7 Content Writing Tips That Will Improve Your SEO Content
When it comes to discussing content marketing trends and statistics, marketers are quick to bust out their graphs and point to things like automation and sales funnels and geo targeting. While each of these items are undoubtedly valuable, you may not have the time or the inclination to decipher the meaning behind all that jargon. We get it. But, because we want to help you create more effective content, we decided to sift through the data and find actionable content writing tips and trends you or your SEO copywriting services can implement today to begin seeing results tomorrow. We’ve shared them with you below.
Evaluate: What Are Your Top Goals for Content Writing?
Before you can fully appreciate the value of the content writing tips we’re about to share, you may first want to understand your company’s top goals for content marketing. Not sure where to start? While increasing traffic and driving conversions are important, they’re actually not top priorities. Here’s what they are:
- Increase Brand Awareness: Strong, engaging and informative content can position your brand as a knowledgeable and helpful resource and showcase its expertise. Even if a reader doesn’t have the intent to buy now, high-quality content can help keep your brand top-of-mind for his or her future needs.
- Build Trust: This is a big content writing tip: the more you publish valuable content that is of high caliber, the more your audience will begin to trust you. Content serves as a way to connect with your audience over the internet, build relationships with each member and encourage brand loyalty.
- Engage: Content humanizes your brand, and the conversations it ignites enable you to engage with members of your audience in the digital realm. As you respond to comments, share your opinions and talk to your readers (as opposed to talking at them), customers will begin to see the people behind your brand — and people like to buy from people.
- Educate: Individuals turn to content to find answers or solutions to their most pressing questions, concerns and problems. Content that delivers is highly sought after and will continue to work for you long after you hit “Publish.”
- Recruit: Strong content writing — meaning, content that is thoughtful, informed and honest — attracts thoughtful, informed and honest readers. Those are the types of readers you want working for you. Though your content may not serve as an outright job posting, it can position your brand as a company that people want to work for.
What You Can Expect
If you write with these goals in mind — and not with the goals of increasing traffic and converting — education and recruitment will come naturally. One of our best things you can do is be genuine with your readers in everything you do. Moreover, by aligning the right content marketing goals with the following SEO content writing tips and tricks, you can breathe life into your content and forge real connections with your audience.
Create Next Level Content With These 7 Content Writing Tips
Bearing the above goals in mind, you may wonder what you can do to create content that resonates with your audience and maximizes your content writing efforts. Current data and trends suggest that you do the following.
1. Create a Content Style Guide
Content writing tips are needed just as much when outsourcing. SEO copywriting services often employ dozens if not hundreds of writers, all of whom have their own unique writing styles. While diversity is great in that it allows for more flexibility when it comes to the types of content the agency can take on, it can lead to an eclectic batch of content if you’re not careful.
Take the time to create a thorough yet easy-to-understand style guide. Set out rules for everything from formatting to visuals to messaging. You should also provide guidance on the tone, voice and language you would like writers to use when discussing certain topics.
This is an important step to take, even if you work with in-house writers. By taking the time to detail your preferences and expectations, you can ensure that all the content you pay for is consistent in its messaging and aligns with your brand’s values. Consistency is crucial to accomplishing the goal of raising brand awareness.
2. Build a User Persona
Here’s your next content writing tip: your target audience for each piece of content you write or order for your content marketing plan will differ based on which stage of the buying life cycle a person is in. For instance, this article assumes you already have a content strategy in place and that you utilize SEO copywriting services. This article targets potential writers, while this one is geared toward attracting small or growing businesses that have yet to explore the world of outsourced content writing services and all the benefits they offer. Each of these personas might be interested in what we have to say and offer, but the individual articles would not appeal to all three.
Developing user personas help you better understand your audience. Writing content without a specific audience in mind can be challenging and confusing. A persona is a breakdown of the interests and needs observed of a specific target market. It helps you see them for who they are and what they need to know.
Remember Your Priorities
The best content writing tips help you keep the audience in focus. Having this in mind will make your content stronger and more engaging. You can make many personas and target them differently by using topics and relaying information that they would be interested in. Having a user persona as your guide can help you target to real people, not just the ones you are imagining in your head.
Try to identify four or five segments of your target audience. From there, map out their pain points and determine where they’re at in the buyer journey. Build your content around that.
3. Develop Topic Clusters
We offer SEO copywriting services. It’s all we do. Yet, by merely glancing at our home page, we can find numerous themes that are worth exploring. Take recipe writing, for instance.
We can probably write a dozen articles about writing recipes, such as how to use recipe writing in your content marketing strategy, the importance of recipe writing for food-based brands, the elements of an effective recipe post, best examples of recipe content marketing … You get the picture. Each article we create would center around a single piece of pillar content: A recipe writing page.
Stick To What You Know
Developing topic clusters is about picking a single topic and exhausting it. Why write so much about a single topic? Doing so ensures you deliver as much value to your readers as possible on topics that interest them. They’ll come to you (the expert) to know more about that topic, and they’ll trust your extensive knowledge above other sources that only have one or two articles about that topic.
It also helps boost your SEO, as it makes interlinking easier, filtering quicker and crawling faster. As part of your content marketing strategy, focusing on pillar content or big foundational articles is a priority. From there, you can build off these articles by linking back to them and watch the SEO magic start to happen.
4. Take Your Time
These SEO content writing tips and tricks may seem like common sense, but it’s important to really apply these concepts to your strategy. Content marketing is a game of endurance, not speed. Though this sentiment applies to all aspects of content marketing, it’s particularly important to bear in mind when writing blog posts or purchasing them from SEO copywriting services.
The data says that it takes the average writer 3.5 hours to write a blog post. The average blog post length is 1,151 words, though articles of 2,000+ words yield the strongest results. Though 3.5 hours may seem like a decent amount of time to churn out 1,000-2,000 words, when you factor in the time it takes to research, gather relevant information and condense it without sacrificing clarity or value, you’re looking at far more than three hours. Case in point: It’s taken four hours to get to this point (1,000 words), and I still have three more tips to discuss.
Thoroughness Is Key
Consumers today crave detailed content that takes a deep dive into the topic or subtopic of interest. They want research, tips, suggestions, opinions and how-tos. After reading an article, they want to feel like an expert. To give them that type of content, you should be spending six or more hours on a single article — not the one to four hours that is the average. In fact, data supports this assertion, showing that bloggers who spend six or more hours on each individual article are 38% more likely to report stronger results.👩💻 Bloggers who spend 6+ hours on an article are 38% more likely to report stronger results💪. #ContentMarketing #Marketing Click To Tweet
So, what’s the takeaway? Take your time, use it well and incorporate these content writing tips and tricks in each piece of content. But if you’re not feeling up to the task, skip the time and effort by hiring content writers to do the work for you.
5. Master the Headline
The headline is likely the first thing your target audience will see of your content, which is reason enough to make it a good one. However, if you’re someone who typically slaps on a headline as an afterthought (don’t be embarrassed if you are — many people are guilty of this), the data may encourage you to change your ways:
- 80% of people will read your headline, but only 20% will click.
- The overwhelming majority of Americans believe the headlines they read.
- Articles that use clickbait-style headlines, or headlines that are misleading, give brands a bad reputation.
The good news is that creating a click-worthy headline that is engaging and that accurately represents your article and your brand’s values is simple when you use the following SEO content writing tips:
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Make sure your headline addresses customers’ pain points.
- Include numbers.
- Cite a statistic.
- Pose your headline as a question.
- Make sure your headline is relevant to your topic.
Neil Patel expands on this list and explains how to create clickable headlines in detail. If you want your 6+ hours of writing (or your investment in content writing services) to pay off, his how-to guide is worth the read.Did you know that 80% of people will read your headline 📰, but only 20% will click? 😢 #ContentMarketing #Marketing Click To Tweet
6. Invest in (Real) Editing
At BKA, we believe that behind every piece of WOW-worthy content is an editor who can’t help but to correct people on Facebook and to call out family members for the wrong use of “your/you’re” in a sentence. It seems the people share our sentiment.
According to Usabilty.gov, bad grammar and sloppy editing negatively impact a brand’s credibility, and 42% of readers say that spelling and grammar errors give them a negative perception of a brand. What do we suggest as our next content writing tip? Don’t skip out on the editing.
The Point Of Editing
A professional editor not only makes sure that your article is free of grammatical errors but also ensures that the delivery is flawless. As a bonus, edited content can also set you apart from the competition.
It pains us to say that too many writers neglect to follow these content writing tips. As many as 41% of writers edit their own work, while another 28% informally show it to a family member or friend. Yet, brands that use formal editors report 38% better results. If you want to one-up your competition, it seems that all you have to do is invest in editing services.
Our SEO copywriting services come with the option of thorough edits, but if you don’t want to pay for the add-on service, there are dozens of free online editing tools. Grammarly is like the jack-of-all-trades editing tool in that it checks for spelling and grammar errors, plagiarism, fluency, clarity, vocabulary, variety and conciseness. It even allows you to set goals, such as user intent, style, audience, emotion and domain.
Though the basic version is free, if you want to access Grammarly’s advanced features, you pay just $39.95 a month. This is a small price to pay for comprehensive editing services. Keep in mind, however, that grammar and spelling checkers can never adequately replace the services of a human editor. An extra set of expert eyes is far more valuable than what most people realize.
7. Repurpose Old Content and Make It Evergreen
Though great content has the potential to work for you for years into the future, evergreen content doesn’t just happen. Even the most hard-hitting content goes through five stages:
- The spike phase when you first publish the article
- Next, is the trough phase where growth becomes sluggish
- Followed by the growth phase as the piece gains traction
- Then, the plateau phase when growth begins to level out
- Finished by the decay phase when traffic starts to taper off
Content can decay for a number of reasons, including an increase in competition, irrelevant keywords and poor content quality. Whatever the reason, the good news is that content doesn’t have to stay in or even go through the decay phase.
How To Prevent Content Decay
These next SEO content writing tips can you’re your content stay alive. As your content begins to plateau, breathe some new life into it by doing any of the following:
- Expand on it.
- Refresh the keywords.
- Merge old content with new content.
- Optimize your content for semantic search. Use synonyms and other variations of your keywords, incorporate user-generated content and write using your audience’s natural language.
- Optimize your content to meet today’s consumer’s expectations and best practices. Check page load speed, meta and title tags, keyword usage and URL slugs.
- Repurpose old content into a different format, such as an infographic or video.
If you don’t see the benefit of paying a content writing services company to refresh old content, consider this: Brands that update old content regularly report two times more success in their content marketing efforts than brands that don’t update content. So, if you have a piece of content, or several, that have undergone a decline in recent years, revisit it to see what you can do to bring it back to life.Brands that update old content ♻️ regularly report 2x more success 📈 in their content marketing efforts than brands that don’t update content. #ContentMarketing #Marketing Click To Tweet
Start Creating Bigger and Better Content
Content marketing rules and best practices are ever-changing, making content writing a daunting task. However, a look back at content over the years shows that the most successful marketers go above and beyond the call of duty to create content that resonates with their readers. That’s what these content writing tips and tricks are all about. Going above and beyond simply entails doing what others don’t or won’t do:
- Creating a style guide
- Developing a user persona
- Developing topic clusters
- Exercising patience
- Mastering the headline
- Investing in editing
- Repurposing old content
Going the extra mile with content marketing in today’s saturated online landscape can work wonders to set you apart from the competition, build trust and encourage brand loyalty. Use our SEO content writing tips to raise your content to the next level and start seeing results. If you don’t have the time or the resources to create content that does this, look into our content writing services.