How to Write Website Content for SEO and Humans

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

If you want to learn how to write website content like a pro then you’ve come to the right place!

I’m a huge fan of Google.

Disclosure As an independent review site, we get compensated if you purchase through the referral links or coupon codes on this page – at no additional cost to you.

That means every single word I write has the “thing” which appeals to search engines. In other words, from the homepage down to each individual post, each page of my website has some sort of keyword research, analysis and SEO optimization to its text.

For instance, this post itself is based around keywords, such as “how to write content for SEO” and “content writing.”

But, that’s not everything. It’s also important that the same content is acceptable reading for humans.

Why?

Well, if you think about it, even if you get ranked higher, Google doesn’t pay you, respond to your marketing efforts, and nor does it subscribe to updates from your website. But, guess what?

Humans do!

  • Finally have a proven method to finding profitable niches
  • Get access to a foolproof keyword research method
  • Learn how to outsource quality content
  • Learn how to build white hat links to your site without headaches

In this post, I will go in-depth into explaining the makings of a website that ranks well, and humans love. In essence,  how to write content for your website that both search engines and humans can get along with. Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

How to Write Website Content for SEO

Consider on-page SEO best practices that will make it easier for Google and other search engines to crawl, index, and rank your audience’s favorite content. No matter how much you monetize your website, without these basics, you will struggle to make a penny from your website, or draw visitors to your business.

1. Meta Description

A meta description is a clear, straightforward signal that tells search engines what a page is about.

While your description won’t necessarily show up on the SERP as the snippet every time, you must always optimize it as you would like it to show up.

Here are a few practices to keep in mind while writing a meta description:

  • Add a CTA at the end of your meta description in order to entice clicks.
  • The main keyword should appear in your meta description as it gets bolded and is eye-catching.
  • Limit your description to 160 characters (snippets have a maximum length of 920px on desktop and a maximum length of 680px on mobile).

2. Title Tag

What you write in the title tag is a key signal to search engines of what a page is about. It can also appear right in the SERPs.

Here are a few best practices to remember while writing your title tag:

  • The keyword needs to show up as close to the beginning of the tag as possible.
  • Limit the title tag to 60 characters.
  • Use a Title Tag Preview Tool to check your title tag easily.

3. Headers

The H1 is the headline that appears on your webpage—as opposed to your title tag that shows up on the SERPs. The title of your post takes care of this particular headline, but be aware that you should only have one H1 on your page in the vast majority of cases.

Things to consider when optimizing your header tags:

  • They should be used hierarchically (i.e., a subhead needs to be formatted as an H2. A sub-subhead will be an H3, and so on. DO NOT reverse the order or skip H2s altogether and then jump from an H1 to an H3).
  • Again, there should always be only one H1 on a page.
  • Avoid using a headline as an aesthetic choice. Never bold, italicize or underline something that should be a header. If you’ve found an appropriate area to use a header, then use it—using headers in conjunction with short one-paragraph answers (50 words/300 characters) is an effective way to boost your chances of getting a featured snippet.

4. Keyword

Insert your keyword into the—

Title

Remember, your focus keyword will likely show up organically in your text. And if that’s the case, it’s easy to include a suitable keyword in your title.

For instance, if you’re writing about Keyword Research, then it’s difficult to leave “keyword research” out of the title. A title like “Best Keyword Research Tool: Free and Paid 2019 List’” is suitable, and as you can see the keyword “best keyword research tool” has found its way into the title naturally.

First Paragraph

Your focus keyword should appear in the first paragraph of the copy. But you can also place it in the second or third paragraph.

If you still have a problem placing the keyword within the first paragraph, consider repeating the title of your article on the very last line of your intro—with a little tweak such as formulating a statement or question about the title. Take a look at the start of this article, for example, we could have also used a question such as “are you trying to learn how to write website content for SEO and humans at the same time?” which obviously includes our main keyword (shown in italics).

Alt Text

Describing your content’s image(s) is incredibly important.

Search engines cannot see the image like humans. Therefore, it’s recommended to get your focus keyword in here, but don’t force it.

For example, if your focus keyword is “dieting food” and the image is of leafy greens, your alt text can be: A great dieting food: leafy greens.

As well as telling search engines what the image about, this alt tags primary purpose is in fact so that the visually impaired can mouse over images and have them read to them so they can also enjoy your content, so bear this in mind!

URL

Shorter is better, so make sure you set this up correctly before you first launch your website.

Make sure to insert your focus keyword in here, and probably nothing else. URLs are visible in search results and can impact whether people click through to your page.

5. Inbound and Outbound Links

Links are the heart of the internet.

Links help search engines understand your site better, and they also help humans to better access information. In other words, each time you make a new a blog post, try to create some links to it.

There are three types of links:

  • Internal: These links point internally within your site. In short, they point out to the other pages on your site.
  • Inbound: These are links that point to the content of your website from other websites.
  • Outbound: Also known as external links, these are links that point out from your site. In short, they direct visitors from your blog to other websites.

6. Content Length

Here’s the most common question: How long should the content be?

Well, the answer is pretty straightforward: It entirely depends on your focus keyword.

You first need to find out the word count of what’s already ranking for a specific keyword phrase. Then, you can use it as an idea for how long your content targeting that particular keyword should be.

Now that you know about website content for SEO, what about people… the real readers and customers who come to your website?

Since this article is about SEO and human readers, I’m going to discuss various factors that will give you an understanding of writing persuasively for your audience.

Let’s go through the next section, shall we?

How to Write Great Content that Humans Love

Writing valuable and relevant content for people MUST be a key part of any content strategy.

Below are a few ideas that can help you create the best content you can provide your readers.

1. Evergreen Content

Avoid referencing years, months, and days in your content unless you want to come back and update regularly.

You can refer to the current year, which is helpful, but make sure to update your content with each following year. Also, don’t write things that will date evergreen content like:

  • “Winter’s finally here!”
  • “It’s beach season!”
  • “It’s pumpkin spice time!”
  • “Summer’s right around the corner!”

Keep in mind that people will read your blog posts throughout the year.

2. Style Guide

Professional content is great if uniform and streamlined across the board. A style guide can be a valuable resource for writers and editors joining your team.

A visual style is important as it ensures brand consistency throughout any collateral you may produce—no matter who created it.

3. Content Formatting

Format your content to keep the reader focused. Remember, you have little time to grab your visitors’ attention. Therefore, make sure to:

  • Use short paragraphs
  • Use pull quotes
  • Use bulleted and number lists
  • Use headers
  • Use transition words/phrases
  • Write sentences no more than 20 words long most of the time
  • Embed videos
  • Incorporate images

Also, there should always be something other than plain text on the screen. As one “feature” scrolls out of the top of the screen, something new should be coming in at the bottom.

4. Creating a Content Strategy

The goal of creating a content strategy is to drive awareness and visibility through traffic. While it may not necessarily be about conversions, it is a part of the overall conversion funnel.

When developing a content strategy, you first need to consider both humans and search engines. Because, as mentioned above, one cannot exist without the other.

You can have the best content on the internet that’s highly useful to users. If it doesn’t show up on search engines, however, no one is likely ever to read it.

On the other hand, you can have content that’s optimized for SEO and is ranking at the top of the first page on Google. But, if it’s not useful to your readers, they’re likely to bounce immediately.

When planning your content strategy, you need:

Make an Editorial Calendar

While only indirectly related to your content, having an editorial calendar for your blog is a crucial part of your content strategy. It will help you set your publishing goals and frequency.

Know Your Audience

Research your website audience. Look at your demographic data and analytics to see what type of visitor is coming to your blog. What are they interested in? What do they do? What are the buyer personas of your potential users? If you don’t know who you are writing for or marketing to, how can your business operate effectively?

Know Your Content

Perform a content audit to determine what content you have. You must figure out the following and approach content strategically:

  • What’s ranking and what’s not?
  • What’s driving traffic?
  • What’s almost ranking on Page 1?
  • Where are the gaps?

Know Your Options

In any event, the idea must come first, then the format.

You need to determine what type of style is the best way for you to deliver your particular content. A few common formats are:

  • Blog posts (i.e., review, comparisons, listicles, commentary, news, etc.).
  • Whitepapers.
  • Ebooks.
  • Case studies.
  • Non-written web content (i.e., webinars, podcasts).

5. Consider Promotions

Don’t ever forget to use your channels to promote your content. Consider sharing your piece via social media posts and email.

Also, if you have the budget, you can run paid ads on Facebook and Twitter.

Key Takeaways
If you made it this far, I guess it’s safe to say that you’ve picked up quite a few tips on writing content for your website that helps search engines know what your page is about AND helps get messages across to humans at the same time, but let’s check out three of the major takeaways from this guide again:

  • Always think about SEO and the end-user.
  • Always keep an eye out for new article opportunities, utilizing your content and your competitors’ as inspiration.
  • No matter the size of your blog, treat all your website content with the same attention to detail as a professional publication.

At the end of the day, it’s easy to see how possible it is to create content with text that’s both SEO friendly, and a good read for real people.

Yes, it takes a little effort, but the payoff is worth it as it will help your business!

Did you find this information helpful? What other methods of writing web content did I miss out on?

You can leave a comment below and let me know!

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