Did you know in 2020, Google received 2.3 trillion searches? With more individuals utilizing search engines daily, it is critical marketers are writing original content with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind to increase both the quality and quantity of organic website traffic.

Not only do marketers need to deliver content that will engage their audience online, but they also need to consider the words they are using when searching for information, the answers they are seeking and the type of content they prefer to consume (i.e., blogs, videos, etc.).

To help brands with their SEO content marketing efforts, the GRIT team is offering up the top seven tips to writing for SEO.

Tip #1: Keyword Research is Key

It is important brands do not waste valuable time and money implementing low ranking keywords into their content. By performing keyword research before developing content, brands can ensure they are using phrases that their target audience is using in search as well as keywords that will help their company rank.

GRIT recommends using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to gain an understanding of the keywords consumers use in search and identify their motives for using those specific words and/or phrases. Then, using search engine optimization tools such as SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner, brands can identify what keywords are trending in their industry and where they specifically rank. By ensuring the right keywords are in their content, organic search results and brand recognition can increase.

Tip #2: The Sooner the Better

When developing original content, the sooner keywords are incorporated, the better. After researching and identifying key terms to include in website copy, blogs, social media posts and more, remember to find ways to include these keywords in the first paragraph.

Not only will this tell readers early on that they have found the information they were looking for, but Google also prioritizes content above the fold. Adding keywords into the copy within the first paragraph tells Google to associate those keywords with the specific page on the site. While Google prioritizes keywords above the fold, it is still important to include key terms throughout the rest of the content as well.

Tip #3: Use Headings and Subheadings

Breaking content down under headings and subheadings has many advantages. First, it helps readers identify key topics included in the content. It also increases readability, which improves the user experience with the content.

From an SEO perspective, including headings and subheadings within the content allows Google to scan the page and better understand the content, including which information is most important. When using WordPress to publish articles, marketers will see different levels of headings in the text editor (i.e., H1, H2, H3, etc.). It is important to use H1 as the main heading, and the other levels subsequently. This is because H1 demonstrates higher importance than H2, and H2 demonstrates higher importance than H3, and so forth. Understanding how to structure headings and subheadings as well as including keywords in these areas can boost SEO.

Tip #4: Consider the Length of Your Articles

It is important for marketers to keep in mind that thoroughly answering their target audience’s questions is a priority when developing content. Brands need to address their consumer’s questions, concerns, and more in detail. While a few years ago, a few hundred words was sufficient for blogs and other online publications, in 2020, the top position Google articles contained an average of 2,416 words. Therefore, brands should consider the length of their articles and evaluate whether the piece provides enough depth.

Tip #5: Do Not Forget to Include Internal Links

Google uses internal links to better understand what the content on a specific page is about. Therefore, including links within copy to other blogs or pages on the same website will essentially let Google know the content is relevant with the rest of the site. Additionally, implementing internal links can lead to better crawling and indexing of website pages.

Not only does including internal links in content boost SEO, but it also allows readers to link to another page where there is more information on a specific topic they may be interested in.

Tip #6: Meta Descriptions Matter

When individuals search in Google, the meta description is the content summary which appears under each specific search result. It is key for brands to develop engaging meta descriptions that will entice readers to click on their piece within the search result listings. GRIT recommends keeping meta descriptions to no more than 160 characters and adding relevant keywords.

Tip #7: Optimize Images

When developing content, remember to consider the visuals that make the piece more engaging and easier to read. When including images within the content, it is important to keep a few SEO best practices in mind. First, be sure to use alt text to describe the image and give search engines, such as Google and Bing, clues about the content. Additionally, ensure the image file size is as small as possible without compromising the quality. Files that are too large can slowdown the website speed and impact SEO. By properly optimizing images, brands can enhance their SEO.

We Are Here to Help

61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. If enhancing your SEO and organic traffic is a goal you want to accomplish in 2021, reach out to our team of digital and content marketing professionals to learn how we can take your brand’s digital presence to the next level.