Writing Content & Getting On-Page SEO Right

by Spencer Haws

So you’ve got a domain, you’ve set up hosting and WordPress, and you’ve found a bunch of good keywords.

Now it’s time to write your first piece of content. Awesome!

However, that can be a bit daunting. I know this better than anyone.

Sometimes it can be difficult to enter a market that you don’t know a lot about.

If you’ve been a Niche Pursuits reading for a long time, you’ll know that this is exactly what I was doing when I started Niche Site Project #1. I was entering into a market I knew very little about(at first): survival knives.

How was I going to write about something I knew very little about?

Plus, I had to somehow write content that would actually get people to click on the stuff I wanted them to click.

Over the years, I’ve nailed down a pretty good system for writing fantastic content.

Today, I’m going to give you some short, simple best practices for writing great content. In a few days, after you’ve had some time to digest it a bit—and maybe even try your hand at writing—I’ll send you some more detailed blog posts I have on Niche Pursuits that covers this in a bit more detail.

For now, though, here are some best practices

1. Shoot for 1,000-3,000 words.

For most pieces of content on your site, you’ll want to shoot for 1,500 words or more. Most of my articles on most of my sites are between 1,000 and 3,000 words.

This is mostly because there’s a long of really strong evidence that longer pages rank better.

Now, that doesn’t mean that just making a long page is going to get you to the top of the search results. It just means that if everything else is equal, longer pages rank better than short ones.

They also attract more natural links because they look more authoritative.

2. Make sure your keyword density is less than 1%.

Back in the day, you could just stuff your pages full of your keyword and rank them super easily. That’s not the case now. Google has very sophisticated algorithms that penalize you for this kind of thing.

So, in the contemporary SEO landscape, we shoot for a keyword density less than 1%. And that’s especially true if the keyword is a long tail one—because who’s going to naturally mention “best safety razor for men” 10 times in an article? No one.

3. Find a few related keywords with very low search volume, and include those in the article (headings if possible).

After you’ve got your article, go back into Long Tail Pro and plug in your keyword. Set the parameters to look for keywords that get less than 500 searches (or even less!).

Poke around and try to find some that are very, very related to the keyword you’ll be targeting in your article.

For instance, if your keyword is “How to get rid of wasps,” your related keywords may be “get rid of wasps with wasp spray” or “burn wasp nest” (p.s. these are just examples—I haven’t looked these up; I just want to communicate the kind of relevance you want to shoot for).

Then, work these keywords into your article. Even better, use them as headings and craft sections around them.

The idea here is that Google will (1) see a bunch of highly relevant keywords on the same page, which lets them better know what your pages is about, and (2) rank you for more, small, related long tail keywords.

4. Use EasyAzon to easily put in your Amazon affiliate links.

As many of you know, some of my niche sites are monetized with the Amazon affiliate program.

However, if you’ve ever tried to manage Amazon affiliate links on a large niche site (or multiple niche sites), you’ll know that it can be difficult.

My preferred solution is EasyAzon.

It just makes the whole process super easy by letting your search for links directly in the WordPress editor. This one simple plugin has saved me hundreds of hours of work.

5. Make sure your keyword is in the title, URL, at least one image alt tag and at least H1 tag.

This is SEO 101, but I wanted to mention it again here.

You need to make sure your keyword is in each of those places. Usually, you want it to be towards the beginning, since Google gives less weight to words at the end of URLs and titles.

You also want your keyword to be in at least one image alt tag and at least one H1 heading. All of these things are signals to Google saying, “Hey, my page is about this keyword!”

6. Above all, write naturally.

Google doesn’t like you writing for search engines. It wants you to write for real people.

In the past, it wasn’t very good at telling which pages were written for people and which were just stuffed with keywords. But it’s getting a lot better at it.

So, in the long-term, you’ll be much better off if you write great content targeted at real readers. It’ll convert a lot better too!

 

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