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SEO Content Writing: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

In yesterday’s post, The 4 Fundamentals of Making Money Online, we laid out the big picture of how to make money online. The first of these fundamentals was content.

Content is what drives traffic to websites. Sites without content don’t get found – even photo sites. The photos have descriptions, which is how you find the picture you’re looking for online.

FYI, this is Part #2: Freelance Writer’s Technology Month

So, words, words, words … they are extremely important to your online business.

But, there is a way to write the content so that you get found online. Here I will attempt to walk you through the basics of writing effective content (SEO articles) so that you drive more traffic to your website – which is what SEO is all about.

First off, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. There are far better explanations on the web than I can give you here, so do a search for “what is SEO” and do some reading. I suggest this beginner’s guide to SEO at SEOmoz.com, a leading SEO company that “… provides companies around the world with consulting, Internet marketing and search engine optimization services.”

Why You Must Know about SEO to Make Money Online

FYI, the above-referenced article includes a link to a free 30-page ebook about SEO. I’d suggest downloading and reading it.

It’s well worth the investment because once you fully understand Search Engine Optimization, you will be able to select the best ways of driving traffic to your site. And, more importantly, discard the ones that are full of crap.

There are tons of people out there selling crap, especially in the SEO sector. So, take the time to educate yourself – like a college degree, you’ll never regret it. [An no, I have no affiliation with this company or its products]
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The Basics of Writing SEO Content in 4 Steps

Keywords are what your article/content is all about. Think of them as hot button words a surfer can type into a search engine and land on your article.

1. CHOOSE KEYWORDS: Take this article for example, the basics of writing SEO content. So, what words/phrases do you think web surfers are likely to type in to find this article?

Some might be “SEO Content,” “SEO Articles,” “Write SEO Content,” “SEO Content Writing” etc.

Now, comes the tricky part. Everyone searches differently, and the key words you think surfers would type in to find your content may not be what they’re actually using.

So, get in the habit of using keyword research tools.

When I used Google’s keyword research tool for “SEO Content,” for example, some strong alternatives were web content, website content, seo copywriting, seo marketing, seo placement, seo keywords … and the list went on and on.

The key here though is to choose strong, relevant alternatives, and build your article around that. This can be hard when there so many good options.

I keep it simple though by using the KISS principle (keep it simple sweetie). Think of a two year old trying to relay a message to you. When they’re hungry, they don’t say, “I’m ready to eat.” They say, “Eat, eat,” or “hungry.”

It all comes down to boiling your content down to the basics.

Content Writing Tip: Most web surfers use two-word phrases when they search. According to a 2004 report by Onestat.com, “Of all the search phrases worldwide, about 33% of the surfers use 2-word phrases in search engines.”  Three-word phrases came in second (almost 26%), followed by one-word phrases (19%), four-word phrases (almost 13%), and five-word phrases (almost 6%).

So, when you run your keyword density report, check for the keyword density of your main two keyword combinations.

What are Keyword Research Tools?

Think of keyword research tools as “electronic synonym generators.” What do I mean? Do you ever use the thesaurus in your word processing program. It generates alternatives for words.

This is what keyword research tools are. They generate alternate words/phrases for you. And, they go a few steps further. They tell you, for example, how popular a word/phrase is by showing you things like Search Volume and Advertiser Competition.

Search Volume, as described by Google’s keyword search tool is “Statistics showing the relative number of users searching for that keyword on Google. The green bar represents a general low-to-high quantitative guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword.”

Advertiser Competition as it relates to Google’s keyword search tool is Statistics showing the relative amount of advertisers bidding on that keyword.”

Try Google’s Keyword AdWord Tool.

Keyword Writing Tip: Write articles around the most popular keyword phrases on a topic. You can slant one article/topic two or three different ways, using different, popular keyword phrases.

This will make your site not only content rich, but heavily optimized (translate: easy to get found on the web!)

2. KEYWORD DENSITY: Keyword density is simply “The number of times a keyword is used on a webpage divided by the total number of words on the page.” [Source: TheSearchAgency.com]

Now that you know how to find the keywords, it’s time to get down to writing the article. Remember, SEO content is repetitive and tightly focused. Many SEO articles are only 300-500 words long, but they can be any length you want them to be (eg, this content).

The point is to make sure you repeat the keywords enough so that your content’s density is between 3-5% (recommended by most experts).

Keyword density tip: Don’t overuse your keywords, or the text can look like English is a foreign language to you. You know those articles you see on the web that either don’t make sense or use one word/phrase so much that it’s just bad grammar.

Well, these articles are more than likely written for the sole purpose of driving traffic to a site. These are bad examples of SEO writing – and should be avoided.

Not to mention, the search engines are getting hip to this type of writing, and will penalize your site for it (eg, drop your site from its list of results).

If you stay within the 3-4 or 5% range, you’ll be doing good. More than this, you risk being penalized by the search engines; less than this, you risk not getting found.

FREE Keyword Density/Text Analyzer: Textalyzer. I like the version of this software posted here though, because you don’t have to type in any variables. You just type in text and it spits out a report.

The report is rather lengthy, but this good because it will allow you to become familiar with how to read them, and then, which categories to focus on (ie, the density of the two-word phrase frequency).

3. CREATE STRUCTURE: As alluded to above, SEO articles should be structured. This means coherent text.

As a side point, this is why so many find it hard to write SEO articles. Without taking into account article structure, you can easily churn out SEO articles. BUT, they won’t be good and it’s doubtful you’ll have repeat visitors.

Good SEO writers partner SEO tactics and with structured writing norms. Master this, and there’s a wealth of work on the web for you.

Blogger Matt Cutts put it best when he wrote: “…the purpose of writing SEO articles is threefold not onefold: provide information, rank high when used on your site and increase link popularity. That means the practice must follow the purpose. … Whether you’re writing content for a website, an article or any type of SEO copy, you must think of the reader first.” [Source: Writing Useful Articles That Readers Will Love]

4. KEEP THE END GOAL IN MIND: Finally, the last piece of writing good SEO content is writing with the end goal in mind. Let me explain.

Most content on the web is written to sell (I’m talking about those trying ot make money on the web – not personal bloggers, or hobby website owners). The only difference is whether you want that person to buy something now – or later.

Each tactic requires different language. When you want a direct immediate sale, you’re gong to use different language than when you’re going for a sale down the line (eg, subscribe to my newsletter).

“But,” you may be thinking, “I just want to write an article to drive more traffic to my site.”

I counter with, “Drive them to your site to do what?” There is always, always, always an end goal in mind. Figure this out before you sit down to write. In fact, your online buisness should have a business plan, as I discuss in the article, The 3 Most Common Mistakes Freelancers Make (& How to Remedy Them).

For more on how to write SEO content, check out the following: eHow.com, Suite101.com, WebUpon.com.

Labels/Keywords: How to Write SEO Articles, SEO Content, SEO Copywriting, Search Engine Optimization

UPDATE 11/30/07: Following is a link to every post in the Freelance Writer’s Technology Month series.

Intro Post: New Series – Freelance Writer’s Technology Month
Post #1: The 4 Fundamentals of Making Money Online
Post #2: SEO Content Development: How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website
Post #3: Niche Marketing: How to Choose a Profitable Niche
Post #4: Software Tools for Niche Websites
Post #5: Turn $1/Day into an Online Empire: How to Make Money with Minisites
Post #6: 4 Controversial Ways to Get More Traffic for Your Website
Post #7: 5 Ways to Get a Job Writing SEO Articles
Post #8: How to Determine What to Charge as an SEO Article Writer
Post #9: How to Optimize Your Website to Get More Traffic
Post #10: Social Bookmarking Software & 9 Money-Making Conclusions from Freelance Writer’s Technology Month

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P.S.: What Type of Content Can You Find in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletters?

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Current Issue. Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans gives us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

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    1. […] SEO stands for search engine optimization. This niche involves writing content in a particular way to drive traffic to a website and/or blog. It’s quick and easy to do, and it pays handsomely! To learn more, read more on how to write SEO articles. […]