SEO Content Writing Template
An Effective SEO Content Writing Template For New And Existing Content
The biggest mistake you can make in SEO today is to define success as more traffic. But more traffic should never be your goal. Converting your user and increasing sales should always be the real focus and main goal. Google has extremely sophisticated algorithms in place to determine ‘how well’ a piece of content satisfies popular query intent. Below is a 10 step SEO Content Writing Template to give your content the best possible chance of success.
1). Query Intent:
When writing a piece of content (and before that, researching the keywords and related topics), we have to attempt to see the story – the query intent – behind that search phrase. We need to attempt to really understand the user and what they ‘really’ want. This would probably be the most important step within this entire SEO content writing template.
Why do you think CPC ‘money phrases’ are so expensive to bid for? Is it because they’re popular? Yes, they are popular (and thus expensive). But the actual reason is because the ‘intent’ is clear. It is that aspect which makes them popular, expensive, but also lucrative. Consider the stark difference between:
“Buy Cheap Nike Trainers”, and “what are the best running trainers?”
With the first term, there is nothing to work out and the intent is clear: this person wants to buy some Nike trainers and they’re looking for a good deal. The second one though? There is no certain and evident intention to buy (immediately) within this phrase and we have not much to go on other than this person is interested in some form of running. But what kind of running and what are their real preferences and motivations?
Not many people realize this, but Google will rank the page which satisfies the “most popular” query intent. We are actually not ever going to be privy to that information, and so we’ve got a problem to solve and some research to do.
We will need to conduct a comprehensive competitor analysis in order to see what pages are ranking for this term and related terms at the moment, and what ‘intent’ they appear to be satisfying. We’ll need to see if we can identify some topic and keyword focus group correlations. And we’ll need to see if we can understand this customer a little bit better.
Content must satisfy query intent, answer a question, scratch an itch, or solve a problem.
2) Comprehensive Content
Content which satisfies user intent needs to be comprehensive. Actually, that is slightly misleading. A piece of content’s comprehensiveness is actually just a by-product and consequence of the above – satisfying query intent.
To satisfy intent, you usually need to be pretty comprehensive in your content efforts to get there. That means providing more comprehensive, more resourceful, more useful content. But, importantly, you never put the cart before the horse, and write comprehensively for the sake of sheer volume. This would just create even MORE content which nobody wants to read.
So, identify query intent, and then focus your content efforts upon satisfying that intent.
3) Engaging Content
Write engaging, captivating, interesting and enjoyable content. This is no easy feat and is a HARD and DIFFICULT standard to maintain at all times. But of course all content needs to be as engaging, interesting and enjoyable as possible. You might not be able to get it right all the time. But we must at least try.
4) Step-By-Step Instruction
If something is purported to be easy and simple, then really structure it that way and make it understood that way. Step by step instruction shouldn’t be buried in the content with all of our other thoughts and expressions. Make sure that instruction stands out from the content so that the user can quickly and easily refer to it again to help them in their goal. This might be in the way of tables, bullet points or numbered lists. (Consider rich snippets and schema markup here as well, for feature snippets within the indexes. There are a few types. )
5) Internal and external links
Add reference to internal (and/or external) resources within context which would help to provide greater clarity or better explain a concept within the article. This is because it helps you to encourage click-through to other useful information on the site and it allows you to prove additional information for those that need it, without having to go ‘off topic’ slightly or re-writing something all over again. If query intent has been well-matched, the internal links and resources which you have referenced should naturally be of far greater interest to any visitor of that page. It encourages page interaction and CTR. We want to get users interacting with pages and keep them busy. This is good for important user metrics.
6) Plug A Product Feature Which Resolves a Problem
Work in a product feature if it can perfectly explain and resolve a problem aligned with underlying query intent. Why wouldn’t you? The business’s goal is to sell a product or service. Showcase a feature of that product then and demonstrate how it would resolve the problem behind the user’s query intent. Or failing that, channel the user into a ‘permanent’ resource so that this visitor will bookmark and keep on coming back time and time again. You can then just keep chipping away at them until you nail the angle at which they want to buy.
7) Show and tell it graphically
A ream of text is boring. It just is. In terms of SEO, an image is NOT worth a thousand words. But we need to make our pages visually appealing and as exciting as we can with images and just about anything we can get our hands on to break up the monotony of text. Let’s make these pages visually attractive, engaging and dynamic. Each one built out for its own specific reason, and every exciting widget at our disposal to keep the user engaged.
8) Call to action
Can we get one in there? Not all content can. But think about it and align this with one or both of the two fundamental objectives to writing content in the first place a) From a standpoint of SEO and visitor metrics – to encourage page interaction and engagement; and b) That the company wants to sell a product at the end of the day. Either way, prod users with a stick and get them to ‘do’ something. Otherwise, for all we know, they already fast asleep and snoring over their keyboard!
9) Make Your Content Easily Shareable
This one really encapsulates everything. I mean, if you nail this point, you’ve likely nailed everything else in the same swing. The ‘ideal’ content (the very best there ever is) enables you to say “yes” to this following question:
“Can I confidently outreach this very piece of content?”
And it if that answer is a ‘yes’, then don’t forget to do just that.
So those are the main 9 points which (ideally) the majority of content will satisfy. Not all content could or possibly should contain all elements. Sometimes content will have different objectives. But, I think, in general terms, the more of these points which are incorporated then the more successful that content naturally tends to be. And for the last step:
10) Abandon Your Work
It may have been a quote by Da Vinci, I’m not sure: “No work of art is ever completed but merely abandoned.” And it’s true: A creative person who is absorbed with the task of generating an artwork hesitates to declare completion. Reworking and improving a piece of content are always tantalizing possibilities.
No piece of content is ever really finished. All content will need to be reviewed and analysed per its page metrics in GA every single month. You’ll drill down on page metrics and thoroughly explore and review your content. You’ll be looking at and asking questions about what has worked well, and what hasn’t. Discoveries will be made and revisions will be adopted accordingly.
There are no tricks in good SEO or any hidden magic. There is only EFFORT.
It takes effort to accurately identify query intent. It take yet further effort to fully satisfy that intent on the page. It’s also often a work of further RESEARCH. Trends change, query intents change. This goes for marketing via organic search, CPC or even direct marketing.
Success of certain peice of content all comes down to identifying query intent in your keyword research, and then satisfying the ‘most popular’ intent on your page. And that drum I could never bang too hard or for long enough! It really is the key to improved search engine rankings. The SEO Content Writing Template above really will help your content to rank well.
And now to the final, final step:
Off-Page SEO – Install The Missing Link
This is the fastest way, bar none, to get a brand new piece of content to rank well for your chosen keyword focus group. This is the fastest way to get existing content positively and continually re-positioned ever upwards by Google’s Rank Brain, bar none.
Simply outreach to industry professionals. You’ve spent all that time in research and content creation to provide an excellent resource. So now go shout about it. Put it directly in front of people who matter and get their ‘thumbs up’ and approval. This will build your Link Authority and Trust Score. Nothing else will.
I call this the ‘missing link’ very deliberately. Because no one ever does it. Statistically speaking only 6% of web content meets the correct criteria for success in this process. This final but VITAL step is wholly dependent upon the EFFORT that you put in to produce QUALITY CONTENT. And that process has been defined in steps 1 though to 9 above.
Some Final Words About The SEO Content Writing With This Template:
Effortless it ‘aint. But extremely doable it is.
Through applying a simple but concentrated and dedicated effort in each piece of content creation, the payoff will be huge and very real.