SEO Content Writing: The Complete Guide
Content marketing is massive these days.
In fact, it has become a huge ‘buzzword’ with everyone from SEO companies to PR Agencies saying they offer ‘SEO Content Writing and marketing.’
If you head over to Google trends you can see why:
The rise in interest in content marketing is largely due to how powerful and successful it is.
However, despite this people are still not sure how content helps their business and what the difference is between a regular blog post and content that is designed with SEO in mind.
Trust me there is a big difference between blog writers and SEO Content writers.
In this article, I am going to teach you what SEO content writers do and what you should be paying for this service.
Let’s start by finding out what great content does for your business and why you need it:
Why You Need Great Content And What It Does For Your Business
Gone are the days where you could place an advert in the local paper and get a fresh batch of customers.
Today you are fighting for the attention of people.
The average person now spends more time on social media than they do sleeping, in fact over 8 hours 41 minutes per day is spent online!
And while you are you hoping they click on your website the average person is too busy watching cute cat videos to even care about your business.
However that all changes when they have a problem that your business solves.
It is then that they jump onto Google and start searching for solutions.
Whatever the problem, a great business will be creating content to help their customers.
Smart business owners know this, and 88% of B2B Marketers use content marketing.
But that’s not all.
Great content will
- Build trust
- Attract leads
- Make the sales process both online and off easier
- Gain search engine traffic
- Gain site visitors from social media
- Build credibility
- Build website links
Ok, so you want to rush out and find a content writer now, but hold your horses for a second.
Sure, a great writer can help you to do many aspects of the above, but if you want to get more traffic from the search engines and also build links, you will need an SEO Content Writer.
What is an SEO Content Writer?
However, that does not mean that longer content is read any more deeply by the masses and this is the key task for any SEO writer:
To understand you are writing for two audiences, the first and most important is people and the second, of course, are the search engines.
A great example of someone that does this well is Matthew Barby.
If you take a look at his blog you see that he focuses on several factors on his site:
The super cool thing is, Matthew is giving away the plugin he uses to do this with.
This type of content creation focuses on three levels of user interaction.
- It allows the reader to see if this article will benefit them
- The user can then choose to read, save, leave or sign up
- The content is created for short reads, in-depth study and use, and finally for the search engines to crawl.
This makes everyone happy!
The second factor of what a good SEO content writer does for you, is to help you gain traffic to your website, but how do they do this?
How Writers Get Higher Search Traffic Via SEO
One of the largest barriers to website performance is understanding that it takes time to gain traffic to a site.
The only way to overcome this is via ‘paid traffic‘.
This is a valid option, and anyone that wants to spend money on traffic needs to do so wisely.
However, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on getting traffic to your website if the customer lands on the page and they don’t trust you!
People buy from who they know, like and trust.
So what creates trust?
Well, a 4-page website doesn’t shout ‘trust’ to anyone.
But if you land on a website that has a great about page and a blog packed with helpful advice and articles, you see that the business has invested time in helping you, this speaks volumes.
However, there is a massive upside with content creation.
It doesn’t only help people who come to your site; it actually helps to get customers for you because it will place itself in front of the people that need your services.
This is what I like to call ‘Targeted Content’, and it all starts with Keyword research
Keyword Research The Friend of an SEO Writer
A great SEO content writer will know and love Keyword research.
And if you are a blogger or online content writer you should be investing serious amounts of time in learning about keyword research because this is the ‘pen’ of the modern web writer.
This might annoy people who just like to ‘write’ and I am not saying that there is not a place or use for good old fashioned writing.
However, there is a massive difference between being a great writer and being an SEO content writer.
Because your overall SEO writing strategy should be all about ‘solving problems’, building trust and of course driving traffic.
If you get your keyword research right, you will find what problems your customer is facing, then craft great content around those issues.
I do mine a bit like this:
I head over to Quora to look at the client’s industry. In this example, I will be using ‘hotels’ so I put into the topic box travelling, and it will give me some suggestions.
As you can see, there are over There are 76,000 questions on this topic.
I will now do two things;
Firstly I will scan the topic to look for ideas for content, and I will also just copy the URL and head over to Google keyword planner:
Once I have done this, I have a huge list of article ideas and search volume.
Over time, I will find some really great ideas for content and my brainstorms, such as this excellent question on Quora.
What I like to do next is to head back over to Google’s keyword tool and see if I can find a great key phrase where I can match this type of post.
It can take a while, but you could start to see a whole series of articles appear from this one idea:
An article such as “Eastern European Countries: What Not To Do When Travelling There” could be an excellent guide for travellers.
Now if we were to think from the perspective of a hotel.
If I was searching for information about travelling to eastern Europe and came across that article, what would it tell you about the hotel?
I think it says that the hotel cares about travellers and, to be honest, that is the type of hotel I want to stay in!
As we will see next, content generates leads in other ways too:
How Great Content Gains Leads And Customers
This is where your content will come in. Imagine if you run a hotel and a nice lady looking for a romantic weekend finds your site. They love your hotel, but they want to go on long country walks with their husband. They look at your site for details of those walks, but they can’t find any so they press the back button.
The smart hotel owner will have created an article ’17 Amazing Walks Starting From The xyz Hotel’. They will offer that article as a PDF download; they will have pictures of the walks.
If this sounds like ‘hard work’, you are missing the point.
Your customer wants answers now before they spend their money.
Your content becomes your conversation with your customer, and it helps the customer in the zero moments of truth phase.
The company that helps the customers will keep them onsite for longer, and this is essential to develop trust.
Ok this is all well and good, but what is this going to cost:
What You Should Pay And What You Should Charge For SEO Articles
So we are nearing the end of our huge post on SEO content writing, but the final hurdle I will address the question most people struggle with.
What you should pay and what you should charge for content.
Now, this is a difficult one for most people to get their heads around, so let’s start on what good content does:
Builds brand trust, increases search engine visitors, helps customers to solve issues, positions you as an expert and encourages purchases.
So ask yourself, does all that sound like it should cost you £50 per article?
Of course not.
I do a lot of industry research for every post I write for a client and also keyword research.
Also, I have spent thousands on my own training not to mention all the years of experience I have. So when I price up a project for a client, I make sure that those skills are added into the price.
If you do not have those skills then you cannot add that to your pricing structure, so you need to go out and develop your SEO skills.
My current minimum price for an in-depth piece of content is £1000 which many will gasp at until I show them stats from work, such as one article gaining over 6,000 visits in a few months:
Indeed, I have written content that has gained sites over 2,000 social media shares in a few days and this, combined with all the other aspects that go into my content creation allow me to charge higher prices.
However, let me be clear:
I would rather go door to door washing cars than to charge peanuts for a world-class service.
If you are reading this and thinking that you can’t charge or afford high prices, generally, the more you pay for content, the better it will be, but expect to pay no less than £85 for 1000 decent words.
So for a good article that is over 2400 words, you will be looking at £170 as a minimum.
This is, of course, a lot cheaper than my £1000 but I tend to produce content that gets a lot of traffic, and I always say, do you want ten posts that get a few visitor’s or 1 post that drives thousands of targeted visitors to your site?
So there it is our guide for anyone either writing SEO content, or those buying it.
The aim here was to educate anyone who needs content to help their business grow.
The issue I hope I have made here is that not all content is equal and just like paid traffic you can waste a lot of money paying for poor articles.
So what are you going to do next?
If you are a writer are you going to go out and grab some of your results and up your prices? Or if you are a business are you going to buy great content but ask some more questions before you agree to buy?
Let us know if this article has helped you.