Like the vast majority reading this article, I am an SEO immigrant. However, unlike most, I’ve spent years understanding, practicing and teaching the SEO writing process.
You can learn how to change the way you write by understanding the tools available and using them in the formulation of your stories.
Step-by-step process for writing like an SEO native
SEO Writing Step #1: The process starts with a question. SEO natives approach writing as a journalist does – they see something they find interesting, could be from a conversation, email, tweet, etc., and they form a question around it. That part of being a great writer hasn’t changed.
SEO Writing Step #2: SEO immigrants need to learn how to speak SEO like natives. To do this, use the tried and true method behind the Google Keyword Tool by putting in variations of your keyword phrase that epitomize the question.
After you do this, stare at the results and ask, “What are these people asking? What question did they have in their mind? What can I infer from these words?”
It may be difficult to find the exact intent behind the searches, but you are left with three, four and five word phrases that Google ranks in proximity. These show what’s most relevant to the keywords you’ve searched.
How wonderful is it to be able to peer into the collective consciousness of the English-speaking world as they search for content online? It’s truly an amazing environment we’ve found ourselves in.
SEO Writing Step #3: Rethink the question through the lens showing all possible keyword connections. Now you can flip to your Google Visibility Report (GVR) and look at the combination of popularity and Keyword Competitive Index (KCI).
If you have a hard time finding popular keyword terms using KCI as your measurement, look at rank based on search volume. Often times it’s necessary to look for both forms of data.
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SEO Writing Step #4: Look for the unanswered question with the biggest audience. While doing this, make sure you’re not answering a question that’s been answered so many times before that you won’t achieve visibility.
SEO Writing Step #5: Reform your original question based on the lens of all your data. At this point you should isolate three-10 keyword phrases that best describe the way your audience is describing the question.
Focus on three main keyword phrases and surround them with relevant secondary phrases.
SEO Writing Step #6: Write like you always write by constructing an article with a beginning, middle and end. Include all pertinent research and materials, as the SEO writing process naturally requires supplying the correct information in addition to keyword phrases.
SEO Writing Step #7: Look through the article and highlight the relevant keyword phrases in all article parts, including the body, head and subhead.
For SEO natives, the Google Keyword Tool and GVR are just as important as reference pieces, interview notes, data, personal observations and hypothesis from research.
Finally, it’s important to realize that Google is now the gatekeeper. In the print world, it was book and magazine editors. Fortunately for SEO natives and immigrants alike, Google may be a bit more rational and predictable. You can see how the algorithm is working and what content is of interest.
As a final side note: If you are a parent and your child wants to be a journalist, it’s not too early to show them the Google Keyword Tool and how it’s used to create articles that can get found. If your kids are in high school or college, ask them if they know what the Google Keyword Tool is. You may be surprised when they say, “of course I do”.