4 Questions (and 8 Tips) to Help You Master Writing for SEO


PR pros often say they're right-brained creative types, naturally averse to math. True or not, they still have to face down the reality of Google's search algorithm and become skilled in search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. That is, if they want their messages to be found.

It turns out that one of those right-brain skills—good writing—may be the best SEO weapon available. Now more than ever, SEO success depends on strategic writing skills. Creating content that satisfies search engines' need to deliver useful information improves Google search rankings.

Before you go on a writing spree for your site, think strategically about what you’re creating. Knowing what you want out of your content will give you a window into what Google's users want. Mark Baumann, head of content & SEO at Square, recommends asking these four questions before writing content with SEO specifically in mind.

  1. What is the company’s overarching goal that you want to support?
    • Increases in brand awareness?
    • Drive more traffic to your site?
    • Generate sales leads?
    • Convert more leads into customers?
  2. Who is the target audience?
  3. What is the strategy you plan to develop and implement?
    • What types of content do you plan to optimize or create?
    • How do you leverage PR & communications?
    • What are your success metrics?
  4. What’s your mid- to long-range action plan to scale your efforts?

Once you have all these questions answered and you’re ready to start creating content that’s naturally friendly to search engines, consider these eight tips for quality SEO writing from Victoria Holmes, communications specialist with the District of Columbia Government.

  1. Be clear.
  2. Check for spelling and grammar errors.
  3. Write in an easy to follow, plain language.
  4. Use a mix of keywords.
  5. Create new and fresh content; don’t duplicate.
  6. Use descriptive anchor text.
  7. Keep content length appropriate.
  8. Provide calls to action in the text.

Follow Mark: @MarkRenfree