Consider this: Google changes its SEO algorithm more than 500 times each year!
All of these changes determine where your page will show up in search results pages. That means that SEO isn’t something you can set and forget. In fact, you need to treat SEO as an ongoing strategy, giving it regular attention so you don’t lose traffic every time Google updates its algorithm.
While you don’t have to review the SEO on our entire site every single day, Optinmonster advises being more strategic about your SEO article writing and the way you review your content.
How to Write for SEO Today and Beyond
To set yourself up for search engine success this year and beyond, follow the 4 steps outlined below:
Step 1. Make a List of Useful Keywords
Search engines recognize the content that best solves users’ problems. While keywords are important for rankings, solving the user’s problem is what really matters.
“Content that ranks high for a particular keyword, but that doesn’t solve anything related to that keyword, isn’t going to rank high for long.”
Your priority should be to find the best keywords for each piece of content. Start the process with some simple brainstorming, then take advantage of free or paid SEO tools that will help make your SEO content writing much easier.
And remember, keywords aren’t always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right type of visitors. See Moz’s guide for assessing the value of a keyword to make sure the ones you choose are relevant to your content and useful to searchers.
Step 2. Draft a List of User Intents
Now that you have your list of keywords from step 1, go back through them and determine what the users are trying to accomplish when searching for those keywords.
Consider the following list of keywords from Optinmonster as an example:
- camper van conversion
- DIY camper
- homemade camper van
- how to make a campervan
Can you see how users searching for these keywords probably want to find out how to convert a van into a camper on their own?
Step 3. Write Keyword-rich Headlines and Tags & Create Your Page or Post Layout
At this point, it’s time to determine where your keywords will fit into your headline and tags. To accomplish this, try creating an outline using appropriate keywords as headings, using the Optinmonster example below:
Title: How to Make a Campervan
Heading: Why a DIY Camper?
Heading: Benefits of a Homemade Camper Van
Heading: Camper Van Conversion Tips
Make sure that search engines will easily be able to discern the intent of your content by including keywords in the areas listed below:
- Internal links
- Alt attributes of images
- Headline tags
- Meta descriptions
Step 4. Create Content and Add Related Terms
Now that you have your outline, it’s time to draft your content. Make sure you write with your keywords and user intent in mind.
After you’ve finished writing, go back through your content to add in the keywords, related phrases, and topics where they fit naturally into the content.
SEO Content Writing Tips
Here are 3 tips that will help you create the content as outlined in the process above. Following these tips will help you drive traffic, as well as increase leads and conversions.
1. Know Your Audience
Make sure you know which buyer persona you’re trying to reach before you create any content.
Knowing who you’re trying to reach and why will help you create better keywords and content that will solve your readers’ problems.
2. Write for Humans
If you want your content to be human-friendly, make sure that it’s A) easy to understand, B) well researched, and C) grammatically and factually correct.
Add keywords into headings, tags, and content where they naturally fit. Never sacrifice content to fit in keywords!
3. Create Educational and Actionable Content
Your content must capture the attention of readers, as well as provide them with actionable steps that will help them solve their problems.
Provide your readers with original content that’s well-researched so they’ll want to return to your site again and again for content that’s trusted.
Best Practices for Updating Outdated SEO
Good news! The most complicated part of updating outdated SEO is knowing how often to do it. Read on for best practices on updating outdated SEO for on-page content.
Keywords: Make sure you’re ranking well for keywords that are being searched and have the right intent. You’ll want to keep an eye on the Average Monthly Searches and Average Search Volume. If you see a decrease in these metrics it’s time to start adjusting your keyword strategy. How often? At least quarterly and 3-6 months before launching a new campaign or promotion.
On Page Content: Title tags and meta descriptions should contain your target keywords. Adjust your title tags and meta descriptions as rankings change. How often? Update with any changes to your keyword strategy and when you hear of changes to Google’s algorithm that could impact on page content.
Refresh Content: You should review old content to ensure that it’s still performing well. Keep an eye on Visitors to Page. If activity on your content drops considerably, consider the following: update title tag or metadata, promote on social media, link it in new content, rewrite it. How often? Track it weekly, but give it 3 months before deciding to refresh it or not.
Over to You
With Google changing its algorithm hundreds of times each year, SEO isn’t a one and done task. To boost your website visits this year and beyond, treat SEO as an ongoing marketing strategy and give it regular attention so you don’t lose traffic every time Google updates its algorithm. Here’s to your success!
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Also published on Medium.