Let’s us begin with what this post is not: this post is not a comprehensive guide to SEO. Instead, it’s a guide for how the ordinary writer (that’s you and me – not the ones with a degree in Bedroom Dwelling for a Decade Learning About Backlinking) can make their online content more search engine friendly.
If you want to indulge in a long and fulfilling relationship with the search engines – one that will stand the test of time after the initial few months of fireworks have settled down – then taking the ‘organic’ approach is one that really works.
Like all great relationships however this takes a healthy dose of time, effort and patience, but if you’re willing to put in the groundwork I’m positive you won’t be disappointed with your new-found courtship.
So how do you make your writing search engine friendly?
1. Research keywords
There are of course different ways to do this. The simplest? Open up Google’s Keyword Planner and type in phrases relating to the topic you intend to write about. What you’re looking for here is an exact match of your keywords with over 300 or so searches per month (locally or globally depending on your intended readership). Like with many relationships, it’s preferably at this stage that the competition is either ‘Low’ or at least ‘Medium’.
2. Use the keywords you’ve researched in your content
But you already knew that, right? Use the keywords in the post’s title, in the first and last paragraphs, in a subheading or two and anywhere else it makes sense to do so. Aim for your post to be anything between 500-1200 words if you can.
3. Link to other useful websites within your posts
Because sharing’s caring.
4. That’s it.
Really, that’s all you have to do. Sometimes I also use a free WordPress plugin called Yoast, which really simply tells me if there are ways I can make a post more search engine friendly. Sometimes I tweak my posts as a result, sometimes I don’t.
So what have we learned?
The main thing to take away from this is that you’re (hopefully) creating online content for yourself and/or your clients that is useful and well-written.
So useful and well-written in fact that people will be compelled to link to it from their own websites. (This also helps inform the search engines that you’re reliable and trustworthy enough to feature in their elusive results.)
If you’ve done this, and not stuffed the piece full of keywords so only robots can read it, then you should be proud of your content.
So get out there and promote it!
Tweet it, encourage people to like it on Facebook, submit it to a few article sharing websites and comment on other websites or blogs so people might be inclined to follow you back to your own.
In time, with useful and well-written content posted on a regular basis, your writing will become much more search engine friendly.
And then who knows – maybe one day you might just find that Google will finally make a commitment to you.
>> Get SEO and social media strategies to promote your freelance writing business, plus pitching templates and step-by-step instructions on how to pitch to the highest paying clients, in the Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro.
photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz via Flickr.