A Beginner’s Guide to SEO For Content Writers
By Prebuilt Sites Team
October 26, 2022
If you want to get more traffic to your website, you need to know about SEO. One of the biggest mistakes content writers can make is not taking the time to understand SEO. If you do it right, you can almost guarantee that relevant traffic will come to your website, and it will be much quicker than if you just write with no long term SEO strategy in mind and wait for the traffic to come. Instead of writing into the abyss, pick and niche and really own it. Do keyword research and write with intent. When you pick good keywords to target, you will be able to attract a larger, more engaged audience. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about SEO for content writers. If you have any questions about your long term SEO strategy or want us to handle it for you, reach out to us at Prebuilt Sites or The BBS Agency. We’d love to help you out!
If you’re looking to get more website traffic, SEO for content writers becomes an unavoidable subject.
SEO (search engine optimization) plays a big role in getting a return from all of the work we put into building our audiences with great content and email newsletter writing.
But too often SEO becomes overwhelming or confusing for writers, so they put it on the back-burner. Instead of realizing that they already have all of the skills they need to master SEO, they decide to focus on it “later” (which sometimes means never).
Content writers: an SEO misconception to avoid
One of the content marketing mistakes I’ve seen business owners make is that they don’t approach SEO with a plan or a specific outcome in mind.
We tell ourselves things like: “If I keep writing content, the search traffic will come naturally.”
That’s somewhat true. However, I can tell you from experience that if you have a plan, you will start seeing huge success from your SEO efforts much sooner.
If you do it right, you can almost guarantee that the traffic that comes to your site will be relevant.
SEO for content writers who want more of the right kind of website traffic
Sounds great, but what methods can you begin using right away? What exactly do you need to do in order to increase your search traffic?
Let’s get started with this guide to SEO for content writers.
Here are three easy ways to help you get more traffic to your website.
1. Find a niche and work to own it
The best way to get more SEO traffic to your website is to focus on getting the right traffic.
What’s the value of getting lots of traffic if you’re unable to connect with your audience or you’re unable to convert your traffic into fans or subscribers?
We must rethink our approach.
Who can we best serve through the content we create? How can we identify a group of keywords and search queries that are most relevant for the people we want to help?
By asking ourselves these questions, we can start to focus in on niches and demographics that are most appropriate. When we do this, we also lessen the competition from other businesses battling for the same search traffic.
Now we can find keyword opportunities that our business has the potential to rank for and we can start writing to gain traffic through SEO.
A location-specific example
Imagine I’m a wedding photographer living in Nashville and I want to grow my business by promoting my services through online search.
When you study SEO for content writers, you’ll learn that it’s unrealistic to think that targeting the keyword “wedding photography” is going to work. That niche is too competitive and the audience is too broad.
Let’s target it down more. Let’s say I, instead, try to target an audience in Nashville. Now, I’m promoting my services through the location as a “wedding photographer in Nashville.”
With this simple change, I have narrowed down my potential audience by millions of people.
Let’s take it one step further.
Could I focus in even more to “wedding photographer in East Nashville?”
You bet I could.
Believe me, there are plenty of people in East Nashville looking for wedding photography services.
By applying this specificity tip for beginner writers to SEO, you can make real progress. This strategy can help you gain more website traffic, build your audience, and most importantly, grow your business.
Targeting a niche can be very powerful.
2. Be intentional about keywords
If you’re wondering if keywords still matter when it comes to SEO for content writers, the answer is yes.
The Google search algorithm is very sophisticated, but it’s still an algorithm. It needs to pull information from content and “decide” what that piece of content is about.
Google even states in its “How Search Works” overview that keywords do play a role in search results.
Also, I’ve learned from own experience that assigning keywords to posts and pages has a great benefit in search results.
Okay, so what does this look like?
Here are three basic rules of thumb:
- Write your keyword in the first 100 words of your content.
- Add the keyword at the beginning of your title tag.
- Use the keyword in the URL (if possible).
They’re simple, but following those steps has helped me grow the traffic to numerous websites by leaps and bounds.
For instance, a few years ago I wrote an article about “How to Monetize a Personal Brand.” I followed these best practices with my keywords and within two weeks, I got to the #1 spot at that time.
Not only that, but I beat our friend Chris Ducker.
Notice, I had my keyword in the title tag, in the URL, in the meta description, and throughout the content as well.
This is an excellent example because Chris has a much more “powerful” site than I do, but my article did a better job of targeting the keyword than his.
If you’re intentional about the keywords you try to rank for, you’ll see success much quicker than if you simply wrote content without any direction.
3. Go after low-hanging fruit
Not all keywords are created equal.
Some keywords are much more competitive than others. In many cases, winning lots of “smaller” battles is a tactic that’s critical when it comes to SEO for content writers.
For instance, let’s imagine I have created a course on how to become a freelance writer and I want to use SEO as a way to drive traffic to my brand and my course.
The most obvious keyword for this is “freelance writing course.” But the competition for this type of keyword is very competitive.
If we look at SEMrush, we can see the competition metric for those keywords is around .50, which is high.
It would be a long, uphill battle to try to win search volume for those keywords. What if we take a different approach?
Instead of high-competition keywords like “freelance writing course,” what if we write an extremely valuable article about how to make money as a freelance writer or “how to become a full-time freelance writer”?
If we look at SEMrush again, we can see the competition for “how to become a full-time freelance writer” is only .08, which is much lower.
Granted, there is less search volume for that keyword, but over time you can establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
If you take this approach, you can slowly and methodically earn more relevant search traffic.
The importance of intent
The best part about this traffic is that it has intent behind it. The searcher is looking for the exact content you would provide in your article.
Don’t you think the people searching for this kind of tutorial would be interested in buying your course on freelance writing?
Make sure you offer them an incentive to stay in touch by signing up for your email list. After they’ve opted in to receive updates from you, you can send them more details about your course.
This is how search engine results can work for your business.
Remember, when it comes to SEO for content writers, more traffic isn’t better. Better traffic is better!