Many articles have been written by SEO specialists telling you how to get your content pieces out on the internet. Many writers talk about how to optimise your content for SEO benefits as well. And of course, countless teachers will always want to make things more readable. I think for the basics, it’s important to pull a little from all three streams of argument.
I guess the number one rule in all writing is, “avoid spelling mistakes”. And really, it’s not hard to see why. They can stand out like a sore thumb, completely ruining the flow of a paragraph, and can make readers seriously question your credibility.
How do you pick up errors then? Typically, I find it best to write everything down, leave it for a day and then review the next. My problem is that I know what I’m trying to say, so my brain runs over any potential issues. By taking the extra time, my familiarity with the content lessens enough so I can find any problems.
Writing tools can also be quite helpful, giving you more support than traditional platforms like Word, but regardless, this can still lack the necessary support. Alternatively, you can slow down slightly to not rush through the process of typing, looking to take muscle memory out of the equation.
Modern web design is based around the concept of minimalism and clean design. Long gone are the days of having a jam-packed web site throw as much information as possible to users. Much like interior design, sleek and minimal is the name of the game.
Obviously though, it’s hard with written copy. We’re taught from an early age with novels and newspapers that great big chunks of text are totally fine from a written perspective. It’s even encouraged. But not for the internet, unfortunately.
It probably has something to do with the format of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where information is minimised and minimised, to the point where 140 characters are all it will take. So, learn to space out your paragraphs. Use lots of title breaks, and even imagery if relevant, just to give the user a bit of breathing space.
While the other two points talk about stylistic elements of your writing, this is a more technical issue. When writing a content piece, try to put some outbound links in there. Whether they head to your products, services, or an information source, these links are a good thing to do.
The results about whether they help with search engine optimisation or not are dubious, but the links, if nothing else, share the love a little bit, and make you look more authoritative too. Unless you’re writing a pure opinion piece (and even then), facts and figures, or at least supporting arguments are kind of an important thing.
Or, just give a shout-out to an important ally. It gives them a small boost and might make them more considerate to return the favour. Just don’t expect a bump for a bump; it’s merely courteous, not necessary.
No matter how well written your piece is, or how well optimised it is; if you don’t promote it publically, people just won’t be able to read it. I recognise it can be daunting. But it can boost both the readability of your piece and provide a beneficial social media marketing plug.
Many businesses thrive and survive simply through sharing blog posts online. We all recognise the more content, the better in social media, so discussing a piece you’re particularly proud of can be especially effective.
Typically, if you’re engaging in content marketing (which most content writing is for), you probably already have a pretty solid idea about your optimisation. Same rules apply: pick a keyword and mention it a few times.
But content writing can be beneficial for long-tail keywords just as much as the more generic ones as well. But sure to have a list of both high priority generics and longer-tail options to focus on throughout your pieces.
As well as that, ensure that you are setting correct alt-tags on any images, utilising title tags and meta descriptions, and correct header usage. By doing this, you give your content piece the best possible chance to take off.
These are just a few simple points, and really, there is so much more you can do. The point is that you look at your work and determine what you need to do better. I’m an SEO specialist in Melbourne, and I still struggle with some of these bits. As long as you work to improve your performance, you can dramatically increase your read-rates.