5 SEO Content Writing Tips To Outrank Your Competition

Published On:

December 10, 2020

Last Updated:

December 10, 2020

For those without any SEO experience, content writing can be daunting as you will be competing with other businesses in your niche for the same set of valuable keywords and search queries.

To make matters worse, SEO is a "winner takes all" scenario, where the top few links are clicked a tremendous number of times, while all the links on the second page of Google are lucky to get even a few impressions.

Given all of these things, would you believe us if we told you SEO content writing is actually quite straightforward? After writing and ranking over 1 million words of content, we have some important tips to help improve your SEO content writing and increase your traffic.

Tip 1: Understand Your Audience

There are two common mistakes when it comes to SEO content writing.

  1. Businesses think they know their niche, and do very little planning and just dive into writing their content.
  2. Businesses realize that there needs to be a lot of research, and push off SEO content writing for years.

The truth of SEO content planning, as with almost all things, is somewhere in the middle of these two polarizing beliefs. Yes, there is a bit of research/planning that you need to do, but usually, this process takes no more than 30 minutes.

Sit down and ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. Who is my audience? What do they look like? How do they behave?
  2. What are they searching for? What information do they need?
  3. What would they Google to find this information? Which keywords do they use?

You can learn more about your audience by checking out the latest Google trends, participating/reading forums your audience is active in, and even getting on-call with them to talk about their experiences.

Once you know your audience, you can start your keyword planning. You can easily find keywords that you know they will be searching by using free tools like SEMrush or Ubersuggest.

With these tools, you can find the keywords to rank for that strike a good balance between having high traffic and low competitiveness. If you're just starting out, we recommend finding low hanging fruits to target.

This important exercise will give you an idea of what your audience looks like and what keywords you want to target. From there, you can actually begin writing your content.

Tip 2: Write With A Purpose

The age-old adage of work smart not hard rings true for SEO.

You could write a riveting story about the history of plumbing and what it means to you, but the people who are searching "how to unclog toilet" will not stick around. You could mass-produce ten thousand low-quality articles all pertaining to unclogging toilets, and none of them will rank.

Sure, quantity and quality are important, but all of that is secondary to why they are reading the article. 

What is the purpose of your content? Are you creating value for the reader?

You can easily discern this by going through this checklist:

  1. What is the reason that people are Googling this search query? (Why are they googling "how to unclog a toilet?")
  2. Does my content answer their query? (If they read this article, will they able to unclog their toilet? Or, will they hit the back button to find some other result to answer their query?)
  3. Is my content better than what is already ranking? (Am I able to teach how to unclog a toilet in a better way than all the current high-ranking links?)
  4. Can I get the reader to opt-in to my email list or buy a product/service from my site? (Can I convert this reader into a customer or future prospect?)

By forcing yourself to stick to this mental model, you will create content that will have a higher chance of securing top search ranking.

Try going through this checklist with the top articles for the keyword you are trying to rank for. Are these top ranking article not doing the above? Are they missing some important answer (content gap) to what the reader is searching for?

If so, that seems like an opportunity to outrank them.

Tip 3: Add Pictures

Of all the tips on this list, adding pictures is the easiest way to improve the quality of your article. Pictures (like the one above) can serve as a breather between sections of your article, making it easier to consume.

Don't just take it from me, according to Skyword, if your article has images, it will likely get 94% more views than an article without images.

Nobody likes reading long text (we'll get into this more later), and images are a great way to breathe life into your content.

Focus on creating images that are on-brand and enhance the value of your content.

  • If you want to write an informative article, make sure to use infographics and charts.
  • If you want to write a persuasive article, you need to use images to invoke an emotional reaction.
  • If you are doing a round-up or a top 10 list, add an image after each contender to help the reader visualize who you are talking about.

Images rarely harm your content, unless they are low-quality or irrelevant. You can easily find free royalty free images on websites like Unsplash. Or, if you're feeling creative, you can make your own images and infographics.

Do yourself a favor and go the extra mile to add images to improve your ranking.

Tip 4: Format Your Content

Notice how this sentence is easy to read.

By breaking down your content into digestible chunks, you encourage your visitors to stay and interact with your website.

That doesn't mean you have to be scared to dive deep into your topic with your content. Just make sure you don't shoot yourself in the foot by producing valuable content and then presenting it in an unattractive way.

You will also need to take a moment to read your content from a birds-eye view.

  • How should this content logically flow?
  • What are the main topics being discussed?
  • Can this article be easily skimmed?

From these questions, you can extract the headings and order of your article. You have to remember that people who visit your website will find many other websites that are similar to yours.

Give them what they want, because they will certainly go to a different site if they cannot efficiently find what they are looking for.

The best rule of thumb is as follows:

  1. Can the reader get a basic understanding of their target search query JUST from the headings?
  2. Can the reader be happy after skimming the article in 30 seconds?
  3. Does the article have good readability? Can the reader have a rich understanding of the topic after reading the whole article?

If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, then you likely have an article with excellent formatting.

Tip 5: Update And Improve Content

SEO content writing doesn't end when the content is published  - that is just the beginning.

Check back on your article/blog to see how your content is doing on the search engine results page (SERP).  In the beginning, this needs to be done on a weekly/daily basis.

  • Is your content steadily climbing?
  • Is your content dropping?
  • Is there no activity?

Don't be alarmed if you are just starting your site, as Google does need a bit of time to rank you and ensure that you are a legitimate business.

However, if months have passed and you aren't getting the results you need, you may want to revisit the content.

  • Did you truly answer the searcher's query?
  • Is the content actually easy to read?
  • Are users bouncing immediately or are they engaging with your site?

We recommend signing up on Google's own search console to track your SERP ranking.

If you are new to SEO content writing, it's unlikely that you will knock it out of the park on the first try. You need to ask yourself these hard questions to improve your own skills and the rankings of your site.

If your content is ranking well, do not be afraid to update it in the future so your ideas stay current.  Track and update your content whether it's doing good or bad so you can consistently strive for great results.

After you establish content value on your site, it is time to work on other on-page and off-page SEO strategies, such as optimizing your page speed and building backlinks.

Final Thoughts

I'd like to leave you with one last piece of parting advice.

SEO content writing is a subset of SEO which is a subset of marketing.

While we touched upon this earlier, one aspect of SEO that isn't spoken about enough is how your SEO strategy will actually help with your business. I highly suggest that you think about your bottom-line as you pass through each step of the content writing process.

  • When you write an article for your website, you should think about what you are trying to achieve. Are you simply trying to satisfy SEO requirements, or are you delivering extra value and establishing credibility and brand loyalty?
  • If you are adding images, you can weigh the cost of using free-use images or creating infographics yourself and adding your company logo. When other sites link to you or use your infographics, you can convert those new visitors to customers as well.
  • Sure, you could target a keyword that has a lot of traffic, but how likely are those searchers to convert into a customer/user? Is there perhaps a keyword that is less popular but more directly aligned with your product?

For example, people searching for the keyword, SEO Content Writing Tips, are likely open to trying out tools that can take them from being SEO beginners to SEO professionals.

Tools like Jenni AI, which has already helped more than 200 businesses improve their SEO.  Jenni will take care of the research and writing aspects of your article and position you to outrank your competitors.

For example, writing this blog with Jenni AI only took me 1 hour, when traditionally an article this long would take me 5-6x that time. If you want to ensure that your content is going to rank, we highly suggest using Jenni AI.

With or without Jenni, I sincerely wish you the best of luck on your SEO journey and would be happy to elaborate on any of these tips further over email.

You can reach me at david@altum.io

Good luck and see you at the top!

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