Content writing is a vital content marketing strategy. Effective content increases your search engine rankings but brings your target audience to your site. Unfortunately, creating original content is a time-consuming process, and you may struggle to achieve your desired results without a strong strategy. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to improve your blog’s performance with six easy-to-implement content writing hacks. We’ll also talk you through how to create amazing content on a more frequent basis.
6 Content Writing Hacks To Improve Your SEO
If you’re already writing content, there’s a good chance that you understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). High-quality content that interests your readers matters more in terms of SEO writing than producing numerous short-form blog posts on irrelevant topics.
There’s more to optimizing your website than just understanding the basics of SEO. These six blog writing hacks will help your business blog stand out and drive more organic traffic to your website.
1. Check Out the Competition
Any time you write a blog post, you should search for the title of your blog post in Google and read through the top 3-5 search engine results. Take notes on the answers your competitors give for a specific topic and the areas they cover.
Why? These are your competing articles. These are the ones you want to rank above in search engines.
The goal is not to duplicate their content, of course. But by having notes on what they cover, you can be sure you touch on all of that and more. Put additional research behind your work and add subheadings none of your competitors even considered. This will help guarantee a strong blog post.
2. Determine Your Keywords Ahead of Time
Sixty-eight percent of online experiences start with someone opening up a search engine and typing in a word or phrase. Search engines turn up results based on which content ranks highest for those keywords. So, if you want to capitalize on this web traffic, you have to incorporate the right keywords into your content.
You can determine the best keywords to use by doing keyword research in your niche. Once you have a list of the best long-form and short-form keywords, you can begin creating a content calendar with posts designed to rank for those keywords.
Each blog post you write should have a target keyword in mind as well as 2 to 3 related keywords that you are hoping to rank for. By determining your target keywords ahead of time, you can work them into your writing naturally and avoid having multiple blog posts on your site competing for the same keywords.
3. Cite Relevant Research
Nobody is an expert on everything. When you write blog posts entirely from your point of view without linking to other websites or relevant research, readers don’t know whether they should trust you.
On the other hand, if you can cite specific statistics — and link to that research — your writing becomes more persuasive.
There are other benefits to citing top-performing sites as well. For example, 73.6% of sites have reciprocal links. These are sites that link back to pages that link to them as well. Since the presence of these backlinks is a key indicator to search engines of quality content, linking to other sites — and improving the odds that they’ll link back to you — is crucial to improving your SEO.
4. Create Internal Links
Another SEO best practice is to link to other blog posts on your website that pertain to your article. Interlinking in this way helps search engines understand how to navigate your website and which blog posts are related. This can improve the recommendations search engines give your readers.
Interlinking also allows your readers to read additional content on a topic without leaving your site. This provides them with additional value while improving their recognition of your brand.
5. Aim for Long-form Blog Posts
A decade ago, 500-word blog posts were the norm. That’s no longer the case. Recent data suggests that the ideal blog post length is 2,100-2,400 words.
This doesn’t mean that all of your posts need to be over 2,000 words. Having a variety of posts that range from 1,000 to 3,000 words each works for many businesses.
What it does mean is that instead of focusing on churning out a lot of short-form pieces, you’re better off concentrating on producing fewer posts per week and ensuring those posts contain as much information as possible.
6. Remember to Update Old Content
Although it’s important to create new content consistently, it’s equally important to update outdated or underperforming content. By doing so, you increase its longevity and improve the return on your content creation investment.
You can update old content by:
- Improving your use of keywords
- Updating outdated links or research
- Adding interlinks to new content within your site
- Incorporating more high-quality videos or images
- Consolidating blog posts that are competing for the same keywords
When you update your old content, be sure to publish it anew and market it on your social media channels again. This helps search engines understand that the page is up-to-date, which increases their chances of recommending it when people search for your content.
How To Get Better at Content Writing
Content writing is a skill. And, like any other skill, improving your writing comes with time, practice, and patience. The more time you dedicate to honing your skill, the higher quality your content will be and the more quickly you’ll be able to generate it.
However, there are some strategies you can use to begin creating higher-quality content more efficiently today.
How To Write Content Quickly
If you want to be able to produce content quickly, the first skill you should work on is improving your typing speed. At the end of the day, you can only write as quickly as your fingers can move across the keyboard. Practice typing, knowing where all the keys are without looking, and mastering the alt codes for symbols you use regularly.
As you work on improving your typing speed, you can improve the rate at which you write content by having a clear writing process.
Create a Content Calendar
A content calendar based on your blog content strategy can keep you on track so that you never sit down at your keyboard and wonder what to write first. This helps prevent the dreaded writer’s block that plagues many freelance content writers.
Use an Outline
Using an outline can also help you craft content more quickly. You can create one without taking extra time out of your day by putting in your headers and subheaders before you begin constructing your article. This helps you visually break down your article and makes it feel less overwhelming. You can write one section at a time until the article is complete.
A strong outline can also help you stick to your predetermined word count. Once you know how many sections you plan to include in your article, you can do a little math to determine approximately how long each section needs to be. This ensures you write enough content for each section, and it also prevents you from writing too much — the editing process can take almost as much time as the writing itself if you overshoot on word count.
Content Writing Tips & Tricks
The job of content creators is to create different types of content that appeal to readers while improving search ranking. Below are some additional content writing tips and tricks for creating better content:
- Use active voice to make your content more authoritative
- Include quotes and data from industry experts when writing an informational piece of content
- Include long-tail keywords in your SEO content for easier search engine ranking
- Develop a content creation process to make content development more seamless
- Use writing and SEO Tools to create a better content marketing strategy
- Create actionable content by giving the reader things they can do immediately
- Perform competitor analysis and see what potential topics you're missing out on
- Create a headline that's engaging and encourages people to click
Finally, know your target consumer. Keep in mind what type of content they will find engaging and what they’ll already know. You don’t want to use tech-speak that your readers have to look up to decipher, but you also don’t want to create an entire post of content that your reader has already mastered.
Use These Content Writing Hacks to Improve SEO Quality
Creating high-quality content consistently is one of the best ways you can improve your search ranking while building brand recognition and trust with your audience. Get started today by creating a content calendar for the next month. This gives you a jumping-off point for your future content creation. Once you’re in the habit of creating high-quality SEO blog posts, it becomes easier to stick to that schedule going forward.