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10 Tips on Writing for SEO

91 million searches are performed a day on Google, and at least a handful of those searches could lead a visitor to your website or blog. How can you increase the likelihood of your site appearing more often and at a higher ranking in your potential visitors’ web searches? Well, one way is by rethinking how you write for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Here are a few easy tips to consider:

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1. Know your audience.

You must understand your target demographic and viewer when writing for SEO because it directly affects what kind of content you should be creating. The whole point is to engage your audience, and to do that you must understand your audience.

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2.  Write interesting and valuable content that will appeal to your ideal visitor!

While driving traffic to your site is great, it’s no good if your website visitors don’t stay to read your content. If you have unique and valuable content it’s more likely your visitor will stay on your site longer, visit more pages, and return again for more. They might even share the link with a friend! Also, make sure to employ correct grammar and spelling and double check your writing for overall meaning. All of these things improve your website’s credibility and authority in the eyes of Google.

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3. Determine your primary keyword or key phrase.

Think about what people might search to find you on the web. For example, if people searched “Orange County Graphic Designers”, we want them to find us. So we might keyword our About page to utilize that phrase. Or, if we’re posting a blog about hand drawn logo design, our key phrase might be “hand drawn logo design.” Google offers free tools to help you figure out what keywords have the most search volume, the least competition and are currently trending, like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. http://www.google.com/sktool/ and http://www.google.com/trends/

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4. Use the keyword or phrase naturally but consistently.

Try to at least include them in the title, the URL, both the meta title and description, and the first and last paragraph of your page or post. Other places you could include your key phrase are in the slug and the tags if you’re using a WordPress site. Don’t try to shove keywords in too frequently or in places where they make sentences awkward or confusing. This will frustrate visitors and search engines will drop your pages ranking for abusive practices. If you have a WordPress site, get All In One SEO Pack or Yoast SEO to help with all of this and more  http://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/ and https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

Note: As Google’s search algorithm moves more and more towards semantic searches, keyword density becomes less of a factor in site ranking. To read more about this, check out this informative article: http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/keyword-density-seo-myth/.

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5. Add internal and external hyperlinks.

You should be linking to other posts and content on your site AND to content on external sites. If you write a blog on a concert you went to, link the bands and venue. Both types of links will help your website. Just don’t go overboard; do it in a natural way.

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6. Get natural links back to your site.

This is a toughy. How do you get other sites to link to your content? Write something worth talking about. Become an expert in your field or on your topic. Give tricks and tips to your trade to help potential clients. Send out swag bags to bloggers in your industry urging them to check out your site. Keep your site up to date with engaging and valuable content for your demographic. Share your content on social media! Invite guest writers to post on your site. Word of warning: Google penalizes for spammy links, so focus your efforts on building relevant and natural links only.

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7. Add easy social media share buttons.

You want people to share your content so you get more viewers! So make it easy for them. There are tons of easy plugins out there and most social media sites provide code to generate buttons as well. We suggest not adding social sharing buttons for every single social media site out there, but focusing on the networks where most of your readers congregate.

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8. Post frequently.

Search engines and visitors alike love fresh content. One factor that plays a role in how search engines rank your site is based on how frequently it’s updated.

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9. Add photos to your content.

 This allows you to use your key phrase in the file name, description and caption as well. Plus photos engage users! Win, win. Just don’t forget to set your image’s alt text, one of the most important parts of image indexing. Hint: the alt text is what Google uses to populate the image description in their image search.

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10. Guest blog on someone else’s site.

A link back from another site is 5 times more valuable than a link on your own site. Again, it’s building your natural links. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s WebSpam team, recently wrote that guest blogging is dead, but we disagree slightly. Spammy guest blogging is dead, but guest blogging on high-authority and relevant websites is great for building your brand and referral traffic. http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/

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Writing for SEO isn’t as daunting as you thought, now is it? It’s primarily about valuable content that gets visitors interacting. In the end, if you only remember one thing, remember this: What Would Miley Do? Give them something to talk about.

 

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