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 excellent skill that can make a world of difference in your writing.
Once you learn the basics, your writing will start to benefit. That said, let’s talk about SEO content editing – what it is, why you need it, and how to get started.
Table of contents
- What is SEO editing AKA SEO content editing?
- Situations where you might need SEO content editing skills
- 12 Ways to leverage SEO content editing in your writing
- Expert tip: Create valuable content by doing research
- How to become an SEO content editor
- Why do SEO editing skills matter to potential clients and employers?
- What is SEO in writing?
- How to use SEO in content creation?
- SEO editing is a learned skill that you can become great at!
What is SEO editing AKA SEO content editing?
What exactly is SEO editing? Well, 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.
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. It brings in new clients by putting your work in front of them. In other words, SEO is another form of marketing.
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
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.
12 Ways to leverage SEO content editing in your writing
If you want a fast list that you can refer to as you focus on SEO editing, this guide will help you out. Here are the steps to take to practice good SEO tactics.
1. Find your main keywords
Before you start, you need to determine your main keyword. Your keywords are what tell search engines what your article is about.
To determine your keyword, you need to know what people are searching for in your niche.
For example, if you write about pets, some of your keywords might be related to pet care, like best dog grooming tools, or how to care for a hamster.
2. Use keyword research tools
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.
3. Research competitors content
Search engines are really good at picking up what a user wants to know in response to their searches. To find out what type of content users are looking for, you can look at the top results for your keywords.
You can use some of the keyword search tools above or just type your main keyword into Google.
Look at the top competitors and study their articles. What topics are they covering? How long is the piece? What question are they answering? How is the article structured?
Studying your competitors can help you understand the SEO editing trends that you can use in your own piece.
Be careful, though as you don’t want to copy or plagiarize your competitors. Use their content as inspiration and make sure to come up with your own original writing.
4. Figure out your ideal word count
Depending on the article and what users are looking for, your word count may vary. If users are looking for a quick answer, you might only need 700 words. But if users are looking for a lenghy guide (such as how to be a SEO content editor) then you might need 2,000 or more words.
You can find your ideal word count by either using SEO editor tools or by looking at your competitors.
Based on the word count of your article, you should 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.
5. Make sure your content satisfies the search intent
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.
To find your search intent, ask yourself what the search is trying to query? Make sure your content is answering the question readers are asking.
6. Cover the important topics and subtopics
Make sure your content covers the topic and subtopics. You want to create a comprehensive piece that answers all the questions that users have, so they don’t go back to Google to search for the same term.
If users don’t search the term again after reading your piece, it tells the search engine that your content is answering the search query and you’ll likely rank higher.
Don’t forget to focus on quality as well! 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.
7. Optimize the layout and structure
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.
You can also check to see how your competitors structured their articles to see if you should include terms or sections.
8. Optimize your title and 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.
9. Add your meta description
The meta description is the couple of sentences that you read on the search engine’s result 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.
10. Add internal links
Links are a key part of the SEO algorithm. Google uses links as an indicator of how authoritative and useful an article is.
Make sure to link to other content on your site that is related to your topic. This helps guide readers to other relevant content and establishes your authority on the topic.
You can find other content on your site that mentions your main keyword or similiar phrases by using the search “site: [website] [keyword]”.
11. Check your images
Good images are appreciated by readers and search engines alike. Make sure to include images that are related to your content.
Also keep the size of the image in mind, as large images can slow down your page. Resize your image to 200kb or smaller.
You can also add alt text, a short written description of your image, to help search engines understand the purpose of the image.
Make sure you have permission to use the images you use. You can use your own or find relevant images on creative commons sites like Wikipedia.
12. Don’t stuff your keywords when SEO editing
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.
Expert tip: Create valuable content by doing researchSEO editing is vital for creating content that can easily be found on search engines. Focus on creating valuable content that is well-written, concise, and answers the question that users are searching for. Be sure to include your keywords but don’t overuse them.
You can get content ideas to include in your articles by looking at the top ranking articles to see what they have included. Just remember to keep your writing original and unique.
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 can improve your SEO skills by reading books about writing, take writing courses, and put everything you learn into action.
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 and 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.
Since SEO is constantly evolving, it’s best to continue your education and add to your knowledge. Make sure to do your research to find courses that are the most up-to-date.
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. It can also expose more people to any ads the business runs on their site which in turn can generate advertising revenue.
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.
What is SEO in writing?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a set of techniques aimed at increasing a webpage’s visibility in search engine results like Google or Bing. The point is to try to make your writing accessible and searchable in order to attract more visitors to your site.
You can do this by including SEO elements in your writing, such as relevant terms and keywords, optimizing your page, and crafting high-quality content that offers value readers.
Including meta descriptions, links, and images can also increase your search visibility. Your articles should be focused on the user, with clear, informative content that answers the questions readers are asking.
How to use SEO in content creation?
To use SEO in content creation, you need to identify your main keywords and then conduct keyword research.
Figure out keywords and phrases that are related to your content and have a reasonable search volume and relatively low competition. You can use SEO research tools to help you find the most updated data.
Your main keywords should be the focus of your content. Make sure to include them throughout your article, including the title and headings.
However, make sure to not overstuff your keywords, as that can hurt your SEO ranking. Always prioritize the reader’s experience over keyword usage and write well and concisely.
You can also use SEO to get ideas for new content. For example, finding keywords that are related to your niche or topic and have high search volume but hasn’t been written about much before.
In addition to keywords, make sure your webpage is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. You should also make sure your page loading speed is high, as faster-loading pages are favored by search engines. And make sure to regularly update your content to keep it current.
Related articles on content editing
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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!