Tip: this is a long-ass piece of text so get comfy or click on the above contents to skip to the section you want.
I may have overpromised with this title.
There’s no rule that states the information should be funny, well written, and engaging.
Or is there?
It depends on this: who’s looking for the information.
So for example you ask yourself, “Why the f–k do we wanna spend all this money on SEO?”. Hopefully, you figure out the reason before you spend all that money.
And that audience is like me: sarcastic.
They appreciate a good LOL and they’re relaxed about how they present their business.
I’m not interested in just relaying information – for me, that’s boring and my subject matter doesn’t need to be made more tedious.
Like Patrick Swayze, I do my kind of dancin’ (humorous wordage) and you get to read it in this guide to SEO content writing.
(And you will thank me because this subject is super dull. Trust me, it’s drier than my legs in winter.)
Tip: throughout this page you’ll find clickable text and large thumbnail images. These will take you to more info around the subject.
Starting at the start is usually the best place to start, especially if you don’t know a damn thing about a subject.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation.
(Not, saucy earls’ omelette.)
I know, it’s the most boring name for a thing you’ve ever heard. The word ‘optimisation’ is a total passion killer but stay with me.
Search engines are those powerful online brains we type our queries into.
Tailoring websites to the whims of search engines is how we gain more organic traffic.
That’s the sort of traffic that won’t cost you any cash, unlike the paid links you see at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages).
SEO takes investment.
Be prepared to spend time and money.
If they’re fumbling about like participants in a game of blind man’s bluff, they won’t see you.
Maybe you’re thinking about building your own website, that’s brilliant but understand that SEO should be its foundation.
Make sure you shop around and choose a website option that offers control over SEO tools. Please don’t underestimate how hard it is to create and maintain your self-built website.
Reality check: SEO can be a little slow. It’s also an ongoing process. It’s the capital city of online marketing – it never sleeps.
All your hard work will pay off if you consistently feed the SEO Tamagotchi.
There is no ‘enable SEO’ button on your site.
Lord have mercy, this subject is vast.
It can be complex and require different skillsets. So it’s unlikely you’ll find one human to help with all your SEO stuff.
And that’s why many hire an agency to help with the subsets, subsets like this:
Broadly speaking, most of the above will be either off-page or on-page SEO.
And that means working on your website or away from it. For example, content SEO will be produced on your website and optimised accordingly. Promoting your content and securing backlinks to your online space is all outside of your site.
(Or pizza, yeah pizza’s better.)
You have loads of different pieces (slices) slotting together to give you the very best (tasty) chance of smashing your traffic goals.
This topic is so important to traffic growth that it has its own category.
Video, infographics, animation, podcasts, and the written word, all come under the umbrella of content.
Each one of those areas will have specific SEO requirements.
(You didn’t see that coming, right?)
Yeah, say hello to more specialists.
(It’s like fractals – specialists within specialists.)
Now you understand why you can’t just hire “an SEO guy”.
I also hope I’ve demonstrated why it takes some serious wonga to reach SEO Xanadu.
Many business peeps spend their cash making their website look pretty. Nothing wrong with that but then they go and create all the content themselves.
(Poor, foolish kids.)
If you make that mistake (and it is a mistake) you’ll end up with a site that’s all style and no substance.
And that’s the same for websites.
Tip: if by now you’re exhausted, take a break and stretch your legs.
(Did you grab another snack? If not, do that now.)
Are you pumped?
Super pumped? No? I feel you.
SEO content writing is my area of expertise.
And now you understand that content is kind of a big deal.
Content writing is a key player in driving organic traffic to your online space.
You can’t have an SEO strategy without a content strategy. And a content strategy without a content writing strategy makes zero sense.
Ya get me?
It explains exactly who you are, what you do, and who you’re for.
It shows off your expertise and sets you up as someone to be trusted within your area of knowledge.
Adding stuff on your pages for the sake of volume, won’t win the SEO game.
If what you’re writing is good, people will not only read it but they’ll refer back to it. You can’t hack your way to gaining more eyes on your stuff – dedication is what you need.
(And if that last line made you sing “If you wanna be a record-breaker!” you’re old and British.)
That outdated view still sticks.
Despite the 90s being over thirty years ago (I’m so bloody old) I still read stuff that says we have to write in two different ways: one to please users, the other to please bots.
Pleasing the algorithm and your audience is the same. damn. thing.
You’ve probably heard the term engaging content more than you’d care to remember.
Like almost everything else in marketing, it’s overused and misunderstood. In short, it’s about knowing who you’re writing for but not in a cursory way, in an intimate, I-know-the-smell-of-you way.
Sounds gross but you need to put in the work.
Great content writing is like great sex – it’s fun and makes us feel good (without all the mess).
Here, have 6 things to crack business content, you’ll be boshing out proper words in no time.
Spend £5.75 and SEO the bejesus out of your content writing.
If learning to do this for yourself seems like too much work, I highly suggest you hire an SEO content writer to do it for you.
These words are what we want a website or web page to be found for.
Guess what, there are also different types. Blimey.
(Apologies if you were hoping this would be a quick 5-minute read, feel free to skim.)
Also called competitive keywords, so-termed because every Peter and his mother are trying to rank for them. But what do I mean? Well, words like ‘hairdresser’, ‘photographer’, ‘IT specialist’ would be considered broad keywords.
These are detailed phrases that describe exactly what you sell or what you do. An LTK for me would be ‘funny business blogger’.
Targeting these will attract the perfect person to your door.
These lovelies get into the search behaviours of users.
The idea is, once you understand the intent behind your targeted keywords, you can create tailored content that matches that intention.
Each page you publish requires a focus keyword.
That word is scattered throughout the text but only where it would naturally occur.
You want to sound normal, cramming keywords into your content will not only read weird but it will balls up your ranking.
Remember to add the focus keyword to each pages’ meta title and description (the snippets that show on the SERPs). And for gawd’s sake, don’t miss them on your image alt. titles!
This is a better way of arranging all that lovely stuff on your website.
Pillar content makes it easier for Google to rank your pages. It’s a more logical way of organising your website’s information.
It will also get you clear on the content that is no longer relevant.
(And you’re reading my piece of pillar content right now! I know, how ruddy brilliant!)
“Isn’t that just the same thing as SEO content writing?”
Don’t make me come over there!
Actually, they share things in common. Both techniques are all about your audience and the problem they need solving.
SEO content writing is the long-term goal of attracting your people. Copywriting is the short-term goal of converting those people into clients / blog subs / purchasers.
Ok, listen up.
You apply copywriting on your sales pages or the areas of your site that asks the visitor to do something.
If you want those visitors to buy a product or sign up for your newsletter, you’ll use copywriting to convince them.
That’s a decision you want them to make, and quick – a direct response is needed from your audience.
Here’s an outline:
Humans tend to overcomplicate things.
And a complicated site is an FBI (f–king bad idea). When you muddle your message, the audience is left wondering what the hell you want them to do.
In business-to-business (B2B) copy, there’s the added danger of clichéd phrases.
You know what I’m talkin’ bout, the “We’re delighted to announce” crew. Whilst those tired expressions don’t always confuse the message, they do lead to chronic eye-rolling.
And that emotional response is best avoided.
Copywriting lore hasn’t changed all that much and people are still heeding the words of the grandaddy of advertising, David Ogilvy. But even before him, the ancient Greeks knew a thing or three about selling, don’t believe me? Read this: 3 things Aristotle nailed about copywriting.
Your blog is your websites’ online library – a mini search engine where you curate all those useful posts around a subject.
In my opinion, if you own a website, you absolutely should blog but if you don’t have the resources, don’t start.
I’m not gonna lie, it’s a lot of work.
If you’re taking on the blogging baton, gird your loins for consistent long-form content creation. Failing that, you’ll need a healthy budget to hire someone on a retainer (because you will need to blog weekly/monthly).
You can’t begin to benefit from blogging until you learn to do it right.
Once you create all this content, things will snowball.
People will come to recognise you as the go-to person in your industry. Blogging not only attracts prospects but it demonstrates expertise, trust, and authority which just happens to be the E-A-T principle of SEO.
Or as I like to call it, the long game to attraction.
You want to be remembered, and you do that by being a constant reminder.
Always there, nudging your ideal someone about what you do and how you solve their problem.
Writing human-focused content is your priority. And Google wants you to avoid boring your audience to death.
Visitors won’t stay on your website for very long if they’re not interested in what you have to say. Remember, writing an SEO friendly blog and one that people want to read, should be the same thing.
Ah, the business of getting business.
So, SEO is the free traffic route for your website but you might want to think about some paid options.
I spoke earlier about those ad links at the top of Google.
(I know, seems like a lifetime ago now.)
Well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t think about being one of them.
Pay per click (PPC) and SEO can and do work together. They’re not rivals because they offer different things.
SEO is the long-term way to traffic that your website will always need. PPC is a short-term solution to attracting your customer, once those ads stop, so will the traffic.
Love them or loath them, these platforms are decent tools for driving direct traffic to your online space.
Direct traffic is the traffic you get when you point users to a specific website/page.
If you’re doing something cool on your site (and I can’t imagine what that might be) you’ll probably want to tell your followers about it. They’ll be guided to the appropriate place all because of your sexy social media post. Go you.
Influencer scale engagement isn’t relevant when it comes to gaining quality leads. Mass appeal is great for Kim K but it’s a lousy business model. Not everyone wants what you’re selling.
I see the socials as a necessary evil.
They help build traffic but I spend much more effort optimising my own website. That’s an online channel I can control (much more than any social network at least).
Google wants to appease users. Its aim is to prioritise how they find and travel through websites.
Understanding their behaviour will give you insights into how you create content. It will also inform your website structure.
When you’re trying to pull customers to your space, you have to make things real easy.
Navigating around your web pages should be a piece of cake. People are lazy so don’t go putting important information in places where they can’t find it.
You may have no idea what this means, even less understanding how it relates to SEO.
Well, hold on to your pyjamas because I’m going to ruddy well tell you.
The best way I can describe brand polarisation is to compare it with that thick, tar-like spread us Brits call Marmite. Some people love it (like me) and some hate it (absolute idiots).
Now, imagine your brand is like that – it polarises opinion.
Listen, there are plenty, I mean thousands of generic businesses on the internet, all dying to be found for the same broad keywords (maybe even your keywords), each one competing to be seen.
But they don’t stand out, they get lost amongst all the other nondescript companies vying for the market’s attention.
The other problem with broad keywords is they’re so damn vague.
People tend to get specific when they search on the web, especially when they are keen to buy.
Remember before when I said something about long-tail keywords? The detailed phrases that cut to the chase about what it is you do?
Yeah, those are the terms that will help get the traffic you really want to your website.
We’re all being honest, aren’t we? In theory, we say we are but not everyone is and some people would rather avoid telling the truth to spare a person’s feelings.
Carving your own path will gain you ground.
So, as a polarising brand myself, I might target ‘sarky business blogger’ or ‘outlaw brand copywriter’.
The right people will begin to notice.
When you present your business in your style, with your ethics, you’ll turn heads. Not all those heads will appreciate your brand and THAT’S the point.
Repelling people is just as important as attracting them. You can’t get the visitors you want to your website without knowing the ones you don’t want.
My content is polarising.
It’s not the subject matter (SEO content writing isn’t exactly controversial) it’s how I deliver it – in my sarcastic, funny, irreverent (sometimes sweary) way. That’s enough to get people loving it / hating it.
And that’s a byproduct of polarisation. Other business owners will have some choice opinions about you too.
Before you start to create content, get clear on what you want your brand voice to be.
A great way to do this is to build a writing style guide.
This is a document that helps keep your writing consistent and cohesive. It includes things like tone, point of view, words you like, words you hate, and so much more besides.
Brand polarisation is, in part, taking what you think you know about marketing and setting fire to it.
Understanding recommended practices is a starting point but try not to be constrained by them or you’ll start sounding like everyone else.
A no-no, especially in business content?
Yeah, it’s risky.
Labelling something as taboo gives it power. That power, when used sparingly, can be really effective.
Unless swearing is part of who you are (and who your brand is), steer clear. Even if you do bandy the f-bomb at home, you might feel uncomfortable using it in business.
I swear quite often on my SEO blog.
(Oh, you noticed.)
It represents my real tone of voice (therefore my business) and it’s just another brick in the wall of brand polarisation.
“Don’t use humour because some people won’t get it and those that do might be offended.”
Certain marketing people actually say that kind of shit.
We all live on a sliding scale of offence.
No two people will feel the same and they might dislike what you’re creating for no real reason. Remember that you have no control over how people feel about you and your business.
They are not your audience so they don’t matter.
“What has this got to do with brand polarisation?”
Everything, darling, everything.
It’s not only about the way you create website content but how you run your business.
This includes boundaries.
When you attract your kind of people, there will be a handful of those prospects that don’t align with how you do things. In your eyes, they are bad (prospective) clients and you need to learn to avoid them at all costs.
Your marketing should be repelling time wasters.
But there’s always some douche, chancing their arm. Like the person who thinks it’s ok to request free work, for example.
Ultimately you decide on your non-negotiables.
Sounds a bit grumpy but I don’t like collaborating on client work. I consider myself to be good at what I do and I want to pull clients that trust me to get the job done.
My process is geared to the humans I want to work with.
So you see, how you act in your organisation will also be part of brand polarisation.
Everything I’ve just mentioned in this section really all comes down to this – finding your niche.
You may or may not be niching.
You might insist you’re a generalist.
The truth is, our business (and brand) won’t be all things to all people. Even if you scoff at the idea of polarisation marketing, you will be doing things that attract certain customers over others.
I don’t care if you provide endless services to anyone who’ll pay, there will be a pattern with the customers you choose to do business with. And that’s your niche, whether you acknowledge it or not.
This may be the funniest and bestest guide to SEO content writing (EVER) but it’s not the definitive guide. No guide on this subject can be because SEO is always evolving.
I’m learning all the time and as I do, I’ll continue to update this page.
One thing is certain, content will remain the big daddy.
Take a look at my homepage to see if there’s something else I can help with.