You want your writing to be exceptional, and also make sure that readers can find it when using search engines. That's where SEO editing comes in. It’s an awesome skill that can make a world of difference in your writing.
You just need to learn the basics, and your writing will start to benefit. Let’s talk about SEO content editing - what it is, why you need it, and how to get started.
What is SEO editing AKA SEO content editing?
What exactly is SEO editing? It’s editing that is focused on getting your content to rank in search engines. When doing this type of editing, you want to make sure the writing is great but also make it easily understandable for search engines.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s a skill that you can and should learn if you are a writer or blogger.
Getting an article to rank on the number one page of Google or with other search engines is super important because it means that more people will get the opportunity to read your writing. Without it, it will be a lot more difficult for people to find your work.
Not convinced? Businesses are spending about 47.5 billion on SEO annually, and there’s a reason for that.
Situations where you might need SEO content editing skills
There are plenty of times when having SEO editing skills can help you. It might come in handy in ways that hadn’t occurred to you. Here are some common jobs that may require you to do some SEO editing.
This is likely the most obvious reason for needing to learn SEO content editing. Writing blog posts online and hoping to attract readers is hard to do without this skill.
If you spend much time writing for your own blog or for others’ blogs, you want to get your content to the front page with search engines.
There are other forms of writing jobs that might require you to know SEO basics. Pretty much any writing content that shows up on the internet is going to be made better if you have knowledge like this. This includes website landing pages.
Working for employers
Beyond being a good writer, if you also have SEO editing skills, this will make you more valuable to potential clients and employers. They want their content to be seen and get noticed!
You may need this knowledge as an added skill if you’re a writer, or you may be hired as an SEO editor, specifically to get content to rank in search engines.
Doing your own writing that you want to rank highly in search engines
Last, if you have a website or blog, you absolutely need SEO editing in order to get people to find your writing.
The better you become at this, the better your chances of ranking highly in searches and getting readers to not just read your writing but also purchase any products or services that you’re selling on your website.
How to become an SEO content editor
It’s awesome if you can completely focus on the writing and hire someone to help you with SEO editing basics, but if you don’t have that luxury, don’t worry!
You can easily teach yourself about SEO and then use this new information to make a difference for your business or blog.
You can also turn your SEO content editing skills into a career and apply to companies hiring for this specific role.
That said, here's how to learn fast!
Improve your writing skills
To become an SEO content editor it's really important that you learn how to write well and avoid fluff writing. SEO content editing will enhance your good writing skills. It will also help you become a better editor if you review other people's writing.
You read books about writing, take writing courses, and put everything you learn into action, improving as you go along.
Learn as much as you can about SEO and get the necessary certifications if needed
Another key focus to becoming an SEO editor is to educate yourself in order to acquire the necessary skills and/or certifications.
You can start by watching YouTube videos, practicing your writing and SEO skills, and even taking courses.
Sites like Coursera, and Hubspot all offer well-reviewed free SEO courses and SEO certifications. These courses cover the basics of SEO editing. They also cover technical aspects of SEO that are good to know as well especially when it comes to the big picture of how SEO works.
The Coursera program is endorsed by Google and was created alongside the University of California. Upon successfully completing the course you will get a certificate that you can add to your resume and on LinkedIn showcasing your new expertise.
The Hubspot program is for marketers, content creators, and people looking to improve their SEO skills. Upon completion, you will also receive an SEO certificate.
Keep in mind, that there are several programs and courses you can take online in addition to the ones mentioned here so be sure to do your research.
Since SEO is constantly evolving, it’s best to continue your education and add to your knowledge.
Use keyword research tools for your SEO editing
It’s pretty difficult to guess what a search engine wants without having some sort of guide. That’s where keyword research tools come in. Check out any of these reputable sources, and use one or more of them to direct you with SEO.
Ahrefs is a highly trusted SEO editing tool that allows you to not just find the right keywords but also track how your content is doing.
The Yoast website offers a ton of great articles about SEO, and they have a plugin that works very well with WordPress, making SEO easy.
A lot of large companies trust Semrush for their SEO needs. You can begin for free, and there are tons of features to help with marketing, keywords, and links.
Keysearch offers a very comprehensive look at keywords. It allows you to see where your content ranks, as well as your competition.
Check your domain’s SEO data, get help with keywords, and more using Moz. They have some free features which are great if you’re just starting out.
Google Search Console
This is a really excellent option if you have a website, especially because so many people use Google.
Google Search Console is tailor-made to help your content rank higher, as it provides you with specific insights that can help you with your traffic and content.
How to leverage SEO editing in your writing
If you want a fast list that you can refer to as you focus on being an SEO content editor, this guide will help you out. Here’s what you might consider doing in order to practice good SEO tactics.
Focus on writing well first
If your writing doesn’t make sense because you focused on SEO and not content, it won’t be readable. Be sure to write well, first and foremost. After all, your readers want to read something that makes sense, not just a bunch of keywords.
Creating higher quality content for those that read your writing can only help.
Don’t stuff your keywords
To go along with the first one, a good SEO content editor doesn't stuff keywords. If your writing is barely legible, but you’ve included the keyword a hundred times, that doesn’t make a good article. There are tools like Yoast that can help you look out for this and know if you’re overusing the keyword.
Plus, keyword stuffing is recognized by search engines, and it isn’t the kind of content that’s wanted.
Include keywords the correct number of times
Based on the word count of your article, you want to be mindful of how often you include your keywords.
There are different keyword amounts depending on how many words are in your article, but many think that you shouldn’t use it more often than every 200 words.
Focus on creating a good balance where the use of your keywords highlights what the text is about without being overdone.
Include title and hierarchical headers
Your title and headers matter because they are the first things that tell your audience what the article is about. Especially since most people like to skim online content nowadays. However, these things also matter for SEO.
Search engines use your title and headers to figure out what your writing is about. You should try to clearly explain your points with headers and titles and use keywords when appropriate, especially with the title.
Your headers should also be hierarchical if you have multiple points to convey e.g. H2, H3, H4 etc
Have a meta description
The meta description is the couple of sentences that you read on the search engine page to discover what an article is about.
It’s a small snippet you added in your text editor (e.g. in WordPress) but is vitally important for SEO editing. After all, you do all that work to get your content to rank with search engines, but your meta description must convince people to read.
Include your keywords in the meta description and make the sentences interesting to grab attention.
Make sure the article has a good structural layout
Make sure your content follows a logical order and that you’re using headers and your title to make your keyword and main points clear.
A lot of SEO is common sense, so be sure that your structure is simple and that your headers are helpful and orderly.
Answer the questions the reader cares about
Your readers found your article and started to read it because they believed that you would answer a question they had. Don’t disappoint them!
Focus on answering the key questions a reader might have about the specific topic you are covering.
Leverage prompts from SEO content editing tools
Your SEO tools e.g. Yoast, Moz, Ahrefs, etc are going to be very helpful when you’re at a loss with SEO.
The companies behind these tools do tons of research to know what search engines are looking for, and they are often very helpful for keywords and creating content that ranks.
But remember that a tool can’t substitute for a person actually reading the article. Be sure to make sure your content makes sense and is something that readers will understand.
Edit your writing multiple times
Editing multiple times is part of writing and SEO editing. You’ll need to read for clarity, as well as to make sure you aren’t keyword stuffing.
Edit as you write, after you write, and one more time when you think the article is perfect. That way, you won’t miss anything.
Why do SEO editing skills matter to potential clients and employers?
Now you know how to use these new skills in an organized way. But what if you write or edit for other people instead of yourself? Why are SEO editing skills so desirable?
It gets their content seen by more people
Most people that you’ll work with when writing or editing want readers to check out their websites or blogs.
If someone wants to hire someone with SEO content editing skills, it’s likely because they know that it makes a difference in how many people see their content.
The popularity of blog posts or articles matters a lot, and many clients will view this as an extremely important thing.
SEO content editing can help businesses make more money
If SEO can bring in more people to see your client’s content, then it can also make them more money. Why? Simple math.
The more people that read content, the higher the chance of them seeing what services or products your clients offer, and this can then turn into purchases.
Since people in business value making sales, this makes SEO editing skills a high priority.
SEO editing is a valuable (and lucrative) skill
Knowing how to edit writing for SEO is extremely valuable, especially for writers or bloggers. There’s so much you can do to help potential clients and yourself.
The average SEO editor makes nearly $60,000 per year, so you can see why it should be a high priority to learn.
SEO editing is a learned skill that you can become great at!
It may seem intimidating at first. Search engines are constantly changing, and you may fear that SEO is a lot to keep up with. However, once you know the basics, it will feel like second nature.
SEO editing is a skill that anyone can learn how to do, and with practice, you’ll become great at it!
Learn more about writing, by checking out our other articles e.g. how authors get paid and questions to ask an author!