Effective SEO Practices that Boost Your Online Presence
Sometimes, it’s good to go back to the basics—revisit, review, refresh and emerge at least somewhat better informed. It’s a new year and a new decade, but what’s new with SEO writing? How much of the old is still gold?
In our daily interactions with customers, prospects, industry experts, other content writing agencies, SEO copywriters, and all the different players in the content marketing world, we hear a plethora of buzz words. Plenty of tech speak. Tons of, “Did you know…?” Countless instances of, “No way! When did Google change this?” It’s dynamic and exciting, no doubt, if you are fairly aware of what’s being talked about. But, amidst all the experts and stalwarts, we also see countless ‘lost souls’, yearning to jump on the bandwagon and not knowing how. So, this week, we are focusing on the foundation of content marketing—what it means to write for the web and why it’s different from writing for any other medium.
Google positioned itself as a major player in the marketing world through its comprehensive slew of proprietary search algorithms to help users find useful, relevant and reliable information. Although businesses use search as a tool to draw more customers, Google’s mission is simply to organize the world’s information and make it accessible.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website to make it appeal to users and the bots that index sites for search engines.
It’s important to understand that SEO isn’t just about keywords, but about quality content, and best practices for your website. If you want to improve your SEO strategy, you must focus on what and how you write. It’s important to consider your audience and your writing form. Today’s consumer wants high-quality information. If you aren’t providing a rich experience with your content, it’s all too easy for the customer to go elsewhere; even though you may have succeeded initially to draw them in with some keywords.
Start with the Basics to Take Your SEO Writing to Greater Heights
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “easy reading is damn hard writing.” Writers often agonize over how to say things effectively and clearly. Our experience as a leading content marketing agency has taught us a few things about SEO writing. And no surprise, many of these are writing best practices you might notice in an old school textbook.
- Start out with your strongest information. Modern online audiences won’t wait for the punchline.
- Don’t overdo adverbs and adjectives. Use good nouns and verbs that explain.
- Have some rhythm to your writing by using short and long sentences.
- Don’t start sentences with the same phrases or words.
- Avoid clichés. Be unique to engage your reader.
- Use active verbs. The dog chewed the toy. My mom hugged me. Make the subject of your sentence perform the action instead of saying, “the toy was chewed by the dog.” “I was hugged by my mom.” The difference is slight, but the reading is more enjoyable.
- Short paragraphs work better for reading. It takes less energy to read a few sentences than it does to read a long block of text.
- Don’t take your reader on rabbit trails. Clear writing that follows an outline is easier to read. Keep your writing free of clutter.
- If you do write for your website, do it when your brain is at its best. For most people that is the morning.
- Jot down ideas in a notebook to be ready to write when you sit down. Writer’s block will strike when you have a blank page.
- Write, then edit. Get your ideas on paper. You can always edit what you write. It’s difficult to edit what isn’t written. 😊
- Focus your writing on the biggest ROI. Write about items that have the most value to your company.
- Take a break from writing (and work) to refresh your mind.
Creating content for your website may be a priority, but you don’t have to struggle to do it in-house. If you’re wearing too many hats and can’t focus on writing, at MintCopy, we have a team of trained copywriters and SEO experts who can help with your content marketing.