SEO writing isn’t about being witty or clever. It’s about being aware and meaningful. And that is an obstacle many writers with natural talent must overcome. When it comes to newspapers, magazines, television and radio news being both informative and clever practically guarantees a high readership circulation or high audience ratings. That’s because humans aren’t robots, they don’t think and connect like search engines. Therefore a bit of wit combined with the who, what, when, where and how does the trick.
But only part of that works in SEO writing. There are more components to SEO writing because bloggers must serve two readers: robot and human. Striking a balance between flesh and bone and binary 1’s and 0’s is an absolute must if you want either actually read your content. This doesn’t mean SEO writing is difficult; it’s just another convention. For life-long writers, it’s akin to following the AP Style Guide or Chicago Style Manual. SEO writing is just that, following a style which is purposed to get indexed, making it visible for readers to find using keywords in a search query.
SEO Writing: Keyword Titles
Typhoon Rips through Cemetery, Hundreds Feared Dead , Mechanical Malfunction or Pilot Error Likely Cause of Plane Crash, Experts Say, Police Begin New Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers. We’ve all see them–stupid headlines. But more common are “witty” headlines. They’re written to pique interest. But they’re a bore to robots. Good SEO writing starts with the title. Every title has to contain the focus keyword you’re centering the piece on. If this SEO writing component isn’t included, then there really isn’t SEO writing being done. Take a leg off a stool and it will produce the same result. In reality, not including just one SEO writing component can greatly compromise optimization.
Formatting and Navigation
Just like hard-copy print and television B-roll, search engines and humans both prefer content to be digestible. In SEO writing, this is best accomplished by using <h> or heading tags. And both robots and humans pay special attention to the same formatted elements: bold, italics, lists and block or pull quotes. Each signifies importance. Moreover, these help with navigation of the text. It assists readers and robots alike in going through the text by including breaks, images and other elements.
It’s also important to remember that use of images in SEO writing need an alt tag added, while videos should be accompanied by a transcript. This is very important in SEO writing because robots can’t see video.
Opening and Closing
Hard-copy print writing always has an opening and a closing or an introduction and conclusion. Search engines also value this SEO writing element. It “book ends” a post. So make the first and last 50 words count, but don’t keyword stuff or it will hurt your SEO writing.
Linking In and Out
A good rule of thumb for linking in SEO writing is to place at least one interlink in each post, pointing to another related post on your blog and one outbound link going to another blog with good authority. Too many links not only look like poor SEO writing, they are a distraction to readers.
Categorizing and Tagging
Choose one category and stick with it. Tag responsibly. Both will aid in robots in indexing the content. If you assign more than one category, robots will consider it duplicate content. Tags should also be used sparingly, focusing on the post’s focus. Remember, like a keyword, these two elements are specific.
Including Images and Graphics
Always a great idea for SEO writing is the use of images and graphics. But they must include descriptions. These are attractive to robots and humans for the same reason: it adds value to the accompanying text. It likewise tells both humans and machines the author spent time on it.
Writing with Purpose
Keep in mind that SEO writing is about making good content indexable not just adding content to get indexed. Write for a human audience first and foremost. Relying too much on technology or standards such as the Flesch–Kincaid readability test will only become a distraction.
Of course, these elements can be overused. But using them in an intelligent way significantly dresses-up SEO writing, making each post more index friendly. It’s best to start and end a post with a plan, staying on focus throughout. Doing so will make SEO writing more natural and sensible.