SEO Writing 101 Guide
This guide is for the DZone contributors to deepen their knowledge of SEO writing.
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“SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results” per Moz, which is the very first company that started an online-based subscription service for the SEO community.
Google and other search engines have millions of factors to determine which webpage is suitable for your query; however, the most important aspect of SEO writing is that you create content for your audience, and search engines make algorithm updates to provide the best search engine result pages (SERPs) to users. Do you see the keyword here? SEO is all about people. You do not want to create content for search engines.
At DZone, we embrace our community and its members. Let’s dig into more details about SEO writing.
We recommend conducting keyword research to generate new ideas for your topics. SEO keyword research will give you clear insights, such as:
- Monthly Search Volume: How many people search for the topic you are thinking of?
- Keyword Difficulty: How difficult or competitive is it?
- Types of Content: What kind of content format works best? Written content, video, or infographics?
- Know Your Audience: Who will be your primary targeted audience? What do they want to know?
- Trend Analysis: Is the topic trendy? Do more people search for it compared to last year? Is it an evergreen or seasonal topic?
There are many things you need to know before you start creating a piece of content.
As this guide is specifically for our DZone contributors, we would like to show some tips for on-page SEO techniques.
How long a content piece should be is depending on your type of content, but there is a big trend that long content wins in SEO. The ideal content length is 1,000-2,000 words. This length will also maximize opportunities for social share and Google is now able to index passages from a webpage called passage-based indexing, meaning Google can pick up a block or part of content for SERPs to satisfy each query.
If you are using a content management system (CMS), you most likely have an option for headings, and the headings are the place you can drop your primary keywords to attract visitors. Consider each heading:
- H1: An H1 is a book title. Use one H1 on each webpage.
- H2: H2s are chapters. Guide what you talk about for each part of your content
- H3: H3s are sub-chapters. If you need more details under an H2, this heading is your option.
SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
SEO Titles: Search engines display around the first 50-60 characters, including site name. Make sure you include the primary keywords in a title tag and attract visitors such as "SEO Writing 101 for DZone Community - DZone Writers" (51 characters) for this article. If your title tag is too long, the title will end with '...' which doesn't provide good information to users.
You might be confused between an SEO title and H1, but an SEO title will show up on SERPs and an H1 will show up on an actual webpage. In many cases, you can use your H1 as your SEO title, but keep in mind that an SEO title has much potential to increase CTRs from search engines.
Here are some great examples from our contributors:
"Being VP Of Engineering Is Harder Than Being CEO - DZone Agile"
"How to Convert HTML Tables into Beautiful PDFs - DZone Web Dev"
Meta descriptions: Search engines display around the first 150 characters. A recent SEO study shows that a meta description has more potential to increase CTR than a title tag. Again, make sure you add your primary keywords to attract users to click your webpage through SERPs.
For this article, the meta description reads, "Whether you are thinking to join the DZone community or you are already a DZone Core member, this guide will help you create an SEO-friendly article."
Understanding Search Intent
One of Backlinko’s articles states, “Search Intent (also known as “User Intent”) is the main goal a user has when typing a query into a search engine. Common types of Search Intent include informational, commercial, navigational and transactional.”
The primary search intent for DZone is informational and navigational:
Users who are looking for information will be categorized into this group. Our community members are looking for new ways to improve their programming skills, new applications or technical decisions. “How to” or “Tips of” are good words to use when you provide information that satisfies informational intent.
As we provide great resources to our community, we see people search for ‘xyz dzone’ on Google. This means users have specific questions about certain topics and they want to get the information from the DZone community. Understanding navigational intent will give you a new idea such as what kind of topics we are missing, and if there are any missing topics, it is a great opportunity to contribute your article to DZone.
How to Contribute Content to DZone
At DZone, we are passionate about helping the DZone community and sustain DZone members’ growth. If you are motivated to share your knowledge and expertise with the world, all you need to do is create a free account and click on the “Post” button in the top right of the navigation bar once logged in. be sure to read through our Article Submission Guidelines before getting started. If you have any questions about DZone contributors, visit our FAQ article for more details.
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