SEO basics

SEO Basics for Content Marketers

Knowledge of SEO basics is a must for all content marketers. Your SEO strategy can improve your presence online. Learn more from WriteForMe!

Over the years the tactics for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) have evolved.

However, the goal—expanding brand visibility in the digital space—remains the same. The root of any great digital marketing strategy is quality, SEO-driven content.

Understanding the power of SEO within your written content is crucial to showcase your business.

Consistently publishing high-quality, targeted content is one of the best strategies for businesses to heighten brand awareness and drive web traffic to stand out from the rest.

Learn how content marketers can use SEO-driven content to their advantage.

What is SEO-Driven Content Writing?

SEO-driven content is written with the intent to appeal to search engines.

This includes conceptualizing, developing, and optimizing written content in order to attract more readers and drive more traffic.

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To fully understand the importance of SEO-driven content writing, you must first understand how search engines work.

SEO isn’t strictly about boosting your brand visibility—it can also elevate the digital user experience. When a search term or keyword is entered, search engine bots then comb the Internet for the most relevant content to offer them. Websites that are considered to be boasting the most relevant content will rank higher on the results page. Therefore, the higher a search query ranks on the SERPs, the more likely users are to visit the website.

The use of keywords and key phrases is one of the most important SEO basics to remember. Step into the shoes of your target audience—if you had their problem, what would you type into the search bar? Incorporating the top-performing keywords and key phrases within your content will help with addressing search intent.

SEO Basics: Terminology

With all of the technical terms surrounding SEO, it can feel like learning a foreign language. Having a full understanding of simple SEO terminology is a great starting point. Get yourself familiar with some of these basic SEO terms.

Alt text for images

Alt text provides a brief description of the images used in your content. This will boost SEO and give search engines a better understanding of your content’s scope. Alt image text will also act as a backup should your image not successfully load.

Meta description

This is a short description of what your content is about. The meta description will appear right under the URL of a search result. Search engines use this to provide searchers with context before visiting the site page.

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SEO title

Sometimes referred to as the title tag, the SEO title works alongside the meta description to provide searchers with a content overview. The SEO title is also the first thing searchers see when scrolling through the search engine result pages.

URL slug

The slug will appear on the right side of the final backslash in the URL and should tell the user exactly what they will find on the webpage they want to read.

For example, the URL slug for this article is: “

Use Keywords Naturally

Now that you have an understanding of just how important keywords and key phrases are to an SEO content strategy, you have to learn the true art form— how to properly incorporate them into your written content.

SEO should be about delivering a quality user experience. Search engines will strive to provide users with relevant and easy-to-navigate content. High-quality, SEO-optimized written content is driven by high-ranking key phrases and keywords—your content should read as naturally as possible.

Thoughtlessly incorporating keywords and key phrases within your piece, or keyword stuffing, does not provide a reader-friendly experience. Keyword-stuffed content can appear low-quality, robotic, and poorly written. Additionally, search engines tend to recognize keyword-stuffed content and rank it lower on SERPs.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Understand Search Intent

When it comes to SEO basics, you must have a keen understanding of search intent.

As the content writer, you need to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What are they actually searching for? When a potential reader enters a search query online, they do so with a specific goal in mind.

If a searcher is shopping for a new dress, they may enter something like dress shops near me or dress boutiques in my area. The motivated searcher is gathering information about nearby stores to go dress shopping. Recognize the motivation behind the search query and optimize your content to bridge the gap between the searchers’ problems and the solutions you can offer them.

Improve SEO Readability with Optimization Tools

Quality content is readable content. When reviewing, ensure your content is formatted properly and that your target audience can easily digest and understand the information provided.

Along with these important elements, you can also improve your readability with good grammar, shorter sentences, and minimal text walls.

It can be difficult to improve readability manually, try using an optimization tool.

These tools provide readability grades and suggestions to make your content even easier to absorb. Yoast SEO Readability Analysis, Grammarly Online Writing Assistant, and Semrush Writing Assistant are some of the most popular readability tools out there.

Optimize Content for Google Featured Snippet

Another piece of the SEO basics puzzle is getting familiar with the features of the search engine result pages.

Google is the most popular search engine to date, so optimizing your content to accommodate their standards is a must. Google’s featured snippet is a powerful way to get your content in front of more readers.

Optimizing your content for Google’s featured snippet, will showcase your content on a larger scale and give searchers a more expanded version of your content description. Also, Google will be more likely to display your snippet when searchers enter the relevant keywords. With a larger display, you are more likely to get searchers to click through and visit your page.

While there is not a one-size-fits-all strategy for the featured snippet, there are some important things to keep in mind as you begin to optimize.

Format your content well

Having properly formatted content can score you the coveted featured snippet. Google tends to pull out specific portions of your content to highlight and prioritize well-structured content.

Bulleted lists, images, short and relevant sentences, and content with headers are more likely to be featured.

Keep the word count to a minimum

There is no suggested or required word count for the featured snippet. However, you should keep your word count below 60 characters.

According to SEMrush, the shorter your snippet, the better the odds are of securing a featured spot.

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Partner With WriteForMe to Conquer SEO Basics

Written content can help you reach new heights in the digital space. SEO content writing is key to boosting any brand’s online presence. Whether you are a content writer or a business owner, understanding the SEO basics can help you reach new heights.

With WriteForMe, you can develop a winning content strategy that works for you. Our extensive knowledge of SEO techniques, matched by our arsenal of SEO tools and skilled professionals, can elevate your content marketing strategy and brand awareness.

Contact WriteForMe to take your SEO strategy to the next level. Learn the ins and outs of content marketing with our free playbook.

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Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer is the Chief Marketing Officer at WriteForMe. Andy has been CEO, CMO, VP of Product for 8 fast-growing companies in his career. 3 of those companies became Top 10 Internet companies. Content Marketing has always been at the core to differentiate these companies from their competition. You can always schedule a 1 on 1 meeting with Andy by grabbing some time on his calendar here. List articles below that have Andy on the byline on the rest of the page. Here’s my calendar link: » More blog posts by Andy Steuer

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