What Is a SEO Content Writer? (And How to Improve Content)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 22, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to be a content writer, understanding search engine optimization (SEO) may be beneficial. It allows you to create content that increases organic traffic to a website, which can improve brand awareness and sales. Learning more about SEO and how to improve your content can help you attract new clients. In this article, we explain what an SEO content writer is, offer steps you can follow to help your content appear higher on relevant searches, discuss the benefits of using SEO, and answer frequently asked questions you may have about the position.

What is an SEO content writer?

An SEO content writer understands SEO and can include elements of it in their writing to ensure it's compelling, relevant, and informative. These content writers may conduct thorough research to learn more about popular search terms and keywords they can include throughout their writing to attract a larger audience organically. This is different from paid advertisements. Paid advertisements are when companies pay for content to appear in relevant searches. Comparatively, SEO involves making an effort to have a website at the top of user's search engine results.

Related: SEO Beginner's Guide (Including Approaches and Benefits)

How to write content that appears higher in search engines

An SEO writer's main responsibility is to write content that appears at the top of relevant online searches. If you want to become an SEO content writer, consider the following steps to improve your content and help ensure it ranks higher:

1. Conduct keyword research

Before you start writing your content, research keywords your competitors are using in their articles. This can help you incorporate similar topics into your content to attract a larger audience. You can also research popular searches users are conducting and incorporate keywords from these searches into your content. This ensures your content answers popular questions users may have, which can help attract a larger audience. You can include these keywords throughout your article, in headings, or in the meta description. Try not to include your keywords too many times or it can impact the readability of your content.

2. Use headings

When people search for an answer to a specific question, they may just skim through the results to find their answer. To help people do this, use headings in your article to summarize your content. Use a main heading, or H1, for the title of the article, then use subheadings, or H2s, for different topics. If your subheadings have a lot of detail, you can include H3s or H4s to further distinguish your content.

Related: How to Become an SEO Expert (With Salary and Job Outlook)

3. Include featured snippets

A featured snippet is a direct answer that search engines feature to answer a user's question. For example, if a user searches, How many eggs do you need to bake a carrot cake?, a featured snippet may simply state, You need two eggs to bake a carrot cake. This quickly shows users you offer the correct answer in your article, so they may click it to get further information.

Related: Top 10 Online SEO Courses (With Descriptions and Benefits)

4. Link to reputable websites

Strengthen your content by including statistics or other details from reputable websites. This provides further details to your readers and can help your arguments seem more convincing. Ensure you reference them correctly if you're copying and pasting information.

Related: SEO vs. SEM: When and How to Use Them (With Definitions)

5. Link to other posts on your site

To encourage readers to consider the rest of your website, include links to other articles or blog posts you wrote. This helps keep readers on the website for a longer period, which can reduce your bounce rate. Use natural, descriptive language to encourage readers to consider your other content. For example, instead of just saying, Click here for more information, you can say, Click here to access more delicious cake recipes.

Related: What Is an Organic vs. Paid Search? (With Benefits of Both)

6. Write a compelling meta description

When you finish your article, write a meta description of 150 to 160 characters. This is a short summary that describes what your article or blog post is about. It appears under the title on most search engine results. The purpose of your meta description is to encourage users to click on your article to obtain further details.

Related: How to Write an SEO Specialist Resume (With an Example)

What are the benefits of SEO?

Consider the following benefits of SEO to help you learn more:

Increases the likelihood of people discovering your website

If you use SEO effectively, it can help a larger audience find your content. If you appeal to a larger audience, you have a bigger chance of selling a product or service. This increased organic traffic can also lead to other benefits, such as word-of-mouth marketing, where customers recommend your product or service to their friends and family members.

Improves the brand's credibility

When companies publish content that addresses readers' questions or concerns, it can help the brand seem more credible. This can build a more trusting relationship with past and prospective customers, which can increase sales and brand awareness. Offering credible information can naturally help companies rank higher on relevant searches.

Offers a cost-effective marketing approach

SEO can be more cost-effective than other types of marketing as it's an organic form of marketing. Companies typically only pay a content writer a specific rate to write a blog post or article once. This means there are fewer ongoing costs, compared to marketing approaches like pay-per-click advertising, where companies pay a small fee to the search engine every time a user clicks on their ad.

Frequently asked questions about these content writers

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about SEO content writers to help you decide whether this is a career you're interested in pursuing:

What duties does a search engine optimization content writer have?

Here are some of the main responsibilities a search engine optimization content writer may have:

  • conduct keyword research to determine what information to include in their content

  • produce and edit content that reflects the client's brand for websites, social media, e-mails, or promotional materials

  • meet strict project deadlines

  • collaborate with a project manager, editor, and professionals in PR, marketing, and customer service

  • propose concepts for new content

  • ensure all content is credible and legitimate

What is the work environment of a search engine optimization content writer?

Content writers that specialize in SEO typically work for a corporation, an agency, or themselves. Who they work for can change their working environment. For example, a corporate content writer may have set full-time hours, while a freelance content writer has more flexibility in their schedule, as they can choose how many writing jobs they accept and work on at one time.

When working for a corporation or agency, content writers may work in an office where they spend most of their time sitting in front of a computer conducting research or writing their content. Freelance content writers may work from home and travel to meet their clients.

How can I get content-writing clients?

If you want to be a freelance content writer, you can write for your own website, or write content for clients. There are many ways to find clients, such as cold calling or e-mailing. This means you call or e-mail prospective clients to introduce yourself and explain what SEO services you offer. If you already have some experience, you can ask your current clients to refer you to new ones or write a positive review you can show to prospective clients. This shows them you're credible and have proven industry success.

Do I need a degree to be a search engine optimization content writer?

There are no strict educational requirements to become a content writer, especially if you want to freelance, but most employers and clients prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree. Consider a relevant program like English, creative writing, or journalism. It typically takes four years to get a bachelor's degree. You can also pursue specialized SEO training to improve your writing and industry knowledge.

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