— Welcome to — The Ultimate Guide to SEO Content Writing!
Whether you’re an experienced web writer or just starting out, SEO content writing is a must-have skill for anyone who writes for the web.
This guide will take you through the nuts and bolts of what SEO content writing is, the practical skills you’ll need to write SEO content, and how to build your career as an SEO copywriter.
We’ve compiled up-to-the-minute SEO tips and techniques that are being used in the web industry today. With this guide, you can learn the necessary skills to get started as a successful SEO copywriter without the trial and error of piecing it together yourself.
Let’s get started.
What Is SEO Content Writing?
SEO content writing is the process of creating high-quality content for websites that is relevant to readers and helps websites get found more easily by search engines.
The term “content” refers to any words, images, audio, or other elements you include on a webpage.
SEO content writing specifically deals with the words that are published on a webpage.
On the surface level, the goal of SEO content writing is to boost traffic to a company’s website that comes from Google or other search engines.
But it’s far more than that.
When it’s done well, SEO content writing can be used to create a website that’s truly an asset to a business. With effective SEO content, a company can build authority and influence in their field, as well as increase their visibility on the web.
SEO content writing can also help turn a website into a useful resource for visitors and potential customers. This can make a company’s site more “shareable” and respected by other websites and businesses.
In addition, all traffic to a website is not created equal. The use of core SEO principles will prevent “tire kickers” from visiting a site — in other words, visitors who have no real purpose on that site.
Content that has been SEO optimized will target a specific audience of people who are looking for what a company offers. A well-optimized website’s traffic may actually be low compared to some sites, but the visitors who do reach the site are high quality and much more likely to make a purchase.
What Is an SEO Content Writer?
An SEO content writer is someone who understands how to write website content that meets the needs of searchers, search engines, and businesses.
Like all good writing, SEO content writing starts with understanding your audience.
And this is where SEO content writers come in.
They intimately know the specific needs of each of the main players involved in the success of a website and how to cater to these needs. The main players include searchers, search engines, and businesses.
Every time someone types a query into a search engine, they have a specific intent for that search. Their intent typically falls into one of four categories: general research, product comparison, wanting to make a purchase, or looking for support after a purchase.
An SEO content writer knows the best content to create based on each of these intents.
2. Search Engines
Like other websites, a search engine wants to attract as many visitors to their site as possible. The way they do this is by providing searchers with high-quality search results.
SEO content writers have the skills to make a webpage easy to find in the eyes of a search engine, which helps the search engines find quality sites to share with their users.
But this isn’t the end goal of a search engine. The main way they make money is through paid advertising. And the more visitors a search engine can get on their site, the more likely it is that someone will click on an ad.
In addition, search engines are finding ways to keep visitors on their sites longer, which will further increase the chances of someone clicking on an ad. One of the ways they do this is with featured snippets on search results pages, which SEO copywriters need to know how to target.
As a copywriter, businesses are probably the players you’re most familiar with. These are the companies and marketers who will be hiring you as an SEO content writer.
Their basic need is obviously for the business to make a profit. But, as an SEO content writer, you can help them with many other areas of their business, such as establishing awareness of their products and brand, building trust with potential customers, generating more leads and sales, and encouraging repeat customers.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a thorough understanding of all these players and how to meet their needs as an SEO content writer.
What’s the Difference Between an SEO Content Writer and an SEO Copywriter?
You may see or hear both of these titles used by potential clients and employers.
But, in essence, they mean the same thing.
The confusion may stem from the fact that content writing and copywriting are sometimes viewed as slightly different things.
American Writers and Artists Institute gives the following definition of copywriting:
Copywriting is any writing that offers a product or service for sale or persuades the reader to take action (learn more, buy now, register for a free trial, etc.).
Whereas, some sources suggest that content writing only refers to factual, editorial writing that does not include any element of persuasion.
This definition of content writing doesn’t apply to SEO content writers. Webpages naturally contain factual information, but they will also typically contain a call to action.
Depending on what type of webpage you’re writing, you may suggest a reader clicks on another page for further information, opts-in to receive an e-newsletter, shares the page on social media, or makes a purchase.
SEO content writers need to have a solid foundation in the fundamentals of copywriting to create compelling, engaging webpages. They also need the skills to make these pages SEO-friendly for search engines.
This is why the terms SEO content writer and SEO copywriter mean essentially the same thing.
So, whether a client or employer calls you an SEO content writer or an SEO copywriter, this guide is for you.
Why Does SEO Content Writing Matter Today?
The face of advertising on the web is changing rapidly.
For online businesses, Facebook and Google used to be the go-to sites for cheap advertising.
But their advertising rates have gone up exponentially in the past couple years.
Add to that the fact that governments throughout the world are starting to pass tighter legislation around how websites protect their users’ information. They’re also passing laws to restrict how much information sites like Facebook and Google can provide advertisers.
The legal scrutiny that sites like Facebook have been under came to a head in July 2019, when the U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook a $5 billion penalty for privacy breaches and mishandling user data.
Paid advertising is no longer the safe bet that it was.
Businesses are now looking for safer, cheaper, and more effective ways of driving traffic to their sites. SEO meets that demand perfectly.
Micro Moments are Changing the Landscape of the Web
As early as 2015, Google reported a fundamental change in the way people were consuming media.
Instead of longer sessions online, people were accessing the internet in fragmented moments throughout the day, largely on mobile devices. Google named these brief interactions “micro moments”.
This trend has intensified since Google named it in 2015. Today, the average smartphone user checks their device 63 times per day.
And the average time one person spends on a cell phone and tablet combined is over 4.5 hours per day. Although, Google reports that this is often broken up into short micro moments throughout the day, that often last only 70 seconds.
People take these micro moments to quickly find out things they want to know. Those things typically fall into one of the following four categories:
The following are examples of possible search engine queries for each type of micro-moment:
- I-want-to-know moment: “How much does it cost to paint a bathroom?”
- I-want-to-go moment: “Where is a good used car dealership near me?”
- I-want-to-do moment: “How do you write a resume?”
- I-want-to-buy moment: “Where can I buy running shoes online?”
Micro-moments are changing the way people access websites.
A site has an extremely short window of opportunity to catch a potential visitor’s attention, both on a search engine’s results page, and on the site itself.
Today, SEO content writers need to able to create web pages that answer these types of search queries, and do it quickly.
About The Ultimate Guide to SEO Content Writing
SEO content writing is a practical skill that anyone can learn. You don’t have to be a computer geek to be a good SEO writer. If you’re already familiar with the basics of good writing, SEO is simply another tool you can add to your writer’s toolkit.
The Ultimate Guide to SEO Content Writing will provide you with the core principles of SEO content writing that you will be able to use throughout your career.
What you won’t find here are flash-in-the-pan shortcuts to simply rank on Google.
But if you’re looking for the fundamental skills needed by SEO content writers today, you’re definitely in the right place.
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What You’ll Learn
The Ultimate Guide to SEO Content Writing has seven chapters. Each chapter will take you through a specific aspect of SEO content writing and prepare you for your career as a well-paid SEO copywriter.
The chapters are organized in a logical progression to build on each other, but you can read them in whatever order you like.
What we really want is to hear your success story once you’ve completed this guide and put it into action.
So, work through the chapters and make sure you practice and apply what you’ve learned. We’ll be waiting to hear from you!
CHAPTER 1 — How to Use an On-Page SEO Checklist (With Download)
On-page SEO is the heart of SEO content writing. This chapter will take you through all the essential elements of on-page SEO and how to effectively optimize them.
These fundamental skills are perennial and can be applied to any webpage.
We’ve also provided an easy-to-follow On-Page SEO Checklist that you can download and use for all your SEO writing projects.
Blog posts and articles are often some of the most popular and high-traffic pages on a website. It pays to know how to optimize these pages as thoroughly as possible.
In this chapter, you’ll learn a detailed process for making SEO-friendly blog posts and articles that are loved by both readers and search engines.
CHAPTER 3 — What’s the Job Description of an SEO Copywriter?
As you’ve learned so far in this guide, the core job of SEO content writers and copywriters is to write webpages that are optimized for SEO. But, beyond that, you can almost write your own job description.
This chapter will cover the types of SEO copywriting employment available, what your daily work might look like, and how your role as an SEO copywriter fits into a company’s larger business goals.
CHAPTER 4 — How to Make Good Money as an SEO Copywriter
How much money can you actually make as an SEO copywriter? And how can you make it a viable career?
This chapter will delve into these questions, and give you tips and strategies for finding and landing high-paying SEO copywriting work.
Ever wondered how to make your website stand out in the vast digital landscape by optimizing its core web pages?
This chapter provides a comprehensive guide on how to SEO optimize these crucial pages, offering insights into common pitfalls and real-life examples of well-optimized pages.
Did you know that your existing articles could be a goldmine for driving traffic and improving search rankings?
This chapter guides you through the process of optimizing these articles for SEO, introducing the "Now with More" process as a strategy for updating and improving existing content to optimize for SEO.
Have you considered how understanding customer intent could be the cornerstone of successful SEO copywriting in the digital age?
This chapter delves into the importance of mastering customer intent and provides a step-by-step guide to aligning content creation with audience needs and search engine requirements.