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Yes, yes, content is king. Check.
True SEO comes from content that people will want to link to. Check.
Write for humans, not for search engines. Check.
Just keep writing new content that will stay evergreen. Check.
So, these are nice sentiments, but how do you know if you're doing it right? Copywriting is hard work, and it's intimidating – but it doesn't have to be! Here are a few ways to tell if what you're writing is good for the web, and write your future content even better.
Short and Sweet
Break up your content. Having a simple, focused article is generally better than a long, rambling, pointless one. A guideline for many blog posts is between 300 and 600 words – for context, this article is 500 words long. But make sure you have enough information to be helpful.
Break It Up
Subheadings are great – both for readers and for search engines. Help readers skim easily by using Heading 2 and Heading 3 tags, and include your keywords to know what . Numbered or bulleted lists often help for readability, too, though if each bullet point is too long, you might want to make sure key words are bold or otherwise called out.
And don't underestimate the value of white space, both in your design and between paragraphs. Reading on the computer is an eyestrain for many people anyway, so don't make reading your site more painful than it needs to be!
Know about Keywords
It might be easier to think of your keywords as being what your audience would be searching for. This is one reason that you don't want to post too much off-topic information on your site. If someone is looking for a recipe and they type in ingredients, you should have a recipe posted using those ingredients in order for them to find you.
When people talk about keyword density, that means the number of times that word appears in your post. Don't worry about it too much – just make the article readable. In our recipe example, if your recipe includes carrots and celery, you'll list carrots and celery in the ingredients list, mention them again when you tell how to chop them and mix them. That's enough natural instances for search engines to know what you're talking about, and for your readers to be able to keep track of what you're talking about, too.
Break the Rules
Pick any of these “rules” and you'll find a hundred successful blogs which have broken it. However, they all became successful because they had something to offer their readers: entertainment, news, information. Start figuring out what you're good at writing and what others want to read.
Write Something Interesting
This is the rule that can't be broken – though you might be surprised what some people are interested in! But context matters: a recipe won't work as well on an SEO site, and an instructional article probably won't go too far on a blog that usually posts opinion pieces.
Don't just post on your blog for the sake of posting, or just to say hi. Make sure what you're saying has some meat behind it, whether it's a how-to, a case study, or some breaking news. Practical subjects go a long way online, especially. Share it with users you think would be interested, and make it easy to share on social media.
Is there anything else that you look for in well-written web copy? Share your observations below!