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SEO 101 (Part 1 of 2)
Writing online requires a specific set of skills not commonly needed in old school writing. This is why writers must keep themselves up to date with the latest trends through continuing writing education. You have seen and heard it before--companies looking for writers with SEO knowledge. Otherwise, you need not apply. Sounds like a tall order, but it is something that you do not need to fear.
So what is SEO exactly? SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Think of it as writing fused with marketing. Content writers do this by using the most searched keywords for specific topics to peak at the search results. Writers use these keywords in specific creative ways to attract attention from search engines like Google.
So what’s in it for you and your client? Practically everyone is now present in cyberspace. Large companies, entrepreneurs, and individual professionals take advantage of SEO to draw potential customers/clients to their landing pages.
Consumers are always on the lookout for things and services they need and vendors need these searches or traffic on their sites. Search engines help point people to specific sites. Other customers would click links or ads to find what they need. This is how writers can benefit and help their clients because a huge part of SEO is in the writing. An excellent, optimal search-engine directed content is what makes an online presence sell. Of course, when customers are led to the site, video and user interface are large contributing factors as well.
The writer’s job does not end at leading customers to a page. Once you take them there, it’s time to write for them, to appeal to their needs, to ask and tell them what they want. This is where your copywriting skills are additionally put to the test. But for now, let’s stick to SEO.
For beginners, the first important thing is to find the right phrase or words for the site. Sounds easy enough? Most keywords and phrases for specific niches may be overused. Go to Google’s Keyword Tool and try to get a feel for it. When you tinker with the Keyword Tool, think of a phrase that you might use for a website and put it in the Keyword Tool. For example, if you are writing about healthy dog food, try to key in “nutritious dog food.” See what combinations it will come up with and answer the following:
How many dog food companies have used the phrase?
How many searches did this phrase generate within the month?
With this information, you can tweak your phrase and even add other related words to optimize your writing.
As soon as you have your SEO phrase or keywords, you need to input your ideas into the different parts of your website. These include titles and headlines, subtitles, meta titles, content itself, and links to other pages or related items.
Don’t be intimidated if it sounds like hard work. The above is optional. You do not need to flood all those website parts with your SEO phrases. Too much of a good thing can upset the balance. Stuffing keywords in your content can compromise clarity. You are talking to real people out there. If it helps, there is no standard percentage of keywords/phrases that clients demand. They are usually clear beforehand as to what number they prefer. Moreover, you can also Google for online programs that will help analyze your SEO figures.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Vincent Dublado