How to Write SEO Content that Ranks

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on May 20, 2022


Content is an important part of any good SEO strategy. It will make or break your clients’ search rankings. Following are some tips on writing SEO content that the search engines love.

Content Must Add Value


It’s pointless to post a lot of content with all the right keywords and all the right structure if it doesn’t bring value to your client’s audience. Great content doesn’t just happen. It takes planning.

All your content shouldn’t read like a sales pitch. So, start out by looking at what your client’s customers would find informative, educational and helpful. Then put together an editorial calendar. This way, one piece of content can build on the next.

Be a bit flexible, of course, in case there is something in the news or the industry that you don’t want to ignore.

Don’t Write Exclusively for SEO

To score high in search engines, you need to write something of value, not just string together mindless SEO content with the right keywords. If you are doing this, Google will likely catch up with your client’s site and penalize it. Not to mention your client’s customers will be less than impressed, and that will be reflected in  low conversions and high bounce rates.

Mix It Up

There is a lot of different types of content you can use to attract customers to your client’s site beyond product pages and a blog. You can also offer white papers, directories and lists of resources, pre-recorded webinars, presentations, and detailed guides. Infographics and videos can add interest and help your client’s SEO.

Your client’s goals will dictate the focus of their content. For example, if they are selling products on their website, their content is going to look much different than if they are offering informative articles and resources in an effort to make money on their site via advertising.


No doubt you’ve heard the saying “God is in the details.” Once you’ve finished a draft, put it aside and then go through it a day or two later. After that, it should go to an editor. Even the best writers need an editor.

You and the editor aren’t just looking for grammatical errors. You are looking for ways to liven up your text once you have a draft on paper. Make sure like ideas are organized and not replicated unnecessarily. The flow should be effortless to enable the reader to easily understand your ideas.

Don’t Use Five Dollar Words

Don’t write “utilize” when you could write “use.”

Your goal is to communicate with your audience rather than to try to write the next Romeo and Juliet. Of course, audiences vary, but for most businesses, that means not writing above a 10th grade level. You can easily check this using a word processing feature, but there are also apps to help with this.

Provide Writers with Guidance

You want your SEO content to project your client’s same brand voice no matter who writes it. That means that you need to provide your writers with your client’s guidelines regarding style and grammar. And don’t forget to give them SEO guidance.


You could offer the greatest information in the world, but if it is difficult to read due to bad organization or poor visuals, you will put off a lot of people.

Organize Your Information and Your Layout

Make your content easy to read. Many people just scan rather than reading every word. You want those people as customers too.

Keep your layout clean. Use a lot of white space, and place images where they help your narrative rather than distract from it.

Many writers today seem to forget what a paragraph is. Don’t be one of them. A paragraph should contain related thoughts. Once that thought is finished, go on to the next paragraph. But don’t make paragraphs too long, or they will be difficult to read.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel in organizing your information. If you are writing a blog post, for example, introduce the topic and break the content that follows into logical subheadings. Within those subheadings, bullets help people to digest lists or to call out important points. Don’t keep repeating yourself in multiple sections of the post. Say something once and then build on it. Then summarize and include a call to action if that is appropriate for the piece.

Grab Attention with Images, Infographics and Videos 

Liberally use images and other visuals in your SEO content. In addition to images, you may also want to add charts, videos and infographics if they help get your point across.

Remember to size your images. If images are too big, they will slow your client’s website load time. If they are too small, they will appear blurry.

In a long piece, images throughout, not just at the top, can help to keep attention and focus your audience on the point you are trying to make.

Of course, you need to write metadata for your images just as you do your articles. This includes

  • Alt text: Alt text describes the image so if it does not appear, people know what it should be. It can also be read by screen readers for the visually impaired.
  • Title: Your image title should be written with an eye to SEO. Use appropriate keywords.
  • Image description: The description is longer than the title and is what you want to convey through the photo. As with the title, use keywords in your description.
  • Caption: You may or may not want to use a caption that appears under the image. Only use one if necessary.


The use of keywords is a big topic. The main thing we want to say here is to do your research and develop keywords for which your audience is searching. A place to start is Google’s Keyword Planner. You will want to set the location and the language, and filter both for competitiveness and number of average monthly searches.

Determine the keywords for which the audience is searching – and their search intent. Long-tail search terms may not have as high of a search volume as short ones, but they do have high conversion. Use both short keywords and long-tail tail keywords in your SEO content.

Of course, you need to write your metadata with an eye to SEO. Your metadata title and description will appear in search engines. Be sure to use keywords in both.

Umbrella Can Help

If you need help with marketing strategy or SEO content, Umbrella can help through their white label digital marketing services. Contact Umbrella for a free consultation.


Share This Article

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join 150,000 marketing managers who get our best digital marketing insights, strategies and tips delivered straight to their inbox.


    Subscribe to The Marketing Umbrella Podcast

    Where we interview leading experts on ways to build and grow your business

    Download Umbrella’s secret prospecting tactic we use in our call center to generate 1000’s of appointments every month!

    The PR Revenue Tactic guide
    To pack your pipeline with high paying prospects


    start an online business

    Top 4 Unrealistic Client Expectations and How to Address Them

    By Sean Brooks Jul 14, 2021

    For a marketing agency to have a durable, competitive advantage, they must build a clear marketing roadmap for their clients. However, doing so does not always guarantee that everything runs smoothly. Customers sometimes have unrealistic expectations. Whether they want your marketing help to start an online business or scale an existing brand, some clients can […]

    virtual reality buildings

    The Facebook Rebrand May Affect Marketing in a Big Way – Here’s How

    By Tom Earnest Nov 8, 2021

    Everyone is talking about Mark Zuckerberg’s big announcement that Facebook Inc, which is the Facebook site’s parent company, will now be known as Meta (Meta Platforms, Inc.) It’s been a week since the announcement, and we’re still trying to wrap our heads around what this change will mean for marketers in the short and the long […]

    Building the Biggest Local Marketing Agency in The World - Together!


    Talk to us today and start growing your business

    (872) 242-1231

    img img

    Download Umbrella’s secret prospecting tactic we use in our call center to generate 1000’s of appointments every month!

    The PR Revenue Tactic guide

    To pack your pipeline with high paying prospects


      *The guide will be emailed to you

      We will never share your data with anyone