SEO or search engine optimization doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s really not as daunting as it sounds. There is so much information out there about SEO, and if you’re just starting out chances are you’ve heard or seen a lot about it.
There are ways to simplify SEO and get the most out of your writing. Whether you want to write for yourself or someone else, it’s important to understand the basics of SEO. More and more businesses need content created using SEO because that is what can drive traffic to their website, and more traffic can mean more customers, i.e., higher return on investment or ROI.
In a nutshell, SEO is the use of searching applicable keywords in a search engine through the use of improving a website. Basically, it’s content powered by compelling concepts and keywords.
Whether you’re new to writing or wanting to do different types of writing, you may or may not need all of these, but it’s good to get a general understanding of what each one is.
So, what do you really need to know about SEO?
1) Meta Tags
Let’s begin with meta tags. It sounds scary, but they’re actually a simple component of SEO writing. When someone puts a keyword into a search engine, that search engine tries to match the best websites with that keyword, which is why it’s important to have meta tags that incorporate the keywords.
Meta tags are invisible, but they provide data to search engines and websites. Without sounding too complex, they’re pieces of code only apparent to the HTML code. That code communicates to search engines vital information about the content, such as how your content displays in search results. While there is a lot to learn about meta tags, that is the basic way to get started.
2) Headers & Subheaders
With so much content out there today, more and more people aren’t reading large, long paragraphs of information. In fact, 55% of people skim over most content, taking less than 15 seconds to read it, which is why it’s essential to break up the text throughout your writing.
In general, it’s best to use between 2 and 3 subheaders for every 500-word piece. Your paragraphs should also be kept at a minimum of 3 to 4 sentences when it comes to content. If you end up with more than 4 sentences in each paragraph, the reader may not even bother to read the entire piece.
While there are a variety of headers, one can use, for simplicity purposes, the first header would be a title. A title is a great start followed by different tags, such as H1, H2, and H3, as in Header 1, Header 2, and Header 3.
If you decide to use Header 1 or H1, it’s going to include the selected keywords. You may not include H1 in your content, but a client might ask you to for their content. The header 2 tag or H2 is a subheader using the same keywords, and header 3 or H3 is then a subheader for your H2 tag.
It may sound confusing when you’re just starting out, but once you get going, it gets easier. Remember, you will almost always be provided some type of keywords, so creating your headers and subheaders is going to be easier than you think. These tags are all different, and depending on the business or client you’re working with, you may only use some of the tags.
There are two types of links you can use when writing, internal and external links. If you’re new to writing, you will most likely only include external links. Internal links are links connecting to your posts or website. External links are those links connecting to other sites and content.
Remember to use relevant links in your writing and a reasonable number of them based on how many words your content is. By a fair amount, that usually means around 3 or 4, but it’s okay to use only 1 or 2.
This is actually up to you whether you want to add images into a piece of content or not. Many writers use this as an add-on service to their clients. One significant factor in adding images to your writing is that they help break up the paragraphs, and there are various places to get free stock photos.
Using images is also a great way to add engagement to your content, so you might think about suggesting this as an excellent option for an additional fee.
There you have it, the simple elements you need to start SEO writing today. When you begin writing your content, remember that SEO doesn’t have to be complex. These simple-to-follow features can help ensure that your content is well written and ranks higher in search engines. It’s a learning process and doesn’t have to be overwhelming; after all, you may not even need all of these parts. Things are always changing in the content world.