Writing for SEO is a Little Science and a Lot of Art

Writing for SEO is about the science of numbers. No, wait, writing for SEO is truly an art. Good digital writers master both.

Writing for SEO is a Science

SEO is all about numbers — algorithms drive numerical page scoring that results in higher page ranking. The higher the page rank, the more likely your page will be found. Keywords used in the proper places will achieve a better score. High quality inbound links, especially those using your target keywords dramatically increase scores. Outbound links, especially blogs referencing other blogs also score higher. And so on, and so on. That’s the science part.

Writing for SEO is an Art

Digital Writing - Writing for SEOBut the art comes in telling your story well while weaving particular keyword phrases into the title, heads, subheads and body copy. Forcing certain phrases into these critical locations can make your article sound forced, stilted, or downright weird.

You cannot inundate your copy with repeated keyword phrases, Google doesn’t like that. Make sure your keywords are present in your title and a subhead, then sprinkle them about 4-5 times in a 300 word article. Bold them where you can in order to emphasize and nudge your SEO score just a bit higher.

Seasoned digital writers don’t see this as a burden, but a fun challenge — tell a good story, use keywords consistently (and perfectly), follow them seamlessly into your copy and Shazam, writing for SEO.

Writing for SEO doesn’t always come naturally. It requires practice, thinking and multiple editing passes. The more you do it the easier and more natural it becomes. Soon you just write that way without thinking.

The What and How of What You Say

Begin with some planning. Decide 1) who your audience is, 2) what you want to say in your story, and 3) the 3-5 word keyword search phrase your audience would most likely use to find your article on Google. Now write, edit, and edit again. Sounds easy, it’s not.

If you want to read deeper into this subject, here are a couple of articles. Enjoy.

SEO Copywriting Made Easy (thanks to Copyblogger)

Tips for Writing Effective SEO Content (MarketingProfs)

Happy digital writing.



Steve Lee

Professor of Practice at Southern Methodist University
Among interactive company CEOs, Steve Lee is not exactly normal. Don’t think that gray hair makes him the old guy, decades of business experience combined with technical understanding and deep social media experience makes for a powerful combination.


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