SEO used to be so easy. Back before Google became the King of the SEO hill, you only needed to straight up copy your competition’s web page text and you’ll find yourself either at the top or near the top of AltaVista’s rankings. Well, those days are over and Google’s backlink-dependent algorithm is now the new global standard for search ranking. For the most part, Google’s ranking of your site for your target keywords doesn’t depend too much on the content you have on your pages.
Say good-bye to keyword stuffing
In fact, Google has evolved so fast and so far that keyword stuffing-simply repeating keywords on a page-isn’t going to do you much good. In fact, Google can penalize you for getting a bit too crazy with keyword repetition. Moreover, Google can tell the context of your content so you don’t have to keep repeating keywords for Google to get an ‘understanding’ of what your page is about.
Do all these content detection and context detection advances mean that you should focus all your efforts on earning backlinks instead of content? Absolutely not! You still have to make sure you format and position your content so you can get maximum love from Google. Remember that Google is still showing mostly search results that have target keywords in the title of the page and the description of the page result. Follow the rules below so you can take care of your on-page and on-content SEO properly.
Rule #1: Put your target Keyword in your Title
This is non-negotiable. You have to put your target keyword, or at least a fragment of it, in your page’s title. Google still ranks pages with an emphasis on the keywords used by the searcher being present in the title of page results. This can be a hassle if you were to do it manually. Thankfully, WordPress makes setting titles easier. Also, with the right SEO plugins, you can be reminded to proactively put your target keywords in certain parts of your post.
Rule #2: Make sure your SEO key phrases are grammatically correct
Gone are the days of ranking pages with grammatically incorrect titles like ‘dermatologist Los Angeles.’ Google’s wise to such tricks and your titles must follow grammar rules. Instead of ‘dermatologist Los Angeles’ use ‘Dermatologist in Los Angeles’ instead. If you think mere grammar rule compliance solves all your problems, keep reading below-there’s more to it than you think.
Rule #3: Boost Engagement with Click attracting Titles
Keep in mind that you’re writing content for two audiences-search engines and flesh and blood human beings. While you might be doing a great job attracting the attention of search engine robots, all those top ranking pages won’t do you much good if you use page titles which don’t motivate flesh and blood search engine users to click. Why? You can only make money off people searching for your keywords if they actually click through to your content and your content ‘pushes’ them to pages where you get a sale, get an email, or otherwise get your traffic to do something that puts money in your pocket. And it all begins with headlines that attracts clicks.
The bad news is that simple SEO-focused keyword ‘sentences’ won’t do the trick. For example: which would you rather click ‘Hypnotist Los Angeles’ or ‘Lose Fat with the best Hypnotist in Los Angeles.’ I thought so. No comparison.
Rule #4: Make your meta description engaging enough to pull clicks
Now that you have your titles squared away, you also need to work on your meta descriptions. Don’t overlook this. Make sure you use the same click-pulling writing practices you use for your titles on your meta descriptions. Get real people to click!
Rule #5: Mention your target keyword within the first 100 words of your body text
It is too easy to get carried away with your text that you only mention your target keyword later in the text. In fact, you might end up mentioning your keyword at the last paragraph of your content. This is too little to late. To maximize SEO effect, you need to find a way to mention your target keyword or key phrase within the first one hundred words of your content’s text.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t mindlessly mention your keyword. That’s not going to work. The keyword must not ‘come out of nowhere.’ Instead, it must flow naturally from the text preceding it and fit with the text following it.
Rule #6: Use Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords for Context
Keywords don’t exist in a vacuum. They aren’t free-floating. They always create context. Make sure you don’t just use your target keyword and repeat it for ‘context.’ That’s not going to fly with the latest version of Google. Instead, use related keywords to provide context. This is called latent semantic indexing (LSI). No need to repeat those related keywords a lot. One mention is enough to establish context.
Rule #7: Use subheadings for extra keyword impact
Since great content that is easy to scan uses subheadings, make sure you devote some of your LSI keywords to your subheadings. Not only will your content flow better, you also score some major SEO points by laying down your LSI at strategic places in your text.
Rule #8: Write content that draws links
I can’t emphasize this enough. Make sure you write content that turns heads, grabs attention, or otherwise pushes people to want to share your stuff on social media or link to you. It doesn’t matter how you do it-controversy, provocation, massive resource listing, etc. What matters is you write content that is engaging enough that it draws links naturally.
Rule #9: Don’t get too crazy on highlighting keywords
One ‘old school’ on page SEO technique that still works is to bold certain phrases of your text for emphasis. Don’t abuse this. Use it sparingly. Bold text only if it actually adds value to your text and makes the reader’s life easier.
Keep the rules above in mind. As mentioned earlier, there are WordPress plugins that can help you stay on top of the SEO dimensions of your text. What’s important is you consistently pay attention to these elements and make sure they are always present in your text. Moreover, you should focus on providing the best quality possible by giving your readers the answers and solutions they came to your page for in the first place. That’s how you win the SEO content writing game regardless of how far and how fast Google mutates its ranking algorithm.