Appearing on Google’s first page has numerous perks. Your customers can find your products and services easily, you get a bulk amount of the organic traffic, and your revenue chances increase.
However, getting your web pages featured on the first page of the search results takes work. You need to post content that customers are interested in, create a responsive website, and adhere to Google’s ranking factors.
With a solid SEO content marketing strategy, though, achieving this becomes possible. In today’s guide, we’ll explore what you can do to rank high on search engines via the right content writing services.
Understanding SEO: The Background
Understanding SEO is essential for your digital marketing strategy. You’ll learn how to create high-quality content and how to present your website to appeal to Google, Bing, and other platforms. Here’s what you’ll need to know about SEO.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization is a strategy that’s meant to improve a website’s visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It aims to ensure that anyone who searches for your products or services online can easily find them.
Search engines rely on numerous factors to determine whether your website should rank high on their results pages. For instance, Google will look at your website’s content, title tags, image tags, keywords, inbound links, meta descriptions, internal linking structure, and more in order to determine your content’s ranking position.
Search engines will also assess your visitors’ behaviors when they’re on your site, your site’s security, and its design and structure. If you implement all these factors the right way, it becomes easier to improve your website’s ranking and overall visibility.
How Search Engines Work
Search engines are searchable online content databases. They are comprised of two parts:
- Search index: a library of web pages that are maintained by the search platform
- Algorithms: computer programs that help match users’ search queries with the content in the search index
These two parts work together to ensure that the search engine rankings provides relevant information to anyone searching for a query or topic.
For your content to appear on a search engine, three steps have to occur:
- Crawling: Search engines use programs called bots, crawlers, or spiders to scour the internet. They’re looking for new content or updates to previous content. Because search engine bots crawl the internet every few days, new content might take some time to be featured on their results pages.
- Indexing: Once a search engine crawler identifies your content, it categorizes it with similar content in its database. These categories are based on keywords. Following SEO best practices will help ensure your site is indexed in the right category and is ranked accordingly.
- Ranking: When users search for something related to your business, search engines deliver relevant content with specific rankings. They’ll look at multiple factors to rank your site, from keyword density to the speed of your website. The higher your content ranks on the SERPs, the more visibility your business gets.
Key Ranking Factors for Search Engines
While search engines typically provide an idea of what it takes to rank high, the exact details of how their algorithms rank websites are closely guarded. The algorithms are also often updated to improve the user experience and prevent abuse from website owners.
Search engines aim to provide users with high-quality, relevant information. As long as you position your website as one that does just this, your website should keep ranking high despite any algorithm updates.
You can secure a high SEO ranking by complying with these publicized ranking factors and best practices in your content marketing.
Backlinks are clickable links that direct users from other websites to yours. Search engines perceive backlinks as votes of confidence from other websites, showing that your site is a quality source of information.
Ensuring that you’re receiving high-quality backlinks will increase your chances of ranking high on search engines. For backlinks to be considered reputable, they need to direct users from high-authority sites to your website. The topic that the other website covers and the one on your web page should also be related.
Search engines consider content’s relevance before presenting it to searchers. Websites that have relevant content rank higher than those that don’t.
For instance, if a user searches for “top SEO tools in 2023,” websites that compare the top SEO tools will rank higher than those that present a beginner’s guide to SEO.
Make sure your site’s content is relevant to your customers’ search intent to increase your chances of ranking high.
Google recently switched to mobile-first indexing, which means that the search engine prioritizes the mobile version of a website over the desktop version when ranking it. The more mobile-friendly your website is, the higher it will rank.
A mobile-friendly website will load quickly on mobile devices and respond well to different screen sizes and orientations. You can assess your site’s mobile-friendliness with Google’s Mobile Usability report.
Search engines send users to websites that offer an optimized experience, and that means sites that load fast. Site visitors shouldn’t have to wait forever for text, images, or videos to load. Google updated how it measures page speed in its Core Web Vitals update, which assesses a website’s Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and First Input Delay (FID). You should optimize your website for these three factors to rank high.
Google considers site security as a ranking factor as well. Sites with an HTTPS tag in their URL rank higher than those with an HTTP tag. On the other hand, Google flags sites with HTTP tags as insecure, reducing the amount of traffic flowing to those sites.
If you have an HTTP site, you need to get Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certification to ensure site security. These certifications ensure that your website’s data is encrypted, reducing the chances of a security breach.
The Power of SEO
With the right strategy, your business will reap many benefits from SEO. You’re likely to enjoy big wins, including the following.
Having a great website that doesn’t rank high is like placing a salesperson on stage at a trade show and not giving them a microphone. Think of SEO as the microphone that your proverbial salesperson needs to sell your business to the masses.
SEO ensures that whoever is searching for your product, service, or content can actually find it. Improving search visibility is all about meeting users’ search intent.
There are three types of search intent you can address:
- Informational intent: Users are looking for specific information, from answers to questions to pictures of specific things.
- Navigational intent: Users are trying to get somewhere, which mostly involves a specific physical location. You can address this search intent by creating local SEO content, such as by posting your business address and contact details online.
- Transactional intent: Users are interested in making a purchase, comparing options, or learning more about a product with the intention to purchase it in the future. You can address this intent by creating case studies or product comparisons.
By following SEO best practices, you’ll be improving your site’s user experience. The site will load fast, your content will be relevant to your target audience, and users won’t have to be afraid about the security of their data.
In turn, the improved user experience increases the number of users who are willing to access and stay on your website.
Because SEO increases your site’s visibility and improves the user experience, your conversion rates are bound to improve. For starters, with a solid SEO strategy, your website will be easier to find, which increases your traffic.
More traffic means a higher chance of converting users. If they have an amazing experience and trust your business, turning leads into buyers becomes easier, too.
Physical Store Visits
SEO isn’t limited to online stores. With local SEO, you can increase your physical store’s foot traffic as well. Local SEO involves posting content that makes it easy for people to find your business.
For instance, you can upload the latest pictures of your store, list your business on Google Maps, and post your store’s address. In most cases, the first step to improving your local SEO is optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Credibility and Trustworthiness
SEO is great for your business’s credibility and trustworthiness. By ranking high on Google, your business will give users confidence that it’s providing the right information.
Websites that follow strong SEO strategies also get backlinks from high-authority websites more easily. Getting backlinks is a sign that these businesses trust you and the information you share on your website.
Lastly, websites that follow strong SEO strategies have an amazing user experience and security. Users feel more comfortable transacting with the businesses behind these websites. This increased trust means more unique visitors, better lead quality, and increased revenue.
SEO Content Writing Explained
Search engine optimization and content writing go hand in hand. As long as your website has high-quality content, decent domain authority, and a solid content marketing strategy, ranking higher on result pages becomes a good shot. Let’s explore how content writing impacts SEO.
The Relationship Between Good Content and SEO
Content drives SEO. Search engines are typically crawling your website for new content that will provide value to potential site visitors. If you create multiple high-quality pieces of content on a specific topic, Google will likely see you as an expert in that niche, increasing your chances of maintaining a high positional ranking.
Content writing will impact your SEO in multiple ways, including the following.
Providing Site Visitors With Valuable Information
Potential customers will visit your website at different stages of their buyer journey. Some will visit when they’re just beginning their research phase, while others will be ready to whip out a credit card. Your goal is to create high-quality SEO content that addresses their search purpose.
For instance, top-of-the-funnel visitors might want general guides on a topic. Visitors that are interested in buying customer relationship management (CRM) tools may be looking for ultimate buying guides for such tools at this stage. Creating content that addresses the best practices for finding CRM tools will attract these customers to your site and potentially turn them into paying customers.
Bottom-of-the-funnel users will be interested in comparison guides between your CRM tool and other CRM tools. If you create quality content that compares these tools, the chances are that you’ll rank high for this topic. This type of content will also do a great job of showcasing your offering tool as the undisputed best CRM tool for your target audience, increasing your chances of turning visitors into customers.
High-authority sites will link back to websites that provide high-quality content. For instance, if a high-authority site is creating content on the “best practices for picking a CRM tool,” it will likely link back to a well-researched article titled “Best CRM Tools in 2023.”
Such a backlink acts as a vote from this website that your site is providing relevant content. Search engines will rank sites that receive multiple backlinks from reliable sources higher than those that don’t.
With reputable SEO content writing services, whether from an agency or in-house, you can create high-quality blogs, service pages, and other forms that attract such backlinks.
Covering More Keywords
Google looks for specific keywords in a piece of content before it chooses to rank the page. If a customer searches for the “best CRM tools in 2023,” Google will present them with sites that cover this topic.
Besides including the “best CRM tools in 2023” keyword, the search engine will also look for related keywords such as “automating online transactions” and “customer prospecting.” Both are keywords that a blog post about the best CRM tools is bound to include.
SEO content writing services ensure that your site covers as many relevant keywords as possible. However, it also aims to avoid stuffing keywords and churning out low-quality content that doesn’t provide real value to the reader. The more high-quality content you have on your site, the more keywords you can handle.
Types of SEO Content
There are multiple types of content you can use to rank high on search engines. However, not all types fit each target audience or query intent. Therefore, a well-researched and devised content strategy is critical to your content having digital success.
Pillar pages are web pages that address the core topic your business handles. They mainly target your core keywords. These pages usually feature long-form content covering all aspects of a specific topic but don’t go too far in-depth with the topic. Instead, pillar pages link to other web pages that handle the subtopics in more detail. You can have multiple pillar pages on your website to cover various topics.
A great example is our pillar page on learning digital marketing. It lets readers discover what digital marketing is and what areas exist under that umbrella. It also links to other pages that address the subtopics on a deeper level. These pages can include secondary keywords.
Pillar pages help with site navigation. They tie the website together through internal links and act as a good place to include relevant keywords.
Landing pages are pages about a specific product or service your business offers. Unlike other parts of your site, these pages consist of sales content. You’ll mainly find strong web copy that addresses the target customer’s pain points.
These pages can have either long-form or short-form content. They’re a great place for including transactional and product-focused keywords.
Kona’s employee burnout landing page is a great example. This page explains what employee burnout is and how Kona can help tackle it. It features information on past customers that have benefited from Kona’s offering. Lastly, it has call-to-action (CTA) buttons encouraging readers to try the tool.
Case studies feature short or long-form content that shows potential customers how your business has impacted past customers. This type of content describes a problem a customer faced, explains the process your business took to solve the problem, and shows the results you produced.
Case studies are a great place to include bottom-of-the-funnel keywords. These are keywords that purchase-ready customers will use. This type of content also helps your business build trust.
SimpleTiger’s case study on Segment is a great example. Readers walk away from this case study feeling that they, too, can benefit from their expertise and skill set.
Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership content is meant to present your brand as an authority in your industry. It involves ground-breaking innovations or ideas that can improve your business or industry.
Thought leadership content includes your opinions, industry research, and predictions about the future of the industry. Customers walk away from such content feeling that your business is driving the industry in the right direction.
Although thought leadership content isn’t primarily meant for SEO purposes, it can still be a great place to include relevant keywords.
A great example of thought leadership content is Elevato’s piece on “How to Make a Website ADA Compliant.” Elevato presents itself as a leader in updating and building websites to ensure they surpass ADA requirements, as they have an engineering department specializing in this modern need.
The majority of the content you create for your website will fall into the blog post category. This content looks to answer common questions customers ask. For instance, a CRM business will want to discuss topics like “How to Remove Common Sales Bottlenecks.” Such topics provide prime real estate where you can include keywords that match customers’ searches.
Best Practices for Crafting SEO-Friendly Content
Creating high-quality content is among the most important steps in any SEO strategy. Creating SEO-friendly content takes time and resources, but you can achieve it with the right approach. Here are a few best practices for creating high-quality SEO content.
How Much Content Should I Produce?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. While some businesses will succeed with just a few pieces of content, others will need much more web content creation to stay relevant and on top of SERPs. The amount of content you should produce will depend on multiple factors, including the depth of the content, your available resources, keyword difficulty, your content marketing goals, and more.
First, you need to ensure that you’re consistently creating quality SEO articles. Creating low-quality content will do little to help you win over new customers and perform well online. High-quality content takes time to research, write, and edit. Assess the amount of time you can dedicate to content creation to determine your ideal content production frequency.
Second, factor in your available resources. If you have a small team of just one dedicated SEO content writer, for example, you might struggle to create multiple pieces of content per week. Similarly, you might be limited to a specific number of blog posts per week if your budget restricts you.
Thirdly, keyword difficulty and related key terms factor into the amount of content you will need to pump out. Higher difficulty keywords typically mean a larger-scale content marketing plan will be needed to achieve desirable ranking metrics. This often entails needing more articles on the subject matter and related long-tail key terms to position yourself as an authority and reliable source on that competitive keyword/phrase.
Lastly, your marketing goals matter. If you’re lagging behind a competitor that has been ranking above you with a high-volume content strategy, you might need a better approach to your content game. You can either create more content or create better content that resonates with both search engines and users.
For most businesses, two to four blog posts per month would be enough content. While this might not seem like much at first, it would add up to 24 to 48 high-quality posts per year.
What Types of Content Are Best for Me?
The best type of SEO content for your business will depend on your marketing goals.
If your prospects often get cold feet on whether you’re offering the best product or service for their needs, create case studies. These will help readers see the impact you’ve had on past clients, increasing their trust in your business.
If you’re in a highly saturated industry, you must create content that proves your business is different. Thought leadership whitepapers, product comparison blogs, and product-led content should do the trick.
Editing is the last step to creating high-quality content. It can typically be divided into two parts:
- Developmental and structural editing: This involves assessing a piece of content for the flow and clarity of ideas. You’ll eliminate any major flaws at this stage of editing.
- Line and copy editing: This involves addressing grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors. You’ll also use this stage to correct factual errors and issues with the voice and tone.
Take editing seriously to ensure your content is coherent enough for your target readers.
In-House Content Marketing vs. Outsourcing
You can either create your content in-house or outsource it to a content writing agency. There’s no right or wrong option here, and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at both.
Tips and Tricks for In-House SEO Content Writing
If you choose in-house content writing, here’s what you can do for a smoother process:
- Communicate with in-house experts: Your in-house writers can learn from your own team. For example, they can learn how a product works, what differentiates it from the competition, and what new product launches you have planned. These steps help ensure that their content fully communicates your business’s expertise.
- Create a content calendar: A well-thought-out calendar will act as a road map for your content team. Ensure that the calendar outlines your goals for the month or the entire year.
- Create voice and tone guidelines: This ensures that your business has a consistent brand and tone throughout all your written word. Even if you onboard new writers later on, your content is bound to have the same appeal to your audience.
- Focus on quality: Ensure that the SEO article writing service is committed to producing high-quality content that’s relevant to the target audience.
Tools and Resources
With the right tools, you can consistently produce high-quality content. While your best bet is to use paid tools most of the time, you can still use free tools to produce in-house content. Here are a few tools you can use to take your SEO copywriting to the next level:
- For grammar: Pay for Grammarly if you’re looking to eliminate all grammatical errors. As for a free option, QuillBot does a good job, too.
- For plagiarism: While Copyscape is a great paid option for checking your content for plagiarism, SmallSEOTools has a good free plagiarism checker.
- For keyword research: Moz is an amazing paid keyword research tool, while Keywordtool.io is a good free alternative.
Although many free tools will do a solid job, they’ll be limited in multiple ways. For instance, you can scan only 1,000 words at a time when using SmallSEOTools’ plagiarism checker.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
You can save your business from a low ranking by avoiding these mistakes:
- Stuffing keywords: Ensure that any keyword you use appears in your content naturally. Stuffing keywords make content hard to read.
- Writing only for search engines: While SEO will help you rank high on the SERPs, your visitors are your source of revenue. Write for them. Instead of focusing only on keywords, ensure that your content is relevant to your website visitors.
- Inadequate research: Quality content is always supported by quality research. Present your customers with amazing content by conducting in-depth research.
- Overlooking title tags and meta descriptions: These two points appear on search engine results pages. They summarize what your web page talks about, which helps potential visitors decide whether to visit your site.
The Challenges of In-House Content Creation
Creating content in-house is often challenging due to resource restrictions. For starters, your business might not have enough SEO content writers to create content at the volume you need. Second, investing in content writing tools might be expensive, and they might not be worth the price if you aren’t using them often.
SEO Content Writing Services
Outsourcing your content writing is often a great option. It allows you to scale your content production up or down without having to invest in new tools. You also gain access to people who specialize in content writing.
With the right SEO writing services, you can rest assured that your content will both appeal to search engines and provide valuable insights for site visitors.
Selecting the Best SEO Content Writing Service
Your SEO strategy is only as good as the team executing it. Choosing a great content writing agency will ensure that your strategy runs smoothly. Be sure to choose a business with a proven track record.
If you need help creating high-quality SEO content, try Credo today. We connect businesses like yours with reputable SEO professionals. With their support, you can create and execute an SEO strategy that will help your business rank high on the search engines. Find the right agency with Credo today.