Customer journeys, CTAs, keywords…professional SEO writers will have a lot to keep in mind in 2019. Content marketing copywriting means striking a balance between what customers need to know and the SEO elements that will help your content rise in search results. Take keywords, for example: too few keywords and your copy won’t get found. Too many and it will sound stilted or, worse, be penalized for keyword stuffing.
These 2019 best practices for professional SEO writers focuses on refining the balance so you can write copy, especially for blogs, that helps actual users and gets attention from search engines. With this winning formula, you will get found before local competitors, boost website traffic, increase referrals, and help your company (or clients, of you’re a freelancer) blow past quarterly revenue goals. Ready to dive in?
1. Map Your Content to Their FAQ
Are you still stuffing your blog posts full of keywords that are essentially variations of “profession+location” — you know, “Denver plumber” or “wedding planner Cincinnati”? While those keywords are important, they aren’t going to help you keep your audience’s attention.
A better strategy for 2019 is to map your content to your audience’s FAQ, and Answer the Public makes this dead simple. To get a data map of commonly asked questions, type in a few words that describe what you do. Free users can type in a term like “wedding planning” to get a data map of top question asked about planning a wedding. Paid accounts can geo-optimize search results. (Don’t miss these other content marketing copywriter resources!)
Once you know what users are searching for, you can turn every keyword into at least one blog post that will get your audience’s eyeballs on your website. Many questions—”Will a wedding planner save money?”–convert automatically to blog topics. Niche things down further by including your location—”Will a Cincinnati wedding planner save money?”—or other terms that narrow the focus (and the competition for a page one rank).
2. Plug and Play With Keywords
Once you’ve picked a keyword and developed a blog topic, you need to plug in the keyword in relevant areas of the page and play matchy-matchy with existing content.
Use your keyword in meta descriptions, page titles, introductions, headings, image alt text, image titles, and image file names. By spreading your keyword across these areas, you’ll see a big bump in search.
Next, find relevant past posts and link them using your keyword as the anchor text. If you don’t have other posts on the topic, make a note to add some. Inbound links tell search engines that your page is authoritative, so they’re a must for SEO.
3. Perfect Your Headline
You can have the best blog post on a topic but if your headline is boring, readers won’t click.
To get clicks, your headlines needs to compel an emotion, such as curiosity, and suggest authority.
List-style headlines are so ubiquitous because they do double duty — telling your audience that you have 7 surprising (or innovative, proven, etc.) strategies to help them overcome a top pain point in your niche. Think “7 Powerful Reasons Hiring a Wedding Planner Will Save You Money.”
SEO expert Neil Patel notes that headlines with numbers in them are more likely to be shared on social media, which means you can exponentially grow your reach.
For best results, keep your title under 72 characters so the whole thing is visible in search results.
4. Polish Your Content
When you research keywords, use them in key places, and create a killer title, you will see SEO results. To turn all that link juice to revenue, though, you’ll need high-octane content that goes beyond the basics to truly improve customers’ lives.
That’s where professional SEO writers come in–it’s what you’re hired to do. The expectation is that a skilled SEO writer can not only work in keywords, no matter how unusual, you can create content that dazzles customers while answering everything they need to know about wedding planning, plumbing, and any topic in between. Professional SEO writers are also more likely to turn in copy that contains no grammatical or spelling errors. These mistakes can erode authority and turn off readers.
Once you’ve gotten copy written, get it ready to publish with a few tricks that pique interest. Royalty-free images, videos, or infographics entertain readers, keep them reading, and create a positive connection. Readers will remember (and recommend) your clients’ brands to friends.
Content best practices for 2019 assumes that readers prefer short paragraphs and tight sentences over run-ons. Today’s readers are skimming and easily turned off by large blocks of text. Break it up and break it down by tweeting content gems or sharing wisdom on Instagram or Facebook.
5. Be Consistent
Now that you know all the best practices for professional SEO writers in 2019, apply them. Consistently. Data shows that companies that blog two or three times a week receive exponentially more traffic that companies blogging less often–so make sure your clients’ blogs are up to par.
SEO efforts pay off with increased web traffic, increased trust, and greater revenue. When you take the time to apply these practices across all of the digital assets you create, you will not only reach your clients’ users, you will boost their confidence and trust in you.
Lindsey D enjoys learning new things, researching, and applying her writing skills to improve your web content and your web presence. She can work with you to develop a content strategy for your business or write high-quality content that follows your stated goals for increasing ROI, connecting to your target audience, boosting brand awareness, and more.