My SEO writing workflow
A reader has asked me: what steps do I follow while writing a piece of content?
So, briefly, I am going to outline my writing workflow below. Hope this helps any newbie SEO writer :).
First of all, I research the topic I am writing about, to create my keywords vocabulary around it, including the long-tail ones. Rather than focusing on one primary keyword, I choose to focus on a list of closely related long tail keywords because natural language not only yields a more interesting copy and but also converts better in search engine results with Google semantic search and newer updates favoring long tail keywords.
I usually start my long tail keyword research about a topic at:
- Keyword tool suggestions
- Alternative search query suggestions in ranking results
- Competitor websites
- The dictionary and thesaurus
- Top ranking competitor webpages
- Wikipedia and other authoritative sites
- Books on the topic
Once I have my keyword vocabulary list, I select the top one to three keywords and then check their Keyword Difficult Index along with their search volume. I believe both matrices are equally important as you don’t want to optimize a blog or a webpage against a keyword with very high search volume but also with very high difficulty index for ranking as that keyword wouldn’t be sufficient by itself to attract significant traffic because there would be far too many results for it.Which is why I always add medium and low priority keywords, in addition to a primary keyword, to my content to attract traffic from multiple queries.
If I am unsure, I test both options with different keywords phrases to see how the search engines react and which option generates better conversions. I also focus on words that I feel are easier to write a section about or might generate interesting content.
Then according to SEO 101, I try to put all the primary keywords into the title tag, the #h1 headline, image alt tags and, of course, the actual body text.There are three important considerations while placing the keywords in a document whether a blog or a webpage.
· Position: Keywords placed in important areas like titles, headlines, and higher up in the main body text help search engines index a page and understand its context.
· Distance: Words and phrases related to each other should be placed close to one another to leverage semantic distance and signal contextual theme of a page to search engine( themes are increasingly important with semantic search)
· Frequency: Frequency of a keyword or TF-IDF signals relevance to search engines and helps generate authority for a webpage.
I place keywords on a page, keeping all these factors in mind.
Then I craft my title tag within 70 characters, trying to insert the primary keyword in it if possible. Sometimes it isn’t possible to put all the key phrases in 70 characters, in that case, you can set the title for a maximum length of 200 characters and use medium priority keywords. Don’t worry too much about how your title tag will appear in a browser or on the search engines because search engines only display an excerpt of the title containing the searched keyword.
In the on-page headline, I stick to copywriting verbosity over my SEO brain because ultimately it is more important to have a clear, readable headline than an unreadable one stuffed with keywords.
I am terrifically keen on #h2 sub-headlines when it comes to optimizing a webpage for multiple keywords, because search engines consider the #h2 tag to be a strong ranking signal. I use each primary keyword to create their own subsections, with the secondary related phrases supporting the primary.
<h2>second title and secondary keyword </h2>
I often write an entire section with long tail keywords, complete with image and optimized alt tag.I use different forms of the words (singulars/plurals, past/present/future tense) and their synonyms whereever they make sense and sound natural.
In the end, I often read SEO copy out loud to myself ( and my cat!!!) and make concessions to SEO in favor of readability because there is a huge difference between writing SEO optimized copy and keyword stuffing.
Also I would suggest that all writers should experiment because in SEO, the margin of error is quite large soA/B test your keyword usage. If you have used a keyword in a way that just doesn’t yield results, adjust it and try again because it doesn’t cost a fee per keyword, you shouldn’t shy away from high competition words that you may not rank for (unlike PPC) but it still won’t hurt to compete for those.
So this is how I usually go about writing any piece of content, please share your tips with me as to what works for you? At what time of the day, do you feel like your most creative self? And what new SEO writing hacks have you stumbled across in 2016?
I would love to hear from you!