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Content writing is a business engaged in by freelancers or firms who provide written content for websites, generally for the purpose of search engine optimization and to attract potential new customers or clients.

SEO content writing seeks two audiences, search engine spiders and visitors to the site, and effective content writing meets the demands of both. Simply speaking, great content isn't of much use online unless people find it, and a good search engine page results ranking can help people find it. Conversely, it doesn't help to bring visitors to a website if the site content isn't what they are looking for. Without good content, there is little hope of ranking high in the SERPs, and visitors who do come across the site may not look beyond the first page. Because of its dual purpose, content is by far the most important consideration in a website.

However, SEO content writing involves more than simply knowing what you are writing about and writing it well. While this may satisfy your site visitors, it may not be enough for the search engines. Although the goal of a good search engine is to recognize good writing and good information when it comes across it, and some of them have made inroads toward that end, they haven't arrived yet.

Search engines aren't human beings. Search engines know your site through the automated bots (spiders) that are continually crawling the web. When these spiders come across your webpages, they will add the textual content and other bits of information from the pages that it craws to the search engine's database, where a computerized algorithm will attempt to determine what your webpages are about and will place a value on it, which will be used to determine its placement in the SERPs for various search terms.

Thus, while the overall aspect of the writing that you do for your website should be on its quality, its relevance, and the value that it gives to your visitors, there are some other things that need to be considered, in order to feed the search engine spiders as well as your site visitors.

Don't tell the folks at Google, but search engines aren't as smart as your typical human site visitor. A human being will recognize when an author has diverted onto a side story, but a search engine algorithm is apt to be confused by any diversion from the central point of a webpage, and may not be able to properly index the page. To avoid this, stay on topic.

If the purpose of your website is to sell widgets of all colors, you will do better in the SERPs for a search on "blue widgets" if you devote a page of your site to blue widgets. For the same reason, while it may be good to tell your site visitors something about yourself, do that in a dedicated "about" page. If you start telling personal stories on the blue widget page, the search engines won't know if the page is about blue widgets, yourself, your hometown, or the schools you attended, and that page may not show up anywhere in the SERPs.

You'll likely find that your human visitors don't mind if you stay on topic, either.

Although the use of keywords is not nearly as important today as they were a few years ago, don't believe anyone who tells you that they don't matter. Your page on blue widgets is unlikely to appear in the SERPs on a search on "blue widgets" if you fail to mention them in your content. Some of the search engines are getting better at recognizing alternate phrases now and, in most cases, they should be used as well. Will Google know what you mean when you refer to your widgets as being the color of the sky? Maybe not, but it's worth a shot. Do your keyword research and use your keywords, but don't overuse them. Your human visitors will appreciate that, too.

Good content will feed the spiders, encourage them to index the pages of your site, and allow them to index them properly, ensuring that your pages show up in the SERPs for keywords that reach your target audience.

Writing your own content is not necessarily a bad idea because you know your subject, but do your homework so that the content brings targeted visitors to your site. You may decide to outsource some or all of your content to an SEO content writer, who may be a freelancer or work through a content writing firm. These are people who will write content for a fee, sometimes charging by the project but often by the word.

Like everything else that is for sale, there are good content writers and there are cheap content writers, and rarely are these the same people. This should not imply, however, that you should look only at the price when deciding upon a writer.

Choose carefully, as some of the less principled content writing firms have been known to resell the same content to multiple clients, often reworked to fool cursory examinations, which could cause problems with the search engines due to duplicate content.



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