The fact is, SEO (on-site) and writing goes hand in hand. All search engines do care about is the best experience of users, and so do you. You want to add as more value possible to your users.
So basically, when you’re optimizing a content for search engines, you are actually finding more and more ways out to add value to your users.
Search Engine Optimization rules are very useful to understand users viewpoint. Search engine algorithms are made analyzing users behavior and desires from a content.
They’ve analyzed tons of data to figure out what users are looking for in a content, made algorithms according to that and gave you a guideline to get compatible with their algorithms.
So basically, they’re telling you how to make a content more audience-friendly and how to add more value to them, which as a content creator, all you want.
That’s why understanding SEO can help you vastly with the writing of your content to add the maximum value. Here are a few rules of SEO that’ll demonstrate how so.
Table of Contents
Keyword Research, Long-tail and LSI Keywords
The basic of SEO starts with Keyword research. This is what you have to the get done in the very first place.
Now, suppose you have a topic to write. But having a hard time to figure out where to start with that topic. In such a case, do a quick keyword research on that topic to find out what are the most frequent searches regarding that topic, and you’ll know where to start.
How long-tail keywords help?
In the first place, long-tail keywords are the prolonged and specific versions of the main keywords. In other words, they’re just the main keywords with “tails”. There usually constructed of 3 plus words.
For example, if ‘Malaysia travel’ is your main keyword, then the long tail version could be ‘cheap travel destination in Kuala Lumpur’ and so on.
SEO’s (Search Engine Optimizers) use long tail keywords for mostly three reasons. They have to go specific in cases, these keywords have strong buying persona and they are easier to rank as well.
Now, how do long-tail help you in writing a better piece?
If you haven’t already got it, long-tail keywords demand you to go specific. If you are writing a piece on ‘Travelling in Malaysia’ and you want to go implement long-tails like the one mentioned above, you have to go specific.
To insert the long-tail “cheap travel destination in Kuala Lumpur”, you must go specific on traveling on Kuala Lumpur, otherwise, you can not insert the keyword naturally.
Long-tails, pushing you to go more specific, makes you add more value to those specific group of people looking to travel especially in Kuala Lumpur.
You’ll have to go more specific about other travel destinations too if you want to insert long tail keywords related to those destinations.
This way, long tails pushes you to go specific and makes you add more value which makes your content a lot more useful.
What About LSI Keywords?
LSI is the abbreviated form of Latent Semantic Index, which is, in simple term, related keywords. Suppose you’re writing with keywords on topic ‘A’, and topic ‘B’ is a related topic to topic ‘A’, so the keywords of topic ‘B’ is LSI keywords to the topic ‘A’.
Not clear yet? Let me explain it with the mentioned keyword above.
If you’re writing of ‘Travel Destinations in Malaysia’, then Hotels of Malaysia, transportation of Malaysia are such topic that is very much related to your given topic. So the keywords of Hotels of Malaysia, transportation of Malaysia topics are LSI keywords to ‘Travel Destinations in Malaysia’ topic.
This is why SEO’s want to insert LSI’s to contents – relevance. Google and other search engines consider relevancy as a very important ranking factor. Thus SEO’s use LSI keywords to bring relevancy into play.
Now, does LSI keywords make your content a better piece?
Yes, in the similar fashion of Long-tail keywords. Long-tails make you go specific, and LSIs make you broaden up, with more and more relevant topic that make your content a go-to resource.
Though it’ll be wrong to say that the LSI’s make your content better, rather it’s the process of inserting the LSI’s that enhances your content.
If you were writing a piece on ‘Travel Destinations in Malaysia”, and you were a guy with NO SEO knowledge, you probably would only stick with the travel destinations.
Now that you know that you have to bring relevant topics into the piece to send the signal of relevancy to Google and rank higher ultimately, you’ll research and brainstorm to find out what relevant topics you might bring into that existing topic.
Doing so, you’ll find many relevant topics that you’ll now figure out is bringing much to the content, and at the same time helping you rank higher. So you’ll be happy to elaborate on those topics to get two benefits at once – ranking higher and adding value.
For the example above, you’ll now bring “hotels of Malaysia, Transportation of Malaysia’ etc topics along with the existing “travel destinations’ topic. This, from the SEO perspective, you’re doing to insert LSI’s which will help you to rank higher.
But from the writer perspective, you’re actually bringing relevant topics to the content which will make the content a whole lot more resourceful and informative.
So by trying to do the job of SEO, you’re actually making your content better as a writer as well.
But, to get benefits to the article from all these types of keywords, you’ll have to go with ‘SEO research then writing’ approach rather than ‘Writing the SEO optimizing’ approach.
Due to lack of knowledge, many people consider SEO as just stuffing keywords into content. So they write first, then gathers a list of possible keywords of all type, and then forcefully stuffs them into the content, which is the worst practice when it comes to SEO.
It’s neither ideal for Search Engines (their algorithms are much smarter now so they can detect such spamming) and obviously not for readers.
You first want to research your topics, see what people want to read, what are the most searched terms, figure out specifics on those topics (long-tails), and relevant topics (LSI’s).
And with the outcome of the research, you’ll get a whole bunch of ideas about the content, a long list of keywords, so then plan your content at write.
This is the best practice which makes your content a better grab for both readers and search engines.
Google’s “People also ask”, Autofillup, And Related Search Terms
If you have ever noticed, when you start to write something in the Google search bar, Google tends to finish your questions automatically providing various suggestions. Take the search term “how to play piano” as an example.
Also when you make a Google Search, you usually find a “People Also Ask” box like this.
And finally, after the search, at the bottom of the page, you get links to related searches made by other people.
Now, when you make a simple Google search to research your article before writing it, you get all these, which means, tons of ideas. These ideas are a great source what other articles you should also write to cover this whole topic.
Interlinking between contents in your site is a very important ranking factor which is not unknown to any other SEO out there. But it could get difficult sometimes to find similar content ideas which they can interlink the current piece with.
As a writer, who already knows SEO, will note down these similar topics when researching the current piece, so that they can write pieces on these topics later, at least to interlink.
Now when you do that, you’re adding a lot more value to your audience. With your proper research, you’re only writing those content later for the interlinking purpose that your audience is looking for, and it’s proven.
You’re not just writing anything just to interlink, rather you’re writing only those articles later that your current audience also asks, as suggested by Google.
So, to please search engines, you’re creating a thrive of content all of which your audience are looking for, means you’re making this thrive of contents as a go-to resource for them, which lets them know everything at one place.
That’s a great favor you’re doing them.
Using more Subtitles (Headings)
Search engines like it when you title-out your long article in different sections. Every SEO out there love their content to be differentiated in sections with appropriate titles and subtitles.
A writer, with the knowledge of SEO, would structure their content in such a way. This helps out readers who’re basically skimmers & scanners. They don’t have time to go through the entire piece, rather they’re looking for something particular or the gist.
When your article is differentiated in sections, they can easily head over to the section they’re looking for, and find their desired information.
In an article titled – “How to play guitar”, you might have covered different topics like – how to play guitar chords, how to play guitar scales, how to play guitar songs and so on.
If you write all them under the main heading – “How to play guitar”, a scanner will have a hard time finding the particular topic he/she’s interested in, like how to play guitar scales.
He/she might know about chords, playing songs and so, just looking for more information on playing scales, and want to find it quick. In such cases, titling-out really helps.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed Though
So we find out that the knowledge of SEO before writing a piece, can really help a lot to bring more aspects to that content, organize it better, add more and more value to it with appropriate add-on topics, and helps to find related article topics as well.
However, it’s highly recommended to not get overwhelmed. When doing your research, you’ll find a lot of add-on topics, all of which are not worth including to the content.
You must be selective here and only choose those extra topics or those frequently asked questions that highly relevant on the topic and adds value to the content.
Just for the sake of SEO and adding more LSI and long-tail keywords, you should not forcefully bring anything to the content that does not go with it.
To mention, that’s not good for SEO as well in the long run. What’s not good for people, is not good for search engines, as I said multiple time above.
And keyword stuffing is another bad practice that many writing-SEO’s do. This should also be avoided. Only insert those keywords that comes naturally. Forcefully bringing keywords harms the flow and tone of the article and makes it less pleasuring to read.
If you are a writer who’s looking to improve his writing and enhance his value as a modern-day writer, I highly recommend you to learn SEO.
Because in these days, everything is search engine dependent, so if you’re not showing up there, people will barely find out your awesome piece and read it. Optimizing your content for search engines is important, really important.
And, as a plus, the knowledge of SEO is making your awesome content even more awesome.
So, why don’t you learn SEO and be better in writing content and dominating search engine?