9 min read
Writing better SEO friendly content for search engines starts with writing quality content for humans.
Content is typically created to do one (or more) of the following:
People will be more likely to sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, or contact you to learn more about your offerings if your content answers a question they’ve been asking themselves.
Oh, and search engines like Google will be more likely to rank your SEO friendly website on SERPs. That’s what I call a win-win!
How does Google decide what to promote in its SERPs and what to downgrade? That’s where search intent comes into play.
In the simplest terms, search engines like Google exist to pair interested users with the best of the best content. They know that when a user consumes content they can trust, they will keep coming back to the search engine to write even more search queries.
And so the beautiful cycle continues. Organic traffic, which is non-paid traffic generated by search queries, is valuable because the level of search intent is so high.
The searching mindset of a user can be summed up in three major stages:
In other words, users write a problem into Google’s search bar, press search, and are provided with thousands of results and potential solutions. When you rank well in Google, it means that the search engine is recognizing your content as a top-notch solution to the user’s problem.
So how do you make sure Google sees your content as the cream of the crop? This is why we optimize our website content to match search intent.
If we were creating a video tutorial on how to create the perfect smokey eye, we would aim to optimize our content for women who are getting ready for a girl’s night out, not targeting women who want a classic look for their bridesmaids.
Read More: How to Rank Your YouTube Video with SEO
Even though both users would be searching for eye makeup tutorials, the type of look they are searching for couldn’t be more different. This is an illustration of search intent, which search engines analyze to better match users with the most relevant content.
The same can be said for users who are looking for the best blogs on digital marketing versus how to start a blog. Both use the keyword “blogging” in them, but both search queries have key differences. Search engines are constantly updating their platforms for better search intent.
Tapping into search intent and unleashing the power of SEO becomes easier when you know which keywords to use, which we’ll talk about next.
Rather than diving straight into keyword search tools (because they are many of them), we like to approach keyword research more holistically. Let’s first think about how keywords can fit into your overall business and marketing plan.
Let’s say you serve online entrepreneurs by providing health and fitness coaching that fits within their busy schedules. (Okay, doesn’t this sound like one of the coolest niches ever?)
If you do simple keyword research and find that many people within your ideal audience are searching for topics around understanding their finances, you may be tempted to write a blog post on this topic to reel them in.
While it’s great to know what is important to your ideal clients, it’s better to stick to your niche and find topics within your area of expertise to write on. If you write about finances but the visitor sees that you offer fitness coaching and training, they will be thoroughly confused and leave your website.
Instead, think about what topics are most relevant to your niche and ideal audience. In this case, nutrition plans, reversing sedentary lifestyles, and trying new workout plans would be far better to talk about and would get you in front of people who have a stronger interest in what you’re teaching and selling.
This can be one of the biggest game changers for your blog’s SEO. When you have a clear understanding of what keywords are best to use within your niche, you can start building stories and content ideas around them.
This helps immensely when you are trying to create monthly themes within your year-long content strategy. Then you don’t have to worry about covering the niche topic too many times or not enough.
Not only that, but you can also use the same keywords in multiple posts while switching up the central topic. You’ll love repurposing your content and ideas simultaneously.
If you like knitting, you could create a blog series on your five favorite knitting techniques and use similar keywords to increase your chances of ranking for those user questions in search engines. The same strategy would work for virtually any industry. The possibilities are endless!
By now, you probably have a few keywords relevant to your niche that are floating around in your head. You can start by writing them down on a sheet of paper before we get into the research process.
There are a few third-party tools you can use to do keyword research, which we break down in our SEO tools and services article. At ConvertKit, we often use the Moz Keyword Explorer so we’ll be using it as our example in this section.
If you are a professional blogger who is looking to teach other people how to blog, you may want to type in a keyword like “how to start a blog”. Again, if we are thinking about search intent, it will be high for a keyword like this because the website visitor will be directly interested in getting started with blogging.
When you search for the keyword within the Moz Keyword Research tool, you’ll see a few different numbers pop up. Here’s what the metrics mean:
If your website is new, it’s usually better to start with lower difficulty and volume keywords, like “grow blog with instagram” which has a difficulty score of 16, and work upward over time.
Moz recommends newer or growing websites who are building their authority and credibility to stay with keywords with a maximum difficulty of 20-30. Although those may seem like low scores, it will still take time to begin ranking here.
More established websites can start to rank for keywords with a difficulty score of 50-60 with the most powerful websites ranking for 70-80 score keywords.
As you build your domain authority, you’ll have an easier time starting to rank for higher difficulty keywords. There are many things that go in your domain authority strength, so we recommend looking at our SEO terms and definitions article if you’re interested in learning more.
Now that you have a few keywords in your word bank, you’re able to start the fun part: writing content! It’s best to sprinkle your keywords throughout your content so it’s easily readable.
You don’t want to go overboard by adding too many keywords! We recommend focusing on two to three maximum, and they must all be related to one another.
You can also add keyword variants within your content to strengthen your chances of ranking in search engines.
Since I’m a copywriter who works with many photographers, I may want to write a focused blog post and add keywords around wedding photography and engagement photography.
Both types of photography are different but still related. Also, the search intent for both kinds of photographers are very similar because many of my clients shoot both weddings and engagement sessions.
There are all kinds of ways to get creative with your writing, so start thinking outside the box and integrating keywords into your value-packed content.
Ready to start creating content that can be found in search? We've created a quick checklist you can use on each page to make sure you're hit all the SEO needs.
Now you’re fully equipped with the basics of creating content for search engines and humans. Keyword research and content planning isn’t so hard, is it? With just a few small tweaks to your content writing process, you can start building your SEO friendly website for long-term growth.
Remember to check your Google Analytics to measure your performance over time. That way you can see what’s working and what still needs tweaking. We have an “always be testing” mentality here at ConvertKit, and we’re excited to see you grow your SEO with the same mindset.