At Idunn, we write SEO-friendly articles every day for our customers. And every day we learn something new about how to rank content.
Here’s the most important thing, though: algorithm change after algorithm change, one thing remains constant – quality.
If you’ve been writing quality content for years now, you will notice no “demotions” in your current rankings. If, on the other hand, you’ve been taking advantage of keyword stuffing, then your website is probably not doing so well right now, is it?
Either way, it never hurts to hit refresh on your SEO writing knowledge. Take a look at what our authors use every day:
1. Write for humans, optimize for search engines
I don’t think I can say this enough. Google’s primary mission is to deliver great content to people performing searches. If that’s not your goal, as well, then everything is lost.
Before you even open a keyword research tool, think about your buyer persona. What do they want to read about? What kind of information would really help them?
Create a writing plan and only then start figuring out how to make it friendlier for search engines, too.
2. Choose a main keyword
Yes, it’s possible for an article to rank on more than one keyword. But this does not mean that you should set more than one keyword.
Because you’ll lose focus.
Let me illustrate this with an example: want to rank for New York injury lawyer? That’s great! Don’t add Brooklyn injury lawyer or Queens personal lawyer to the mix.
You can always use them as LSI keywords. This means you’ll only mention them once in your article, along with other LSI terms. But don’t overcrowd the first place, OK?
Here’s another reason why:
3. Use your main keyword in…key places
You want to make it clear what the article is about from the get-go. This is useful for both human readers and search engines.
Thus, your main keyword should appear in:
- The title
- At least one subtitle
- The first 100 words of your text
- The last 100 words of the article
- Image alt tags
- Your meta description.
Now, a good SEO author will know how to make this sound completely natural. Search engine optimization should never hurt readability. This is why you need to be extra-careful when hiring SEO writers!
4. Go for the low-hanging fruits
Everyone dreams about ranking for really short keywords like “SEO”, “wedding dress” “bakery”. But there are two problems with these keywords:
- They are impossible to rank for. Well, almost impossible. You could throw millions of dollars at them and rank your website in the top 10. But you don’t want to do that because:
- They’re useless.
Allow me to enlarge upon the second: when someone searches for either of those keywords, they are not looking to buy your products or services. They’re looking to window shop, to learn new things or something similar.
On the other hand, queries like “SEO experts for hire”, “handmade wedding dress in Tampa” or “traditional French bakery near me” all show intent. The intent to buy. Which is what you should be looking for.
Sure, it would be nice to rank first for a short keyword. But only for your ego, not for your cash flow.
5. Respect your reader
Respecting the reader is something I wrote about at length in a memo to our writers that then turned into a blog post.
How can you tell if you’re doing it, though?
Well, it’s quite tricky. As marketers or SEO writers we tend to be focused on the end goal: search engine optimization or sales. Or, ideally, both.
We sometimes forget that we should be dealing with humans first and foremost. Yes, even in the B2B space – every company has at least one human behind its logo.
So, when you add your keywords and your alt tags make sure you’re not sacrificing readability. More importantly, read your text again. Is it helpful? Is it written in a tone your buyer persona understands easily? Have you covered the topic well enough? Is there something else you could add or something redundant you could delete?
See where I’m going with this?
If your SEO article is just an empty sales pitch with keywords sprinkled on top, it doesn’t matter how high it ranks. It will never bring you any clients.
This is why I always encourage our SEO writers to take the human-centric approach. Yes, even if the SEO is seemingly hurting because of it.