6 Do’s and Don’t: Writing Content for SEO — People First Content

Search engines love it. Businesses hate it. Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a tightrope walk.

Every business wants its content to rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs). So it’s usually the primary reason businesses feature blogs on their websites.

But there is a right and a wrong way to write content for SEO. And the difference between the two can be murky.

We’ve already written a guide to the SEO practices around publishing blogs, but what about the writing itself?

3 Don’ts Of Writing Content for Websites

Usually, I’d preface this with a “these aren’t hard and fast rules,” but in this case, they pretty much are! So try to keep these faux-pas in mind when writing, editing, or reviewing content for your website.

DON’T forget you’re writing for people first and foremost

People tend to get a little trigger happy when they first get into SEO. It’s so simple! Just add keywords (as many as possible)! So what if it doesn’t really fit the theme of the blog? So what if it makes the sentences choppy and hard to read?

We’re in no way anti-keyword (we’ll talk about the right way in the next section). But if you’re sacrificing readability in your quest to make search engines like you, it will backfire.

  1. Even if your blog pops up high on the results page, people may not click on it. Or if they do, they’ll leave to find writing that actually makes sense.
  2. Google doesn’t like cheaters. So its algorithm is constantly updating to weed out content that doesn’t deliver what it promises.

So never forget you aren’t writing for a robot’s approval. As our company name says, you’re writing for people first.

DON’T channel your inner Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was-” That dash represents a potential customer leaving your website.

Look. I’m a writer. I get it. Long, artfully constructed sentences give me goosebumps. But I’m not looking for goosebumps when I’m googling. I’m looking for answers. And I want them fast.

“Why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?”- Kevin Malone

So forget what your English teacher taught you and make best friends with short, snappy sentences. Even if they aren’t technically grammatically correct.

Check out the Hemingway editor if you struggle with this!

DON’T use jargon or acronyms without explaining what you mean

Have you ever been reading something that uses so much industry-specific language that you have to leave the site to find out what they’re talking about? Yeah, me too.

Not only is that annoying for the reader, but it’s also bad practice for SEO. Your average time spent on a page will decrease. And a potential customer will be off reading a definition at a competitor’s site. Not ideal.

Save everyone the headache and over-explain (just a little). The only time you can (maybe) get away with jargon is if it’s such a complex topic, no one who’s not in the know cares. But even then, it can be wise to link to other posts on your own website that explains the phrase.

3 Do’s Of Writing Content for Websites

Writing content for websites is different from almost any other medium. It comes with its own rules that distinguish it from books or even other digital content like eBooks and white papers.

Now that we’ve established what NOT to do. Let’s think positively and figure out what you should do.

DO use keywords the right way

What is the essence of a keyword? A keyword is simply something that people are interested in knowing more about. When you think of it that way, it’s more common sense not to keyword stuff your posts.

Think of it from the searcher’s perspective and ask yourself:

  • What would you want to know about your product?
  • How would you naturally phrase that question?
  • What are the more specific and niche elements in your industry that have less written on them?

Using keywords to develop post ideas can lead to stilted, awkward content. Instead, it is much better to develop a concept and figure out how people phrased their searches. For example, maybe “writing content” is only searched a few times, but “content writing” has thousands of queries.

And if you still aren’t sure you’re using too many keywords, use our keyword density tool.

DO stick to the point

Keyword integration and SEO are more intuitive if you’re sticking to the point. Your title and introduction should lay out what you plan to discuss in the post. If you suddenly think of another fascinating subject halfway through or want to use another unrelated keyword, save it for another post!

This is often where the most awkward keyword insertion comes from.

If a search engine can’t figure out the central point of your post, it’ll pass it by, and so will readers. No one wants to wade through paragraphs and paragraphs of disconnected information to find what they’re looking for.

So save that juicy keyword for a post where it actually makes sense.

DO focus on structure

Search engines’ goal is to deliver what people want. And the best way to show the search engine what you’re offering is through clear structuring. It’s also the best way to keep readers on the page.

If you’re searching for information, you want to quickly know whether or not a page will deliver. So make your posts granular by adding lots of headings that point to where the pertinent information is.

Bottom Line

Writing content for SEO should always prioritize the reader and give them what they want. Don’t try to scam your way to the top of the results page with keyword stuffing. Don’t choose style over substance. And never forget who you’re talking to. And you’ll create content that your audience and Google love.

Putting people first when it comes to content is what PFC is all about. So if you’re looking to take your content to the next level, People First Content can help by working with you to create content that sticks. So contact us to get started!

Originally published at https://www.peoplefirstcontent.com on May 8, 2022.

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