In the Game of SEO Thrones, you can’t afford to lose because of improper formatting. That was our attempt at a play on words with the new popular HBO show “Game of Thrones”!
Writing for search engine optimization in 2019 means your blog articles, thought leadership pieces and other website content should still incorporate the winning formula. Keep in mind – the winning formula is always changing.
What SEO writing strategy works for today’s content marketers?
It’s important that copywriters, freelance writers, bloggers and content creators are all on the same page.
Here’s how to format your content and take your SEO game to the next level, one blog article at a time.
H1 tag for headlines are imperative for SEO
First things first. Use the proper HTML heading tag, H1, for the title of your blog article. On this page, that’s “Best ways to format content for SEO.”
Next, you need to craft a killer, reader-friendly headline. Only in the SEO realm can using the adjectives “killer” and “friendly” in the same sentence sound perfectly normal.
Choose a reader-friendly headline style. Choose between headline style (“Best Ways to Format Content for SEO”) and sentence style (“How to format content for SEO”). Tempesta Media writers follow either the AP style (sentence style) or our customer’s title style preference.
Avoid using all capital letters (“HOW TO FORMAT CONTENT FOR SEO”) or capping initial letters in every word (“How To Format Content For SEO”). The former makes the text hard to read while the latter makes conjunctions, prepositions and articles of three letters or fewer look awkward.
Always use the numeral instead of spelling out a number in headlines (“6 common writer mistakes to avoid“). It’s easy on the eyes, and it helps boost engagement rates.
Follow the ideal length. Different articles suggest the perfect headline length is about 7-8 words or 64-70 characters. Article Document allows writers to use a lengthier title as long as it is catchy, relevant to the topic and does not contain special characters (e.g., @#:;*&%^).
Meanwhile, a killer headline, in SEO terms, has these elements:
- Long-tail keyword or keyword phrase that answers a real user query.
- Emotional marketing value that is achieved through the use of context words or emotionally charged words.
H3 tag for subheadings make the content easier to read
Content presentation matters. Considering the limited attention span of humans, it makes sense to use subheads to break up chunks of text and make the article easier to read.
Tempesta Media advises its writers to use H3 tags to organize their content and include at least two subheaders in a 500-word assignment.
The subheaders should be 5-8 words long, descriptive, compelling, parallel in structure and consistent in tone.
To boost SEO, it is best to include the keyword phrase in the first subheader of the article. On this page, that’s “Format content for SEO – H1 tag for headlines.”
Bulleted lists to easily scan content and capture information
Make use of bullet points to keep readers that prefer to skim articles on your page. Numbered lists work just as well.
Readers love lists because they make important points easier to digest.
These tactics also increase the chances of your content getting a featured snippet in the Google SERPs.
Links for SEO success
In a recent blog article, we discussed how proper linking helps SEO.
Internal/external links enable your content to rank and are helpful for your readers.
Use the right anchor text, which is the clickable text that readers see. Make sure it looks natural and the sentence in which the link is embedded provides meaningful context.
For a 500-word blog article, strive to include at least two internal links. Remember to follow best practices for linking to internal/external sources within an article.
Today, you have access to numerous tools that help you format content for SEO. The right content marketing partner can do the heavy lifting while you focus on improving the efficiency of your day-to-day business. Contact Tempesta Media to work with a best in class content marketing service.