Five Tips for Better SEO

Content marketing is built on writing, and when you go online, writing is built on SEO. At BlueJay, we’ve distilled the plethora of SEO advice out there into a few simple points that inform the content we create. Let’s get started.

Put SEO at the Beginning of the Content Process

Marketing is a message, and marketers are very good at crafting the right words and images to deliver that message. At the same time, they don’t always focus on the SEO until it is too late. You can’t properly optimize your page after it is written!

The best practice is to do your keyword and audience research first, before you start creating the content. This way, you’ll build your final product with the right bricks, and your message will come through with greater clarity.

Let the SEO Flow through your Keywords

“Feel the Force flow,” said Yoda, and that applies to SEO. When you write, make it natural. You want the content to read – in web writer’s jargon – organically. It has to look and sound the way we normally use our language. This follows directly from our first point, because you can’t do this if you insert the keywords at the end; you have to start with them.

But once you have the keywords and the direction, the rest is part of the writer’s craft. Don’t overuse the keywords, feel free to have fun with synonyms, and make use of the tools at your disposal to shape your content – ctrl-f is a great tool to help you see your keyword density. Density here is a technical term, for how often a keyword appears on the page. As a good rule of thumb, you should aim for a keyword density of two to three percent; any lower and it won’t attract the search engine, any higher and the text will start to sound canned. There is more art to this than algorithm, but that’s OK, because it’s not just algorithms that will be reading this.

Write to Your Audience

Too many writers forget this. It’s an easy rule to forget, really, because writers have a bad habit of assuming that other writers will be reading what they produce. But unless you’re a literary novelist or a bad poet, other writers are not your primary audience.

You’re actually writing to your end user. This can be a guy looking for language lessons, or a prospective university student, or a tech entrepreneur – it all depends on who your client is, and who they are trying to reach. This means you’ll have to understand UX writing – user experience – but we’ll save that for another blog. What matters here is, you’ll need to know what’s important to that end user, which is part of your initial research. As you see, these rules are all interconnected.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

We can’t emphasize this enough. Search engine spiders absolutely hate bad spelling and grammar. Fortunately for you, BlueJay Marketing hates it too, and we have the experience to edit in both American and British English.

Every piece of content we produce is carefully vetted – our basic editorial rule is, nothing goes out without having had two sets of eyes on it.

Don’t Forget the Metas

Meta tags aren’t sexy these days, in fact, they are downright on the decline, but you still can’t ignore them. The metas are elements of the page’s HTML, including the keywords, the page title, and a short description, encoded so that the search spiders can read them. The reader will never see them – unless he’s a geek who likes to peek at the page’s source code – but the tags give instructions to the search engines that tell them where to put the page in the results.

We make metas part of the overall writing process, ensuring that the tags and content are congruent and relevant to each other. It’s the journeyman work of content writing in digital marketing. You can think of them as variations on Chopsticks, by a concert pianist.

SEO is a vital part of your content writing, and it’s essential to get it right to make it effective.

With more than 10 years’ experience in marketing communications and online content writing, and an academic background in political science and creative writing, Michael brings a sharp eye, an analytical mind, a creative turn of phrase, and great grammar to BlueJay’s content marketing.
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