Writing Optimized Articles – 6 Things You Need to Outline SEO Friendly Content
Do you have all these amazing ideas that you want to cover in your articles?
But are you worried that they won’t reach the right audience? That they won’t bring the results you’re hoping to achieve? What about all that overwhelming SEO rules?
No worries. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to start writing optimized articles.
But first, let’s clarify a few things.
What is SEO content writing?
Producing is an absolute must if you want to reach your audience via . But can be tricky.
Most of the time, when you do post festum, your original loses that special something. It almost feels like butchering a perfectly decorated cake.
The way to get around this is to write right away.
Is that even possible?
Remember – is not just about alt tags, , naming your images correctly, and avoiding .
In fact, is all about planning, creating and optimizing high-with the primary goal of ranking in .
How to write an ?
There is no one right way to please the , and there are multiple approaches to .
I too was lost and confused by all of the rules at the beginning. That was until I developed my own system for tackling .
There are exactly six things you need to focus on BEFORE the :
- Competition research
- Question research
- Target audience
- Interlinking possibilities
Yes, there is a tool where you can do all of this at once. And yes, at the bottom of this you’ll get free access to my very own brief where you can store all of the information.
This is an affiliate link and I may earn a percent should you choose to purchase this tool. However, this does not in any way influence the price you pay in the end.
The is extremely important. You will include it in your , , slug, some alt-tags, and a couple of times in the body of the .
But, don’t get lost in it.
Because your most likely won’t rank right away for it.
Instead, make sure you incorporate good supporting keywords. And not just that – make sure to avoid , and really hit that sweet number of repeating that will help you rank on the first page of in no time.
So, how do you do it?
Remember how I mentioned that there is a tool for all of the researches you need to do? That’s exactly the one you can use to incorporate the perfect amount of secondary keywords, that complement the primary one.
I’ve been using MarketMuse for almost a year now, and all of the articles I wrote in the meantime started ranking on the first pages of . And no – not even one got me to the first page.
Step 2 | Competition research
Competition research is basically taking a good look at articles ranking for the selected on the first page of .
Why do you need to do competition research before you start outlining your ?
- This step will help you get a general idea of the direction you should take.
- It will help you figure out what opportunities your competitors missed out on.
- This way you’ll be able to determine the best format for your . Should it be a listicle, a how-to, guide?
- Finally, it will allow you to determine . But, let’s discuss this in the next step.
Step 3 | Search intent
What exactly is and why should you take it seriously?
This is actually one of the most significant ranking factors.
, also known as user intent or query intent, is the goal a searcher wants to achieve by typing in a particular search query.
And you can pinpoint it with a simple SERP analysis – aka competition analysis.
It’s important to note that there are a few user intent types:
- Informational – when a user wants to learn something about a particular subject. It’s important to note that these users are not looking to buy anything. This is extreme top of the funnel (TOF) . This is also a great opportunity to offer the new user unique information that will help them solve their “problem”, and of course – offer them some other, related resources.
- Navigational – these users already know where they want to land. This is why their queries will most likely include the brand’s name, particular website, product or service.
- Commercial investigation – at this stage, the user is looking for more information about your product or services. Being at the stage of commercial research, people are looking for reviews, comparisons, testimonials, use cases, ‘top/best’ lists.
- Transactional – we have arrived at the bottom of the funnel (BOF) . These users are ready to make a purchase. They already know what they want, they just need to find the perfect seller.
Sounds simple enough. But why is it a crucial step?
Well, let’s say you decided to write an informational guide on tools. But, the you chose leads to service pages. With this simple analysis, you’ll be able to revise your keywords and adjust them to match complementary .
Remember – is all about providing users with exactly what they need, and this analysis will help you do just that.
Step 4 | Question research
What questions are users typing into the when searching for your ? Not only will this help you structure your in the most optimized way, but it will allow you to provide your readers with the answers they need.
You can look at it this way. It’s the ‘s “duty” to show the answer that resonates the most with the query, so wouldn’t it be nice if you would be the one to offer the best possible answer to that question?
This is why it’s important to focus on selecting the questions for which you really feel like you can offer a unique point of view. This is a chance for your expertise to shine!
But how can you find out these questions?
Just run your in a program like:
- Ask the Public
There are many other programs, but these are the ones I personally use.
Ask the Public and Ubersuggest offer limited free research. So if you’re not ready to invest, you can start with one of these two.
Step 5 | Target audience
Seems obvious, but a lot of people completely forget who they’re for.
I was recently tasked with an on the topic “daily checklist”. I did all of the previous researches, saw there were many lists out there, and most of the websites ranking on the first page were extremely strong.
Here’s where the target audience helped.
All of the articles ranking on the first page of for this were aimed at small and medium businesses with in-house managers.
Mine was supposed to target marketing agencies. And in-house and marketing agency managers face completely different challenges, and their daily schedules represent two parallel universes.
This completely changed the angle of this piece.
So before outlining a , ask yourself who are you it for? This will help you pinpoint the problems of your particular audience and address them. Not only will this make it more relatable, but it will give your a unique angle, tailored to their needs.
Step 6 | Interlinking possibilities
So make sure you use every new piece to promote the appropriate topic cluster, lead magnet or service (even all of them). Just make sure you don’t overdo it.
Doing this in the outlining stage will help you structure your in a meaningful way. At the end of the day, needs to have a clear purpose. So don’t just use your new articles to attract new users. Use them as guiding points to different, relevant parts of your website.
What are the benefits of outlining and writing optimized articles?
Ranking well on is not an easy task. But this system will help you:
- Determine the right .
- Structure your in the best possible way.
- Increase the quality of you create.
- Save time by in a very clear direction.
- Create that offers solutions tailored to your audience’s needs.
- Avoid getting off track and away from achieving strategic goals.
- Find opportunities to promote your lead magnets and services in a friendly, non-spammy way.
I’m an art historian – digital marketer – passionate traveler – addicted writer – dedicated member of a long distance relationship mashup.
I’m a materialist that has an urge to help the world. I have absurdly logical mind that helps me focus my creative hyper-energy.
It’s ok to be a crazy mixture of completely opposite ingredients.
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