While it is very much agreed upon that “content is king,” sometimes producing great content is not a straightforward process. Sometimes website owners will dutifully publish content once a week, but not see much of a return for their efforts. As long as you or someone on your team is willing to put in the extra effort for SEO content writing, you can find a solution and raise the quality of your content so that every piece contributes to the value of your website. Here is a quick checklist to make sure that you are producing content that readers will treasure and search engines will rank.

Is the content long enough?

While length does not necessarily indicate quality, it’s often a good clue. The minimum average length that search engines will consider as authoritative content is 300-400 words. Both users and search engines are looking for in-depth content, and that often entails longer articles.

Do you have a descriptive title?

Titles are a key part of how users and search engines decipher the usefulness of a webpage or blog. Make sure titles accurately describe the content and target a specific keyword or theme. If possible, set the target keyword at the front of the title to direct more attention to the main topic of the page.

Do you use headers?

The structure of an article can be used to enhance the quality of SEO content writing. Like titles, headers should be descriptive of the sections they correspond to, and they should include a target theme or keyword when possible. Headers are useful for breaking up content into more digestible pieces of information, encouraging more thorough readership. They are also used by search engines to quickly assess the subject of a page. In general, avoid short, one-word headers.

Are you targeting a well-defined theme or keyword?

Any good piece of writing will have a clear idea behind it. This is particularly true for SEO content writing where content curators are trying to encourage ongoing readership. In addition to defining your topic for a reader’s benefit, search engines need clear signals to determine what a page is about. While keyword stuffing (unnaturally inserting a certain phrase into the text to increase its “density,” or frequency) is very obvious and often penalized, make sure that the term you are targeting is present in multiple locations throughout the article, including in the title, headers, and body copy. Mentioning a keyword just once is usually not enough to establish it as a theme for search engines, even if the article discusses its core idea.

To make sure you are on track with your keyword selection, ask yourself if someone typed that keyword into Google, would they be satisfied with your article? If the answer is no, you have some re-writing to do.

Have you proofread?

Spelling and punctuation errors are fairly easy for search engines to catch, and readers won’t think highly of errors, either. The more mistakes a piece of content has, the lower its quality is considered. I know you’re eager to publish your blog after you finish, but hold on. It’s worth the effort to take a few extra minutes for a final proof read. Make sure to keep an eye out for typos that spell other words (like “if” instead of “is”) that a spell checker may not pick up.

Are you publishing in the right areas?

Sometimes the problem isn’t the content itself, but the placement of it. Publishing a post that compares different brand name eyeglass lenses will likely do very well on a site like The New York Times or CNN, but it will not get the same traction on Briana’s Blog. If you are competing with highly respected websites for a certain topic, they’ll likely get those top rankings until your site can boost its Page Rank and Domain Authority.

There are a few solutions for this. The first is to keep writing premium content for your site and building up your community, just with lowered expectations. You may also want to try submitting your content to more prestigious sites and building your authority that way. This will help give your brand more exposure as well as gain valuable links for your site.

Are you promoting your content?

After you have spent so much effort writing a well-researched blog, make sure that people know about it. Push out your content through social media (particularly Google+, Facebook, and Twitter). While your community may not check your blog every day, they will quickly spot your post in their social media news feeds if you send out a link. If you put together an extraordinary piece of content, such as a white paper or infogrpahic, you can also write a press release on it.

Is this content a valuable resource?

One of the biggest questions to consider about your SEO content writing is whether it is adding value to your website and to the online community in general. Good content will present a new perspective or original idea for whatever field or topic you are writing about. If you are rehashing information from elsewhere on the web, users will grow bored from the repetition, and search engines will display more authoritative posts on the subject instead. This is another time you can ask yourself if the person who searched for your target keyword would be satisfied with your page.

Need assistance with a content marketing strategy? Learn more about our content marketing services.

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Director of Content Development|Briana is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. Her professional background includes copywriting and marketing in the US and China. She currently lives in great little suburb south of Pittsburgh.

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