A long time ago, when dinosaurs still existed and cavemen fought for food, writing was super easy. As a writer, all you had to do was scribble a few words that would excite your readers and voila! You could proudly wear the writer tag. However, in today’s world a few details have changed. With the advancement of technology, you now have to worry about writing for your readers and Google.
But what exactly does writing for the web entail? It’s simple. When it comes to reading, most e-readers simply do a quick Google search using their preferred keywords to find an article they would love. As such, it is important to ensure that your content pops up each time they search for relevant keywords.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of writing for both the web and your readers, here is a complete guide that would make the writing process easier for you.
How to write for Google
We would have loved to start off this section by tracing the history and evolution of search engine optimization (SEO) writing, but that’s almost as futile as trying to decide whether the egg or chicken came first. However, what we can do is tell you why it’s so important to ensure that your content is optimized for search engines such as Google.
Studies have shown that up to 93% of any online experience starts with a search engine like Google. Almost everyone uses a search engine when they want to read or find answers to existential questions. If your readers can’t find your writing on Google, then why are you even writing in the first place?
At this point, you may be tempted to think that all that matters is making sure that your content appears among search engine results. Unfortunately, it’s much more complicated than that. You also have to ensure that it appears on the first page of Google and not on a page where the sun doesn’t shine.
Why is this second bit so important? Well, only about 25% of internet users visit the second page of search results. You probably don’t even fall within this number. As such, you have to ensure that your content ranks high on Google or any other search engine.
Here is a quick breakdown of how to write for Google.
Use the right keywords
In simple terms, keywords guide your audience to your content. Think of keywords as a guide, holding your reader’s hands and leading them to the spot marked X: your content. Usually, a typical internet user enters a keyword or phrase on Google and then finds content or articles that contain those words.
This explains why keywords are the first things to consider when it comes to SEO writing. Just before you start creating content, it is advisable to carry out a quick keyword research. What exactly are people searching for in your location? What are the most searched keywords? Are they relevant to your search? If they are, use them organically within your content.
For instance, the phrase “restaurants near me” is the 35th most Googled keyword in 2020 with more than 16.6 million searches. If you’re writing an article that centers on any food niche, you might want to include this keyword several times in your content.
Pro tip: Even though it’s important to use popular keywords in your content, you would also need to avoid stuffing your content with one particular keyword. Spread it evenly across your content and ensure the keyword density does not exceed 2% or 3% at most.
Focus on how-to guides
Today, starting your writing or headline with “how to” is an effective trick for both readers and search engines like Google. It all stems from the fact that people are constantly trying to find out how to do things. Whether it’s how to build a spaceship from scratch or how to hold a bubble for longer than five seconds, it is important to provide tips for your readers.
Starting your meta title with “how to” serves as a clickbait for readers and will increase the chances of your content ranking high on search engines.
Invest in SEO copywriting practices
The world has changed drastically. SEO copywriting has gone from being the elephant in the room to being the belle of the ball (move over, Cinderella). If you’re trying to top the search engine results pages (SERPs) and drag organic traffic to your website, you have to invest in SEO copywriting.
The first question to ask when it comes to this process is: who is my target audience? Instead of writing just for keywords, write for your audience in a way that would rank high on SERPs.
In SEO copywriting, three things matter the most:
- Keyword frequency
The headline is what grabs your reader’s attention and improves your click-through rates (CTRs). With a great headline, you would definitely enjoy mind blowing CTRs. On the other hand, if your headline is mediocre, your content would be ignored like the soggy part of a banana.
The content of your copy is what determines if your readers will stay or leave immediately. It also determines if your copy will rank high on search engines. The Google algorithm currently penalizes thin or shallow content with low rankings. The typical SEO copy is about 1,000 words and contains valuable content for your readers.
It is also important to ensure that your keyword density stays within the ideal range of 2%. If you aren’t sure about the keyword density of your copy, here’s a quick formula for calculating it: Nk/Tw*100 (where Nk is the number of times you used a keyword and Tw is the total word count).
How to write for readers
It’s one thing to know how to write for Google. Being able to write for your readers at the same time is another thing. Any good writer who knows their onions should be able to combine the two in a perfect blend. What’s the point of having a high-ranking copy if no one will enjoy reading it?
To ensure that your optimized content is engaging for your readers, here are a few benchmarks you should meet:
Start with an interesting hook
If you’re going to keep your readers interested in your content, you have to hook them from the beginning. As such, it is advisable to start with a really interesting opening line. For instance, let’s assume you’re writing an article titled “Knives with the best grip for 2020”. You could start with a sentence like:
“The other day, I was trying to slice a coconut open. Just as I hit the core of the coconut, my knife slipped out of my hands and sliced my toe instead. That’s when I realised I had a knife problem. To ensure that no one else has to experience the pain of a sliced toe, I’ve compiled this list of the best knives with a solid grip.”
Even though it can be tempting to use huge words in your writing, you’d only end up confusing your readers. Stick to simpler words and phrases. This way, your readers can easily understand what you’re saying without having to grab a dictionary after every sentence.
Final thoughts on writing for readers and Google
Writing for both your readers and the web can be a little difficult. However, with these tips, you can easily engage your audience while ranking high on search engines at the same time.
This guest blog article was written by James Baxter, a professional essay writer, ghostwriter and blogger. He loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers, especially on the topics of marketing, blogging and information technology (IT). James loves to travel and meet new people.