There are a whole range of purposes for marketing content, from increasing email open and click through rates to engaging your social media followers. But what about writing for SEO? This is rarely as easy as you might think, though once you know the basics, it’s not too difficult either!
When it comes to writing for SEO, your main consideration should be the customer journey, and what sort of content potential customers may be looking for at each stage of this journey. Try to imagine the thought processes of these people, and the keywords that are likely to be used when typing queries into a search engine.
Why Write for SEO?
As a marketer, you know that you need to write for SEO – it’s what every company does. But what are the real benefits? The main advantage of SEO content is acquiring organic traffic, through increasing your site’s visibility in search results. Organic traffic itself is what all businesses are looking for – you’re getting visitors onto your website without having to pay for it, as you would with PPC. Lots of organic traffic essentially means that you can take a step back from your SEO efforts, as the campaigns should practically run themselves! Of course then you need to direct visitors to the sales funnel…
So what are the other advantages of writing for SEO? They all tend to revolve around increasing the search visibility of your site, but specific benefits include:
- Earning backlinks and referral traffic, through publishing content on other websites
- Improving your social media presence, by gaining followers and increasing engagement
- Writing for SEO means that you’re updating your website regularly, which will improve your freshness score and give you a spike in traffic
- If you write with SEO in mind, this increases your chances of being noticed by other sites wanting to share your content, so can mean backlinks and guest posts
If you want your business to grow, writing for SEO is essential. Getting it right can be tricky, but could mean you get far more organic traffic, a better customer experience, and increased sales and revenue.
Solving Customer Problems
As mentioned above, a large part of SEO content is thinking about the customer journey. The first step of this journey is identifying a problem that needs to be solved. This may be a more immediate issue, such as finding a plumber to fix a leaking sink, or a more abstract desire, like finding someone to redo your bathroom, even though your current one functions fine.
When someone encounters this type of problem, they’ll generally use a search engine like Google to find a solution. They may have already done some research into the options available, or may just be looking for a local business with good reviews. This will often depend on the urgency of the situation – if you’ve got a leaking sink, there won’t be much time to fully compare options!
When you’re writing for SEO, you need to put yourself in the position of potential customers. What sort of problems might they face, to mean they’d be looking for your product or service? Perhaps it’s a job interview, and they need a smart outfit, or maybe they’re struggling to find vegan beauty products, and are searching the internet for suitable options. Make sure you keep these customer problems in mind when writing your copy, and try to use the keywords likely to be searched.
Finding the Solution
When customers are looking for a solution to their problem, they often won’t just search for the end product. Say for instance, your issue is internet security. You won’t just opt for the first company offering a solution – you’ll do some research first. Do you need a firewall, anti-virus software, or email encryption? What about data back-ups? Once you know the type of internet security you need, you’ll then do some more research into which provider best suits your needs.
What all this means in terms of content writing is that it’s just as important to use long-tail keywords as it is to use your main keywords. You can’t just focus on the product or service you’re offering, but also need to provide informative copy about other relevant topics.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that once a customer has made a shortlist of businesses that can solve their problem, you’ll be their first choice. The final decision will often depend on factors outside of your control, or could just be down to price. But what you can try to influence, through writing for SEO, is the level of trust people have in your business.
If your brand appears knowledgeable about the issue a customer has, and has consistently appeared in their initial search results, odds are that you’ll be on their shortlist of businesses to consider. Another way of gaining credibility and trust is through reviews. Most consumers will look at a company’s reviews before making a purchase. They may also look at your social media presence – high engagement levels are often indicative of a trustworthy business.
Essentially, your website copy isn’t the only place you need to be considering SEO content. Getting keywords included in reviews can be just as helpful as putting them in your own content. And engaging with your social media following is an important part of SEO strategy – it’s all about building trust with your audience, so when they need your service, you’ll be the first business they think of.