How to Use Keywords for Writing Great Content

Guest post contributed by Anne Morgan, Content Writer and Ben Raley, SEO Specialist

Ask any number of marketers what they know about SEO (search engine optimization) content and many might only skim the surface of what’s possible with this marketing strategy. Marketers know they need to optimize their digital content for SEO, but often it’s an afterthought (keyword stuffing, anyone?) instead of a consistent practice integrated into their big-picture content plans.

That approach can look like this (guess the keywords!):

Are you looking to install siding in Tampa, FL? We can match you with contractors experienced in vinyl siding in Tampa, FL, wood siding in Tampa, FL, and even fiber cement siding in Tampa, FL. Our Tampa, FL siding repairs will help you get the best look for your home!

 Okay, this might be an extreme example—but approaching SEO with a keyword-stuffing mindset exposes your strategy. And it ultimately leads to content that isn’t valuable for your audience. Instead, marketers can get the best results from SEO content efforts when they’re backed by strong content writing, and an integrated agency can deliver this combined effort effectively. Here’s how we approach SEO keywords in digital content at GS&F.

Aligning What Google Wants With What Your Brand Needs

 In previous years, tossing as many search terms into your website’s content was the way to go. Google responded to those efforts and awarded top search results for a quantity-over-quality approach. But not anymore.

Currently, the factors that determine a top result are more holistic. Because all search queries come from questions (even if they are not phrased as such), top search results consist of content that most adequately answers a user’s question.

Ben Raley, SEO specialist at GS&F, explains it “Content is how we answer a search query. Keywords serve as navigational beacons for content.”

Using particular keywords for content ensures your brand’s content is in the “conversation” around those topics. But ultimately, when your content answers a user’s question fully with relevant information, that’s what puts you at the top of a Google search results page.

And when a user sees your brand’s content at the top, they’re likely to click—and then receive helpful information from you. Their experience with your brand may not lead directly to a sale in that moment, but building trust with relevant information can go a long way. Through your content, users will find value in what your brand has to offer, benefiting from using you as a resource.

Viewing SEO Through a Content Lens

When staring down a list of keywords a page must include, implementing an SEO strategy can feel restrictive. But the good news? Keywords don’t dictate your content.

Keywords do define your topic, but you’d be writing about those topics anyway—they matter for your brand! The words on the page can be as creative as you would have wanted them to be without SEO in the mix.

Implementing an SEO strategy with creativity involves using keywords for content with an audience-first mindset. If your content will rank toward the top of a search results page when it answers relevant questions adequately, then think through what your audience might be asking. What would they need to know from your brand to get a complete answer to their questions? How can your content help them on various points of the customer journey? Considering these and other audience-first questions can help you go beyond simply dropping keywords onto a page. Instead, your keywords can drive informative responses to an actual need.

Using keywords in website content can even tie into best practices for content writing. For example, it’s always good to place information toward the top of a page that serves as a type of “thesis statement.” This way, even if a visitor reads only the first bits of information, they’ll walk away with a valuable answer to their question. And this thesis statement, since it’ll center on your content’s main point, will likely contain several keywords. In the end, your leading content will both offer your audience quality information and have an increased chance of being found by Google.

Creating Great SEO Content With an Integrated Agency

 Who better to deliver an SEO content strategy than an integrated agency? Creating content that can be found by Google is inherently an integrated practice, bringing together the art of communication with the data-driven approach to showing up in a search results page.

Integrated agencies practice this kind of collaboration daily. Our content writers and SEO experts work together to make sure Google’s needs and your brand’s needs are met. We’re just a Slack message away from each other, so we can brainstorm ways to answer your audience’s questions with solid content that isn’t missed by Google’s algorithms.

Most of all, we don’t let SEO or content win out over the other—we believe in uniting the goals of the two into content that actually moves the needle for your brand. For example, our team implemented a content strategy for one of our clients and saw a 60% increase in organic traffic from Q2 2019 to Q2 2020.

Looking for results like these? Wondering how to use keywords for SEO? Let’s talk it out and develop a strategy together that puts your brand on the map.

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