How to Write Content Both Humans and Search Engines Love

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If you want to build your blog audience, you’re going to have to get smarter with your content.

One of the biggest challenges that bloggers and content marketers face is writing content that’s optimized for search engines, yet will also appeal to people.

SEO is the most misunderstood topic online. But, SEO content isn’t complicated, once you understand that people come first, before search algorithms. SEO firms make their money understanding these simple concepts.

Thriving in your online business means that you must go beyond simply “writing content.” Your content needs to accomplish two goals: first, appeal to the end-user (customers, clients, prospects, readers, etc.) and second, solve a particular problem.

But, how do you create content that meets those goals? How do you create content that ranks well with Google and also persuades people? That’s what SEO copywriting is all about. Don’t worry if you can’t afford an expensive SEO copywriter. You can do this following simple rules.

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Google Is Built to Understand Good Content

Google has ever-evolving, highly sophisticated search algorithms that are getting better every day, and drastically better each year.

This isn’t limited to solely its traditional search results.

The growing number of search features that improve usability and accessibility are big additions to the overall experience Google offers its users.

All of this is helping parent company Alphabet generate billions of dollars in revenue every quarter.

A large driver of that revenue is Google’s extensive advertising network, but it starts and ends with Google search and its pay-per-click advertising there.

Google is the most-visited website in the world, and its success to continue to be No. 1 hinges on the success and accuracy of its search platform in all other capacities. That drives the traffic, advertising, and 3.5 billion searches done daily in Google search.

Google has become what it is today – essentially a synonym for search – because of the quality of its results. And let’s not forget: Google wasn’t the first – there are plenty of alternative search engines. But it is the best search engine.

While we wouldn’t go so far as to call it perfect, Google has been the most accurate and useful search engine we’ve ever had to date – and thus the longest-lasting – much due to its dedication to getting it right.

The proof is in the numbers (daily visits, users, revenues, etc.). That’s why Google serves more than 2 trillion searches annually.

For these reasons, Google (or any other search engine) doesn’t need us to write content that is specifically designed for it. Google serves its users, and it wants content to serve them as well.

If you write good content for people, Google will reward. The same cannot be said for content that is strictly written for search engines.

Be the Consumer

An awesome way to make sure your product is awesome is to be the customer itself. This also applies to content itself.

Before you begin to type a post, you should spend a considerable amount of time on researching. The key is to understand user needs and cater directly to them.

The research would help you plan your content creation and keyword strategy. This way you can satisfy both your readers and search engines.

Think about these questions:

  • Before writing the post: If I would search for this thing, what query would I use? (for coming up with ideal titles)
  • While writing the post: What can be done to make the post more easy to scan?
  • After writing the post: Would I be willing to read such a post?

Crosslink, Crosslink, Crosslink.

Crosslinking your content to other pages on your site is an absolute must. Not only does it add relevance to pages, it also keeps people moving through your website and can send traffic to your priority pages. Tip: Make sure your crosslinking strategy matches where you are in the sales cycle. This will ensure you’re moving people along the sales funnel in the right way.

Identify Primary & Secondary Keywords

Now that you’ve finalized your keyword list to include high-search-volume keywords, it’s time to leverage the research to develop content topics. Each piece of content should focus on a target keyword, also known as a primary keyword. Great target keywords are those with medium to high search volume and medium to low competition.

Though your primary keyword is the most important part of your optimization efforts, with the shift to semantic search, Google understands how all of the content on the page relates to one another, not just the keywords you used to optimize.

To reinforce what topic your SEO content is about, include closely related keywords, also known as secondary keywords or latent semantic keywords.

Follow On-Page SEO Best Practices

Now that you’ve centered your content on what the reader wants, it’s time to talk about the technical side of writing for SEO. For the sake of brevity (another good SEO copywriting tip), I’ll list on-page SEO factors you need to incorporate into your SEO copy.

Include your target keyword in:

  • The title tag
  • The meta description
  • The URL
  • The H1 tag
  • Maybe an H2 tag or two
  • The body copy
  • Image file names
  • Alt image tags
  • Anchor text links to your content from other pages on your site

Also, include related keywords in the body copy and possibly in the H2 tags.

Length of Text

The length of your blog post plays a significant role in getting your posts to rank.

Long-form blog posts are also increasingly becoming the most popular form of content of choice, because of the changes in Google’s algorithm in the recent years.

So what exactly is long-form content?

To put it simply, you can assume that you’re writing long form content when your blog posts go beyond 1,500 words.

You’re writing long form content when your blog posts go beyond 1,500 words

My personal recommendation is to write content that goes above 2,500 words, since it has been proven extensively that this form of content is the ideal type of content that gets the most number of social shares and engagements (assuming you don’t have time to write mega posts of 8,000 words like I do!).

The key point is to fill up the meat of your content, so that it becomes an impressive hamburger that your readers will boast about to their friends.

Make Content Easy for Scanning

If you place too much text in a single paragraph, you’ll soon see users skipping the whole content.

I don’t know how you would feel, but to me, I don’t like my hard work going down the drain. You should make the content easy to swallow for readers.

  • Avoid large paragraphs of text, they make text boring and users tend to skip them over.
  • Use formatting options efficiently to make copy user-friendly. Use bullets for lists.
  • Use font effects such as bold, underline and Italicize to make the strong points stand out.
  • Make effective use of H3 or H2 tags to break content in pieces.

Include Internal Links

Linking between different pages on your website can add relevance to each of the pages, while also keeping users on your site and engaged. If done properly, linking between pages can be a great way to funnel potential customers to your priority webpages.

When linking between different pages, be sure to optimize the anchor text (hyperlink) for keyword and page content relevancy. Anchor text that include phrases like, “click here” have zero search engine optimization value and appear spammy.

Deliver What You Promise

If you are ranking a page for a specific keyword, make sure the content is actually relevant. If you don’t do so, you would mess up the user experience and ultimately loose rankings.

Anything that you mention in places mentioned in step 3 should describe only what the page is about.


Summary

It has become cliché to say that writing for SEO is all about writing for humans.

But the truth is that Google relies on real people’s engagement with the content they show in SERPs to know what makes them happy.

To follow the simplified advice to “just create great content,” do your research to know what “great” means to your audience, and create SEO content with more confidence.

Looking for a pro SEO content writer? Contact me now and I would be happy to help you!

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6 comments

  1. Well, this article i a great example of what is being preached in the content of the article. The writing is well-researched, easy on the eye and definitely not boring. Having such good knowledge and ability to write in a way that catches the reader’s attention and improves SEO ranking is a necessary skill to have.
    SEO comes across as a very complicated and technical topic, but from this article, it seems that notion is very far from the truth. There is the need to master your recommended SEO best practices. Glad I came across such an educative and informative post, I am definitely sharing.
    Thanks for the education!!

    1. Thank you for your comment Daniel, I’m glad to see that you’ve found my posts useful. I’ll try to write more educational content like this in the future. )

      Best,
      Ali

  2. Great article here and very important to know all about how to write content both humans and search engines love! I really need to know this information for my articles going forward. It takes me a lot of time to research and write articles. My articles are usually 1000 words but practicing everyday has helped me to write longer articles. How long have you been helping people on the internet?

    1. Hey Alyse and thanks for your comment. It’s 7 years now that I’m helping people to build their own online business. 1000 words per article is good but aim for 2000 words per article if you want to get serious result.
      If you need a hand with your content creation process, check out my content writing service and I would be happy to help you. 🙂

      Best,
      Ali

  3. Hi Ali, reading this latest post has been enjoyable and knowledgeable, it gives you insight on crosslinking your content to other pages which I didn’t know, also on how to write great content that will get ranked in google. Making your content easy for scanning is great to know also. Thank you for this great information and I will be using this when I start adding more content to my website.

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