Why SEO Is a Writer’s Best Friend
When I moved to Israel 5 years ago, I’d never heard the term “SEO.” I had no idea what it meant and if you’re not that familiar with it either, here’s what I discovered: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the strategies and practices you can use to bring more traffic to a certain website.
As a content writer for TV (back in my pre-Wix days), I only had to worry about “my part” of the job. I would get an assignment, write and send it off to the editor. But then I landed my first job in the online industry. Not only did I have to create content people could find, but as the Spanish marketing writer, I had to do it for users from Spanish speaking countries all around the globe.
Understanding the audience
I learned immediately that connecting with my audience in the online world–and understanding their true intent–is essential to writing great text. This is especially true because I am a content writer for users in over 15 different countries. Knowing how to use neutral Spanish is a must. But when you try to write for everyone, you sometimes write for none. I had to learn to write in a way that is relevant for audiences in all of these countries—no easy task.
SEO: A marketing writer’s best friend
One of the best tools I have available to me is SEO. Why? Because when I understand what people are searching for, I can better create text that answers their questions and concerns, even in neutral Spanish. The hundreds of thousands of users who are looking for tips on writing quality content, how to connect a domain or how to boost the visibility of their online eCommerce website all start their search in the same place: on Google.
I learned fast and well that Google is my best friend. Our SEO team gives me the most significant keywords for specific campaigns in Spanish and my challenge is to include these terms in text that answers users' questions, engages with our audience and gets them excited to take action.
Whether I am writing content for a new landing page, a new product or our latest competition, my understanding of our users’ intent informs how I write. And once users take action, my text has to continue to keep them on the page, making them enthusiastic about what they’re reading and interested in the product.
During the course of my journey in the online realm, I have learned a few things that I think are useful for any writer to know. To help you keep your users engaged and informed, and write text that best answers their search query questions, here are a few tips:
Tip 1: Give your audience what they want As a writer, you need to deliver value to your users. As I said before, you need to think about your users' state of mind. Why did they come to your site? What are they looking for? What answers do they hope to find? Use these questions to guide you. Even after you’ve hooked them, make sure to give them content they want to read. Wix users are lawyers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, artists or just dreamers, wanting to share what they do with the world. They need information that’s valuable to them. Of course, with so many website building platforms out there, Wix’s content has to shine and stand out.
Tip 2: Keep it simple, keep it direct Once your audience has found you online, you need them to take action—buy a product, book a service or find your location on the streets of the city they’re visiting. Besides writing great, original and eye-level content, I also suggest including a short, compelling CTA (Call to Action): Get it Now, Buy, Subscribe, Read More. (Learn more about how to write great CTAs.)
Tip 3: Be fresh… and refresh! The battle for spots in search engine results is fierce! And thus the infinite supply of search queries requires targeted, appealing responses that will attract and sustain people’s attention. Writing original content is not only valuable for users; it’s also vital for keeping your content high in search engine rankings. Even when writing for a top-tier brand like Wix, where millions of users skip the search and come directly to the site, staying fresh (and optimizing your content) is very important when you’re trying to keep your brand top of mind. Since queries change fast and dynamically, my advice here is to cultivate an awesome relationship with your SEO team. This will help you stay up-to-date with the latest search trends and get a sense of what your users are looking for right now.
Moral of the story?
Great content is fresh, relevant, gives users what they want, is engaging and retains their attention. Writing text for search engines (and for users) is never a “one and done” experience. You’ve got to keep asking yourself, “What are people looking for?” and then write text to answer that question. And, in my case, do it for 15 countries. :)
Jose Ignacio Apoj, Spanish Marketing Writer at Wix