SEO Content Writing
SEO Content Writing
SEO writing process starts before you write a single word.
It starts with finding topics and after that converting those topics into keywords.
That’s because – you need to write content that your targeted users care about.
To find topics – that your targeted users are interested in, head over to:
Search for your keyword and Google will suggest you popular questions interested users are asking around.
Answer The Public
An amazing tool to find out trending questions around the your topic.
Alternative to Answer The Public
Now you have handful of questions that your targeted customers are interested in – time is to produce answer to those questions.
How long should be the article?
Well, there’s no one line answer to this. It depends on how your audience wants to consume the information.
Best way to figure out that:
Head over to Google, and search for the keywords and investigate the Google results.
That should give you a good idea about the content that people are interested in.
Once you have figured out that – start with writing a title for your piece of content.
Meta title: what people see on the web page before clicking on it plays a big role in deciding whether people click on it or not.
These titles are like the headings of the web page. It’s the same as the headlines on a newspaper page. What are those for? You give them a glance and if they are interesting enough you go through the whole article. In case you don’t find it gripping, you turn the page.
Same logic applies here. If your page shows up on SERP for keyword(s) but people don’t engage with your title, they’d simply skip it.
So, you can imagine the importance of having a good title to your page.
Hence, the title is what people see as the heading on the search engine results page when they’re looking for an answer.
Do you also see the title when you click on one of the results?
Yes, it appears on the browser tab.
Your meta title lets people know what that page is about before they get to your site – it’s important that you provide them with more information about who you are and why they should go to your page over the other results on there.
This also leads me to a very major topic regarding optimizing your content! It’s the heading tags.
Aren’t these the same as the title? No, these are included directly in your content whereas meta title or simply title only gets displayed on SERP and further on the web page url.
The title is what people see as the heading on the search engine results page when they’re looking for an answer.
Aren’t these headings the same as the title? No, these are included directly in your content whereas meta title or simply title as we just saw, only gets displayed on SERP and the browser tab.
The title is what people see as the heading on the search engine results page when they’re looking for an answer.
Let us understand what are these headings on a web page?
Headings are pieces of HTML code that allow you to make certain words stand out on a page.
There could be upto six headings tags on a webpage, from h1 to h6.
They should be included in your content to give it a defined structure and easy to skim read.
This doesn’t only help the readers but also the crawlers while they crawl your site.
Through these heading tags, crawlers will understand what lies under them and not get confused with what’s written.
They are the same as the table of contents at the start of a book. You must have found yourself going through them before you actually decide to purchase the book.
Keywords have a major role to play here! These heading tags can help you with making up for less keyword usga ein your content.
Let us take an example of the front page of a newspaper.
Though it contains all the latest and breaking news, it still keeps the most important one at the top. Likewise, the first result page on Google shows all the best results but the one ranking at the top is the most crucial of all.
In the same way search engines understand the relevance of your articles depending on how you have structured your headings or heading tags.
H1 is called heading tag 1
H2 is called heading tag 2
H3 is called heading tag 3
H4 is called heading tag 4
H5 is called heading tag 5
H6 is called heading tag 6
Top heading in the newspaper front is the most important news so is h1 considered as the most important heading and sets out the relevance of your article.
It makes certain words stand out, which allows readers of your website to see what the page is about immediately, and determine whether or not they want to read it.
It also helps tell search engines what your page is about, and when used in conjunction with page title, helps improve search engine ranking for specific keywords and phrases.
How do these heading tags really help you?
H1 tag is that introduction to your book that tells you what the book is all about. It defines the sole purpose of writing that book , here, the content.
All the rest of the heading tags further define the subtopics. Example, a book is on wildlife (h1 tag). Further, you discussed various sub-topics related to it (h2 to h6 tags).
Imagine H2 as the topics you see in the index section of a book. H3 to H6 are the sub-headings under these topics.
By far you must have realised that it’s very important for a content to look ‘scannable’.
According to a Forbes report, there are only 16% of visitors that read every word of every line in a blog.
Whereas, a blog post that is well-structured and has good header tags will get 58% of the readers attracted.
This also gives the readers flexibility to skip on the information that they don’t find relevant for them and quickly jump onto the right section.
This will let users spend time on your page and get registered in their mind. This is all that’s required for them to further share it that will naturally drive more traffic to your page.
So far you must have realised the impact of having good heading tags in your article.
So why not include your keywords in them?
As mentioned earlier, it’s always a good idea to include your keywords in these tags.
Think about it! We discussed that H1 contains the sole topic of your article. Isn’t that the main keyword of your article?
Of course keyword stuffing should always be avoided. That being said, you should not miss a chance to use them everywhere possible, provided it’s making sense and enhances the quality.
As conveyed from the previous lesson, keywords should be naturally induced in an article and not forced in any line. That would do more bad than good.
How Can I See if my Website Uses H1 Tags and Other Headings?
We will show you how to look at the HTML code behind your site, and see if your pages are using H1 tags. To do so, follow these steps:
- Open your Internet browser and go to the URL of the page you want to check
- Click ‘view’ then ‘source.’ A new window will open displaying the HTML code
- Click ‘edit’ then ‘find.’
- Type in <h1 and click ‘find next’
- This will now highlight the sections of your site that are using the H1 tag
- Follow the same steps for h2, h3, h4, h5 and h6
My Website is Using an H1 tag. Now How Can I Tell if my H1 Tag is Optimized?
To determine if you’re putting your H1 tag to good use, follow this advice:
- Your website should have only one H1 tag. If you have more than one H1 tag on a page, change the other H1 tags to an H2 or H3.
- Your H1 tag should be at the top of the page content (above any other heading tags in the page code). If your site is divided into columns the left column may appear “higher” in the code. Be sure it does not contain any H1 tags as most likely the center column contains the main content of the page.
- Your H1 tag should contain your most important keywords for that page and if possible the first word or words in the H1 should be the keywords. These should also match the page title keywords and META keywords
- Your H1 tag should help your reader understand what the page is about
How to write Title Tags?
Most people’s approach title tag optimization is this:
Step 1. Find a keyword for that page
Step 2. Add that keyword to the title tag
Step 3. Hope for the best
We also discussed a few lines on the title tag under the on-page SEO from our first lesson.
Considering that your page’s title tag is (by far) the most important on-page SEO ranking factor, it makes sense to get the most value you can out of it.
Coming this far, you must have realised that SEO is a very profound concept. It’s just endless. The only way to master it is
The best way to do that is to tap into The Title Tag Double Dip.
The “Title Tag Double Dip” is simply optimizing your title tag for a short AND long tail version of your keyword.
When you do that, you’ll rank for the long tail quickly (because it’s less competitive). And over time, you’ll also rank for the short tail keyword.
So, can the title tag and h1 be the same?
Let us see what Google has to say about it:
As per Google, you can have your title tag similar to H1 tag but it’s not necessary that they both need to be identical with each other.
As per Google, the best practice involve:
The H1 should be the main keyword/title of your article.
The title that you type in the title tag should be the same as the title of your page.
Keep the title of the blog page in the HTML <title> tag to the title that you give to your blog in the <H1> tag.
Most of the CMS websites, such as WordPress, by default, keep the title as the H1 tag.
You can have more than one h1 tag on your page but does it seem like a sound idea to you? The crawlers infer what the page is about from the h1 tag. It has the most important keyword of your page in it. It is always recommended to have only one h1 tag of your page to avoid confusion.
However, you can always give subheadings in subsequent tags, from h2 to h6.
Let us see where all are these title tags visible:
Of course the title will appear on your website. But, you must be wondering where else does it show up?
- As mentioned earlier, it also shows up on your browser tab. This asks the title should be simple and clear in meaning, so as when a user has opened multiple tabs and wants to revisit your page, he can click the right tab.
- Of course, the meta title is crucial from your SERP point of view as well. If your page ranks for a search query but people find it hard to understand what your page is about from the title, there’s no use of bringing your page into ranking. This way all your hard work around SEO will go in vain. On the other hand, if your title clearly describes what your page contains, people will feel confident before clicking.
- In case if another web page links with yours, it becomes important to have a title with a clear message for the readers. Otherwise, people will not click on the link and remain on the same site.
Let’s grab some quick tips for your page title or top heading:
- It’s always suggested to use such as how? What? Why? These will pull readers more as they will come in a hope that their questions will be answered.
- Strong and extreme words (positive) will always compel the readers to think. These words could be best, ultimate, all-in-one, proven, easiest, etc.
- We discussed how important it is to write updated content. So, it’s suggested to use year (if logical) in the title. For example, the best SEO techniques 2021.
- Not everyone would want to go through those lengthy paragraphs and pull out the useful information. Unless you are the only one writing on that topic! Which surely is not the case. Using figures in your title will make people jump straight to them and not get bored. For example, top 10 SEO techniques.
The meta description tag exists as a short description of a page’s content.
Search engines do not use the keywords or phrases in this tag for rankings, but meta descriptions are the primary source for the snippet of text displayed beneath a listing in the results.
These are like a quick summary before readers decide to visit your web page.
The meta description tag serves the function of advertising copy, drawing readers to your site from the results.
It is an extremely important part of search marketing. Crafting a readable, compelling description using important keywords (notice how Google bolds the searched keywords in the description) can draw a much higher clicks of searchers to your page.
Meta descriptions can be any length, but as 2021 reports, your description should be of 158 characters on an average.
In the absence of meta descriptions, search engines will create the search snippet from other elements of the page. For pages that target multiple keywords and topics, this is a perfectly valid tactic.
Let's have a look at how to write a compelling meta description for your page
- First and foremost, like the title, your meta description should be unique to your page. It is natural that no 2 pages should have the same description.
- It should be able to speak for your entire content. Try including the jist of your article highlighting what issue can it resolve and how readers can be benefited from it.
- Your intention should not be to sell your article and talk in commercial language, rather to appeal to their conscience and relate to their problem.
- Try including your description in a character limit that can be fully displayed on the SERP. If your meta description is too long, Google will show ‘…’ followed by the rest. This is not a good signal for the readers.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator), more commonly known as a “web address”, specifies the location of a resource (such as a web page) on the internet. The URL also specifies how to retrieve that resource, also known as the “protocol”, such as HTTP, HTTPS etc.
To correctly render in all browsers, URLs must be shorter than 2,083 characters.
What is a URL?
A URL is human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers. They also identify the file structure on the given website. A URL consists of a protocol, domain name, and path (which includes the specific subfolder structure where a page is located) and has the following basic format:
The protocol indicates how a browser should retrieve information about a resource. The web standard is http:// or https:// (the “s” stands for “secure”), but it may also include things like mailto: (to open your default mail client) or ftp: (to handle file transfers).
The domain name (or hostname) is the human-readable name of the specific location where a resource (in most cases, a website) is located.
Think of the top-level domain (TLD) as something of a category for websites. While you’re likely familiar with .com, there is also .edu for educational sites, .gov for governmental sites, and many, many more.
URLs also contain things like the specific folders and/or subfolders that are on a given website, any parameters (like click tracking or session IDs) that might be stored in the URL, and anchors that allow visitors to jump to a specific point in the resource.
Why do URLs matter for SEO?
There are 3 main benefits of URLs:
- Improved user experience
A well-crafted URL provides both humans and search engines an easy-to-understand indication of what the destination page will be about. For example, the DPReview URL below is what we call a “semantically accurate” URL (it accurately describes its destination):
2. Better rankings
URLs are a minor ranking factor search engines use when determining a particular page or resource’s relevance to a search query. While they do give weight to the authority of the overall domain itself, keyword use in a URL can also act as a ranking factor.
While using a URL that includes keywords can improve your site’s search visibility, URLs themselves generally do not have a major impact on a page’s ability to rank. So, while it’s worth thinking about, don’t create otherwise unuseful URLs simply to include a keyword in them.
In a pinch, well-written URLs can serve as their own anchor text when copied and pasted as links in forums, blogs, social media networks, or other online venues.
We already had an overview of links and their importance in the first lesson. But those were the links from other sites. How about linking to the pages on your own website?
But, let us understand them better here. For those of you who haven’t read that section, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered!!
As the name suggests, an internal link is any link given by one page to another on your own website. You must be thinking why exactly would one do it?
Well, the answer is quite simple!
When you add a link of any page onto the other one, people are likely to visit that page as well. This will help the readers spend more time on your site. This will also help the crawlers to easily crawl all the pages.
To avoid any confusion, let us understand the clear difference between an internal and an external link:
On most of the websites, you will see that they contain both the types of links. In simple terms, internal links link one page with another on the same website and doesn’t take you anywhere else, whereas, external links are links that take the users from one website to another.
This tactic of having more and more external links is called “link building”.
You must know that when it comes to ranking factors, internal links are one key factor considered by all search engines, including Google.
Google follows these links to navigate between one page to another on your website. Obviously, if a page performs too poorly, you would not want to link other pages with it as well. One would only want users to visit a certain page when they know that it adds value to their website.
Thus, when you add a link onto your page that takes to another page, Google knows that it is one important page on your site.
As we know, there are ‘bots’/’crawlers’ that scan every page on your website before it is indexed with Google. The crawlers follow a certain path and don’t randomly crawl a website.
Firstly, they come to the home page as it is specially designed to tell the route to your website. It contains. It helps both crawlers and users with navigating your site easily.
After the crawlers arrive at your homepage, they start following the links. This will give them a hint that these links included on this certain page share something similar and are correlated in a way. This helps them establish a relation between your content and categorise them.
Do all these links have equal weightage?
The link link weightage or the link value has a hierarchy that they follow. It’s not like every link on your website will carry equal value. As mentioned, the homepage on your website has is the central page that binds all pages together. So, a link present on that page will surely be of high importance. This suggests that the links present on the homepage will carry the highest value.
The link value is shared between all the links present on the homepage. Furthermore, the link value from here shared by a particular link (a page) will be divided among all the other links present on that page. So as we go further, the link value further gets divided. This is the reason why it is suggested to link a new article on your website directly with the homepage. This will give more link value to it.
Let’s quickly sum up the need for having internal links on your website:
- Defines structure of your website: links help in navigation from one page to another on your site. This will give the readers an idea of which all pages are similar in context and fall under the same category. It gives a certain route to your website due to which users don’t need to visit the homepage again and again to open different pages.
Defining the important pages: adding internal links will also give the users an idea of the most important content on your website. This is what we call the evergreen or the cornerstone content of your site. There is a particular link structure that should be followed with them. A site can have hundreds of articles but if you don’t specify to Google which ones are your important pages, your hard work would not really pay off.
Thus, it is important with every new page that you create to link to the previous important page. More and more pages linking to the same web page will surely distinguish it from the rest.
For example: there are various pages on your website about techniques and tips of seo, various types, best practices, etc. these pages link to the pages that discusses “what is seo”. This is the evergreen content here and linking to that page will increase its value.
- Add all the accompanying links: these internal links allow you to give complete information on any topic. It is not possible to cover a to z about any topic on one page. Though you can do that but that would stuff the readers with information and they’d get scared by the length of your article before even starting reading. But with the help of internal links, you can always refer to other pages covering the basic or advanced content on the same topic allowing users to get the 360 degree knowledge.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Keywords
We talked about keyword stuffing in the first lesson and how people started abusing the system. Before Google introduced the hummingbird algorithm in 2013, people used to just stuff in keywords in their article whether those keywords made sense or not.
They used to conceal these keywords with the same colour as that of the background. Back in the day, Google used to rank these pages based on the keywords they used. But, gradually Google started noticing how irrelevant pages ranked and hampered user experience.
This is when this algorithm came into play to stop such pages from ranking and deliver a better user experience.
So, let us understand what these LSI keywords are all about?
Think about it! When you type in a search query and start looking up for answers, you land up on pages that have similar content to that of what you looked for. There can be various ways of looking up for the same query that doesn’t need to carry your exact words.
For example: a person searching for the keyword ‘coffee’ might also be interested in knowing about filtered coffee, coffee recipe, best coffee shops near me, types of coffee, etc.
Earlier Google used to only rank pages having the exact same keywords as in the search query which resulted in people just flooding their content with keywords that didn’t make any sense.
Now, google plays around topics and not keywords. This is why pages that are around close variants, synonyms or matches the intent of the search query can also compete for ranking.
- Synonyms: Same words can be called different due to difference in geographical, linguistic, cultural factors, etc. Also, there can be the same keywords formulated in various ways, including shuffling of the same words.
Example: you are searching for “SEO tips”, then a page that talks about “tips for SEO” will be equally relevant.
If you are looking for “SEO training”, then it would mean the same as “white-hat SEO training”.
Someone who searches for “side effects of coffee” would be equally interested in reading an article that talks about “caffeine side effects”.
- Homonyms: These are the words that carry more than one meaning. For example, a crane is a bird and it also means a large machine used to lift heavy objects.
So unless you clearly specify in your search query, pages with both meanings will be in competition for ranking.
- Close variants: as mentioned, Google is not about keywords but about topics. We also discussed it in the keyword research lesson that the keywords cover various topics on that aspect.
For example: topics around SEO could be: SEO friendly content, best practices for SEO, SEO in digital marketing, SEO tools, etc. So while writing a blog, we have to think of all the close variants of that topic as Google ranks those pages while a user searches for a related topic.
This concept gave rise to the term “Semantic SEO”.
In present times, Google looks for more than just keywords on your page. It doesn’t infer the topic of your article on the basis of repetitive use of a certain keyword all across it.
Now, Google goes through the page and understands what it is talking about. This has added a human touch to it and not a machine that is on a lookout for keywords.
Well, this doesn’t mean that it neglects the keywords that you use. Sure, it pays attention to them but not blindly. The inference of your blog is not 100% pulled out from scanning keywords but the topics.
Because it works on this principle, you will not find pages strictly serving on the exact keyword that you typed in your search bar.
Sure, it doesn’t deviate from that but would show up results that match close to your query or cover other related topics too!