Even the best online writing is ineffective if no one can find it. Get some eyeballs on your content. Learn search engine optimization (SEO) so Google will list your masterpieces higher in its rankings.
Choose SEO Friendly Topics
Search optimization should begin before you ever write a word. Many bloggers treat SEO as an afterthought. They write on any topic they want and then attempt to make it SEO-friendly.
Find out what keywords readers are using in their searches. Google “how to find keywords,” and you will see keyword search tools. Some are free, while others are paid services.
Type a word into the tool to see related words and phrases. Each entry shows the number of searches per month. You will also see whether the competition is high, medium, or low. The figure refers to how many advertisers use the word or phrase in their content.
Tip: Your best choices are keywords with low competition and a high number of searches per month. Select one of these as your focus keyword.
Find Additional Keywords
Google does this work for you. Enter your focus keyword as a Google search term, scroll to the bottom of the results, and you will see “related searches” listed.
Use keywords from these suggestions to broaden the reach of your blog.
Tip: Don’t “stuff” your articles and blog posts with keywords to the point that it sounds awkward. This can actually lower your ranking. Use a keyword two to three times at most in a blog-length piece of, say, 500 words. Double that for an article of 1000 words, and so on.
Write Your Headline
Write an appealing headline that uses your focus keyword. Even if the keyword sounds “dry,” use some emotional words around it.
You can find free analyzers that rank the effectiveness of your headlines. This is a great way to learn to write headlines that are both catchy and searchable.
Tip: Write three to four headlines for your piece to see which ranks the highest in headline analyzers.
Make Your Text Readable
Online grammar and spelling tools will suggest words that will make your blog post more readable.
Readers recognize certain words and phrases more readily than others. Review the suggestions from the grammar tool and incorporate them as much as possible.
Tip: Don’t replace all of your uncommon words. A few may attract readers who use less popular search terms.
Place Images in the Text
Search engines rate your writing on how easy it is to read. Images raise your ranking because they make content more understandable.
You don’t have to become a photographer. Search for “royalty-free images,” and you will see many companies that provide pictures you can use.
Tip: Images in the text itself are more likely to improve your ranking than images above or to the side of the copy.
You now know how to write SEO-friendly content. There’s a lot more to learn, but don’t wait until you’re an expert to begin writing. Expand your knowledge as you go. Happy writing.