In a digital world, where writing content is becoming more in demand every day, there are a handful of skills that every great SEO content writer should have. It’s not enough in today’s climate to just be a great writer, you’ll also need to understand your audience and be diverse in your writing styles.
If you are pursuing a career as a content marketer, or perhaps, already writing content for clients, these helpful tips will help you improve your writing to get your content ranking for clients.
1. Versatile Writing Skills
Great messages are conveyed through tone and structure.
Whether you are working for an agency or working as a freelance writer, chances are that your clients will come from a handful of different industries.
Marketers know this best – you could be writing a blog for a local florist in the morning and a home contractor in the afternoon.
It will be obvious to readers if your tone or style misses the mark – and this will be conveyed through the way your writing is structured and how it sounds when it is all strung together.
When writing for a florist, for example, your writing may be a bit more formal, warm, welcoming, and inviting, whereas writing blogs for a printer shop may require you to be more technical, detailed, and straightforward.
It’s important to understand your target audience and speak directly to them.
Being versatile in your writing style and tone will help you speak directly to all of your audiences in a way that will engage them.
2. Understanding Audience Motivation
Understanding why your audience is online will give you a better understanding of what kind of content you, as an SEO writer, should be writing.
There are three types of content online:
Informational content: when people want to know more about a service, product or thing
Navigational content: directs people to a website
Transactional content: descriptions or copy that sells a product or service
Understanding the difference between these will help you decide which keywords fit into your content and how they should be placed.
The keywords you will use in informational content are different from keywords you will use in transactional content.
If you are selling flowers, a transactional page might use words like “ ROSES FOR SALE” whereas an informational page might say something like “A LIST OF THE BEST FLOWERS FOR MOTHERS DAY”.
A good SEO content writer will understand the difference between the three types of content and use keywords accordingly, always funnelling out towards your end goal.
3. Write for Topics not Keywords
There is no doubt about the effectiveness of keywords.
Google is still using them to rank your pages in relevancy – this is why incorporating the right keywords into your headings, tags, titles, and descriptions still plays a big part in creating content.
Using keyword-rich phrases in your headlines is still a great way to let google and users know what your content is about – but the environment is changing to cater to more helpful content.
Google is now favouring more natural language content and content that speaks directly to your audience by providing them VALUE.
Writing articles about real, current issues, providing information that people can use and are interested in should be the main focus of every content writer.
No longer is a single keyword being flagged as important, but also, the keywords around the topics.
These are known as semantic keywords are important because Google recognizes that these keywords are part of your industry as a whole.
Semantic keywords are phrases or words that are also associated with your industry but are not direct keywords.
If you’re a flower shop, your keywords may be ROSES, BOUQUET, TULIPS, FLOWER DELIVERY but your semantic keywords may be VASES, PLANT CARE, PLANT FOOD, etc.
Reprogramming your mindset to focus on topics as a whole rather than singular keywords will yield more natural content that is rich in semantic keywords and more helpful to readers on a broader stage.
4. Strong Research Skills
Quality content is also accurate and well researched!
Researched content helps you as a writer understand your industry enough to provide valuable and credible information to your readers.
There aren’t enough hours in the day to expect content writers to be experts in every industry but great research skills will allow you to find answers from trustworthy and reliable sources online.
5. Promote Natural Link-Building
Look at link building in your content as direct recommendations to your favourite professionals and sources (even if it is yourself)!
Link-building is a strategic way to establish visibility and build credibility in your content.
Networking with industry experts and building genuine relationships with professionals at the top of your field will foster quality backlinks and is the best way to promote natural link-building in your content.
This will ensure that your information is being obtained by a reliable source but also begin to create a reliable network of professionals for your audience to rely on for information.
Creating great content helps increase the shareability value so aim for quality first and back-linking second!
6. Deliver Quality
This is an oldie but a goodie. Quality wins every time, hands down. It doesn’t matter how much of something you have, if it’s no good, it is of no use to anyone.
Providing answers to questions readers may have, making helpful information easily accessible, being educational and informative, teaching them about a new product or skill or simply entertaining users are all great ways of delivering quality content.
Content that is engaging, informational, and grammatically correct will not only score you points with clients but will score you points with your audience as well!
Building quality content should be the cornerstone of your writing and ensure that you are the go-to for reliable, consistently great work.
The aim for all SEO writers should be to deliver quality content every time. Ensure you are not cannibalizing keywords in your content and that you continue to deliver natural, helpful content to both your clients and your audience!