For search engine optimization, content is king, and most content is text. At the least, consider that every business role has you write, even if just to communicate. Good writing will allow you to…
- show intelligence, professionalism, and confidence.
- gain trust.
- give value.
Text has some advantages over video. Think pros and cons though, not better and worse. Text remains the most popular form of online information. The search engines rely mostly on text which makes it easier to give value quickly and surely. Text is easier to find and skim and it gives more information for a lead if not quite yet for a prospect, which may convert better with a video.
Readability has become a search engine ranking factor too. Google will judge your content as either basic, intermediate, and advanced. Writing better will not just improve your SEO, but boost your appeal to humans as well.
Consider these tips.
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.
– Jack Kerouac
- Write clearly and shortly.
Remove extraneous, unnecessary, and superfluous words. Focus on nouns and verbs. Avoid too many extra adjectives and skillfully avoid too many adverbs.
Give the meaning through just a noun or verb if you can. Look at these examples:
- The lion roared ferociously.
- The lion roared.
Do lions ever roar meekly? Get rid of ferociously. Choose small words over big words. Consider…
- He acquiesced to his demands.
- He gave in to his demands.
Which sentence gets to the point yet has the same effect?
- Aim for a Flesch Reading Ease of at least 65 (Plain English).
This is a level understood by a 13-15 year old student but liked by all. You will hit this by using shorter sentences and words. You can install and check this through Microsoft Word readability.
- Write clearly before creatively.
Looking at these two titles…
How to Write Well
Mastering the Art of the Keystroke
Which one lets you know, for sure, that the piece is on writing? Even if a person could understand the difference, would a search engine? The search engines may struggle to see the intent of the page without the right keywords.
- You may want to avoid esoteric language.
This depends on your audience. SEO and PPC may mean something to informed prospects, but digital marketing may be the better term for the less savvy so make sure to consider your audience.
- Segment content.
Use more headers, sub-headers, bullet points, lists, and paragraphs.
- Reduce the word count.
Shoot for half the words you think you need, if you can.
- Bold or hyperlink important sentences and phrases.
- Consider using an inverted-pyramid structure.
This means starting with the conclusion first, to give the reader a summary right away.
- Use lines of 45-75 characters.
- Use mostly the active versus the passive voice.
This helps you to avoid too many “to be” verbs: be, is, are, am, was, were, been, being. Avoiding them adds meaning, clarity, and engagement. Otherwise the statement seems…
- always true or permanent.
- the same to everyone.
- final and unchanging.
Use the passive voice though when you want…
- the subject deemphasized.
- to emphasize the object.
- to appear vague.
- show certainty.
- Add stories, examples, and analogies.
Consider these statements…
SEO is a long-term process.
SEO works like a good weight loss program. You will gain muscle, lose fat, and keep the weight off if you take it slow. Drop your calories by just 300-500 a day. Any more could waste away your lean tissue, making you look and feel worse. This happens in part by slowing down your metabolism.
Make content on a weekly schedule, not just in bursts. This will do the most for SEO in the long run. It sends signals to both the search engines and your visitors that you update your website. You will rank higher for more keywords and hold your audience.
Give yourself time to reach your goals, for both weight loss and SEO, to get the best results.
Writing Well to Improve SEO
Boosting readability, while a SEO ranking factor, will also make for better writing. Better writing will always attract more traffic and conversions. Apply these tips for both readability and SEO.