Writing content for SEO when you have no time

01 November 2019

Our Head of Digital Helen Pollitt has been busy writing for smallbusiness.co.uk this week, giving her top tips on how best to write content for SEO when you are short of time.

You can read the full article here, but we’ve also summarised these tips below for you here.

  1. Blogs are not SEO

When writing copy for the purpose of ranking well in the organic search results, this does not automatically equal blog posts.  Your blog can be a great place to target the terms that people at the “top-of-the-funnel” might be searching for, but there needs to be a strategy behind the copy to bring about ROI.  Ensure your product and service pages are well written with keyword targeted copy before you move on to writing blog posts.

  1. Less can be more

Many people have the concern when they sit down to write copy for their website that they need to be writing a lot for it to count for SEO purposes.  The search engines are looking to rank pages that best answer a user’s search query, and the length of the copy is not in itself a “ranking factor”.  Instead, write copy with the reader in mind.  Are you writing enough for them to get the answer they needed when they started searching?  For product pages, for instance, a description of the product may be sufficient.

  1. The best way to use copy for SEO is to answer people’s questions

The best strategy for writing copy is to ensure you are writing copy that searchers are looking for.  This means conducting research into search trends and volumes.  There are free tools available, such as Google’s own Keyword Planner, to get an idea of how many people a month are searching for your target terms.  

  1. Look at “People Also Ask”

You might have an idea of the sorts of terms people are searching for to land on a website like yours, but there may be others that you have not considered.  A quick way to get ideas of popular search phrases related to your target keywords is by looking at the “People Also Ask” suggestions provided by Google when you conduct a search.  You can get a long list of related keywords and start working through these to understand which terms your audience would be searching with.

  1. Look at forums for what people want to know

Another great way to get an idea of what topics your audience is interested in is by looking online at the forums and websites they frequent.  For instance, you can use the popular website Reddit to find a “sub-reddit” about your industry.  From there you will get an idea of the types of questions they have.  Write copy that addresses this.  It is likely your audience is turning to Reddit to ask the question, then the answer does not already exist online.

  1. Write with keywords in mind, but don’t over-engineer

The key to writing good copy for SEO is to write it for your audience and not the search engine robots.  At the end of the day, the algorithms are very sophisticated and can’t be fooled just by using your target keywords lots of times.  Remember also that if a searcher lands on your webpage and it’s written just to cram in a lot of keywords, it is unlikely they will be impressed enough with your brand to stick around on your site for long. Write your copy to engage visitors who will see it, but keep in mind the keyphrases you are targeting on that page. 

  1. It is better to optimise existing copy than write more

A key for anyone short on time but keen to have a well-ranking site is to remember that you can make the most of your existing copy before writing more.  Look at the webpages which are ranking on pages two or three that haven’t had much SEO work done on them and see if you can optimise them by better targeting them to the keywords they are already ranking so they climb up the search results. 

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