A Short and Sweet Guide To Writing SEO Content

I’m a realist. If you can afford to pay me, great. I’d love to write content for you till the cows come home. But if you can’t afford me, I’m not going to throw you to the wolves. I’m going to give you a basic DIY guide to writing SEO content that includes the essentials and leaves out the stuff that will just sidetrack you from what’s really important.

1. Choose an idea that relates to your business and that your customers want to read about. Now, if you wanted to find an article like this, what is the first thing you would type into the Google search box? Bingo, you have your keyword term.

2. Please include this keyword or something like it in your blog article title. You can even paraphrase what you entered into the search box in the first place.

3. Now write an article on the topic. Ignore keywords altogether. Google is smart enough to connect the dots, as long as you focus on your topic and don’t wander off into unrelated territory. This is pretty much a general rule of writing anyway. Stay on topic.

4. Long copy is better than short copy. You need at least 200 words but 2000 words is really terrific – as long as your information is terrific. Don’t waste your reader’s time or they will bounce off your site. Don’t try to be clever if you aren’t. Just give really good information your customers want to know and can use. Or amuse them with something funny, curious, or unknown about your industry.

5. Break up your article into chunks. Remember your school papers? You want to organize your article into an intelligent flow. Google can miraculously tell good structured writing from crappy, meandering drivel.

You must add subheads, my dear.

When you have your copy broken into chunks (two or three paragraphs), add a subhead to summarize what you are about to say in each of them. Make sure you make it a Heading 2 or 3 (in WordPress, which is all I know) and not just bold.

Whenever possible, use lists:

  • Bullets for lists
  • That have not particular
  • Order, or
  1. Numbers for important things
  2. Less important things
  3. And trivial things

This not only makes your copy easier to read for humans, it helps Google too. And things like italics add a little emphasis… but please don’t go crazy with them.

6. Don’t forget to add a featured image that you have the right to use. Do not steal images off the Internet. When you add images:

  1. Make sure they are the right size before you add them. You can find the right size by looking in your Media library and standing on the shoulders of giants.
  2. I use Pixelmator (on a Mac) to size images.
  3. Please use a good name for your image… not 1222203434.jpg and not pretty_blue_house.jpg but the correct way: pretty-blue-house.jpg.
  4. Finally, add an alt label (this helps blind people, Google, and the world when your image does not load): pretty blue house

7. Finally, craft a short excerpt (see your WordPress backend) with around 150 characters, or no more than two sentences with about eight words each.

That is it. Now you can get to work.