#ContentWritingChat June 21 2016 Recap: The Basics of Optimizing Your Content Correctly for Search Engines

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? There’s no need to worry, my friend. We have you covered with a recap of our latest chat (and it’s a good one). Go ahead and dive into our recap and brush up on your SEO skills with this week’s tips!

#ContentWritingChat June 21 2016 Recap: The Basics of Optimizing Your Content Correctly for Search Engines

For this week’s chat, our guest host was Sherry Bonelli. Sherry is an expert digital marketer (hailing back from 1998), the founder of Early Bird Digital Marketing, and has been featured on the TODAY Show, CNN, ABC. She joined us to share her tips on optimizing your written online content for search engines.

Q1: What are the basics copywriters should know about SEO?

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to optimize your online content. If you’re a natural writer, knowing the basics will just refine your existing skills to help you create fantastic content that Google will love. Check out these tips from the chat:

Don’t forget that everyone can learn the basics of SEO and even small optimizations can make a difference.

As Sherry said, the title of your content and its description will get the attention of potential readers. Make sure you’re using the right keywords to rank higher and attract your ideal reader.

Great advice from Kristen! Understand the language people use within your industry. You need to get inside their heads to choose the keywords they’ll be searching for.

Write with your audience in mind. You want to write for humans, not for robots. Keywords come second.

Make sure you know how to do keyword research. To find the ideal keywords for your content, you’ll need to know how to research them effectively and which tools you should use.

Brittany said to make sure you know why SEO matters. Of course, don’t forget about those all-important keywords either.

Varun suggested that you learn about title, tags, meta description, and headers. You should also understand how to choose the correct keywords.

Our CEO, Julia, said to make sure you know how to write good meta titles and descriptions. Those are key for ranking your content!

Cheryl said to focus on using the right keywords for your content and in your titles and headings. Don’t forget to tag your images with the appropriate keywords as well. This is a step that’s easy to overlook!

Zachary relies on the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to keep him on track when it comes to optimization. We’re right there with you!

Ryan knows keyword stuffing isn’t cool. Make sure the copy you write sounds natural, otherwise it can be a turn-off for your reader.

Jim said to keep your content natural. Don’t force your SEO.

Q2: Should you optimize every piece of content you create?

Is it worthwhile to optimize every piece of content you publish online? Here’s what some of our chat participants had to say:

Sherry believes in optimizing all of the content you create, even print material.

Sarah from ThinkSEM said you don’t need to optimize all of your content. Ultimately, it depends what the content is for. Certain pages on your site don’t necessarily need to rank.

Scott said pages such as your About page and your Contact page don’t need to be optimized. Make sure you’re optimizing what’s relevant.

For the content you want to reach a wide audience, make sure you’re taking the time to optimize it.

Varun questions the point of creating content if you’re not optimizing.

Do you want your content to be seen?

Michael said you should optimize all of your content. He also said the optimization process starts before you even begin writing. You have to conduct research, select keywords, and more.

Julia believes it’s not always important to optimize every piece of content.

You don’t want to neglect your older content. Kristen suggests going back and optimizing your best content first.

Q3: Is keyword density still important when optimizing content?

Keyword density was once a big factor when it comes to ranking your content. Is it still relevant?

Sherry said keyword density isn’t looked at so much anymore. She also said to make sure you’re not guilty of keyword stuffing. If you’re having trouble with your keyword, she suggested reaching for the thesaurus. You can find synonyms to use in your content.

Keywords should still be present, but providing engaging content is always the most important. Great answer, Kristen!

Sarah doesn’t think keyword density is still important. She said the way your content is written is much more important in the end.

Ray’s advice was to make sure you’re not stuffing your content with keywords. It’s not good for your readers and the search engines won’t like it either. Instead, focus on providing valuable content for your reader.

Rohan said keyword variation and natural language are more important.

Jim’s advice was to choose the keywords that feel natural to your content. Remember: no keyword stuffing ever!

Our Content Manager, Katria, knows quality is always the #1 priority.

Q4: How can you define and choose the right keywords for your content?

Choosing the right keywords is essential when optimizing your content. To help you out, check out these tips from the chat:

Don’t forget that Google will show you what people have been searching. All you have to do is start typing for suggestions to appear. She also said that you want to find content that’s being searched for, but doesn’t have too much competition.

Ray knows it’s important to consider your audience in this situation. He said to think about how your audience would ask a question to help in choosing the right keywords.

Similarly, you should spend time getting to know your audience. By doing some research and communicating with your target market, you’ll get to know their preferences and interests. This will help in choosing the keywords that will get you results.

Sarah also said you need to figure out how your audience is talking about a specific topic. Use the words and phrases they’re using because that’s what they’ll search with.

Focus on writing great content first. That’s always the most important thing. Optimize your content afterwards with common keywords.

Julia said to figure out what your audience is talking about. Use BuzzSumo to see what topics are popular at the moment. Keyword tools such as SEMrush and KW Finder are great as well.

Erika relies on Google Keyword Planner, Moz, and Keyword Tool for choosing the best keywords for her content.

Again, it all goes back to your audience. Know what they’re searching for so you can choose your keywords accordingly.

Q5: What tools do you use to help with SEO?

There are a ton of great SEO tools out there and it can be hard to choose just one to use. In fact, many people use multiple tools to help them out. Here are some tool recommendations to try:

Sherry likes to use SEMrush, RankRanger, SEOProfiler, and SEO Powersuite.

Ray, Brittany, and Erika are all fans of the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. It’s a great tool and we use it here at Express Writers.

Sarah turns to tools like ScreamingFrog, Raven Tools, Keyword Planner, and Google autosuggest.

Ryan said you can’t go wrong with Moz, Keyword Planner, and KW Finder.

Julia rlies on Quora, Uber Suggest, SEMrush, and KW Finder.

Screaming Frog and Yoast always come highly recommended.

Yoast, SEO Quake Team, Moz, and Hubspot are all tools worth checking out.

Jenn’s go-to tools include Google Analytics, Adwords, and Moz.

Amalia likes to use tools such as Yoast, SEMrush, Screaming Frog, and Moz.

Q6: Which SEO experts do you follow to stay updated on Google standards?

Because Google does change the standards from time to time, it’s important to stay updated with what’s going on. There are plenty of SEO experts you can follow online to help you stay up to date.

Erika has a few tools she turns to when it comes to SEO, including Randfish’s Whiteboard Friday.

Ellie’s suggestions include Randfish, Moz, Neil Patel, and more.

To stay on top of his blogging game, Zachary likes to read content from Jon Morrow.

All of these suggestions are definitely worth checking out!

We agree, Jim! Neil Patel is always a great resource to turn to for SEO tips and more.

Julia had quite a few suggestions to offer. Do you follow any of these people?

Q7: How can we handle the updates Google made to meta content standards?

Google recently made some updates to their meta content standards. If you haven’t heard about this, make sure you reader our blog post on it: https://expresswriters.com/new-meta-content-length

Sherry said to keep an eye on what experts are doing and learn from their mistakes.

With a little more room to write, Julia says we can get creative with those extra characters.

No matter what changes are made, Sarah said you still want to write meta content that’s descriptive.

It always helps to regularly test and analyze your results so you can get better.

For now, just keep going and doing things as you normally would.

Q8: What are the don’ts when optimizing content?

There are always a few don’ts you should avoid when optimizing content for search engines. Here are some tips from our chat:

Sherry said not to forget about adding alt tags to your images. This is key if you want your images to be picked up by search engines.

Kristen is spot on with her answer. Don’t alter the core message or readability of your content for SEO. Providing quality to your audience is always the most important thing. Never sacrifice that.

Erika had some advice that was similar to Kristen’s. Be human! Don’t make your content unnatural for the sake of SEO.

To sum it all up: no keyword stuffing.

Sarah knows there are quite a few “don’ts” when it comes to SEO. She said to avoid keyword stuffing, over-linking, and writing just for keywords/SEO. Avoid being spammy.

As Julia said, you should never focus solely on keywords. It’s more important to focus on creating high-quality content.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

P.S. Interested to learn how Julia created our chat from scratch and how I manage it? Check out our episode on The Write Podcast posted this week, where Julia and I discuss everything entailed in launching/running a Twitter chat!

1 reply
  1. Laura Moore
    Laura Moore says:

    Article writing is one of the key strategies in getting your history being known. It needs creativity, a lot of research and a mastery of languages. Thanks for sharing your tips during #contentwritingchat.


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