SEO Writing

11 Essential SEO Writing Rules A Writer Should Follow

In the quest to uncover the golden rule every SEO writer should follow, we sought insights from eleven industry professionals, including SEO writers and content strategists. From understanding the importance of authenticity and E-A-T skills to the need to optimize page-loading speed, these experts share their top rules for SEO writing.

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Focus on Authenticity and E-A-T Skills 

Be authentic and write from your research heart for the reader. As a ghostwriter and byline content creator, this sets you apart. For quality above scale, consistently improve yourself in delivering E-A-T technical skills. Whether writing blogs or eBooks for SMEs to solidify their expertise, be true to yourself.

Dr. Diana Rangaves, SEO Writer,

Write for People, Not Just SEO

SEO writers must never forget that they are writing content for real people. While making sure copy is SEO-optimized to the fullest for search engine crawlers, writers should also have a voice that connects with readers. 

When SEO writers can fulfill the need for information in a direct way that resonates with the audience, the traffic from search engines becomes more valuable. After all, the goal is conversions, and readers who are engaged are more likely to heed your call to action.

Gerri Turner, Content Strategist, Hennessey Digital

Prioritize Readability Before Technicalities

Write for humans, then optimize for SEO Writing. It doesn’t matter how much SEO juice you add to your content if it doesn’t provide value to your audience or has low readability. 

You want search engines to find you, but you want real humans to read your content and take action. You can accomplish that by getting to know your audience through interviews and research. Use that information to develop a writing style and a keyword-centered content calendar that speaks directly to them.

Also, don’t be afraid to write the way you talk. Make your audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Then, go back through to add your keywords to the title, headers, meta description, and alt text.

Ambre Juryea-Amole, Content Strategist, Sercante

Balance SEO Writing Practices with User-Centric Content

One fundamental rule every writer should adhere to SEO Writing is ensuring that content is primarily written for the reader, not just search engines. 

While it’s crucial to incorporate relevant keywords and optimize various elements of a piece for search engines, the primary focus should always be on delivering valuable, relevant, and high-quality content to the reader. Over-optimized content that sacrifices user experience for keyword density can harm a site’s credibility and even its ranking in search results. 

Google’s algorithms have evolved to prioritize user-centric content, penalizing pages that appear to “keyword stuff” or offer little real value to users. Thus, striking a balance between SEO practices and authentic, informative writing is paramount. When content is genuinely helpful and resonates with its audience, it is more likely to garner organic traffic, shares, and backlinks—all of which bolster SEO.

SEO Writing tips with Graham Grieve

Graham Grieve, CEO, A1Seo

Make Your Words Count

Forget the jargon—audience, keyword, format, offer, proposition, etc. Every SEO writer should wield Strunk & White’s Elements of Style as their not-so-secret editing machine. Its pitiless advice, especially today, reduces to one rule: make your words count. 

Cut everything needless in your content, and you’ll capture the attention of not just algorithms and human raters, but also real people who buy, download, visit, and share. They’ll see focus, substance, and purpose whereas others offer fluffy, soft nothingness that passes as SEO Writing. 

Pay attention to your words; stick with standards, and they will follow your fascinating speaking voice.

Devn Ratz, Owner and Writer, Ratz Media Inc.

Focus on Creating “Value-First Content”

The key rule every writer should follow in SEO Writing is creating “Value-First Content,” contradicting the popular emphasis on keywords. Algorithms have evolved; they now favor content that genuinely engages and benefits the reader.

In 15+ years in SEO, focusing on value has yielded tangible returns. For example, a shift in a healthcare client’s content strategy from generic articles to an in-depth e-book on metabolic health resulted in a 40% increase in page engagement and a significant uptick in appointments. 

This approach requires a radical rethinking of traditional SEO; the end goal should be content compelling enough to stand on its own, even in the absence of search engines.

SEO Writing tips with Roman Borissov

Roman Borissov, CEO, SEOBRO.Agency

Understand User Intent Behind Keywords

As an SEO writer, you’ve probably heard one of two pieces of advice for keywords—chase high-volume keywords to increase your reach, or minimize your competition with low-volume long-tail keywords. But these aren’t the real game-changers. True success lies in understanding why users selected specific words in their search.

Consider the keyword “noise-canceling headphones” versus “best noise-canceling headphones.” One user would like to bolster their knowledge, while the other is looking for product-specific information to help them make a purchase. 

When you understand the intent behind the keywords you target, you’ll ensure your content aligns with what users want, giving you a better chance of boosting your engagement.

Dig deeper into your keywords and ask yourself two questions. Why are users selecting these specific words? And what can you write to address their needs? Get this right, and you’ll have a better chance of forging meaningful connections with your readers.

SEO Writing tips with Kayla Croser

Kayla Croser, Content Marketing Executive, RGC Digital Marketing

Answer Keyword Intent Early On

The #1 tip I give to content writers in SEO briefs is to directly answer the keyword intent in the opening sentences.

Keyword placement is important for SEO. If your content includes a mention of the target keyword early on, it’s given greater importance than if the keyword were to be placed at the end of an article.

The same principle applies for internal links, which is something writers also need guidance on within SEO briefs.

So, if you’re doing SEO Writing, include an introductory snippet at the beginning of your article that directly answers or introduces the topic.

SEO Writing tips with Ben Poulton

Ben Poulton, SEO Consultant and Founder, Intellar

Strategically Place Keywords, Avoid Stuffing

In SEO Writing you have to use keywords in strategic locations rather than keyword-stuffing. Google is smarter than it used to be, and content stuffing is a good way to get your ranking artificially dropped. 

Plus, your readers will immediately be able to tell what you’re doing. Instead, I’d recommend using your keywords at the start of paragraphs or as subheadings. You can still get a lot of mileage from particular words, but it will look and read more naturally.

SEO Writing tips with Kate Kandefer

Kate Kandefer, CEO, SEOwind

Craft Content for Audience Needs

SEO is undeniably driven by content, but the true objective goes beyond just optimizing for search engines. Impactful SEO writing lies in crafting content that doesn’t just rank well but also speaks directly to your audience’s needs and concerns. The algorithms of today’s search engines are highly advanced; they can recognize the difference between content that’s written solely for SEO purposes and content that adds genuine value. 

Every piece of content serves as an extension of your brand. So, maintain a consistent tone across all platforms, not just for brand coherence but also for building trust and credibility. 

Keywords remain central to SEO writing, but they shouldn’t be the entirety of your focus. Elevate your content by incorporating factual data, a compelling narrative, and visual elements, like graphics, to enhance readability and retention.

Writing for your audience, not just search engines, should be prioritized. They’ll appreciate the effort, and so will your SEO metrics.

SEO Writing tips with Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith, Content Marketing Manager, Paramount Digital

Optimize Page-Loading Speed 

In SEO Writing One specific rule every writer should follow is optimizing the page-loading speed. This often-overlooked aspect greatly affects user experience and search rankings. Slow-loading pages can lead to higher bounce rates and lower organic traffic. To improve loading speed, SEO writers should minimize code, compress images, utilize caching techniques, and choose a reliable hosting provider. 

For example, optimizing images by reducing file sizes and utilizing lazy-loading can significantly improve page-load times. By focusing on page-loading speed, SEO writers can enhance user engagement and improve search engine visibility.

SEO Writing tips with Ben Lau

Ben Lau, Founder, Featured SEO Company

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