Freelance content writing is a remote digital marketing job, which will allow you to have complete freedom of where and when you work. However, before you take the plunge, you need to understand that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content creation go hand-in-hand. SEO is the process of trying to rank a site on google so that when people search for relevant topics, that website appears high on the list. Most people do not look past the first page of Google, which is why SEO is so important.
There are many factors involved, but writing SEO-optimized content is an integral aspect. If you want to be a successful content writer with consistent work, you need to have a basic understanding of SEO and know how to optimize your writing.
1. Write for your audience first
A lot of novice content writers make the mistake of writing for SEO first and readability second. This results in keyword stuffing and content that does not address the reader’s questions. By doing this, readers will quickly click off the site, the conversion rate will be low, and eventually, Google will punish the site because people are not spending long there.
The key is to write content that presents your client, or yourself, as an expert. It should be interesting and informative and better than the competition.
2. Write kickass headlines and learn how to be better
People get distracted quickly, and with so much content online to choose from. You need to grab your reader’s attention quickly and efficiently. Write headlines that grab people’s attention. They should be clear, interesting, and make good use of keywords.
In addition to your headline, your meta description is also really important. Your title and meta-description both show up on Google and will be what people use to decide if they want to click on that site, so make them count!
If you are new to content writing, headlines, and meta-descriptions, then be sure to due your due diligence and research. Content writing is an amazing profession as it often allows you to work remotely, and from all over the world. Many digital marketing agencies are opening their doors to content experts, but they need to be able to make their articles stand out from the crowd. You’re only going to get clicks if your headline is eye-catching. So, if you know how to do it well, you could land yourself the perfect role. Just take a look at how many remote digital marketing jobs are listed on growthremote.com and that may give you the push you need to improve your headline and writing skills so that you can secure a role from anywhere in the world.
Ultimately if you want to become a remote/freelance content writer and need consistent work, you need to offer a service worth your client’s investment.
3. Use keywords
Research keywords and be sure to use them in your headlines and throughout your content. Just be careful not to make it sound repetitive. Keywords help search engines to know what your content is about, but too many, and it will punish the site. Try to make them sound natural and take advantage of blog tags if possible if you are writing SEO-optimized content..
4. Structure your posts
Your written content could be great, but if the structure feels unorganized, then you will quickly lose readers. The competition is tough, and you need to keep your readers engaged and your writing should appeal to a wide audience. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and your information easy to understand.
For SEO, back-end organization is also important. User proper tags for headlines are key to this. Use H1 for titles, H2 for subtitles, and H3 for sub-subtitles.
Linking to other websites is an important aspect of SEO. This includes both external and internal linking. Link to the original source of information and stick to trustworthy and reputable websites. The quality of links is important, especially if for certain niches. For example, if you are writing law articles, then you should be linking to statues.
It is also important to link internally to other parts of the website you are writing for. Often if you are solely a content writer, this will not be your job. It could be your client’s SEO company who is responsible for this or your client themselves. However, speak to your client and check. Armed with this information, you will be presenting yourself as an expert and will build trust with your client.
6. Use images
Your posts will pop with images; people like something visual as well as something to read. If you are writing content on behalf of clients, they will likely find the images themselves. However, for your own blog, or if a client does expect you to find images, then make sure you do not use copyrighted images. A Shutterstock account could be beneficial.
7. Monitor activity
It is important to have a good understanding of what’s working and what isn’t when writing SEO-optimized content. Therefore, monitoring how your content is doing with regards to SEO will help you to keep developing your craft. Furthermore, when your content does well, you can use that to gain new clients.
Google Analytics is a free and easy way to track both your page views and how much time people spend there. If you see that a lot of people are clocking off the site quickly, it could be a sign that your writing wasn’t clear enough or wasn’t relevant to what they were searching for.