The year is 2020. It’s time to face the music: the most potent way to attract people to your business is through web-based marketing. Even then, the usual way that customers or readers find your website in the first place is through search engine queries (most notably, of course, Google). Given Google’s various updates in recent years, some websites experienced drastic reductions in their traffic: some even lost 50-90% of clicks! To boost your visibility and rise through the ranks of endless websites on Google’s search pages, it is necessary to find and employ the best SEO content writers out there.
“But there are so many,” you may protest. And you’re right. Fortunately, sifting through the myriad writers does not have to be as difficult as it seems. When you screen your potential recruits, keep two main factors in mind: the depth of their experience, and their understanding of the average web user’s experience.
Determining Good SEO Content Writing Experience
Just because your potential writer has worked on other webpages does not mean that they worked well on those webpages. Check out some of their previous writing to see whether the content exemplifies quality.
A Proper Understanding of Formatting
Much of SEO is knowing how to cater to the way that Google crawls webpage content. Check your potential SEO content writer’s past work for specific Google-friendly qualities like good title tags, usage of headers, and internal links.
A title tag is an HTML heading that represents the title or subject matter of your webpage, and it is displayed on a search engine’s results page as the click-through link’s title. Properly formatted, a title tag should have as few characters as possible: usually no more than 60. Otherwise, it will be cut off and replaced with “[…]” on the query results page, and users will not be able to read the full tag. If they can’t read it, they may not know what the specific webpage is about and will be less likely to click on your link.
Beyond merely using title tags correctly, your potential SEO content writer should know how to structure headers. Though not the end-all, be-all of SEO, headers help Google gain a better understanding of your page’s content. The title should be in H1, while subheadings and sub-subheadings should be formatted in H2 and H3, respectively. Not sure how that looks? This article uses the proper formatting. “Determining Good SEO Content Writing Experience,” above, is in H2, while “A Proper Understanding of Formatting” is in H3.
The Use of Keywords
The best SEO content writers understand how to create opportunities for useful keywords. Check their previous work for the presence of focal keywords, ideally one in every paragraph. Look for variations on those keywords as well as more in-depth branches off of that initial keyword “seed.” Do a deep dive into your potential writer’s history to learn how they have ranked for keywords in the past. If they’ve boosted Google rankings for other clients through quality keyword usage, they can boost your rankings as well.
Other kinds of crucial SEO content writing experience include the length of their previous work and their use of internal linking. Though having a long blog post or article is not necessary for a high Google ranking, the average first-page search result is nearly 2,000 words long. When deciding whether to hire a new SEO content writer, make sure they can handle longer content than merely 200-300 word posts. Plus, longer content means more opportunity for internal links. The presence of internal links to quality content on your other webpages means increased traffic and user retention on your site.
Knowledge of the User’s Experience
Okay, enough with all the technical talk. When it comes down to it, those formatting details are important because they help to improve the experience for your average reader or audience member. Good SEO content writers understand how to craft informative, entertaining webpages that draw readers in and retain them.
Keeping readers on your webpage for longer is directly correlated to higher Google search rankings. Below are some of the typical elements that increase reader engagement. Look for these when screening your potential SEO content writer’s past work.
- Catchy headings or titles
- Visual elements (graphs, charts, quizzes, images)
- Links to source material
- Phrases like “for example” or “for instance”
All of these elements help users parse and understand information, and they contribute to longer stays on your website.
Finding the best SEO content writers may be the most important choice you make when setting up your webpage. With better writers come better engagement rates, higher Google search rankings, longer stays on your website, and a generally more pleasant experience for all your users!