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15 SEO Writing Tips To Get Content Read, Shared and Ranked

Posted by in Blog, Blogging, SEO

Today I want to talk about SEO writing, writing content that will rank high in Google search.

If you are going to write blog posts, pages, etc… on your blog, why not optimize it for SEO?

For a small amount of extra work, you will have the ability to now rank in search and drive more visitors to that content for weeks, months even years to come.

When it comes to SEO writing today, your content has to be engaging to your readers, helpful, motivate people to buy or take action on something and ALSO be written in a way that makes Google happy.

It has to be engaging, helpful, easy to read and very clear on what your topic and goal is.

Below I share 15 tips, techniques and even a couple resources  that will help you write content that will help you…

get more people to read your content
get readers to share your content
get readers to take action
get readers to buy from you
make Google happy giving you the best chance to rank higher in search.

SEO Writing Tips and Techniques

15 SEO Writing Tips and Techniques

When going through the 15 tips below, keep in mind you will want to do them ALL to see real results and get you the best chance to get people to see and read your content from start to finish, plus rank in search.

Ok, Let’s get to the list…

1. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience goes hand-in-hand with, knowing what your blogs topic is and writing content that FITS that topic closely.

Once you know the WHO, it will be easier for you to write the right content for them, which will make it much easier for your content to get read, shared and possibly get your readers to take action on your call to action..

2. The Power Is In Your Titles

With Social Media, people get to see a title first, and most times that TITLE is what gets people to read or not read your blog post.

The perfect title is irresistible, creative, to the point, targeted tightly to the articles content and is SEO optimized.

3. Learn To Use Subheadings

Using subheadings makes it easier for people to “skim” through your blog posts and helps explain what’s coming next.

Just like titles, your subheadings should be creative and get people to keep reading. Plus using H2 or H3 subs is a great place to add your keyword making it smart SEO and making Google happier.

4. Get Noticed With Bold, Italics and CAPS

Using bold, italics and Caps throughout your writing is a great way to get things SEEN.

I like to use CAPS and bold mostly when I write, for me since I write the way I talk and my personality comes out in my writing, using bold and CAPS makes it easier for me to help you see or feel what I am feeling as I am writing.

For example:

If you have a paragraph talking about say the results you had from a FB ad you ran, I would write that paragraph and when it came time to share the numbers (your results)…

I would drop that line off the paragraph and have it sit alone and I would bold it out.

You see how more noticeable that line above is now?

If that same line wasn’t bold or wasn’t sitting alone, you may miss the best part of my FB ad results.

5. Write Longer Content…and Shorter

This SEO writing advice has been out for a long time…longer content rules the net.

Yes I see the value in longer content and yes I see some longer content rank well, but to be honest the longer content I see ranking so well is coming from HUGE blogs, and the rank comes more from that than the “long” content.

Here is my thinking, if you ONLY write ONE blog post a week then yes that better be a long post, 1,500 words at least.

This makes it more helpful to your readers and will give you a better chance at ranking.

Now if you are writing 2 or more posts per week, then one LONG post and one SHORT post would do just fine, plus making it easier for you to stay on a 2 posts per week schedule for the long term.

For me, I would rather read a 600 word post that gets to the point, teaches me something and was a nice read.

Than reading a long winded 1,500 word post that could of easily of been written in 800 words.

Get in, say what you need to say in the way ONLY you can say it then get OUT!

That’s how you get people to read and share your content which in turn WILL help that content rank.

6. They Like Skinny Paragraphs

I learned this lesson in my first year as a blogger, when it comes to writing, people fear big paragraphs.

It’s a physiological thing and there is no fixing it, so don’t try lol

Use smaller paragraphs, 2 – 4 lines at most.

Doing this will make your reader “feel” like there is MUCH less to read and gives you a better chance at them reading the full post.

7. On-Page Keyword Use

I know some people get all scientific when it comes to keyword usage when they write a post, but honestly if you place your keyword in the BEST places, you will be just fine.

Where are the best places?  I’m glad you asked :)

Title, to the front if possible
First paragraph
Middle of your post, preferably used in one H2 subheading
Last paragraph.
In your image ALT tag.
In your meta description.

Do that and you will get an A on your SEO writing score card and your post will be ready to rank higher in search.

Also remember to use related keywords and synonyms.

This makes easier for YOU to write a post that is easy to read, plus improves your chances to rank in Google for those related keys.

8. Love The Long Tails Keyword

There has been a lot of attention on the long tail keyword over the past 2 years and with good reason.

Long tail keywords levels the SEO playing field, giving newer, smaller blogs the ability to rank over and above bigger blogs.

It can be a little more work to write content and title for long tail keywords, but take your time and be creative and it WILL pay off.

9. Make It New or Keep It Updated

The reason blogs are so great at getting ranked is because you can upload new content, new blogs posts everyday, which makes Google very happy.

So keep writing, but don’t forget to pop into the best of your old posts and update them.

Change things around, add more tips, add updated information whatever it is, get them updated and Google will “see” them as newer content giving you a boost in ranks.

10. Grab Them With Meta Descriptions

A well written meta description is just as important and powerful as a post title.

First step in writing a great description is with SEO in mind, your keyword to the front.

Second step in writing a great description is with ATTENTION in mind, you want to be creative, you want to pull in those eyeballs forcing them to READ your post OVER the others that are ranked around you.

11. Pictures Get Attention

There have been many, many times over the past few years where people have said…

“JP, that picture was awesome, it’s what got me to read your post.”

Pictures work, for me, I like my picture to FIT my posts topic. I like funny, I like dramatic, I like visual and sometimes I go with text.

As you see in the image on this post… I went with funny, cute and text.

I want my images to fit so much that there are times it takes me LONGER to find an image for my post than it did to actually WRITE the post.

It’s also good SEO to have other media on each post, like images.

Plus if you add your keyword to the ALT tag of the image and to the image file on your computer, you can get ranked in Google image search for a boost in traffic.

12. Link Out and Link In

When it comes to “linking out” I don’t do a lot of it, I never have and I still rank pretty well.

My thinking has been, if I link out and the reader sees that link and clicks it, they will now leave my blog and not finish reading my post or come back to my blog at all.

So for me it has been all about, you are here, I’m going to keep you HERE as long as I can.

Now I am not saying you should NOT link out, I think you should do both and see, if linking out brings you better ranks, then keep doing it, but if you see it’s not helping ranks at all, then stop and keep people on your new blog post.

Now “linking in” is a great idea, but again something I don’t do that much, again my thinking is I want readers 100% focused on THE post they are reading, so they can then SHARE the post they are reading.

Again I am not saying to not link in, as above, try it, see what happens, if good, keep doing it, if not, then stop.

13. Use The Tools – Writing  and SEO

Tools are here to help you do what you need to do faster or easier.

So why not work smarter NOT harder?

There are many tools online to help with your SEO writing, and many of them are free to use.

Here are a few I like…

Wordcounter – Readability – Grammarly

 

Now that you have some help with your writing, let’s look at some helpful SEO tools and resources.

Same as the tools above, there are plenty of free tools you can be using.

Here are a few I like…

Google Keyword Planner – Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin – MozBar – SEMRush – HitTail

14. Write Like You Talk

When I write, I feel you are standing in front of me and we are having a conversation.

I also write the way I talk…if you talk to me on the phone or in person (Insert Boston accent here lol) you would quickly see that who I am in my writing is WHO I am in person.

Writing in a conversational style makes it more personal for the reader and makes it easy for them to relate and trust you.

15. It’s All About The Call-to-Action

Everything I shared above won’t do much for you and your blog and business if you don’t have a real purpose and focus on some type of conversion.

What do you want your readers to DO?

Your call to action can be anything you like, as long as it IS helping you expand, grow and make money with your blog.

Some popular call to action ideas:

Opt in to an email list
Buy my book
Share my post
Join my webinar
Leave a comment

 

When it comes to getting your content seen, read, shared and ranked, the SEO writing tips and techniques I just shared above is a great place to start.

What takes this all to the next level is learning how to promote and backlink your content, but I’ll leave that for another post :) 

For now, I hope these 15 tips will help you get more eyeballs on your content.

 

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  • MINUCA ELENA

    Hi John Paul,

    Thank you for writing this blog post! I love the idea of writing in a conversational style. I was wondering if I should use a more elevate and academic style to transmit the image of an expert. Now I know that I don’t need that.

    Number 5 is a big question for me. Almost every successful blogger that I know (except for John Chow) writes long posts. 2000 words post may have awesome info but sometimes I tweet it, bookmark to read it later and forget about it.

    You said that huge content it’s good for ranking well, but what about the reader? Does the reader have the time and patience to read so much? If someone it’s subscribed to a lot of newsletter and has his own stuff, he will not have the time to read so much. He will just take a quick look and leave it. At least that it’s what sometimes it happens to me.

    What do you believe? What may be the process through which a reader choose to read or not a blog post?

    Thank you,
    Minuca

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    TY for stopping by Minuca, you will need to go back in and read the part where I talk about long content and how I don’t fully agree you need to write long content to do well with readers or search rankings. :)

    Like I say in the post… if you need 2,000 words to say what you have to say, then use 2,000 words.

    BUT

    If you can say the same thing in say 900 words, then please do it in 900 words because your readers would rather read 900 over 2000 if the learning is the SAME.

    Trust me Google will rank 900 over 2000 word post since there are soooooooo many other factors to getting ranked besides post length.

  • MINUCA ELENA

    Hi John,

    Thank you for answering me. I already read that part :) .

    I’m not talking about Google, but about a reader that may think a blogger has poor knowledge about a subject if he writes a shorter post.

    From a reader’s perspective if a blogger writes a very detailed post he will look smarter. Although a busy reader may be impressed by a long post, it could also make him postpone reading the article.

    There are so many bloggers that write about the same subject. What is the best way in which someone can stand out and position himself as an EXPERT and not only as another blogger from his niche?

    Thank you,
    Minuca

  • http://www.thewritedesignco.com/ Marcie_Hill

    I’ve really got to do better with my calls to actions. I can do it when promoting others but not so much for my own sites.

  • http://bivori.com/ Suresh Khanal

    Hi John,

    Are you talking from SEO point of view? I was confused there at long post … short post.

    Long posts are seen in ranking but they are from big websites and you suspect the ranking is due to the website rather than the length of post.

    And your suggestion is to go for a long post and a short one if I plan to publish two posts per week. Now is that for SEO benefit? Short posts are favored by readers or engines?

    Yes, I do agree, short post that teaches something offers some good value is always preferred than long useless fluf.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Marcie, it can be as simple as an opt in form or asking people to share your post… keep it simple and move into it slowly to not erk your readers.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    As far as SEO, short 800 words or long 1,500+ posts are fine.

    When I say that I see long posts ranking,, I believe they rank more because they are BIG websites, then ti is because it was a long post.

    I think long and short will rank equally, since there is more that goes into a post ranking than JUST the word count.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Length of post has nothing to do with “proving knowledge”.

    Example.. look at Seth Godin.. most of his blog posts are maybe 300 words, yet he is awesome and very experienced, intelligent.

    Writing with personally will not take away from the experience and teaching you are trying to do… what it does do, is make it MUCH easier and enjoyable for people to read.

  • http://www.pvariel.com Philip Verghese Ariel

    Hi John @MoneyDummy:disqus
    It is indeed a very timely piece to me, as I was giving much time to learn something more about on this vast subject called SEO!
    Good that you brought out some vital tips on this subject.,
    Coming to the point of long and short content, along with your note i read the comment of @minucaelena:disqus’s feedback and doubts and your reply to it, Yes, whatever may be the length of the content if we can say it in few words you want to convey to your readers say it and if want more words to say that do it in that way! too, again confusion! and you concluded it saying Google will rank 900 over 2000 word post since there are soooooooo many other factors to getting ranked besides post length.” Is that factors the 14 other points you mentioned in this post or any other factors!

    Thanks John for sharing this informative and educative piece.
    May you have a great weekend.
    Regards
    ~ Philip
    PS: Hey John i am glad to note that i curated this post at kingged dot com and up-voted it. Thanks

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Philip when I say other factors g into ranking a blog posts I am talking about backlinks, social shares etc…

    example: a 9000 word post will outrank a 2,000 word post if the quality and amount of back links to the 900 word post is more than to the 2,000 word post.

    I hope that helps explain it better.

  • Deborah Tolley

    John, this post is awesome!

    I enjoyed your suggested writing and SEO tools. Now my blog posts will shine!

    Besides, I’d like to add online plagiarism checker to your list. My favorite one is Unplag, although there are many other available tools.

    Why I use it? Am I willing to find plagiarism in my blog posts? Nah, man. I want to be sure that my article will not contain a lot of words, unintentionally borrowed from other bloggers. You see, we all write about the similar things, so it’s not a surprise, that sometimes similarities can happen.

    So I continue working on my personal writing style, and develop my blogging skills. And tools, that you’ve suggested will be a great help for me.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    TY Deborah for stopping by… Glad the post was helpful and Ty for the added tool :)

  • http://bivori.com/ Suresh Khanal

    Yea, that’s true. Thre’s much more in ranking than just the word count.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    Exactly Suresh :)

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