SEO content writing is the process of researching, benchmarking, planning, creating, and optimizing website content with the primary goal of ranking in search engines for select keywords.
Quality content is written for the user (or human) using a search engine. You shouldn’t write for the search engine hoping to get the user’s attention. Writing for a search engine often makes your content come across like it was written by a robot.
The SEO Content Creation Process
A great content writing service must have a strong and tested process. Every SEO content writer is likely to have their own process. The key to developing a good process id developing a consistent way to improve that process and optimize it for unique circumstances and content. Here’s how we do it:
Keywords are the cornerstone of your content. The search or query of a keyword or phrase is what will eventually trigger your content to show up on the search engine results page (SERPs). Conducting thorough keyword research will provide us with useful data for making detailed content decisions.
Create a content template (or content brief). An SEO Content Template is provided to writers and other content creators (photographers and videographers, for example) as a framework or blueprint for exactly what needs to be created in order to publish a page that ranks for a given topic or set of keywords. We create these for a shortlist of keywords, making sure that we have fulfilled the intention of the searcher better than anyone on the internet. We do that by auditing the search engine results page and using a little intuition and creativity.
Search engine results page audit.
After we’ve done some keyword research, we carefully research the results of each keyword to understand what is currently available to the searcher for each term. We use that to benchmark the competition. Our goal is to offer better, more helpful content than what is currently available online for each one of our keywords.
Content template approval.
Once we’ve put together a content template, we get approval from our clients to move forward with writing the piece.
Writing. Once approved, the content template goes to a qualified SEO content writer who understands the importance of fulfilling the intentions of each keyword and knows how to perform additional keyword research, competitive analysis, and SERP benchmarking if necessary. The writing is written in a tone, structure, and style that best matches the industry, target reader, and the ideal outcome for anyone that engages with the piece.
Feedback and editing.
Once the content is written, we send it to our clients for approval and feedback in a Google doc. We provide instructions for leaving comments and requesting revisions.
Once we’ve reviewed the feedback and requested edits, we’ll either make them or provide additional evidence and explanation for why we might challenge feedback. Our goal is always to help those searching by the previously researched keywords; knowing that will offer the best possible experience.
Bonus: Creating a writing style guide. A writing style guide, also called a style sheet or style manual, is a document containing all of the rules and guidelines for the creation and use of certain content. Creating an SEO writing style guide is useful when creating web content of all types.
What’s Included in SEO Content Writing Services?
A good, quality SEO content writing service includes the following:
search engine results page audits
content gap analysis
How to Use Keywords in SEO Content
Use keywords for identifying what humans need. Develop search empathy and really think about the users’ possible journey. What are they doing before or after searching the keyword they searched. Who are they? What industry do they work in? Does their search signal that they are looking for information or a transaction? Ask good questions about the keywords you identify and understand where they are in their buying or decision-making journey.
Organize your keywords into lists to make them more actionable and get better SEO results. Then organize the content into topics and subtopics, which can become pages and posts.
Consider what your company’s field of expertise is and what questions your potential customers are asking. This is a great place to start in finding the SEO content sweet spot.
While short-tail keywords tend to have more volume, they tend to be harder to rank for because you’ll need more content to fulfill the possible intention of the searcher. Start by creating long-tail content on any given topic. Continue to create long-tail content for that topic until you’ve covered it well. Then, you can create a hub page that can rank for all the content within that topic.
Finally, consider the need states of the searcher. Google defines searcher needs states as the following:
Surprise Me: Search is fun and entertaining. It is extensive with many unique iterations.
Help Me: Search is a quick adventure to find new things. It is brief with just a few words and minimal back-button use.
Reassure Me: Search is about influencing and winning. It is laser focused, using specific phrases.
Educate Me: Search is about competence and control. It is thorough: reviews, ratings, comparisons, etc.
Impress Me: Search is about simplicity, comfort, and trust. It is uncomplicated and more likely to include questions.
Thrill Me: Search is about connecting and practicality. It is to-the-point, and more likely to mention a family or location.
It should include whatever it takes to provide the searcher with the most relevant and trusted source of information. Great SEO Content is:
easy to navigate
easy to read
comes in many formats (photos, videos, audio)
links to related resources and topics
is not intrusive
is not overly promotional (and sometimes never promotional)
SEO & Content Marketing
SEO is nothing without content and content marketing without SEO is missing opportunities. Good, quality content is the cornerstone of a great website experience.
Using the Search Engine Results Page
Use the search engine results page to benchmark your content and to gather ideas for optimization. Below is an example of how we would start to gather ideas for writing content for the keyword and topic of “what to name my dog.”
Types of SEO Content
There are several different types of SEO content. Developing content for each requires a unique set of tactics.
Service pages should answer the internet’s most common questions about that service. They should also answer any and all questions that someone might ask you over the phone or in person. An effective service page is relevant to the searchers’ query and provides signals of trust.
Blog posts tend to be created for those in the awareness stage. The searcher is likely aware of a problem or aware that they need a solution.
Get Started With Our SEO Content Writing Services
Let’s chat about creating content that’s valuable for your audience and capable of claiming valuable search engine real estate. Contact us.