How to Write for SEO in 2018
When I started out as an SEO copywriter back in 2013, I heard a lot of jokes from my friends about my new career. Who could forget this gem?
“An SEO walks into a bar, restaurant, ale house, best bars with beer, bars near me…”
Admittedly, it’s a good one! And honestly, there was a time when that was true. However, blindly keyword stuffing and robotically pumping your copy full of specific keywords is a very outdated idea. Writing for SEO in 2018 is much more about concepts than it is tying your content to specific keywords. So how can you optimize your content to be the best it can in today’s SEO landscape?
Revamp Your Keyword Strategy
On a micro level, keywords are still important to SEO. They’re just far from the alpha and omega of SEO like they were back in the day. So how should you be doing keyword research in 2018?
My main way of approaching it is by pulling together large lists of keywords related to an industry, synthesizing it down to the ones relevant to the particular business I’m working with, and categorizing them into specific groups. This will give you large categories of keywords that approach how you, instead of just finding keywords you want to rank for, get a better understanding of your customers and how they talk about your product. From there, you should begin to understand key concepts and phrases that potential customers are using to find businesses like yours online. This is how you find specific ideas for content. The better you understand your customers and how they look for your business online, the more you can fine-tune your content to speak directly to them.
How Modern Search Trends Are Affecting Content
How people search has never been more diverse than it is today. Between mobile search and voice search, Google has optimized their algorithm to be more personalized and localized to an individual user than ever. The bad news: this makes it hard for keyword tracking tools to be completely accurate. The good news: it gives you great opportunities to reach specific customers through search in ways you’ve never done before in the past.
This requires carefully creating your content to fit modern search trends. This means identifying very specific phrases that a user could potentially speak into a voice search engine. When activating a Google search through a virtual assistant (like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home), they typically read the quick answer box that will often populate at the top of query-related long-tail searches. This means that you have to be creating content to capture these results to intersect with potential customers who are trying to find businesses like yours in non-traditional ways.
March 1, 2018