SEO writing: Top 7 tips to outrank your competition


What is SEO writing?

If you’ve ever wondered how articles or blogposts get to the top of search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and yahoo, they were optimized for it.

Ranking on Google or other search engine is not all there is to SEO writing – it has to answer search queries

According to the Google helpful content update released in December.

Google says “it will use its automated ranking systems to better ensure people see original, helpful content written by people for people in search results“.

This update from Google makes it conclusive that SEO writing is content for both users and search engines.

 I would be mistaken to say it is easy to rank in search engines. However, following the rules and improving on the tips that will be shared in this article will help you.

What does it mean to write for SEO?

Simply put, optimizing content for search engines is writing with the intent to rank on Google/Bing/Yandex or other search engines. A lot of things go into this process such as 

  1.  Keyword research
  2.  Understanding Queries
  3.  Knowing what questions people have
  4.  Answering questions appropriately.

Why is SEO writing important?

Why is SEO writing important?

In a report by Oberlo, over 8.5 billion searches are made on Google day.

The human mind is constantly curious, we all make decisions and sometimes we need a form of assurance. 

That’s where Google comes in to either validate our assumption or correct it. 

Imagine 10% of these individuals search for a term that relates to your website and boom! You show up on the first page what would that mean for your business?

Traffic? Conversion? Whatever it is, that is what happens when you write for SEO more eyeballs, you build public reputation and nurture the relationship you have with existing clients.

When you consider SEO in your writing it is essential that you sort your content into intent.

Informational intent: Searchersinthis category are looking for answers to specific questions or general information

Transactional intent: Searchers in this category wants to complete an action in most cases purchases.

Commercial intent: Searchers in this category want to know more about specific products and services. when you write good content here, you end up converting transactional searchers.

Navigational intent: Searchers in this category find specific business websites.

The customer journey should be taken into consideration when writing content, as it helps you produce the right content, research the right keywords and make the most of your SEO effort.

Top of the funnel: People at the top of the funnel are new to your product/services and hence need educational or informational content to reel them in

Middle of the funnel: People at this point of the funnel know about you but are keen on making further research to help them make the right decision.

Bottom of the funnel: People are this part of the funnel are well-informed and are ready to transact.

Pro Tip: Plan post-purchase content too.

Top 7 tips for writing SEO content

Top 7 tips for writing SEO content
  • Research the SERP
  • Outline
  • Keyword research
  • Headlines
  • Understand search queries
  • Have a detailed content brief
  • Use a content analyzer
  1. Research the SERP: SERP represents the search engine result page, this is the page that shows up after you submit a query to Google. The SERP is a result of possible answers to your question that Google has found while crawling the web. Of course, this is because someone has optimized their content for search engines. The SERP page consists of Ads, a Knowledge graph, People also ask, a shopping section, business profiles, and related searches section.

When researching the SERP your main goal should be to analyze why certain websites are ranking for a particular word or topic and what they are doing such as:

  • Featured snippet
  • Article type
  • Article length
  • Headline
  • Domain authority
  • Links
  • Keyword choice
  • User intent
  • Industry
  • Headings

Remember the goal is to create better content. Carefully researching the SERP helps you outrank your competitor.

2. Outline: Observe how the first three websites or blogs rank for your targeted keyword, and how they write and structure their content. What subheading is common among the three? If two websites use the same subheadings or headings you’ve got yourself a working formula- it means Google already recognized those headlines and will rank them.

3. Keyword research: You can either research keywords you have been using to fill content gaps or industry-related keywords to tap into opportunities.

There are several ways to conduct keyword research but I will focus on two in this article.

  • Search engine: When using search engines for keyword research click on the browser of your desktop or mobile device, and type the keyword related to your business. To show you how this process works I will like to use the short-tail keyword “keto-diet” while typing this keyword you will see how people are typing queries into the search engine, you should write what you see.

Carry on with your initial query, run the search and you will see different searches on the same topic, and observe the occurrence of keywords in the articles of others.

Check the people also ask section, note the question people are asking explore it for a while. Head over to the related searches section and evaluate queries similar to yours. Expand the people also ask section, when you find blogs or websites that answer your queries copy and paste them into Google, you will see content that has been indexed by Google from the site. If you want to see what your competitors are writing about your topic, copy their URL and include your seed keyword run the search on Google to know.

  • Semrush: Scroll to the keyword overview section of your dashboard, and input your seed keyword. You can decide to filter the result by intent, density, difficulty, and volume. If your website or blog is new, it is advisable you shoot for keywords between 10%-30% difficulty.
  • Low competition and long-tail keywords give you the best value for your time.

Click on the related section, monitor words people use alongside your seed keyword, then navigate to the questions section, look at the questions people ask, copy and paste the questions into a Google sheet.

4. Understand search queries: When you understand search intent and your customer journey it is easier to create quality content. If people are at the top of the funnel don’t write them bottom of the funnel content for them you risk losing them to your competitors. Don’t just be found on search engines be relevant and helpful. You need both informational and commercial content to thrive.

5. Have a detailed content brief: One of the most underrated tips for writing SEO content is a content brief, don’t guess it, you need it. if you write thin and unintentional content you won’t do so much. I got my website writing on Google for certain keywords within 30 days because of a detailed content brief that properly highlights H1- H6, meta description, featured snippets, related words, and questions people also ask. Use tools like Marketmuse, content harmony, and Semrush to come up with briefs.

6. Use a content analyzer: After doing the heavy lifting contrast and compare your content to that of your competitors with tools like Optimize AI and Frase.

Types of Keywords

  • Local keywords
  • Informational keywords
  • Transactional keywords
  • Navigational keywords
  • Commercial keywords


7. Headlines; Use headlines that speak to the desires of people.  A few tools I use to measure the emotional appeal of my headlines are:

  • Emotional headline analyzer
  • Content row: For this only click on the clickbait option if you can fulfill your promise otherwise stick with the topical or evergreen headline suggestions.

How to write a good headline

  1. Use numbers
  2. Make it benefit-driven
  3. Use the right length (55 characters)
  4. Make your headline a summary of the topic
  5. Your headline should be true
  6. Use urgency
  7. Make it understandable
  8. Make your headline easy, you are not writing a thesis!

Example: The advancement and development of IOT in South America

Write this instead: 

IOT: 5 ways it changed South America.

The difference is people know what to expect in the latter and it easy to read.

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