How to Write SEO-Friendly Content that Gets Results

Earlier in 2019, I was certified as an Expert SEO Content Writer. I already had a lot of knowledge on how to write SEO-friendly content, but everything I knew was learned from my own research and real-world experience.

Today I want to talk to you about some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) basics:

  • Why SEO helps to attract new customers
  • What are keywords and how do you find the right ones for your website
  • Other tips I’ve learned over more than nine years as an online writer about how to write SEO-friendly content

I also talked a little about this topic on The B2B Mix Show Podcast. Give it a listen to learn more about working with a freelance writer.

What is SEO, and why do you need it?

First of all, let’s establish what SEO is. I’m sure you’ve heard about it on commercials and in conversations with other website owners. You know that you need it, but what is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an online practice to improve your rankings on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Most conversations, including this one, revolve around Google since 92% of the world uses it.

HubSpot reports that 75% of people don’t go beyond page one of the search results. Doing what you can to rank higher is critical to your success in generating leads on the Internet.

75% of people don't go beyond page one of search results. Ranking higher is critical to your success in generating leads on the Internet. #SEO #Content Click To Tweet

What are keywords, and how do you find them?

Keywords or keyword strings are words or phrases that site owners incorporate into their web copy. These are the words or phrases that your ideal customer is searching online.

You may be saying to yourself, “That’s great and all, but how do I identify which keywords to use?” I have some suggestions and tools that will help.

Find valuable keywords by thinking about the common questions or issues your buyer is facing.

I’ll take an example from the health and wellness space, specifically for a diabetes health coach like my client Melissa Slemp. Using UberSuggest.com, I searched “weight gain and diabetes.”

Screenshot of Keyword Overview from UberSuggest.com

Search Volume tells me how many people are searching the term “weight gain and diabetes.” I can see the SEO Difficulty is easy with a score of 10. This is decent, but when I scroll down below the graph, there’s a list of related keywords and I see a better option.

I see that “weight gain from diabetes” is a more common search term with 1,300 queries a month. The difficulty is a bit higher at 28, but it’s still shown as easy to rank.

I also see a question listed, “can weight gain cause diabetes?” This is perfect to use as a primary keyword and a blog title. You could also incorporate the other two search terms as secondary keywords.

From a quick search, I now have a title and three keywords I can target in a blog post. A few other sites you can use to gather information on search terms and what your audience is looking for are:

  • Google Trends
  • Kwfinder.com
  • Squirrely plug-in for WordPress
  • Pinterest

Stop now and plug a common phrase or question from your industry into UberSuggest.com and use the steps above to find a keyword or two you can target in your next blog post or long-form article.

Got it? Okay, then let’s move on.

How to use keywords in your blog – 8 Tips to write SEO-friendly content

Historically, SEO writers have had a bad reputation for trying to game the system (i.e., Google) and stuff articles with keywords and irrelevant links to increase their rankings. Google quickly caught on, and if you try the keyword stuffing technique today, you’re bound to do more damage than good on your website. It’s an awful practice that doesn’t help the user or you.

The practice of #SEO writing today is reliant on several best practices, most importantly, answering a question and providing helpful #content for the reader. Click To Tweet

The practice of SEO writing today is reliant on several best practices, most importantly, answering a question and providing helpful content for the reader. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when writing your next SEO-friendly blog:

  • Use your primary keyword in the title and a few of your subheaders or H2s.
  • Incorporate your keywords into an H3 subheader before the final paragraph. I usually write it as part of a call to action. Following the example of the above, it would be something like “Contact me to discuss natural options when it comes to weight gain from diabetes.”
  • Include the keyword and variations of it in the body of your article. If you’re stumped on related terms and you didn’t find enough from UberSuggest, hop over to Google. Plug your keyword in and scroll to the bottom of the page to see “Searches related to ____.”
  • Research the competition. Plug your keyword into Google and see what others have written on the topic. Try to find ways that you can add to the conversation and not regurgitate what someone else has already said. You want to uplevel the competition on your keywords.
  • Link to credible sources. Find statistics or other information from trustworthy sites that you can incorporate into your blog post. Using credible outside links notifies Google that your website is likely reliable since you’ve done your research.
  • Link to other articles within your site. Find words or phrases within your article that you can link to other content or pages on your website. A good example of this practice is above where I linked “SEO writing” to my copywriting service page.
  • Tell a story while thinking about your search terms. When you’re writing, keep your keywords top of mind, but don’t let them control everything that you write. You need to be cautious not to overdo it and end up with a keyword-stuffed article. Aim to keep the use of your primary keyword under 3% of your document, and your secondary keywords under 2%.
  • Use SEO to guide your content strategy. Create a plan for the next few months of content by theming your content based around keywords. When your keywords and blog topics are already planned out, it makes it easier when you sit down to write. Start with the basic topics and drill down into specifics – then you’re able to link back to the foundational articles in future content.

Get results from your SEO content!

If you consistently follow the tips and suggestions I’ve outlined above, you’ll eventually see results. SEO is not an overnight fix to instantly bring tons of traffic to your website. It’s a strategy that takes time and effort.

Contact me for a free consultation if you need help with strategizing or creating new content.
#SEO is not an overnight fix to instantly bring tons of traffic to your website. It's a strategy that takes time and effort. #ContentStrategy Click To Tweet

5 Ways to Market Your Local, Small Business on a Budget

The idea of marketing is a daunting task to many. Something you may have little time for, and even less of a budget. But it doesn’t have to take endless hours, and you don’t need thousands of dollars to build the online presence for your local, small business. The suggestions below require a small time investment, but little to no monetary expense.

1. Create a Website

According to Inc. Magazine, 60% of small businesses with 1-5 employees don’t have an online presence. Don’t let that statistic include you! If you have a Facebook page for your yoga business, great. But that’s not enough.
Facebook goes down sometimes, and there are a number of adults who chose to veer clear of social media.

Creating a website for your business will cost money, but it will also help new clients to discover you and is worth the investment. 

2. Publish Blog Posts

Consistently posting to a blog can assist in increasing your page rank on search engines and it humanizes your brand. Each time you publish a piece of content, Google comes back to index your website.

Using your blog to communicate discounts with customers is one thing, telling your brand’s story is another. Publishing regular blog posts will encourage your audience to visit your site giving you another opportunity to connect with them and take one step closer to converting them into a client.

As a private yoga teacher, you could break down the anatomy of asanas in a weekly column, post recipes related to Ayurvedic spices, or discuss the metaphysical benefits of energy healing. You should post about whatever it is that differentiates you from other yoga teachers. What else do you know that many yogis have an interest in?

Take a similar approach to your industry by answering your buyers’ questions and sharing content that will interest them. 

3. Host a Twitter Chat

Conducting a Twitter chat can be a very productive way of marketing your business and reaching a new audience. Involving a partner or an influencer from your industry with a substantial Twitter following is even better. Here’s a 6-step plan to launching your first Twitter chat.

  1. Find a partner/influencer in your industry.
  2. Decide on a topic that you can conduct your Twitter chat around and create an event-specific hashtag. Be creative and try to make it on the brief so it doesn’t take up many characters when people respond.
  3. Promote your Twitter Chat! Start early on this and include any involved parties requesting that they join in sharing the event.
    {This handy infographic on using Canva to create images will come in handy here.}
  4. Generate five questions you can ask attendees.
  5. Provide the questions to the involved parties before the Twitter chat so they can prepare their responses in advance. Doing so will allow them to interact with other attendees more because they won’t have to spend time crunching their responses down to 140 characters.
  6. Launch your Twitter chat at the scheduled time and be sure to engage with attendees.

4. Guest Post

Writing for other businesses’ sites will allow you to reach a new audience. Search out companies that attract similar clients, but are not competitive with your business. When pitching an idea on your proposed post consider the problems that your products or services address.

An insurance company could look for local organizations to partner with on a guest post. Do your research and approach non-competitive, industry-related businesses. You can even offer a trade, where they guest post to your site too.

5. Video



Live video is an inexpensive way to get your face in front of customers. It doesn’t require much to air a video. Decide on the platform you’d like to use (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), come up with a topic and maybe a general outline of what you’ll say, and go live! People don’t expect videos that were published in real time to be edited.

Here are five ideas of videos you can create at your business:

  1. Offer a behind the scenes look at the production.
  2. Show the product in use.
  3. Answer FAQ’s.
  4. Interview a customer on their experience.
  5. Interview an employee about their job.

Sharing videos is a great way to get yourself and your brand in front of customers, invite shares, and create an awareness of your brand.

There are a number of other budget-friendly marketing strategies you can employ as a small business. I hope that the ideas listed above provide some guidance and initiate the next step in your social selling efforts.

 

Are you ready to start marketing your small business but aren’t sure where to start? Contact me and let’s build a strategy to generate more sales for your company!