How to Write for SEO

By | September 14, 2019


Hello, and welcome. My name is Ben Kessler
and Iím an editor here at Mediabistro. Today weíll be discussing how to write for SEO.
Weíll give you some practical, simple techniques that will ensure that your writing will find
just the right audience. Start with the acronym itself: SEO stands
for search-engine optimization. Letís face it: These days, most people who are curious
about a certain topic arenít heading to their local library, at least not at first. Theyíre
turning to Google and other search engines to find information and content on their subject
of choice. The term ìSEOî refers to the process that we humble content creators can
use to maximize our Google exposure. Whether youíre writing a blog post, an article
for publication, marketing copy, or even an ìAbout Meî section for your own website,
there are some very cool and subtle ways to incorporate SEO into your writing. In this
tutorial, weíre going to focus on keyword research and implementation. So letís get
started! First off, what are keywords? In this context,
keywords are the terms that people commonly type into a search engine. A very general
and popular keywordólike ìNew York City,î for exampleówill yield hundreds of millions
of results in Google. A more specific keywordólike ìPark Avenue South, NYCîówill yield a fraction
of that amount. According to a recent report by iCrossing,
a digital marketing agency, 95% of search engine click-throughs come from the first
page of results. If youíre on page two, you donít exist. So all your SEO efforts should
be planned with that in mind. Keyword research is all about choosing the
search terms that best suit both your goal and your content. In general, itís a good
idea to choose one primary keyword and two secondary keywords. Once youíve selected
these, youíll want to incorporate them into your content in strategic and unobtrusive
ways. But weíll get to that later. To demonstrate how keyword research works,
letís get concrete. For the purposes of this exercise, letís say that youíre a food blogger
whoís planning a blog post on how to make a delicious breakfast. Wait, wait, wait. Slow
down, Shakespeare. If you want people to read this thing, itís going to have to appear
on the first page of search results for a relevant and reasonably popular keyword. How do we measure the popularity and relevance
of keywords? Googleís Keyword Tool. Thatís right, the ruler of search provides a free
online tool that you can use to gauge the strength of any keyword you choose. To find
it, Google the phrase ìGoogle keyword tool.î (And I am the Google Keyword Tool at this
point.) OK, so here we are inside the keyword tool.
Hereís where we can get a unique perspective on how people use Google both in your country
and around the world. To see how it works, letís try typing in
a keyword here where it says ìWord or phrase.î As per the subject of our blog post, letís
try typing in ìbreakfast.î And we see that the keyword ìbreakfastî
has been entered millions of times in the past month. The ìglobal monthly searchesî
column shows you the average number of total monthly searches for that keyword; the ìlocal
monthly searchesî column shows you the monthly average for your country only. As we can see,
ìbreakfastî is definitely a popular keyword. One more thing youíre going to want to look
at is this nifty little ìcompetitionî meter. This shows you how heavy the competition is
for prime placement in search results for this keyword. Whoops, according to the competition
meter, there are quite a few people gunning to be king or queen of ìbreakfastî on Google.
Because you want to be on the very first page of results, not just one of the first 100
or so, you need to fight the fights you can win. ìBreakfastî might not be the best choice
of keywords for you. So now itís all about building a better keyword.
To find one thatís not so competitive, letís get specific. What if, instead of trying to
take on the whole meal, we drilled down to the individual components of the meal? Instead
of breakfast, letís enter ìscrambled eggsî and see what happens. Now this looks like
a much better candidate for your primary keyword: Itís got a low level of competition as well
as a healthy amount of searches each month. Thereís a lot more to learn about SEO. For
the full version of this tutorial, go to Mediabistro How-To videos.

5 thoughts on “How to Write for SEO

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