Top Ten SEO tips when writing content

Writing regular, fresh content for your website or blog is a great way to boost your search engine ratings, but poor quality content can actually do more damage to your SEO rankings than no content at all.

Here are 10 top tips for writing winning, SEO-boosting content.

1. Write great headlines

Your headlines are perhaps the most important part of your content. Not only are they the gateway to readers engaging with your content (after reading a headline, most readers will assess whether or not to continue reading an article within a matter of seconds), but they are also an opportunity to input keywords and increase your search engine ranking.

2. Keep it real

Write genuine, original content don’t cut and paste from elsewhere online, no matter how pressing your deadline may be. Some may say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but search engines like Google disagree they struggle to rank duplicated content and this can cause serious SEO problems.

3. Keep it relevant

Write content for the people who are visiting your website and which will appeal to their interests. You don’t need to write every article specifically about your product or service (that would likely become very boring very quickly), but do keep your posts industry related.

4. Keep it punchy

People tend to scan-read online content so keep your articles punchy and to the point. Use paragraphs, bullet points and subheadings to make the content more digestible and don’t write overly long posts (somewhere in the region of 500 1000 words is usually about right). If you’re covering an especially large topic then consider breaking it down into several smaller posts (Part 1, Part 2, etc.) over a number of days rather than one marathon article that no one will ever read.

5. Use keyword-rich phrases

Use keywords in your headlines and in your content but keep it natural and relevant. Awkwardly stuffing blatant keyword phrases into every sentence of your post will turn off readers and will lead to penalization by search engines.

6. Use imagery

Most people are turned off by swathes of plain text so supplement your written content with visual content. Add images, graphs, etc. to make the page more engaging. But don’t just take any old image you find online remember to use either images you own the copyright for or copyright-free images, otherwise you could find yourself landed with a hefty bill from the image’s owner.

7. Use Tags

Use proper tag hierarchy when tagging headlines (H1 tags for your main headlines, H2 tags for subheadings). This will create well-structured articles that will appeal to Google and the other big search engines and will lead to higher ranking. It also creates a sense of professionalism and style-continuity for your readers.

8. Use Social Media

Sharing links to your posts on relevant forums and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. will lead readers to your content and promotes further sharing from your fans/followers. Always include share buttons at the bottom of each of your blog posts too.

9. Proofread everything

Unless you’re some kind of super blogger and literary genius you won’t write instant perfect copy. Always proofread your text and redraft as necessary before you post anything. Poor writing, spelling mistakes and bad grammar make you look unprofessional and will drastically reduce the chances of people linking to or sharing your posts.

10. Monitor

It’s always wise to keep an eye on your website’s data to see which posts are performing well or badly. If you’re promoting your posts on social media check how many ‘likes’ and shares they’re getting. Use Google Analytics (which is both free and easy to use) to monitor the amount of views your posts are getting as well as the bounce rate for your pages this will help you identify your most and least engaging content, which is incredibly useful for optimizing your future content.