This guide explains SEO writing for beginners.
Below, you’ll find the best SEO content writing tips for beginners that can help you better optimize your articles for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. As a result of following these beginner SEO writing guidelines, you should experience higher keyword rankings and organic search traffic for your website.
Table of Contents
SEO Writing for Beginners
1. Choose 2-3 SEO Keywords for the Content
Keywords play a huge role in ranking your content for the most appropriate search terms, making them an essential first step in SEO writing for beginners.
Here’s the process to follow to choose the best SEO keywords for the page:
- Use a tool like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Google Keyword Planner to find the search terms people use to find content relating to your subject.
- Pick 1 primary keyword that best describes your article’s topic and 1-2 secondary keywords that are alternative versions of that keyword. This becomes your core keyword cluster of 2-3 search terms for SEO.
- Check that you’re targeting the right keywords based on search volume and Keyword Difficulty. See our related guide on How to Do Keyword Research for SEO with a list of best practices and techniques.
2. Study the Competition for Tips & Ideas
Examining the top-ranking posts for your chosen keywords will reveal a wealth of insights into how you begin writing your SEO content and creating for search engines like Google, including:
- The subjects and subtopics that need to be covered to meet user search intent.
- The type and structure of content that performs best in search results for the target keyword.
- Topics that haven’t been covered completely (or not at all) by competitors, which can give you a unique opportunity to outperform their content.
3. Begin With a Content Outline
Out of all the SEO content writing tips for beginners listed in this guide, this is one of the top methods that is guaranteed to help you become a more productive blogger.
Starting with a clear, well-structured outline, will help ensure that you provide the most valuable information that gives users all the details they need on your topic. A good outline also makes the entire SEO writing process easier and faster for serious bloggers.
To create an outline:
- Organize your key themes, ideas, and points into individual sections with H2 tags.
- Use H3-H6 tags to divide your main sections into additional subsections where appropriate.
- Add two or three bullet points for each section as a reminder of the main points you need to cover when writing.
4. Write First, Optimize Second
With Google increasingly prioritizing helpful, human-first content in search results, there’s a golden rule to follow when it comes to SEO content writing for beginners:
Forget about search engine optimization in your first draft and focus solely on creating the absolute best possible content for your readers.
Concentrate on covering the points in your outline like a trusted expert on the subject and you’ll work more efficiently, include the most important details, and avoid the risk of under or over-optimizing your page for its target SEO keywords.
Once you’ve completed a solid draft that’s full of engaging, reader-centric content, you can then go back through and optimize it for the intended keywords, which will be explained throughout the rest of this guide. Areas to pay attention to include the heading tags, body content, image metadata, URL, etc.
5. Aim for a Competitive Word Count
Word count is not a direct ranking factor that Google uses to rank content in the search results; however, it’s still an important tip to consider as a beginner in SEO writing.
As part of the competitive analysis we discussed earlier in step 2 of this guide on SEO content writing tips for beginners, there are a lot of valuable insights you can gain from the top-ranking competitors for a specific keyword phrase. One of which is the average word count to aim for in your content.
You can run those top-ranking URLs through a tool like Word Counter to get a better idea of how long your article should be to cover the subject matter fully or succinctly in a way that Google feels deserves a top spot in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
6. Make Sure the Content Matches the User Search Intent
No matter how well-optimized your article may be in other regards, it’s simply not going to perform well in the SERPs if it doesn’t completely satisfy the user’s search intent.
Search intent is defined as the purpose behind a search query, e.g., to solve a problem, answer a question, find a local business, or research or buy a product.
One easy way to discover the purpose behind your keywords is to use a search intent discovery tool like Keyword Insights, which shows you the search intent and the best type of content to create to use to satisfy it for Google’s ranking algorithm.
Of course, analyzing your competitors will also reveal some useful insights, as pages that rank highest in search results are those that Google’s algorithms determine best meet the user intent of a search query.
7. Include Relevant Entities for Semantic Search
In the context of SEO writing, relevant entities refer to important topics, people, places, or things that are closely related to the subject matter of your article.
Adding these entities to your content boosts topical relevance, which, in turn, can positively impact organic search visibility and rankings.
Before writing your blog post or article, conduct thorough research to determine the significant entities related to your topic, such as influential figures, key concepts, or notable organizations.
As you begin to work on your post, sprinkle these entities throughout the page, but only when relevant to the context, appear naturally, and satisfy your user’s search intent.
8. Include E-E-A-T Signals for Google
Demonstrating your Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) throughout your content helps bolster your credibility and reputation within your niche, which can generate quality backlinks, increase your Domain Authority score, and drive more targeted traffic to your site.
Here are ways you can do that:
- Establish your expertise by creating original, knowledgeable content with unique insights, research, or ideas.
- Support your claims by linking to reliable sources and citing credible experts in your field.
- Develop your authority by using off-page SEO to establish a strong online presence.
- Reference any personal experience, qualifications, or credentials relating to your topic.
- Enhance trustworthiness by maintaining transparency, providing accurate and up-to-date information, and addressing potential biases.
- Include an author byline with a link to the author’s bio page.
- Include an author bio box (optional; and a good substitute if a byline is not present).
- Include the published date and time (time is optional for evergreen content but essential for news-related content)
- Make sure all information is accurate and up to date.
- Include 1-2 unique elements (minimum) not found in the top-ranking URLs (e.g., tables, charts, infographics, videos, more list items, industry expert quotes, FAQs).
Read our related guide on How to Optimize for Google’s E-E-A-T to Improve SEO for a full overview of all the things you can do to enhance E-E-A-T signals for your website.
9. Optimize for Featured Snippets
Featured Snippets can increase your authority, search visibility, and traffic levels by providing brief excerpts of your content (usually in the form of a direct answer to a user’s question) at the top of the search results.
As explained in our other guide on how to optimize header tags for SEO, a great way to optimize for Featured Snippets is to make the first H2 heading on the page match the primary search query a user types into Google to find information.
Next, you want to answer the user’s query directly below the H2 subheader in the format that search engines like Google are rewarding for the current Featured Snippet. It may be a short paragraph, list, or table. Essentially, you want to create something similar to the ranking snippet.
If the Featured Snippet is a short paragraph, then answer the query succinctly between 45 to 50 words. Also, include similar words and phrases that are being highlighted in the current ranking snippet on Google.
For list snippets, you’ll need to add between 5 to 10 H3 tags with subtopics that support the H2 heading above it. If Google is displaying numbers next to the list items, then put numbers in your H3 subheadings. If you see bullets, then omit the numbers. You can look at how this SEO content writing for beginners guide is laid out to see an example of this practice in action.
For table snippets, include a 3-column table (no more and no less) with similar heading names and an equal number of rows as the current ranking snippet. Look at the ranking page to see how many rows the table contains so you can do the same.
10. Put Keywords In the Title Tag
Another good SEO writing practice is to take the primary keyword for the page and place it at the beginning of the title tag. Then, weave in the secondary keywords into the rest of the title while sounding natural and not repeating the same overlapping words.
Following this SEO content guideline will help search engines understand the main focus of the content, improving its visibility and relevance in search results for all of the relevant keywords. Moreover, it provides a clear indication to potential readers about the content they can expect when they come across the title in search engine listings.
11. Write an SEO-Friendly URL
Creating a concise, descriptive URL featuring your primary keyword is a quick and easy way to strengthen your optimization efforts, providing strong signals to search engines and their users about the nature of your content.
For example, the URL for this guide is simply, /seo-writing-for-beginners/.
12. Use Keywords In the Introduction & Summary
Adding keywords to both the introduction and summary of your content helps improve keyword prominence for SEO.
A good rule of thumb for beginners in SEO writing is to keep your target keywords within the first 100 words of the introduction and the last 100 words on the page in the summary section.
To deploy your keywords effectively, place the primary keyword in the first sentence of your introduction text and summary text. Then, include as many of your secondary keywords in both of these sections in a way that sounds natural, not repetitive.
13. Repeat Keywords In the Body Content
Repeating keywords in the body content reinforces the relevance of your target search terms to search engine crawlers, ultimately improving your rankings in the SERPs.
As explained in our other post on how many keywords per page for SEO, the number of times you use a keyword in the body text depends on the length of the content.
For example, a 500-word article can easily be optimized for two or three keywords, but trying to fit five or six keywords into a short post like that will likely sound unnatural. However, focusing on five or six keywords in a 2,000-word article is a common practice and you can spread out the usage of those phrases so the content sounds natural.
A good rule of thumb for SEO content writing is to use 1-2 keywords for every 100 words of text. This results in a keyword density of around 1-2% which is considered to be a good percentage for on-page SEO without keyword stuffing.
14. Add Keywords to the Headings
Each heading in your content outline should be optimized for at least one keyword to boost the signals you send to search engines about your article’s subject.
Use the following guidelines to do this effectively:
- Primary Keyword: Add it to the first and last H2 subheadings on the page.
- Secondary Keywords: Include as many as you can in their own H2 tag. One keyword per H2 subheading. However, don’t force additional H2s on the page just to get each keyword in this HTML field. For example, some pages may only have two H2s, like this guide you’re reading here.
- Keyword Variations: Put these in H3 subheadings where appropriate.
For more details on these SEO writing tips for beginners, see this related header optimization guide: How To Optimize H2 Tags For SEO.
15. Add Internal Links & External Links
Internal links help to improve website navigation and enhance user experience, resulting in increased engagement and reduced bounce rates. Meanwhile, external links boost credibility and authority by connecting your content to reliable sources, enriching the reader’s experience with additional valuable information.
To generate maximum SEO gains from your links, follow these suggestions:
- Use no more than 3-5 of each type of link (internal and external).
- Ensure all links are relevant to the post and provide value to the reader.
- Link to authoritative websites and reputable sources within your niche to further establish credibility and expertise.
- Use relevant keywords in the anchor text.
See this related guide with more Internal Linking Best Practices which is a powerful on-site method you can use for improved SEO performance.
Learn More About SEO Content Writing for Beginners
The links below explain more about SEO content writing for beginners. Use these resources to expand your knowledge on the subject.
- What Is SEO Writing?
- What Is SEO Content?
- SEO Content Writing Checklist
- SEO Content Writing Tips
- SEO Checklist for Blog Posts
- How to Write SEO Friendly Content
SEO Writing for Beginners Summary
We hope you enjoyed this guide on SEO writing for beginners.
As you discovered, these SEO content writing tips for beginners are simple techniques you can use to better optimize your articles for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The more you can incorporate each of these beginner SEO writing guidelines into your publishing process, the higher keyword rankings and organic search traffic you can achieve for your website.
The Editorial Staff at SEO Chatter is a team of search engine optimization and digital marketing experts led by Stephen Hockman with more than 15 years of experience in search engine marketing. We publish guides on the fundamentals of SEO for beginner marketers.