I’ve been writing for our company for a while. Mostly, press releases, articles, brand website content, and social media captions. I’ve been writing to my heart’s content using what I’ve learned from creative short story writing until recently, when the brand HQ pressed for SEO.
It’s tough. Not very delightful to do. It’s purely business. And to be honest, SEO writing is still like a gray shade to me. You know that feeling when you know something but don’t understand its nature?
However, nothing tough stops us from learning. So here are a few things I learned in writing SEO keyword-driven content.
It’s already hard to be creative. It’s harder to incorporate keywords.
Telling a brand’s story is not as easy as telling your personal story. You must use the brand style and voice yet be understandable and relatable. Then comes the keywords.
Writing with specific keywords is not natural to me. I let the words flow when I write my way, but I feel that the keywords disrupt that flow. I feel forced.
On the other hand, keywords seemed like a structure I needed to work around. I’m just not used to following a structure.
I have to learn to write (even) longer.
I can keep writing, on and on and on. But to write with a specific brand voice in mind, with the addition of those keywords, I usually end up staring at the blinking cursor for a long time. Sometimes, I feel that my writing doesn’t make sense anymore (but I must ensure it does).
SEO writing is like in-your-face branding.
Imagine a person wearing a brand from head to toe, Adidas, for example (not sponsored, just random). With overly done logos everywhere, in addition to the three stripes from the cap to the shirt, jacket, pants, and shoes. With SEO writing, some keywords or phrases must be repetitive throughout the content, yet they should not look keyword stuffed. Related words should be added throughout the content aiming towards the same goal – to be on the top of the search engines. Tough. Writing short stories are quite the opposite. Write repetitively, and you lose the interest of the reader.
I still need to write for an audience.
On top of all the writing conditions I must follow, I still need to write content for the brand’s audience without sounding robotic or keyword stuffed. The message should be clear and still beautifully written.
Of course, practice improves our skills. I need to consistently write in this manner to improve and fully understand the nature of SEO content writing.
And maybe will practice, I will start liking it too.
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