the eye and explain what each section is about (like we’ve done here). Lists can also help maintain interest and can help you earn Featured Snippet in Google.

Maintaining plenty of white space with short paragraphs is also essential in today’s mobile-first world where no one wants to see a wall of text fill their smartphone screen.

4. Seek backlinks

In addition to using keywords, you can improve your SEO ranking by seeking out quality backlinks to your website or blog post. Backlinks are links from other websites that point back to your site. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher your SEO ranking will be.

There’s no quick fix to generating GOOD QUALITY backlinks, despite what those missives in your inbox might tell you. But you can generate backlinks simply by creating good quality content that encourages other sites to link to you. You can also actively court them by guest blogging for other websites, using social media marketing and creating links between your own blog posts and web pages.

5. Publish quality content frequently

Another thing you can do to help improve your ranking is publish fresh, original content regularly. Google favours websites that are regularly updated with new and valuable information, so by publishing high-quality and relevant content frequently you’re more likely to rank higher in search results.

Read More: How to put together an editorial calendar for content marketing success

A note on SEO keywords

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Having the right keywords is vital for effective SEO so it’s important to properly understand them. When you’re choosing your keywords, aim to find those that are relevant to your topic, popular with search engine users, and not too difficult to rank for. A keyword is difficult to rank for if it has a lot of competition.

There are a few other things you should keep in mind when targeting keywords:

  1. Start by choosing short-tail keywords with higher search volume: This means that they’re being searched for frequently by people online.
  2. Next, refine them to keywords that are more specific: This will help you to target the right audience and make it easier for people to find your content, for example yoga classes in East London rather than yoga London.
  3. Finally, target long-tail keywords where possible: These are longer keyword phrases, which have a lower monthly search volume but also tend to be more specific and relevant to what people are searching for, for example benefits of online yoga classes. These make excellent blog posts and FAQ or landing pages.

The takeaway

SEO is an important part of content writing, but it’s not difficult to incorporate into your content. By using keywords and phrases that are relevant to your topic, popular with searchers, and not too difficult to rank for, you can optimise your content for SEO and improve your ranking in search results. In addition, by publishing fresh and relevant information on a regular basis, you can continue to rank higher and attract more visitors to your website or blog.

✏️ Ready to learn more? Find out how to write SEO optimised content that gets you ranking in Google


Header image: Mars Sector-6

Embedded image: Merakist, Myriam Jessier, screenshot SEMrush.com

Tamsin Spargo

I am a professional artist and copywriter based in London. I’ve gained experience as a freelance copywriter and in a diverse range of professional writing roles, including in e-commerce and central Government. Creative writing has also formed part of my artistic practice as part of an artist’s collective.

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