Let’s us begin with what this post is not:
This post is not a comprehensive guide to SEO (search engine optimisation). It’s a guide on how ordinary writers (that’s you and me – not the ones with a degree in Bedroom Dwelling While Learning About Backlinking) can make our writing search engine friendly.
If you want to indulge in a long and fulfilling relationship with the search engines – one that will stand the test of time after the initial few months of fireworks have settled down – then taking the ‘organic’ approach is the way to go.
Like all great relationships, this takes a healthy dose of time, effort and patience. But if you’re willing to put in the groundwork I’m positive you won’t be disappointed with your new-found courtship.
If you’re not there yet as a writer – if you’re just getting started and need to know how to get clients first – read this FREE eBook.
How to make your writing search engine friendly
1. Research keywords
There are different ways to do this. The simplest? Open up Google’s Keyword Planner (you’ll need a Google account but it’s all free), then simply type in phrases relating to the topic you want to write about.
What you’re looking for are keywords getting a healthy amount of searches per month (this will differ depending on the topic/industry). Like with many relationships, it’s preferably that the competition is either ‘Low’ or at least ‘Medium’.
2. Use the keywords you’ve researched in your content
Use the keywords in the post’s title, in the first and last paragraphs, in a subheading or two and anywhere else it makes sense to do so. Don’t stuff them in where it doesn’t make sense to. Just don’t.
Also use your keywords in the title of any images you use, plus the URL of the post – and be sure not to make the URL too long while you’re at it.
3. Link to other useful posts within your content
These could be internal links from the site you’re writing for, or external links – just as long as they’re hyper useful and releavant to the content of your post.
Because sharing’s caring.
Use bullet points, headings and white space
Google needs to be able to scan your content and easily tell what it’s about. Guess what? Readers need to be able to scan your content and easily tell what it’s about.
Embrace the white space, don’t make it difficult to find important information. Use bullet points, numbers and headings to oranise your content.
Everyone will thank you for it.
5. Is that it?
Really, that’s all you have to do to make your writing search engine friendly. Sometimes I also use a free WordPress plugin called Yoast, which simply tells me if there are ways I can make a post more search engine friendly.
Yes, there are SEO gurus who will talk about backlinking and canonical tags (eh?) – let them talk. As an online writer, if you don’t have the above basics in place when writing content, Google (and therefore readers) won’t want to know.
What have we learned about SEO?
The main thing to take away from this is that the search engines want the same thing readers want: clear, digestible, useful and relevant content.
If it’s super useful and digestible, folks will be compelled to link to it from their own websites. (This also helps inform the search engines that you’re reliable and trustworthy enough to feature in their elusive results.)
If you’ve concentrated on achieving the above, and not stuffed your content full of keywords, then you should feel pretty proud of your content…
So get out there and shout about it.
Tweet it. Encourage people to like it on Facebook. Submit it to a few article sharing websites. Comment on other blogs so people might be inclined to follow you back to your content.
In time, with useful and well-written content posted on a regular basis, your writing will become much more search engine friendly.
And then some day – maybe – you might just find that Google will finally make a commitment to you.
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