How Has the Face of SEO Content Writing Changed in 2020?
March 12, 2020
With every passing year, online businesses have a greater opportunity to reach a wider customer base through SEO content creation. Online shoppers and people looking for answers to their problems turn to google as their first option to find what they are looking for. This continually growing opportunity also has its flipside of course, and that is heavy competition with other businesses in your field.
That is why it is so crucial to stay ahead of the game when it comes to creating valuable SEO content for your visitors and readers. Google is constantly switching up its algorithms to keep marketing strategists and writers on their toes, and to prevent scammers and swindlers from exploiting the system.
Long gone are the days of the key word stuffing approach, where writers would try to cram all the targeted keywords they could into an almost illegible piece of writing. In 2020, google is much more interested in audience-focused content that offers something of value to readers.
Aside from weening out the fraudsters and schemers, google also changes it up its search engine algorithm to keep up with the incessant advances in technology, which can impact the way people perform searches.
So, what is important for SEO content writers to consider in 2020?
SEO Content Writing Tips and Considerations
Even though the rules for ranking high in google search engines are in constant flux, the basic principles of SEO content creation remain stable. General concepts like organized structure, intact links, page loading time, well chosen keywords, and well written, engaging content will always be relevant.
Some things to consider when writing SEO friendly posts in 2020, may include:
Who are you writing to?
Optimize keywords to match the search intent of your audience
Take voice search into account
People look to featured snippets for quick answers
Work on building your brand
Incorporate multi-channel or omni-channel approach
Recycle and reuse
Keep up with trends
Who Are You Writing To?
One of the most important aspects of any piece of writing is to determine exactly who it is that the writing is for. Who is your target audience? This is certainly not a new concept to SEO content writing, or any type of writing for that matter. However, it can help direct your focus for an article, regardless of when it is being written.
It can be helpful to reduce your target audience down to your ideal customer. By considering things like the demographics and mindset of the person you are trying to reach, it can help narrow your focus to provide a better chance of reaching that individual, and many others like them.
Optimize Keywords to Customer Intent
By gaining deeper insights into the intentions of your target audience, it can help incorporate and map relevant keywords into your writing. Keyword mapping is all about finding the right avenue or platform to deliver your information.
For example, let’s say your business is providing care services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The topic for the day is Alzheimer’s. This is a very broad topic, but this is just for demonstrative purposes.
Here is what came up after entering a search on Alzheimer’s in google:
Based solely on this one quick search, it appears that people are more interested in finding out more information on Alzheimer’s rather than looking for services to help manage it. In this case, I would opt to create an informative post to catch the searcher’s attention, instead of a web page offering Alzheimer’s care services.
Of course, the posting could then link to the services offered on your website. It really helps to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to optimize keywords.
Take Voice Search Into Account
Voice searches are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the widespread use of mobile devices. Smartphone searches tend to result in a higher percentage of voice-based searches because, well, it’s easier than typing with your thumbs right?
This has an impact on SEO content writing because it alters the way people are conducting their searches. It likely comes as no surprise that voice queries are almost always longer than typed ones. Instead of search query consisting of 4 or 5 words as is with written content, voice searches tend to be 8 to 10 words in length.
Also, voice searches are often in the form of a question, beginning with the phrase “How do I….”. Voice searches are straight and to the point, using very simple language. Keeping your content clear and concise helps to match these very basic queries.
Google featured snippets can be an excellent way to get your content noticed quickly on google search pages. Featured snippets are short blocks of text that are meant to directly address the query you have entered in the search bar. Have you ever started a search engine query with “What is….”?
The results tend to look something like this:
You can see how having a link to your content at the very top of the results page is extremely beneficial. It is also fairly difficult to get your content to show up here. So, how do you do it?
The most practical way to have content appear in featured snippets, is to:
Anticipate and predict the questions your customers are asking
Create relevant and engaging content that specifically caters to those questions
Even though keyword stuffing is not a recommended practice for your SEO writing, it is still important to use targeted keywords so potential customers can find what you have to offer. This can be done using the methods already discussed, by putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and conducting searches accordingly.
Keywords can also be tailored to a geographical area if your products or services are location specific. For example, if you are freelance writer looking for business in Peterborough, ON, you may want to see what comes up when you search “Best freelance writing services Peterborough, ON”, and write a post catering to the results you find.
Work on Building Your Brand
Establishing a recognizable brand is an effective way to stand out from the competition. Building up your brand involves once again delving into your customers needs by performing research and analyzing the competition.
It is also a good idea to clearly layout your marketing objectives to get a clearer picture of what exactly you are hoping to achieve. What’s your end game?
Is it to?:
Generate more quality traffic
Build an email list
Establish a social media presence
Build an authority site in your niche
Perhaps you are looking to accomplish all of these things, but prioritizing these goals can help shape the path of your marketing campaign and building your unique brand.
A lot of marketing professionals use the SMART technique to determine objectives and priorities.
Multi-Channel & Omni-Channel
These two marketing approaches both involve the method of maximizing customer reach by using a variety of tools and platforms. For the most elementary of definitions we can assign the terms “many” to multi-channel marketing, and “all” to omni-channel marketing.
This strategy is applied by using a variety of communication channels to connect with and interact with customers.
The range of resources multi-channel marketers may employ, include:
Brick and mortar stores
The more tactics and techniques you utilize, the better chance you have of making a connection and establishing contact.
If multi-channel marketing is about using all your resources to maximize exposure, omni-channel marketing is about consolidating those resources to create one fluid, interactive system to optimize marketing results.
A good example of omni-channel marketing is using GPS location to track subscriber actions. For instance, if a customer is currently visiting one of your stores, omni-channel marketing involves sending out a well timed personalized promotion via SMS messaging, to encourage that customer to take action and make a purchase.
What’s the difference?
The easiest way to understand the difference between the two is to look at it this way:
Multi-channel marketing starts with the business and moves outward to appropriate channels
Omni-channel marketing starts with the customer and offers a comprehensive, seamless experience
If you are posting content that is all text and no image, you are not likely to get many visitors staying on your website. People like colorful and rich images to stimulate the brain and arouse interest.
There are an abundance of resources for free images online, and you can also create your own custom images or use a graphic design company to create them for you. Postings sprinkled with relevant, SEO friendly images are more likely to rank in google search engines.
Recycle and Reuse
Just as these practices are good for the planet, they are good for your SEO content. By reworking and editing old blog posts, it helps breathe new life into your website. Updating old content also helps boost google rankings.
You can also reuse or re-purpose existing content by creating a spin off post linked to the original, or use a popular post to generate a script for a YouTube video on the subject.
Keeping Up With Trends
In the end its all about staying up to date with relevant techniques and resources, and implementing helpful and recommended practices into your writing. Take an active approach and make a priority to learn about new SEO writing tips and methods.
It’s not just about staying current with SEO trends either. A great way to create engaging content is to incorporate present world trends into your writing.
An applicable and personal example I can provide relates to a content writing contract I just finished with a company called Swish. During the period of my contract, the Coronavirus was just starting to become global news. Swish, being a company that specializes in sanitization and disinfectants, communicated with their readers how their products and processes can help prevent the spread of infectious disease.
There are many ways to put a spin on trends and news events to engage more readers and possibly establish new contacts that develop into loyal customers.