SEO is an essential tool in any writer’s arsenal, but if you’re new to SEO it can seem daunting. The good news is that as complex as it all sounds, the job of the writer can be whittled down to a few very simple concepts, and once you learn these then you can tackle any SEO writing project with complete confidence.
3. It Has to be Unique
This is a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless: the content has to be unique. Some clients take this demand too far and actually suffer as a result. For instance, while you don’t want to create copied content, it can be beneficial to include a quote. If you’re writing about evolution, for instance, a quote from Darwin, followed by relevant text (more on that below) would be very useful, but that quote would also drop the Copyscape score and send the client into a panic.
As a result, writers avoid quotes and even common expressions, and this further muddies the quality of the piece. So, originality is key and you should never copy, but don’t worry about quotes, even if they take a few percentage points from your Copyscape score.
2. It Has to be Relevant
This seems like another no-brainer, but again, there some amendments worth mentioning. Firstly, the relevancy doesn’t just account for the article content, it should also account for the author. Google is paying more attention to authors and their credentials. If a qualified doctor with an extensive publication history writes an article on health, they’ll get priority over someone who is seen as a quack.
In fact, with the new changes to the algorithm, the latter may even be blacklisted!
This may not seem very helpful as a freelance writer, but it is. If you have been in the job for a few years and have a wealth of publications to your name in a specific sector, you could be more in demand for other sites in that sector. If you have qualifications relating to the subject in question, even better.
The key takeaway here is that relevancy is at most essential and at least helpful.
Good Writing is Key
Forget about keywords—Google is increasingly rewarding good writing and improving its algorithm to a point where this is the only thing that will matter. After all, Google wants to place the best articles at the top of its search results, not just the ones that have the best keyword density.
It now places less emphasis on specific keywords and how many times they are used, and focuses more on keyword phrases and keywords surrounded by relevant text.
As an example, let’s imagine that you’re establishing an SEO business and want to target the keyword: law firm SEO, in order to attract a specific type of customer. The old approach would be to use this keyword, and variants of it, throughout an article. It would be done in unnatural ways such as “SEO law firm best” and “SEO for lawyer, [insert region name]” (most writers have first hand experience of being told to accommodate keywords like this) and it would create an article that is barely comprehensible.
Google doesn’t want to give priority to such articles, so it’s now focusing on several other determining factors. If you just wrote a guide to what an SEO law firm should offer and how they should accommodate legal clients in particular, Google would pick up on the use of clean, cohesive and natural phrases and it’s these that it would give priority to in the rankings.