Writing SEO Content to Please The Search Engines and The Humans

Writing SEO content is not rocket science, however people seem to go overboard and write to please the search engines and neglect the humans. Unfortunately, when Webmasters start writing SEO content, the poor old humans that are reading their content often are treated like second class citizens.

I have been in business all of my life and I know what the most important ingredient is for any business to succeed. It is definitely customer service. All you have to do is aim to please your customer, have that as your ultimate goal, and the rest will come to you. Of course you need to know how to make a profit, however you could be quite expensive with the service you are offering, but you might give your customers the best service they can get. Trust me, there are not many businesses out there that want to please their customers.

When it comes to building websites and making money online, I see my website visitors as my customers. They are the people I’m trying to please, not the search engines.

I also believe that the search engines are trying to please the same customers that I am trying to please. Therefore when a website visitor sees my content, it is important that base day in read and not bounce back to the search engines to find what they are really looking for.

In this article I am going to mention a few of my SEO content writing tips that I always make sure I use. I cannot bring myself to publish content without following these rules.

Be Crafty with Your Title

We all want our top quality content to be listed in the search engines and this would most likely require that the title include some kind of keywords to help get you into the these targeted search results. Gut that’s not where the story ends. The human is the one searching for the content in the search engines, therefore you have to make your title highly appealing to them.

Boring titles on your articles will find your content getting less clicks in the search engines. I like to add some controversy, or maybe even a question, to land the catch. Guess I see the title of my content as bait for the fish. If you have the right bait on your hook, you will get a bite. If the bait turns out to be really tasty, the fish will stay and eat it all.

Aristotle studied titles over two millennium ago, so there are many great resources out there and plenty of proof that your title does matter. I have recommended previously Bob Bly’s The Copywriter’s Handbook and the late John Caples’s Tested Advertising Methods. Both great reads.

Your Titles Should:

  • Contain your main keyword.
  • Be appealing to humans and make sense.
  • Your title must be tied to the content.

Writing SEO Content Using Keywords

Writing SEO content means that you are including keywords scattered amongst your content. Many Webmasters follow some simple rules on where and when to put keywords. They also sometimes count the density of keywords in their copy. The point here is, that without keywords in your content, how does the search engines or the humans know what your content is about? Therefore keywords are inevitable. Content without keywords is basically useless.

So if we agree that we need keywords, the real problem that Webmasters do have is balancing their keywords in amongst their content. There is no doubt that certain SEO content writing such as placing keywords in subheadings, keywords in the first paragraph of your content, and bolding a few keywords,  all definitely work. But still some Webmasters say they do not need these content strategies.

Keywords in your content:

  • Make your title H1 and include a keyword (as explained earlier)
  • Include your main keyword in your first and last paragraph.
  • Include four or five related keywords to concrete your topic.
  • Always use subheadings that are H2 or H3 with the occasional keyword.

The Key to using keywords is balance. If you overdo the amount of keywords that you have in your article, your content will look mechanical and will not appeal to the humans. Remember: adding extra keywords won’t increase your search results rank beyond the point it takes to get listed at all for that keyword. If you want to increase your rank, work on link building (getting backlinks) or on the other techniques recommended by this article.

I use SEOPressor to keep me in line with my onpage optimization.

SEOPressor V5 is an amazing WordPress plugin that will help you have the right mix of keywords and stop you from over doing it. this plugin also allows you to edit rich snippets for the search engines and automatic smart linking for great SEO.

Sub-Headings Are The Rule

I will put this bluntly. I hate content that does not have subheadings to break up the content. It annoys me to death!
Subheadings can contain a keyword that will help with your SEO efforts, however this is not why I add subheadings. I like them because they make it easy for the reader to comprehend my content. It allows the reader to jump from one section to the other, to summarize the content at a glance, and to see if what they are looking for is there.
Subheadings rule and I believe that this is one of the reasons that might content is so successful.

Short Paragraphs

I love talking and I also love writing long paragraphs. But the problem is that I can waffle on for hours and hours and I need some barriers. This is why I like to make short paragraphs that are extremely interesting and always contain some magic point. They have to be interesting after all.

When the Internet was first developed, the content was long and boring. Now people want everything faster and easier, and short paragraphs are one of those things that they want. Please do not get this mixed up with short articles, as I still write long articles, but we short paragraphs.

People who find your content in a search engine have a purpose. They searched for a question and now they want an answer. And they want the answer now. This is where the subheadings and short paragraphs coming in. The sooner they find the cancer the better. This does not mean that they will leave quicker, it means that they will probably get stuck longer, as one short paragraph leads to another.

Spelling And Grammar Matter

Although I am not perfect at spelling and grammar, I know that it is very important when it comes to writing SEO content. You can get away with a few mistakes, but if your content is riddled with spelling and grammar errors, your website visitors will not stand for such lack of caring. Most word processing programs have a spellchecker included and you should always make this check before publishing your content.

Your readers have come to your website to see your fantastic content and do not want to be distracted by silly spelling errors that could have been avoided.

You are probably thinking that you can get away with spelling and grammar errors with the search engines, however the search engines themselves are relying on human reactions to develop the rankings. If you have serious spelling and grammar errors on your website, your website visitors will not be staying on your pages for too long.

Write Interesting SEO Content

Don’t you just hate it when you click on a fantastic title in the search engines, only to find a stupid and boring article on the other side. I do not recommend that you do this. You need to meet your website visitors expectations and you cannot do this with substandard content.

I have written about my web content strategy previously, and I still use this strategy today. It is basically about writing down some questions about your topic which then become the subheadings. Then I write around to these subheadings and fill in the blanks. It makes my articles interesting, it makes my articles cover the subject and also quite full of information.

If you are having trouble is writing something interesting, then maybe you are trying to write about the wrong subject. I can write about building websites, computers and SEO, but do not try and get me to write about cars, horses, animals, and so on. Trust me, I would be hopeless.

Having great content alone will not help you dominate the search engines but it is something you will need. Make sure you see the article about content is not the only king to see what else you have to do to get your content found.

Linking To Other SEO Content

When you build a website it is a vicious circle. Your internal linking system should always be included in your SEO content and for these strategies to benefit you, your links need to lead to related content. Of course this is for the search engines or search engine bots to crawl from page to page, and it is also for the humans to travel to more related content.

When I write an article for my website, I always include two links leading to other related content on my website. (not to external sites) I also go and make two more links on other articles leading back to my new article. Of course I use keywords to do this, but the main reason is for my human friends to navigate through my blog easily.

First Draft of Anything is Sh*t

After you have written the most interesting content possible and added in your SEO strategies, it is now time to check over your content and read it to yourself. This means that you should read it out loud. This is the best way to here of how your content sounds and flies. I guess you have heard the Ernest Hemingway quote, “the first draft of anything is shit.”How appropriate this quote is?

Other people presume that writing comes easy to me, however I always revise my work and tweak it, over and over.

The definite moral to the story is to balance your content, make it severely interesting and appealing to humans, while still being able to be picked up by the search engines. This is what I strive for every day!

Comments

  1. Brady Clark says

    I have tried to outsource contents used for SEO and it didn’t do well at first. There are full of grammatical errors which I need to rewrite myself. Well, what do you expect with two dollar for a 500 word article? So from there, I started to bring up the price and luckily I was able to get good quality content.

  2. Moeheid says

    Thanks for the info! Great website and post! Great article! very usefull information.You are right about when most people write for the engines they neglect their readers. Now with the updates even content is being scrutinized and may be dinged for being to optimized.

  3. James Leasing says

    Thanks for your pointers. This one is more comprehensive than those other articles what I’ve read before. Anybody can write an article but it takes a bucket of skill to become an effective SEO Master. It should be a mixture of talent and strategy.

  4. Joe says

    I love the information, clear crisp and concise. I’ve always found it quite difficult to write articles with perfect optimization but maybe there’s no such thing!

    i have a question. Say I have 6 subheadings in my article, how many of those subheadings would be optimal for to input my keyword in?

    Also, is there a ballpark as to what percentage of the writing should use the keywords?

    Thank you,
    Joe

  5. Leo says

    I agree with some of the comments, I’ve come across websites so SEO oriented, they totally ruined the browsing experience, looked terrible, and were not worth sticking around on. Im outta there in 5 secs! Which is why Google itself places a lot of emphasis on creating a website which provides value to the user. Good post! Would also like to add that one should avoid keyword stuffing, and have a strong internal linking network on his/her blog.
    Leo recently posted..Making Money in the Music Industry

  6. Bart says

    Great article! very usefull information.You are right about when most people write for the engines they neglect their readers. Now with the updates even content is being scrutinized and may be dinged for being to optimized.

    • mitz says

      Yes but it is very hard to over optimize by hand… You should take care when using software for SEO though…Too many links, too many keywords, overdoing anything is not good. It is like life…most things in moderation are ok..when you overdo it…they can kill you..
      mitz recently posted..Successful WordPress Website Checklist

  7. Ricky says

    Laugh out loud. Great post, I love the Ernest Hemingway quote. I am still relatively new to the whole seo thing. Thanks for the great idea. It is a lot like writing a paper for school, but also making it so the search engine is taken care of too. Thanks for the great read and I have to say this is very well written. It is funny and insightful. Thanks again, Ricky
    Ricky recently posted..Learning Hypnosis NLP

  8. ashley Morrison says

    Some websites are so SEO driven that they just look and sound totally pathetic. Crammed with keywords and sentences that look like they were written by a three year old. I’m no expert but I just write loads of articles on my blog. Talk about my business as much as possible online and fill my site with legible text and information. Who knows wether this will work long term but it’s worth a go.

  9. lol says

    you are brilliant!!! I have been linking to other pages on my site but never thought of updating those old pages to link to the new ones. so simple sbut sooooo effective…thanks!

  10. Katrin says

    Such a great quick tutorial for on-page optimization, but I feel a little bit sceptic about that it isn’t actual any more. With the Penguin update, I think that the most SEO tactics should be rethought and if necessary changed.
    Katrin recently posted..Der schönste Sonnenuntergang

  11. Wolston says

    Cool tips there. I think a lot of people miss out on mentioning the keywords in the sub headings. That is an opportunity which should not be missed at least from the bots crawlers perspective. Then again I came across something new and that is internal linking and then linking the page back.
    Thanks!
    Wolston recently posted..Heartfelt romantic sms

  12. Alan says

    Great post! Thanks very much!
    You raise some really great points, SEO does need to be easily readable for humans as well as robots, i believe good keyword density and a clever use of your meta data and titles is the key to success.

    Thanks again
    Alan recently posted..Web Design Leamington

  13. KennethThomas says

    I agree search engine optimized content writing is easy to do but link building it’s a bit hard job proper on page optimized sites easy to get reputation in Google search

  14. Shane Ryans says

    You are right about when most people write for the engines they neglect their readers. Now with the updates even content is being scrutinized and may be dinged for being to optimized.
    Shane Ryans recently posted..Why keyword negatives are important

  15. kimberly says

    Content is the building block of our site. You need to have good quality content in order to rank well in search engines. But just stuffing the content without making it interesting for the readers makes no sense either. Content should be appealing for the readers and contain keywords to rank in search engines. what you said is absolutely true. even i try to implement this while making posts for my site.
    kimberly recently posted..Get rid of pimple scars – fast,easy and effective

  16. Azam says

    I agree that if we write SEO contents, we can enlist our site in the organic searches. Internal linking is also very helpful to enlist the site in the organic searches. This type of linking is also loved by the search engines.
    Azam recently posted..Silpada Catalogues

  17. Rizwan Sultan says

    Hey Mitz

    I agree search engine optimized content writing is easy to do but link building it’s a bit hard job proper on page optimized sites easy to get reputation in Google search but need link building and Google official blog every strategy marked as spammed or over optimized I personally spend time for Matt Cutt videos watch and it’s strange he called all strategy as spammed penguin also hit over optimized sites.
    Rizwan Sultan recently posted..IBS Syndrome Blog

  18. Marie says

    All great tips for optimizing! Sometimes people wonder why they’re not flourishing in SEO when really they’ve just forgotten a few things! Great post! :)

  19. Mark says

    What I love about your articles, Mitz -

    Not only are there always great tips we can immediately put to use, but then you go and say stuff like, “First Draft of Anything is Sh*t!” Which is surely true… and gets me laughing! :-)

    One question, as I think I just had another revelation reading this. If I look at your page source here, I see your title twice, via title tag and then via h1 tag, as you describe above.

    Is your theme doing this for you??

    My site has a somewhat custom theme, and I have nothing but a title tag – no h1 replication in the HTML at all. This is surely hurting me with SEO, I now realize. You can see this in the source on any post on my site. Any thoughts on this? Will I need to modify my theme again?? (Ugh!)
    Mark recently posted..Switching from Mulch to Ground Cover

    • Mitz says

      I do not think it would be hurting you greatly but it is good to have a H1. This is because the titles on my posts are H1 and I guess Thesis is doing this. I know Socrates did H2 on the titles too but could be changed to H1…

      Your onpage content looks fantastic to me.. are you creating backlinks to these pages?
      Mitz recently posted..Link Building Tutorial – What Is Link Building

  20. Liane Markus says

    There really are great tips and strategies where many people will be able to gain great benefits. Thank you so much because this is not just informative but relevant to use.
    Liane Markus recently posted..מיכאל לייטמן

  21. jan says

    Likewise David – I always put at least one link but have never really thought about putting more than one, mainly because sometimes I have to stretch the imagination to link to another post using the keywords!
    jan recently posted..Why you need a pedometer

  22. Anne says

    This is a very useful article, Mitz. Thanks for writing it. I can relate to what you say about great titles and less than perfect posts. Sometimes I click on a title I’m searching for, only to happen on an article with lots of links to other posts that don’t even relate to the topic. This is very frustrating.

    These sites tend to usually have high PR ratings too!
    Anne recently posted..Choosing And Applying Paint

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