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The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Web Content for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is central to any effective digital marketing strategy. If your business wants to reach customers online, you need to be visible on Google. Writing web content for SEO is key to getting more organic traffic from search engines.

Optimizing your web content means making the most of target keywords while providing useful information for your client base. Over time, the effort can yield measurable results. This guide will help you jump start your digital marketing strategy by teaching you how to write web content for SEO purposes.

Why you Should use SEO Best Practices on all of your Landing Pages

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A robust SEO strategy involves multiple types of content. You’re likely writing blog posts, how-to guides, and a number of other client resources. The key to making all of this content more visible online is to use on-page SEO techniques on every page you publish. 

We’ll dive more into the basics of SEO content writing later. For now, consider some of these benefits of using SEO best practices in all of your content:

Drive Website Traffic

SEO boils down to one goal: To drive organic traffic to your website. When you use SEO best practices for your web content, you ensure that all your content is working toward ranking in search engines.

Remember that a multi-year-old piece of blog content can still show up in Google’s search results when optimized for the right keywords. So, sticking to best practices over time pays off.

Diversify Your Keywords

Writing various types of content opens opportunities to diversify your keywords. By targeting a wide range of relevant keywords, while staying within the bounds of your overall strategy, your brand can reach a wider audience. This can be especially useful if your business has multiple areas of expertise.

examples of blog topics for SEO

See the above example from a small business management platform. These three different blog posts provide opportunities for this website to rank for keyword searches that have relevance to their products and services, such as “social media goals,” “scaling small businesses,” or “hosting virtual events.”

More Internal Links

When you publish more content on your website, you provide more opportunities to add internal links to other relevant pages. These internal links can keep users browsing on your website for a long time, because they don’t need to go to another website to find relevant content.

Internal links are also essential to showing Google the hierarchy of your website. You can use internal links to move around your site equity to help elevate the most important pages.

The Fundamentals of SEO Content Writing

Now that we know the importance of optimizing all your online content, it’s time to dive into the nitty gritty of SEO content writing. Quality pieces of content all have some central elements in common. Here are some SEO non-negotiables for your web content.

Keywords

Keywords make SEO successful, so every piece of content needs to be optimized for specific keyword targets. True SEO writers are always creating content with ranking in mind, as they want the content they create to rank in Google and generate real clicks.

Perform in-depth keyword research to see what your ideal customers are searching for. Scoping out your competition can also be helpful, since you’ll ultimately want to rank above them in the search rankings. Keywords can feel like a mystery at first, but understanding these groups can help demystify them.

Header Tags

Breaking up your content with clear headings helps the reader navigate the piece, and it helps Google understand what your content includes. You’ll make the most of your content’s SEO by including your main keyword in the H1. Then organize your content using H2 tags and beyond, including keywords and synonyms in the headings when it sounds natural. 

Using header tags can also allow you to create a table of contents at the top of your content, which can help your readers navigate the piece more effectively. Google likes features like jump links that help users find the answers they seek easily and quickly.

Topical Depth

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Your content should have value and explore the content in-depth. Content that has depth and value will receive more rankings and more clicks, because it focuses on what Google values in the long-term.

How can you ensure you have topical depth in your web content? Long-form blog posts (think 1,500 words or more) are a great way for your business to show subject authority and make Google happy. Although there is no magic number with content length and SEO, data does show that longer content ranks better.

Topical depth also involves choosing topics that have value. For ideas on how to develop your content with more depth and specificity, use our landing page optimizer tool.

Is your content solving a problem for your ideal customer? Is the topic relevant to your industry? Are your blog posts timely? Creating an in-depth content calendar can help you maintain topical depth across all your blog posts and general web copy.

Readability

When writing SEO content, technicalities like keywords and links are only part of the story. Your content needs to be readable to truly succeed. Readers who can navigate and absorb your content will stay on the page, click through to other content, and engage on social media. 

Creating readable content means breaking up long paragraphs, including subheadings and bulleted lists, and using accessible language. The writing should match your brand and break down even the most complex topics in a digestible way. 

Need a test to check your content’s readability? Read the content out loud before posting. Web content is often more conversational and will sound natural when read out loud. If you have the Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress, it will analyze your content and provide you with a readability rating.

These fundamentals might feel like too much to handle when you’re running a business or don’t have content writers in-house. You can outsource your SEO content writing to a digital marketing agency. At LinkGraph, we have a 50+ editorial team of professional writers who can create well-optimized and readable content that’s relevant to your industry.

You can just sit back and enjoy the rewards. 

What to Avoid: Keyword Stuffing, Long Paragraphs, Irrelevance

Following content writing best practices will get you closer to SEO mastery. But it can also be helpful to focus on what you shouldn’t do when writing content. There are some common mistakes that businesses make that are actually detrimental to their digital marketing strategy. 

So, be sure to avoid these missteps when creating content.

Keyword Stuffing

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Businesses and content creators without SEO knowledge might think that packing a blog post with keywords can amp up their search rankings. However, this is far from true. Keyword stuffing actually goes against Google’s best practices and can actually harm your SEO. To avoid keyword stuffing in your content, steer clear of:

  • Repeating a keyword in excess across a page
  • Using a keyword multiple times in one paragraph
  • Inserting keywords out of context
  • Using keywords that don’t match the topic

The bottom line is that keyword stuffing makes your pages look spammy to both Google and your readers. Stick to keyword best practices to create quality content that will inform your audience and rank well. 

Long Paragraphs

Writing for the web is different from most other types of writing. While long paragraphs might be the norm in books and research studies, you’ll have to adjust your approach when writing web content for SEO. And mobile use is largely driving this change.

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Research shows that 72.6% of the global population will exclusively use their smartphone for internet use by 2025. So, content needs to stay ahead of the curve. Short paragraphs with clear headings are better suited for skimming content and make blog posts more digestible overall. 

By clinging to long paragraphs in your content, you could be failing to hook readers (and this high bounce rate could harm your SEO success!). Shortening your paragraphs to create snappy and concise content will drive your digital marketing strategy forward.

Irrelevance

Relevant content is key for your SEO strategy. While SEO is often competitive, quality truly is more important than quantity. So, if you’re creating plenty of content but aren’t seeing results, your posts may be irrelevant. 

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What exactly is irrelevance when it comes to content?

In the digital marketing world, creating relevant content means targeting the right keywords, staying on top of keyword research, and writing content that matches your audience’s interest. So, you might be writing irrelevant content if you’re:

  • Creating content for content’s sake
  • Failing to do keyword research
  • Targeting the same keywords again and again
  • Falling behind on industry trends

Businesses with irrelevant content might notice less organic traffic on their blog posts. Pique your audience’s interest by targeting relevant keywords and sticking to a content calendar. 

As you do content development for your business, remember that SEO best practices can change. Staying in the loop and working with a digital marketing agency will ensure that your strategy is in line with Google’s core algorithm updates and industry trends.

How Does Google Define High-Quality Content?

Now that you know the basic principles of what to include (and not include) in your SEO content, what does Google say? 

There are some clear quality guidelines that Google mentions in their webmaster guidelines. While there are many factors that Google uses when defining high-quality content, here are some of the most important to keep in mind.

User Focus

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Google emphasizes that web content should focus on users rather than search engines. While the technical side of SEO matters (think load time, for example), content is ultimately focused on your target audience.

So, create content for human beings rather than Google’s crawlers. 

When you write content that’s relevant, easy to read, and includes a few targeted keywords, Google will reward you. Content that’s packed with keywords and not optimized for human eyes won’t rank in Google. You’ll only see a dip in organic traffic as a result.

Trustworthiness

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You’re an expert in your industry, and your content is the right place to show it. Google wants to see sites that have authority on a certain topic. They clearly state “don’t deceive your users” in their webmaster guidelines, and this is something to pay attention to when creating content. 

Your business should create content that’s accurate, relevant, and informative to your audience to show that your website is trustworthy. This will build authority with Google and your ideal customers.

Originality

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On the technical side, Google flags duplicate content around the web. But originality goes beyond creating content that’s truly your own. Google advises organizations to make their website unique from others in their respective industries. This means creating content that’s original, rather than revamping content that your competitor has already published. 

So, what can you do to boost your content’s originality? Taking the time to brainstorm quality topics and planning content ahead will be helpful. Seasonal content and blog posts highlighting your company’s accomplishments can also be effective. The key is to identify your brand and continuously write content that supports it.

Backlinking

Google gives more authority to websites with robust backlink profiles. They emphasize that making sure other websites link to yours can help improve your content. However, they also emphasize using “natural links” over unnatural links. 

So, when adding a link to a piece of content that’s being published elsewhere, make sure that the link makes sense. The page you’re linking to should be relevant to the content and provide value to the readers. Double check that the anchor text makes sense as well. Taking these steps will help you get as much SEO power out of the content as possible.

Accessibility

Is your content easy to find? Does the navigation make sense? Google emphasizes accessible content and recommends that all links trace back to one static link. So, when creating a blog on your business’ website, make sure that you can find it through your navigation menu. Failing to do so could cause confusion for your readers while unintentionally harming search rankings. 

Overall, taking a human-centered approach to your content will ultimately support your SEO strategy. While you might find so-called SEO shortcuts around the web, these are almost always misleading. By creating trustworthy content that provides value to your audience, you can start to sharpen your content writing chops.

Final Thoughts on becoming a Killer SEO Content Writer

The secret ingredient to writing SEO content for the web?

Just get started. 

Add a blog to your website, create a content calendar, and do some keyword research. Start with internal linking and grow your strategy from there. Consider what your ideal customer wants to learn, and write about topics you feel confident about. And of course, stay on top of the trends to create timely content for your audience. 

The other secret ingredient?

Patience.

As with any aspect of SEO, it can take time to see results from content writing. You might not see a jump after your first few blogs–or even after your first 20. Content marketing is a long-term strategy that can yield major results over time. You just have to stick with it.

When to Seek Expert Help

While every business should know the value of high quality content, not every business has time to create it.

Digital marketing agencies have teams of talented writers who are knowledgeable of SEO best practices. These professionals can build your content, so you can focus on your business. And of course, you’ll have a suite of other digital marketing services available. 

Ultimately, quality content sets a strong foundation for your SEO strategy, so you want to get it right. Stay consistent with your output and know when to seek expert support. Doing so will help you achieve true results.

Information Marketing: How to Share (and Sell) your Knowledge

With the global pandemic continuing to keep most of us inside, many of us are learning to get things done ourselves. Luckily, we have the internet at our fingertips to help us find informational guides, how-to videos, and infographics that teach us how to complete a task properly, in the comfort of our own homes.

But you might not know that these informational guides are actually examples of something called information marketing, and they can be a great tool for both consumers and business owners alike. More than ever, we consume information on our desktops, tablets, and mobile devices, and when leveraged properly, informational marketing can improve your business’ reputation, earn new leads, and even generate additional revenue for your brand.

What is Information Marketing?

Simply put, information marketing is a marketing strategy that provides specific details about a product or service. This type of marketing can include information about the following:

  • How a product or service works
  • How to use a product or service
  • The different features of a product or service
  • How a product or service compares to similar solutions
  • Additional knowledge necessary to use a product or service

If a customer knows everything there is to know about a product, then he’s more likely to buy it––so goes the logic of information marketing. Think of it as providing the nitty-gritty of your products, services, and their overall value potential. 

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Additionally, if someone visits your website, and you answer all of their questions, then they won’t need to leave your page in search of answers somewhere else. There’s also the matter of transparency. To the average reader, more information correlates with a greater degree of honesty. The more you tell a potential consumer about your product, the more likely they are to fall in love and ultimately convert.

Content Marketing vs. Information Marketing: What’s the Difference?

People often assume that content marketing is the same as informational marketing. Sure, content marketing informs consumers, and informational marketing consists of content (Doesn’t everything?), but the intentions and goals behind both have important distinctions.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a long-term, strategic marketing approach that focuses on building long-lasting relationships with consumers, all the while understanding and learning their behaviors. When done correctly, content marketing targets consumers in all parts of the marketing funnel––from prospective customers simply searching for ideas to those who have brand loyalty and are ready to convert.

Content marketing is a long game, and there are plenty of ways to share your content. When crafting your content, keep in mind these two concepts: relevance and consistency. You’ll want to provide readers content relevant to them, on a consistent basis.

Here are some ways to achieve this:

  • Develop a blog on your website: You can get creative with these, and speak about a variety of shoulder topics of your product and/or service. Look into Search Engine Optimization best practices, and check out what your competitors are doing for some good ideas to get started. When done properly, a blog can turn your website into a multifarious resource that pulls in readers and directs them towards your services.
  • Beef up your social media game: Social media is more popular than ever, so you’ll want to optimize your profiles on the channel that makes the most sense for your consumers. For example, if your item is a consumer product, choose Instagram so you can take great quality pictures and videos and share them that way. On the other hand, if your service is targeted to professionals and businesses, LinkedIn may be the better platform to invest your efforts. Not sure of where to start? A Facebook profile is always the best bet as it reaches a variety of demographics in one single swoop, and you can also use this platform for some strategic paid media campaigns. 
  • Research your potential customers: At the end of the day, your purpose for content marketing is to create brand loyalty, so you’ll want to reach your customers right where you can find them. Do some market research to find out what channels and platforms are the best for this, whether through newspaper ads, social media banners, or direct-to-consumer mailers.

Content is exceptionally versatile, making it all that more important to be strategic in your marketing approach. You can think of content marketing like the stock market; whatever you put into it, you’ll likely get out of it. Invest your time and your efforts wisely, and you’ll likely reap the benefits.

How is information marketing different?

Where content marketing is a long-term strategy that can be broad and versatile depending on your market segment, informational marketing is specific, targeted, and detailed. This type of marketing most often tells a story, explaining either a service offering or a product. As a part of an overarching content marketing goal, informational marketing usually falls within the following media:

  • Webinars
  • Ebooks
  • White Papers
  • Tutorials

Types of Information Products to Promote your Knowledge

When it comes to informational marketing, your ideal medium depends on both your specific needs and business model. Use the following information to decide which option is best for you.

Ebooks

In a world of digital content, an ebook is an object of value, one that won’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of links and webpages. Additionally, an ebook works to strengthen your brand as it shows prospective consumers that you’ve taken the time to create a trustworthy document, further promoting your position as a thought leader in your industry.

As far as your informational marketing strategy goes, an ebook can be a gift that keeps on giving. Not only can you repurpose portions of its content for social media accounts and blogs, but you can also publish updated editions as newer information becomes available. Once you have your ebook base, you’ll only be able to expand from there, possibly culminating in a physical text, further cementing your authority within your industry.

Webinars

Even amidst our current pandemic, brands are seeking to engage their consumers on a personal level. This is where webinars come in handy, as they help a customer put a face to your brand, all the while gaining access to valuable video content. A webinar can be a great way to promote a new product or a business process while showing off your strengths to your target market

Plus, we are all bored at home, and we are craving something to look forward to. A webinar can be seen as an “event,” which can cause excitement for consumers. After all, it’s nice to focus on something when stuck at home. While having a one-time webinar can be great when it comes to testing the waters of webinars, it will be helpful for your marketing mix to include webinars on a more regular basis. Think of it this way, the more webinars you host, the easier you can segment your content into smaller, digestible chunks. Video content also possesses a high likelihood of being shared. Never underestimate the power of passive media.

White Papers

In order to make a purchase, some consumers want the hard facts––and lots of ‘em. This is where white papers really shine, as they are in-depth, persuasive reports on a specific problem and the ways in which your product or services can solve it.

When it comes to informational marketing, white papers can educate the audience, promote methodologies, or explain a controversial topic. It is important to note that white papers are not product pitches; rather, you are offering a solution to the problem at hand, with your product and/or service being the answer. The goal is to inform, persuade, and convince the audience that there is a problem, and thus, why the prospective customers need to buy the product right now. For example, if your product is productivity software for remote workplaces, an effective white paper might point out the ways in which online distractions can tank productivity with at-home workers, ultimately pointing towards the solution offered by your program.

What makes a white paper stand out is the size, depth, and time commitment that goes into creating each one. While blog posts are easily digestible and can be made flashy with art and GIFs, white papers are going to look and read more like an academic text. While it won’t be as flashy as your other marketing materials, a white paper will impress consumers with its thorough research and reporting.

Tutorials

Tutorials offer brands a quick and easy way to teach your consumers about a certain product or service. Not everyone learns through reading content, so creating a visual webinar promoting your product can appeal to all sorts of consumers, from visual learners to those who don’t have the time to read your 30-page ebook.

In a world of digital content, you’ll want to stand out like a big fish in an even bigger pond of marketing activities. Video tutorials are an attractive method of showing a user how your product works, as well as answering any potential questions they may have. Plus, it is easier to go into depth with video, as very long descriptions can turn people off and cause them to find answers elsewhere.

Tutorials are powerhouses when it comes to marketing, as when the user is done watching the video, they’ll learn more about your brand, your story, your products, and how the product will benefit them. Let’s use the same example of a productivity software. Sure, your software promises increased computer-based productivity, but this sounds abstract and potentially complicated. A video tutorial of its features can help demystify the product, showing the potential user how simple it is to use.

How to use Information Marketing for Lead Generation

Many B2B and B2C consumers are seemingly afraid of lead generation, as it can be quite a daunting word and concept for a beginner. However, the key to efficient lead generation is to be creative. Again, you will want to stand out, so here are some creative ways to use your information marketing to grow your business through lead generation.

  • Request a reader’s email before they can download your ebook or white paper. This way, you have their contact information and can include them in any business marketing email outreach, so they don’t forget who you are as a brand.
  • Create an informational and interactive quiz about your product or service. Then you can reward a good score with a special offer or discount.
  • Share success stories from industry thought leaders, and how your business can support these principles.
  • Create a learning course that can be taken over email. Or similarly, have a weekly webinar with new, updated information every week and promote it over email.
  • Develop a template or worksheet that can help simplify an everyday task. By doing this, you’ll show the prospective consumer how much they can benefit from utilizing your brand.

At the end of the day, all of these lead generation concepts are here to promote brand loyalty to a niche market and to remind consumers that you exist. Giving away information up-front––before the consumer even has the chance to ask a question––is a fantastic way to build trust, which in turn results in conversions and profit.

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How to Use Information Marketing as an Additional Revenue Stream

So how do you get the best ROI when using information marketing for your online business? The easiest answer is to charge for your work. Marketing doesn’t always have to be free to consume, so it only makes sense that you need to monetize all your hard work while promoting that you have valuable content.

Consider this––the average person sees about 5,000 ads and various consumer marketing materials a day. This is a ton of content, and chances are, we don’t really absorb everything we read. Because of this, it is only natural that we put a lower value on marketing that is free, so charging for your ebooks, whitepapers, and attending webinars makes sense.

However, in order to gain the most interest in your materials, make sure to allow a free preview of some kind. You don’t want to turn people away automatically because you charge for premium content, so give them a quick taste first to increase demand.

Some ideas for this “free taste” can be the first chapter of an ebook, the first third of a whitepaper, and free attendance for one session during a recurring webinar.

Information Marketing and Google’s E.A.T

Every once in a while, Google comes out with different updates to their algorithms. One of the most popular and most newsworthy algorithm updates was the E.A.T update that happened back in 2018 and 2019. During this time, Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines were updated to rank content that has expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to its readers rather than content that may not be relevant and useful.

The whole idea behind this change is to more effectively rank pages based on how the users view the content. In short, Google feels that if a reader does not believe content has expertise, authority, and honesty, they will leave the webpage and not convert. And if there is nothing of value to a prospective customer, why bother ranking it in the SERPs over another webpage with great information? After all, value is a descriptor both democratic and subjective.

When broken down, the specifics of what Google rates as E.A.T are as follows:

Expertise

  • Are the writers experts on the topic, and do they have any specific credentials on this topic in the industry?
  • Do other suppliers, distributors, and industry professionals link to this page, therein casting a vote of confidence in its content?
  • Is all the information easy to read and accessible on the site?

Authority

  • Do these people have generally recognized authority in their industry’s space? Are they considered thought leaders in their field?
  • Is a website a good source of information on this topic? 
  • Is the topic updated regularly, with evidence that it is factual?

Trustworthiness

  • Do consumers consistently come to your website for information they can trust?
  • Is the content free from factual inaccuracies and grammatical errors?

Because informational marketing is chock full of details and is specifically targeted to a niche audience, you will want to keep the E.A.T guidelines at the top of your mind when creating content. Informational marketing tends to be the first in-depth glance a consumer has about your brand and business, so ensuring your content comes from an expert, authoritative, and trustworthy source is one of the most important things you can do.

Final Thoughts on Information Marketing

When used properly, informational marketing can be a very powerful marketing tool for any size business. From promoting retail items and  digital products, to creating thought-leadership potential, info-marketers are making themselves known to the marketing community by sharing the most detailed information they can. 

So, in a world full of information, how will you make yours stand out?

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