How to Write Content for Users and Search Engines

When writing online content, it can be difficult to strike the balance between creating engaging content that your target audience will find informative and writing content that optimises your keywords and helps your website to rank in the search engines. However, getting your content to rank highly in the search engine results will significantly increase your chances of being seen.

Did you know that the number one search result on Google receives 33% of search traffic? And page one of the results page receives 92% of all traffic? You might be able to create well-written and informative content but, without carefully optimising it for your chosen keywords, it’s unlikely to rank on Google. On the other hand, a piece of content that’s simply stuffed with keywords and doesn’t appeal to your audience isn’t going to achieve the conversions you’re after. So, how do you make sure your content is optimised for both your audience and search engines? Here are a few of our tips and tricks for writing content that ranks highly without sacrificing user experience.

1. Choose Keywords Carefully

Every day, Google processes over 40,000 search queries. How do you cut through the noise and make sure that your website is visited and your content is read? The simple answer? Find the keywords and phrases that YOUR customers are actually searching for. If you’re active on social media, use it to research current trends and take a look at the terms your target audience use around your product and services.

Research your competitors too. They might be targeting keywords that you hadn’t thought of and they’re likely to be using some of the words your customers are searching for. Tools such as Ahrefs allow you to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for and their position. If you find keywords that are relevant to your business too, make sure you include them in your content.

Remember that when your customers are searching, they’re likely to use long tail keywords or questions. When people search online, they’re usually looking for a solution to something so the search terms are often question-based. 70 % of all search traffic is made up of long tail keywords so they’re certainly not to be ignored! Using long tail keywords will give you more chances of being seen as the shorter keywords tend to have much higher competition. In addition, those people who are searching for terms such as ‘red shoes with buckle size 6’ rather than ‘red shoes’ know exactly what they’re looking for and are further down the customer journey. These people are more likely to convert when they reach your website.

2. Weave keywords into your content seamlessly

Once you have a list of keywords and you know the subject or theme of the blog posts and landing pages you want to create, it’s time to start writing. In the interests of creating content that appeals to your audience, you must make sure that any mentions of your keywords are naturally integrated into the content. It’s also important to create content that will be informative and hold your audience’s interest long enough for them to take your desired action.

To increase your chances of ranking highly, your primary keyword should feature in:

  • Title
  • Headings and subheadings
  • URL
  • Image Alt Text
  • Meta description
  • Woven through content

Be aware of keyword stuffing because this will lead to your website being penalised and will affect your rankings negatively. If the keyword usage is not natural, the user experience will be compromised and customers are less likely to convert.

When writing ANY content, ALWAYS write for humans and not for search engines. Your content should answer their questions and compel them to take action in order to progress to the next stage in your customer journey.

3. Create easy to read posts

Most consumers digest content when they’re on the go or when they’re searching for fast answers. This means that your content needs to be easy to read and digest, especially on mobile. The average attention span of the modern consumer is around 8 seconds so you don’t have long to engage them! Most people scan content for the answers they need so formatting it well will make it much easier for them. Elements such as subheadings and bullet points make your content much easier to read and scan.

With this in mind, you might think that shorter posts are the way forward however, search engines prefer to see longer content which gives you more room to add your keywords and phrases.

4. Internal and External Links

We all know that links are an important aspect of SEO as they signal to search engines that your content is not only relevant but trusted too. Don’t be afraid to link to the posts of other experts in your industry – it gives your audience more relevant and useful information to answer their questions but it also signals to search engines that you have researched your content which means that it’s backed up and more likely to give your customers the information they need. Plus, other content creators might link back to your content, further strengthening your link building techniques.

In addition to linking out, make sure you link internally too. Not only does this help to keep customers on your website, reducing bounce rates and increasing the chances of conversion, it also helps search engines to crawl your website more accurately. Only use links that enhance your content and offer further value to your customers.

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