What Is SEO, and Why Do You Need It?

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If you’ve considered hiring a freelance writer to create content for your website, chances are that you’ve also thought about SEO. SEO is a quintessential part of online content. However, business owners who are just dipping their toes in those waters may be confused about what it is and more importantly, why they should care. Essentially, if you are getting content for the web without thinking about SEO, then you might as well not get content at all. Here is the information that every business owner needs to know about content marketing and SEO.

SEO 101

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It refers to the process of building sites that will rank well in search engine results for relevant searches. Sites with good SEO make it to the top of search engine results pages. This is where people who are doing web searches are most likely to click. If you’ve ever wondered why one website appears before another one when you do a web search, the answer is that the website with better ranking did a better job of optimizing their content for search.

SEO is complex—and fluid. At its core, it involves using keywords. These are the words that customers are most likely to type into a search engine when they are looking for a product or service. For example, if you have a women’s clothing business, then a keyword for your business might be “affordable dresses”. Someone who visits a search engine looking for content related to women’s clothing may type that in as a search term. If you’ve optimized your site’s content, it is likely to appear in the top results. This can lead to the customer clicking on your website, browsing your collection, and making a purchase.

Other SEO Factors

There are factors that affect SEO besides keywords. It used to be only keywords that mattered. However, people would simply create content that was packed with keywords and little else. You might then come across content that read something like, “Are you looking for a dress because you like dresses and want to wear a dress.” Since then, search engines have gotten much smarter. Now, they look for keyword density. Keyword density should be high enough to demonstrate that your site has the information that a potential customer is looking for. However, it should not be so high that it negatively impacts the content. Other things that impact SEO are length of content on your site pages, how often it is updated, and how many internal and external links you have.

Note that search engines often change their criteria. This means that the SEO efforts that worked last year might not be the SEO strategy that works today.

Why SEO Matters

SEO helps you achieve organic search success. This means that you are getting clicks on your website because of the content that you created, not because of any kinds of paid advertising. This is important, because organic results seem more natural and authentic to users. Therefore they are more included to trust your brand. Organic search also makes it more likely that the customers that are coming to your site are truly interested in what you have to offer. Subsequently, you will be more likely to convert them.

SEO also matters because it is simply the only way that your content marketing efforts will succeed. It doesn’t matter how great your content is or how amazing the products or services you are offering are. No one will be able to find you, because all of your competitors who are using SEO are going to rank above you and will get the customers before they even know you exist. Content marketing without SEO is shouting in to the great void. Your messaging will be lost, and you won’t be able to reap the rewards of a campaign.

Another important reason that SEO matters is that it is a great brand leveler. If you have a small business, SEO is something that you can do without a major investment. It gives you the ability to outrank some of the biggest brands in your industry; you can compete for customers right alongside them. That may not be in your budget to do on radio or TV or in print, or even in paid web advertising. SEO gives you the chance to stand out and be part of the conversation with consumers.

How a Freelance Writer Can Help

As a business owner, you have enough to do without having to learn the ins and outs of SEO. Fortunately, you don’t have to. When you hire an experienced online content creator, they will know all about how SEO works. Your writer can bring those skills to you as part of the freelance writing project you hire them to do. They can help you reap the benefits of SEO content, regardless of how familiar you are with SEO strategies.

At Writers Work, you’ll find many freelance writers with years of experience in creating content for the web. They can prepare pieces for you that are optimized for search while matching the voice and tone of your brand. Part of the job of being a freelance writer is staying up to date on all of the ins and outs of SEO and the changing demands of the search engines for content. They can bring that knowledge to the work that they do for you, saving you the time and money of learning it yourself or hiring new staff. Find an experienced content marketing writer among our community of freelancers by visiting our Writers Marketplace.

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