Tips to Plan, Research, Write, and Publish Your Content

ginidietrich
Gini Dietrich Chief Executive Officer, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Posted on March 19th 2014

Tips to Plan, Research, Write, and Publish Your Content

Tips to Plan, Research, Write, and Publish Your ContentI’m not an SEO expert. I don’t even play one on TV.

But I am a communications expert and, as part of my job, I’ve been writing my entire career.

In 2008, when social media began to take a hold, many of us had to quickly figure out how to take our writing experience and use it to build our brands online.

And, as part of that brand-building exercise, came learning how to write for both readers and robots.

In fact, I didn’t realize there was an entire technical side of writing until well into my blogging journey. I was just writing what I thought people would like to read and using our social networks to expand our readership. And it worked.

As it turns out, though, if you are smart and strategic about also writing for robots, you can extend your readership much more quickly than writing just for humans.

Before you get out the tar and feathers, I’m not advocating keyword-stuffed content. The first priority is always to your readers. But there are a few things you can do to help grow your audience.

Plan Your Content

Andy Crestodina at Orbit Media Studios has a template he likes to use when he sets out to write a blog post.

It includes the headline, the target SEO keyword or phrase, the meta description, the permalink, and the images you plan to use.

This is where you plan your work.

Think about the competition already on the web for the topic.

Sign into your Google AdWords (through Google+ account) and use the keyword planner.

See how many searches there are for the keyword or phrase you want to use.

Consider the images. Did you create or shoot them yourself? Did you buy them? Are they Creative Commons? Or can you use something from all of the free images in Getty (but be careful here; they can embed ads in the images)?

Will your meta description motivate people to click on the link when they come across your blog post in a search?

Does your permalink have your keyword or phrase in it?

It’s important to consider all of these things as you plan your content.

Do Your Research

Now it’s time to do your keyword research.

Take a look at the word or phrase you chose. Does it have a lot of competition? How many monthly searches does it have?

Let’s say it has 100 monthly searches and there isn’t a lot of competition. That’s a word or phrase worth using.

But if it has 20,000 monthly searches and you’re going to compete with big brands, you’ll want to tweak the word or phrase.

Once you determine the right fit, you’ll use that in your meta description, permalink, and title.

Jason Falls wrote a blog post last week about metrics in PR, but the permalink he used – for SEO purposes – was “the death of public relations.”

Adjust those things, as necessary, from your planning phase.

Write Your Content

Now you can finally get to writing!

A few things to consider:

  • Blog posts should be 400-700 words to get the most Google juice.
  • Use headers, subheads, and bullets to break up your content to make it easier to read.
  • Make sure you use your target keyword or phrase in at least one header…and I’d recommend three to five times in the copy.
  • Include approximately one link for every 100 words. One of those links should be to something on your site and the others to external websites. Be strategic about the external links. If, say you want to build a relationship to an industry trade publication, link to them!
  • Provide a call-to-action, which can very easily be an invitation for comments, a subscription to the blog, a download of a piece of content, a demo of your product, or a free trial.

The best kind of content written for humans includes active voice, short sentences, and a reason to keep readers engaged. You can write in first or third person. Don’t make it too hard on yourself. Do what’s most comfortable for you.

Publish Your Content

Now it’s time to publish.

Most marketing/social media gurus aren’t very keen on Google+, but I love it because it helps with your search results. Google owns it and they want you to use it so they’ll reward you if you do.

When you post the link to your newest content in Google+, use the keyword or phrase you’ve chosen for the piece.

Do this on Twitter and LinkedIn, as well. It’s less important on Facebook and Pinterest, but do try to customize your updates with the word or phrase in it.

Make it easy for your readers to share your content on the social networks by providing social share buttons on every page of your website or blog.

There is almost nothing more frustrating than wanting to share content and having to manually share it. Make it easy for your readers and they will reward you in turn.

So there you have it. It sounds like a lot, but the more you write, the easier it becomes and the more you’ll be rewarded in search rankings.

A modified version of this first appeared on the SEO Copywriting blog.

The post Tips to Plan, Research, Write, and Publish Your Content appeared first on Spin Sucks.

ginidietrich

Gini Dietrich

Chief Executive Officer, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Gini Dietrich is the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a digital world. The author of Spin Sucks, the 2010 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog, Gini has delivered numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR. One of the top rated communication professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person, according to Klout and TechCrunch, on the channels, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel. She also can be found writing at Crain's Chicago Business, AllBusiness, and Franchise Times.
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