Best Practices: Search Engine Optimization for Writers

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Earlier this week I spoke to the PaperStreet content team about search engine optimization and how, as writers, the content team can incorporate best practices into the blogs and pages they write for clients.

You can view the full PowerPoint (SEO Content Guidelines), but I have recapped the major points below.

The Process

After initially meeting the client and learning their geographic location and practice areas, the SEO team runs research on the keyword phrases that the client is targeting. This kicks off the SEO process.

It looks something like this:

  • Keyword Selection
  • Content Audit
  • Site Structure (navigation creation)
  • On-page optimization
  • Link Building
  • Reporting and Consultation

During the content audit, we determine if the website has enough pages to support their keyword phrases. This is directly related to the site structure, or site map, creation. At this point, the client (with help from the PaperStreet content and SEO team) decides which pages they would like to have on their websites, and the order of those pages.

On-page optimization is the editing and amplification of keywords in amongst the content. It establishes relevancy for the phrases we are going after.

What Not To Do

Below is a list of things that are not good for your SEO initiatives. Writers beware.

  • Short Pages:  1 paragraph pages (anything less than 500 words)
  • Orphan Pages:  Pages that don’t link from any other page.
  • Keyword Stuffing:  Forcing keywords into pages.
  • Duplicate Content:  Don’t copy from other websites. Don’t copy from content you have written for other websites. Don’t copy content from other places on the current website. Every page needs unique text.

Avoid these practices at all costs. They will negatively impact your campaign and prevent you from seeing the results you are hoping for.

What To Do

Below is a list of best practices for your SEO campaign. Keep these in mind when writing or planning the content for your website.

  • Write often: The more you write the more you will appear an authority in your area of practice.
  • Create in-depth articles that help: Remember your purpose (to inform, educate, inspire …)
  • SEO your Headlines: Keywords should be in the headlines.
  • Use Subheads: If you don’t want your headlines to be SEO’ed, use subheads instead.
  • Word Count: Your home page should be 750 words and internal pages should be at least 500 words, including blog posts.

Content is king, so be sure to spend the time you need gathering information to write compelling content for your website or clients. As always you can reach out to a member of the PaperStreet team if you have any specific questions regarding.

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