SEO Writing: 4 Basic Steps to Write Valuable Content for your Readers

I think you will agree that SEO Content Writing is not obvious. We don’t always know where to start.

If we take the right steps, our work will reap the benefits we are looking for. 

What are the benefits?

  • Authority in the industry of our Audience
  • Free traffic from Search Engines
  • Trust from our Readers
  • Increased Sales

However, all those points depend on how we create valuable content your audience is searching for. But to create something useful and qualitative, you need a process to ensure that you’ll have the best article you can write.

It’s straightforward to write content that’s useless for our audience & also has no value for you.

In this article, I will show you a 4 step content writing SEO basics. I created it from studying workflows from HubSpot, Buffer, and my own experience generating traffic for multiple blogs.

Let’s go!

Step 1: Audience & SEO Keyword Research are essential

Like in my other blog posts, I can’t stress this enough, but everything you do online is about them. Your audience is the most critical part of all your writing. Before even considering what to write about start with them.

You can begin with many questions about your audience:

  • What’s their everyday job?
  • What are their pain points they need to solve?
  • What are goals do they have?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What keywords are they using on search engines?
  • Who are the influencers/gurus they look up to?

Questions like these could help you know them better and go meet them online. Places like Quora, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, or Reddit Channels are a great place to talk to your audience. In those forums, you can even know what are their main concerns by taking notes on subjects people are asking for advice.

Interacting with your audience is so valuable because you’ll never run out of ideas and still know that every time you are going to write, you’ll do to solve your readers’ issues.

After knowing your audience, keyword research is next.

It’s all about what keywords your readers are using. With the audience research, you’ve done previously, create a list of keywords they could use when they are on Google Search then check the volume of those keywords. What’s common in keyword research is to have a focus keyword and secondary keywords.

Additionally, as an SEO writer, do not forget the difficulty to rank for your keyword. If there’s high competition for your keyword, remember that it will take a higher effort and longer time to be established in search engine results.

Who is competing for your audience online? What strategy are they using to gain traffic?

Similarly, It can be helpful for keyword strategy to study what your competition is doing.

Pick your keywords wisely; they determine everything you’ll do after.

Step 2: Gather your research about your keyword idea

Do you know what Google love?

The answer is valuable content solving the searcher’s intent.

“Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible.” – Google Principal Engineers

Like we said before, your focus an SEO content writer is to bring value to your audience.

The problem is HOW?

Simple, you must do what they can’t do, like doing thorough research about a subject you know they need, but they don’t have the time to do.

For content ideas, you should watch out the blogs and websites in your industry. If something hits you and you feel that your readers will love to read about a subject another blog is writing about, create a side note (or for those who uses Saia just put it in your research category.)

Now, all your effort should be placed in gathering information about the subject you chose. Maybe a colleague in your team knows a lot about the content you want to write about, ask him. Similarly, go on Google and search for data, you should want to create something of value for your audience. Ultimately, if you can, go on Google Scholar to find research papers on your idea to integrate a scientific component to what you write.

Use content curation for research to write your article, companies like Buffer have used it; content marketers widely use it. In Saia, you can add the research you’ve done inside your blog post to refer back to it when you are writing your content.

Raise the bar above what’s already ranking for your focus keyword. Include relevant keywords and ideas. Bring what you know about the topic, your expertise with what you’ve discovered in your research online. Your audience can’t do all the research you can.

Research is more than 30% of my work when writing articles; sometimes it even takes 50% because what I really want as an SEO writer is to position a valuable content on the top position of Search Engines. Unfortunately, it can’t be done without putting the necessary effort. 

What is not ok to do is plagiarism, that means taking the content of others and publishing it. If it helped you formulate your ideas, give a link to your source. But never steal or spin content, it will always bite back. Google today uses Deep Learning techniques(AI) to rank articles; this technique can spot patterns very quickly, to punish websites or rank them higher.

Step 3: Accelerate your SEO writing with outlining

Do you want to write faster?

Outlining must become your best friend.

It helps you get faster to what you want and how you are going to accomplish it. Using it will reduce the uncertainty about what you should write. Our brain loves a predetermined path; it’s how he creates a habit or addiction.

Creating a path to completion is the best way to tell your brain not to panic; it’s nothing new you’ve already done it. It breaks the writer’s block very effectively.

All the research you gathered should help you do the outlining very quickly. When doing writing your outline use the keywords you want to rank for if you can. Don’t do keyword stuffing, because Google will spot you and your rank will go down fast!

Apart from that, if you have the opportunity to use your keywords naturally, use them!

When you are going to write, you must have a Word Count Goal. Having that kind of goal will tell you where are you in what you are trying to accomplish. 

Yes but I don’t know how many words I should write?

That’s not important, give yourself a goal that you are more likely to accomplish. Sometimes you’ll write significantly more than what you’ve set, but other times you’ll wonder how will you achieve it. But what you should not forget is that it’s a trick to help you write as much as you can not something written in stone.

More than 80% of the early adopters of Saia with word count goals reach at least 130% of what they have set. It’s fascinating how this simple goal can have a huge effect on our productivity. I know that also personally, I often do 200% of what I’ve set because when I reach my goal, I feel that I can still do more and it keeps me going until I tell myself that it’s enough. 

If your topic can be covered in 800 words, write it in 800 words, not 2000 words. Don’t try to add words just to add more words to accomplish your goals. Your audience will get bored and leave your site fast because there’s too much stuff they don’t need. Google will then notice and decrease your ranking.

Doing the opposite is also wrong; don’t be lazy when you can give something you feel will provide exceptional value to your reader!

Step 4: Edit like it’s not yours

This is the hardest for SEO writing.

Editing is a remarkable skill. Doing it to your own work is really hard because you must be another person. That’s why every great writer has an editor. 

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King

If you have access to a good editor who knows SEO & your audience, give him the work don’t do it yourself.

In fact, Edition is an entirely different skill than writing. When we write, our primary goal is to put out the words and concepts we are thinking in our head because our sole focus is to bring a piece of content to life. But for an editor, the work is different, and it’s to resurface everything of value in the content and kill the rest.

Sometimes, the edited piece and the draft are entirely different, and it’s okay. All we have to remember is that editors and writers do different jobs, but their combined work is to create contents the audience finds valuable and love.

If you don’t have an editor, the most critical advice famous writers give is “write one day, edit another” if you want to have the best article possible as writer & editor, edit a day or 2 after you wrote. I edit my work a week or 2 after I wrote it because it helps me identify what works and what doesn’t work very effectively.

Your mind will be fresh, and you’ll spot a lot of grammar errors, repetition, etc.

I don’t always follow this rule, but when I’ve done it, I had significant results. 

When you are editing for SEO, check if you used all your selected keywords. This is how Search Engines will rank your work: by the keywords you used. Don’t forget that. It’s the crucial part of editing your work. You can use Saia to track this part.

SEO copywriting is different. It’s about links, keyword usage, proper HTML tags, and other SEO writing practices. Don’t forget them, for sure it can be tedious, but it will benefit you in the long run with increased traffic.

Finally, you can hit PUBLISH!

That’s the 4 steps you can now proceed to use in your next Content Writing.

Remember, we get the results from what we effectively do.

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