Repetitive language. Awkward phrasing. Clunky sentences.
Writing for SEO gets a bad rap for a reason.
Websites that are written only to please the Google gods aren’t just painful to read—they’re entirely unnecessary.
With over 25 years of combined experience in web writing, we’ve seen the evolution of SEO recommendations—from simple keyword repetition to the 200+ factors taken into account today.
Search engine algorithms now pay attention to user intent, not just the specific terms input. They also consider whether you delivered the goods the searcher actually wanted.
So, SEO writing is less about keyword phrases and more about delivering quality content.
That may seem vaguer than aiming for a particular keyword count. But there are still many straightforward best practices to follow.
Do your research.
You no longer need to repeat keywords dozens of times, but you should know what terms and topics regularly appear in searches related to your business.
Is the term “award” or “trophy” more popular? What kinds of questions do people have about your products or services?
This info can help you craft better content for Google and your audience.
Deliver on what you promise in the headline.
One way that Google determines whether or not a user’s search intent was satisfied when arriving on your page is whether or not they stick around.
If users click through… but then quickly click away, it’s a sign that your page didn’t deliver the goods.
Ensure your content is skimmable.
Long, dense paragraphs with highly formal language scares off visitors.
Keep it conversational. And break paragraphs up.
Also, make it easy to skip right to the content they need. Use subheadings, bullet point lists, and lots of white space.
Vary your word choice.
Repetition is not only bad writing; it can be detrimental to SEO.
Focus on the 3 S’s: synonyms, stems, and snippets.
Synonyms is fairly obvious: words that mean the same thing.
Snippets are the individual words in the keyword phrase.
And stems are words that are closely related to the keyword.
For example, let’s say the primary keyword phrase for your web page is “Fort Lauderdale veterinary clinic.”
- Synonyms: vet clinic, animal hospital, Ft. Lauderdale
- Snippets: Fort Lauderdale, veterinary, and clinic
- Stems: veterinary clinics, veterinarian, Florida
Make your links clear.
Forget including your keywords in your anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink). But do stop linking generic terms like “click here”.
Instead, follow Google’s recommendation and ensure anchor text is “useful, descriptive, and relevant.”
Users should know exactly where they will end up when they click on a link.
Finally, don’t rely solely on SEO to drive traffic to your website.
Make use of the content you generate in as many ways as possible. Promote it. Share it. Repurpose it.
The sky’s the limit!