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Kien Lai, Web Designer

Content Writing Advice

Before I begin the tutorial on content writing advice, I would like to briefly go over three key points that will help Google's system to properly identify and "tag" the content that you will soon be writing. The first key point is understanding the sole purpose of a Google search and that is to return the most relevant results based on the search query. On the surface this appears simple and logical, but grasping this basic concept will give you insight on how Google's system works. This knowledge alone will allow you to better optimize your content writing for search engines.

The second key point follows the same logic. In order for search engines to properly "tag" your content it must first have a descriptive title. The title must meet two criteria:

  • Relevant to the content
  • Contain the keywords for consideration in the Google search results

To demonstrate this point, I have created a page about my SEO mentor, the great Zak Nicola. The title of the page is "Prozac Rocks" because I'm 'pro Zak' and I think he rocks at SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you perform a search on Google for the keywords "prozac rocks", number one in the search results should be the page I created. If you are just starting out in SEO, I encourage you to review the page I created for prozac rocks and study how I setup and structured the page using the guidelines covered in this article. Once you get the basics down, try creating your own test pages, apply what you have learned and most importantly, experiment. See if you can get onto the first page of Google for a keyword. This SEO tutorial and key points also apply to blogs so you can create a free account with any blogging service such as blogger.com or wordpress.com and easily get started.

Prozac Rocks

The final key point relates directly to the written content. The content should be relevant to the title and naturally mentions the keywords found in the title. Referring back to the page I created for prozac rocks, you can see that the exact keywords are naturally mentioned in the content. By naturally I mean if you read the paragraph back it actually makes sense and not randomly appear.

Guide To Writing Great Content

This guide is for those of you who are seeking content writing advice for SEO. Although the subject matter will vary along with different writing styles, the core principles of writing will always remain the same and what has been drilled into all of us throughout middle school.

As painful as it may seem, try thinking back to when you wrote that five page book report in English class. Flashback and can you remember what the teacher wrote on the chalkboard about the proper way of organizing content? If you don't recall, this would be a good time to take notes. The structure of content should always follow the same format of introduction, then arguments for or against the given topic, reasons backing up your arguments (body paragraphs) and finally closure that provides a summary covering the main points of your arguments and position on the topic.

Content writing structure:
  • Introduction
  • Arguments for or against the topic being discussed
  • Reasons backing up your arguments
  • Summary

To recap, the content should contain the topic being discussed (introduction), your opinion on the subject (arguments on the topic), why you think your opinion is relevant (backup your claims) and finally a summary highlighting the main points of your claims.

How many arguments should you have? Well, there really is no magic number and completely up to you to decide (I should, however, state for the record that in middle school the English teacher always wanted a minimum of three arguments). Words of advice are to keep it simple, don't add "filler" and "big" words and write how you would normally talk in a conversation. The rule of thumb is as long as you provide valid reason(s) for your arguments and your claims are clear, concise and to the point you're on the right track. I should also mention that it's good practice to provide facts, references and quotes from authoritative sources to strengthen your position on the topic.

Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines

When it comes to optimizing content for search engines such as Google, the most important question you need to be asking yourself: "is the information useful to the reader?" If the content is not relevant to the reader, it's not going to be relevant to search engines. In other words, write content with your readers in mind and not search engines. What is the purpose of Google? Answering this simple question reinforces what you should be asking yourself. The purpose of Google is to search for and return with the most relevant results for the topic a person is searching for. For example, if your topic is about "content writing advice for SEO" the written content should reflect these keywords and must to meet three basic criteria in order to be considered in search engines.

  • Does the content mention that exact phrase with simular variations?
  • Does the content talk about the topic in detail?
  • Is the content about the topic informative and relavant?

If the content meets the criteria above then it should organically rank in the search results for the keywords - in this example "content writing for SEO". Keep in mind that it takes time in ranking / appearing in the search results and may not appear on the first page because there are other factors involved in search engine optimization, but if the general guidelines for writing content are followed, you should naturally be included in the search results. Its how search engines work, but by no means guaranteed because it's ultimately up to the search engines' algorithm to decide if the content is revenant to what the user is searching for.

Having the fundamental principles of content writing in place with the understanding of the sole purpose of search engines will give you a great starting point in writing content for SEO. Hope the advice helps and happy writing.

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