Have a Good Idea of What You Are Writing About
As an SEO writer, the first thing you want to know from the SEO team is keywords. Keywords researchers use different tools to find keywords that are related to the business. Their goal is to find phrases or combination of words internet users are using to search for something. They are interested in numbers associated with these phrases. They are told to create a list of keywords with less competition and more monthly searches. How far they go to achieve product/service and keyword relevance, they know it better. However, stats are important for them. These numbers tell which keyword has the potential of bringing more traffic.
So, you should not just see the keyword and start looking for ideas. You must go through the website and have a complete idea of the products/services the business is offering. Sometimes the SEO teams target keywords having great traffic potential but some of these keywords are not that relevant.
Some writers make this mistake while writing the very first article for a business. For the first few articles, the website of the business should be the starting point for the research.
Know The Audience
- Can you use long sentences in an article?
- What should be the tone; highly professional, friendly or you have to achieve a balance of both?
- Can you use technical terms?
- What should be the degree of difficulty of readability?
It all depends on the audience you are targeting. You are writing for a business selling golf course equipment.
Who will read these articles?
SEO writers don’t make enough to get golf club memberships. CEOs, COOs, top executives, movie stars or anyone who is rich and plays golf will read these articles. You can use some meaningful and well-structured long sentences. The audience is already familiar with technical terms. The tone of the article must be highly professional. Too simple will be too boring for this audience. The degree of difficulty of readability can be moderate.
In case you are writing for a business selling smartphone accessories, you should try to avoid long sentences. The tone can be a balance of both professional and friendly. You should not use terms that are too technical for the audience. The degree of difficulty of readability must be less than moderate.
In the case of a dating website or anything related to relationship, you should try to avoid long sentences. The tone of the article should be friendly and the degree of difficulty of readability should be low. So, learn about the audience and step into the shoes of your readers.
Don’t Disappoint Or Disrespect The Reader
What Does Disappoint The Reader?
- Misleading title
- Lack of information
- Wrong information
- Spelling mistakes
- Grammar mistakes
- Difficulty of readability
What Does Disrespect The Reader?
The goal of writing an article is to educate the reader. However, in an article, you should never use a kind of language showing that the reader is less knowledgeable.
Example: “If you still have not heard of this, you have been living under a rock”.
According to the Dictionary, the meaning of ‘live under a rock’ is:
“lack basic knowledge of current events or popular culture.”
This is disrespectful.
While working on a new project, you must start research from the website. It is difficult to categorize SEO projects you might have to work on. You should be always ready to work on any project from a website providing PPT templates to a website selling some online course. When it comes to doing research for an article, this might help:
- Health, Disease and Medicine: Websites, Google Scholar, PDFs, Docs, Google News for the latest developments in the area
- Machine and equipment: Websites, PDFs, DOCs
- Education: Websites, PDFs, DOCs, Google News
- Fashion: Websites
- Electronics: Websites, PDFs, DOCs, Google News
Sometimes you must keep the location of the business in mind while doing research or writing.
Example: The problem of frozen pipes does not exist in Saudi Arabia.
You should divide the article into the following three sections:
- Introductory Paragraph
New writers often struggle in writing the first paragraph of the article. Here are some tips with examples:
|You can start an article with some facts. Results and observations of studies and surveys can also be included in the introductory paragraph.||Xxxx million women are suffering from xxxxx disease.|
Xxxxxxx million men are suffering from xxxxxx disease.
Xx liters of water is wasted due to dripping faucet.
You can save xx liters of water by using low-flush toilet.
The cost of issues caused due to corrosion amounts to xx million a year.
|You can start an article with history of the topic.|| Xxx was first introduced in ….|
Xxx was initially developed to …………
Xxxx was developed/invented/ introduced/launched by ……..
|You can start an article with the basic introduction to the topic.||Xxxx is defined as …………|
|You can start an article with an idiom.||As prevention is better than cure, being proactive can save you from a lot of troubles due to mismanagement.|
|You can start an article with a question.||Do you want to qualify for lower interest rate? You need to improve your credit score.|
Want to know how to fix a clogged sink?
Body is the section in which the writer describes the topic. Divide the information into different ideas and describe one idea in one paragraph. You should include the main idea in the first sentence of the paragraph followed by supporting ideas described in the rest of the paragraph. You must maintain the flow of information when you start the next paragraph. You must try to use headings and subheadings in the body.
Including conclusion in an article is not extremely important as the useful information is already included in the body and the introductory paragraph. Still, it is a good practice to write a conclusion at the end of the article. However, if it is a lengthy article, you must write a conclusion.
Here is how this article was outlined before writing:
A new writer or a writer struggling with quality should focus on the quality first. The balance of quality and quantity can be achieved later. Here is what you should keep in mind to write quality content.
You must provide the reader with useful information. Inaccurate and out-of-date information serves no purpose. Not writing to the point wastes the time of the reader.
No Spelling Mistakes
Spelling mistakes leave a bad impression. It also shows that you don’t take writing seriously.
No Grammar Mistakes
You must work on grammar. You must have an understanding of important concepts such as:
- Active and passive voice
- Subject-verb agreement
You can take online grammar tests to test and improve your grammar.
Choice Of Words
You must keep in mind that synonyms have a similar meaning, not the same meaning. Too much repetition of the same word does not look good. However, you must avoid a synonym that does not fit to a given context.
The structure of long sentences is most likely to be broken. You should avoid describing an idea in longer sentences. Break down the idea and communicate it in short, simple and more meaningful sentences. Missing or misplaced punctuation not only break the structure of a sentence but can also change the meaning of the sentence. You must learn about the following four types of sentence structures:
- Simple Sentence Structure
- Compound Sentence Structure
- Complex Sentence Structure
- Compound-Complex Sentence Structure
You must try to avoid compound-complex sentence structure.
No Confusing Sentences
The best example of a confusing sentence is:
“Don’t sit on the chair with broken legs.”
Now, who has broken legs, the chair or the person?
Sometimes, a sentence becomes confusing when there are multiple nouns and respective pronouns involved in it. Instead of using pronouns to represent nouns (if there are only two nouns in the sentence), you can use ‘former and latter’. Or, you can use the noun instead of pronoun.
Example: “Many companies encourage their clients to use their resources.”
This sentence is confusing because of the second occurrence of the pronoun ‘their’. The reader cannot clearly understand whether this pronoun is used for the noun ‘companies’ or the noun ‘clients’.
Here is the corrected sentence:
“Many companies encourage their clients to use clients’ resources.”
Writing Unique Content
Writers don’t create information. Writers write articles by using information that is already available. Writing more and more about the same topic makes it difficult to write unique content every time. You can set some goals for writing unique content such as:
- Using phrasal verbs at the place of verbs
- Using noun phrases
- Using adjective phrases
- Using adverb phrases
- Using new words
- Using words that you do not use but these words are very common.
- Using pronouns
- Using umbrella terms (guitar, piano, banjo, drum all are musical instruments. You can use ‘the musical instrument’ to avoid too much repetition of the word ‘piano’.)
- Using synonyms
Maintaining The Flow
Flow is broken at the following three levels:
- Sentence level
- Paragraph level
- Information level
“Prevention is better is than cure. There are three treatment options available to a patient suffering from xxxxxxxxx disorder.”
The first sentence highlights the importance of prevention. The next sentence covers the treatment. This raises a question. What are the preventive measures for xxxxxxxxx disorder?
“Prevention is better than cure. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can save you from the development of xxxxxxxxx disorder. There are three treatment options available to a patient already suffering from xxxxxxxxx disorder.”
The flow is broken at paragraph level when the idea shared in a paragraph is not linked to the idea shared in the next paragraph.
How To Avoid This?
Using headings and subheadings is the best way to avoid this problem. In case you are not using headings and subheadings, you can use the last sentence of the current paragraph and first sentence of the next paragraph to maintain the flow. Use these two sentences to communicate one common supporting idea.
Always try to use headings and subheadings. This enhances the readability of the article.
By breaking the flow at the information level, you are showing that you have no idea what you are writing about. You should deliver the information in a consistent manner.
Proofreading is extremely important as you can correct a lot of mistakes such as spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and poorly structured sentences. You can also discover and fix broken flow at all three levels.
Don’t Rely On Tools
There are some popular tools writers use to proofread their articles. You cannot rely on these tools. These tools correct spelling and grammar mistakes. However, these tools don’t understand the context of the sentence. After checking your article with these tools, go through the article again.
Google Docs and MS Word are two of the popular tools writers use. Both come with autocorrect feature. Always watch autocorrect when there is some other word with almost similar spelling.
You have typed ‘fmro’, the autocorrect feature will either correct it to ‘from’ or ‘form’. Despite being AI-driven, these tools cannot always understand the context.
Using Ctrl F For Corrections
You can use the search and replace feature to correct mistakes due to autocorrect.
Consider the following pairs of words:
- Then & than
- From & form
- Tow & two
- Own & now
You have written a 1000 words article. The autocorrect feature has made some corrections. Simply search ‘from’ to make sure that ‘fomr’ is not corrected to ‘form’.
Walk In Shoes Of The Reader
Step in the shoes of the reader when you are proofreading your work.
First of all, there should be no plagiarism in your article. If you are writing the article in your own style, there will be no plagiarism. Instead of rewriting sentences, collect information and deliver it in your own writing style. If there is plagiarism in your article, you can use the following tips and tricks to remove:
- Use synonyms appropriately.
- Change the voice of the sentence.
- Use phrasal verbs at the place of the verb.
Example: Google the meaning of a verb, say ‘conduct’. You can use ‘way of behaving’ at the place of ‘conduct’.
- Add or remove adjectives or adverbs.
- Shift words:
Blue, green, red and purple are ideal for the exteriors.
Red, purple, green and blue are ideal for the exterior.
- Change a positive sentence to a negative sentence, vice versa.
This approach is right.
This approach is not wrong.
Using Google Advanced Search
You can use Google Advanced Search to verify if the combination of words you are trying is valid and meaningful.
You want to use a word combination, say ‘the degree of difficulty of readability’. Put that word combination between “” and hit the search button.
This way you can verify that a lot of other writers have also used the same combination of words.
Hoping that now know how to write SEO content.
Soon I will cover the keyword density part as well. Drop your question in the comment section if you have any. I would love to help you.
Do comment if you have any suggestion.
Kuldeep Singh is a poet, lyricist, performer, a public speaker and a professional content writer from Chandigarh, the city Beautiful. Apart from writing, he also has a keen interest in programming, especially in Java. He uses Twitter & Facebook on very rare occasions.