With every website competing for attention from Google, writers who can successfully write search engine-optimized web content are in high demand. But writing SEO takes a special set of skills. Do you think you have what it takes?
I talked with Chantielle MacFarlane Kennedy, owner and founder of CIK Marketing, to find out what she looks for in a writer. CIK Marketing is making a name for themselves through their success in helping small business owners create an online presence. They’ve built websites for clients such as The Sugar Fix Candy Shop, Jackson Seed Service, and me. One of the key services they offer is website content that will help their clients rank high in a Google search.
So what skills does Chantielle say are essential for anyone wanting to get into writing search engine optimized web content? What do you need if you want to write search engine optimized web content so that your own site ranks high?
A Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization
How often should a keyword be included in the content? Too often and Google thinks you’re spam. Not often enough and you won’t outrank the other sites using the same keyword.
Where are the essential places to include keywords? Keywords placed in headings and hyperlinks are weighted more heavily by Google.
The tricky part of being an SEO web content writer is that you need to do all this without your writing sounding awkward and forced. As Chantielle explains, “SEO is all about balance – you need to write for the search engines, but at the same time write for a human reader as well.”
Interest In A Variety Of Topics
In working for CIK Marketing, I’ve written about lawn grubs, botox, tourist attractions in Boston, and much, much more. I once joked with Chantielle that at least we never get bored. A healthy curiosity is a bonus for an SEO web content writer because you need to be willing to write about whatever relates to the client’s business. And if you’re not excited about what you’re writing, you won’t be able to make that content exciting for the reader.
Search engine-optimized web content has a two-fold purpose. It needs to bring people to the business’ site and then sell their service or product to the customer once they get there. “As a content creator,” Chantielle said, “you need to take on the tone of a salesman, but still stick to the facts. It’s tough but necessary if you’re going to write content that resonates with the reader and impresses the client.”
For an SEO web content writer, good writing includes the following:
- Tight Writing – Instead of 1000 words for an article, you often only have 500 words to get your point across.
- Strong Grammar and Spelling Skills – SEO web content doesn’t go through the same editorial process that an article does, so your work needs to be flawless when you turn it in. (For the worst offenders, check out 6 Grammar Mistakes that Will Cost You Readers.)
- Clarity – When writing an article, you’re targeting a very specific audience. The audience for website content is more diverse, so you need to write fascinating content at a grade five reading level.
According to Chantielle, “A good writer can learn SEO skills, but someone with SEO skills can’t necessarily learn how to be a good writer.”
I’ll be sharing more tips from Chantielle about writing SEO web content from June 16 to 18 at Write! Canada. It’s not too late to register. I hope to see you there!