Do you want to see a real-life SEO writing example to inspire your content marketing?
Take a good look at the above screenshot.
Can you see the benefits of ranking on the first page of Google for a competitive keyword?
Here are the hard numbers:
- 608 backlinks
- 167 referring domains
- 675 organic keywords
- 50,4k organic traffic
- $75,7k traffic value
These are the insane results of what organic traffic can do for your business. It’s a demonstration of the amazing power of SEO-based content marketing when done right. Imagine the upsurge in leads, profits, and brand awareness.
And, the best part is the benefits are recurring.
On the 24th of July 2019 I wrote this post ‘ClickBank: The Brutally Honest Guide For 2019’ for Smart Blogger. Exactly 37 days later the post hit the front page. It continued to rise steadily until it reached position #2 within 3 months. The second position is as good as it gets on any post about ClickBank because position #1 is occupied by ClickBank themselves.
According to an Ahrefs study only a mere 5.7% of all newly published pages will get to Google Top 10 within a year.
But I achieved the feat in just 37 days.
Wondering how I did it?
In this detailed SEO writing example, I’ll walk you through all the steps I took so you know how to do it yourself and move your business forward.
I’ve boiled it down to 6 components:
- CONTENT BRIEF to guide the writing process.
- QUALITY WRITING to execute the brief’s requirements.
- COMPREHENSIVENESS to provide super value for readers.
- VISUAL APPEAL so readers stay on the page and don’t bounce off.
- MANUAL LINK BUILDING to give the post traction.
- PROMOTION to spread word about the post far and wide.
Let’s unpack each one.
6 SEO Writing Tips To Take You To The Front Page Of Google
I’m sure you are with me on this one:
Writing a post that ranks on the first page is now harder than ever but it’s still doable if you play your cards right. Here are the tips I followed to nail it.
#1. Content Brief
You know what…
The battle for rankings is won or lost before you write a single word. How you approach your post determines if your post will rise in rankings or fall flat.
That’s where the content brief comes in to save the day.The humble content brief is the unsung hero of high-ranking blog posts. Most SEO writing examples omit this crucial tool.Click To Tweet
In case you are wondering, a content brief is an editorial document with instructions for a content writer on how to create a piece of content.
When writing the post, I had a detailed content brief to guide me. It was the most thorough content brief I’ve seen in my life as a freelance writer–by far. See the excerpt below to get an idea.
This is a small part. It went much deeper than that.
Plus, it also included:
- Post type and word count
- Post differentiator.
- Target keyword and secondary keywords.
- Searcher intent.
- Success criteria.
- Key insight and main takeaways.
- The angle of the piece
- Competing posts.
- Sample posts to mimic style and tone.
- Additional notes
From a content framework to user intent, I had all the details I needed to craft a post that stood a chance of ranking.Trying to write a post that ranks without a solid content brief is like a hiker tackling the thick Amazon rainforest without a compass. It’s a stupid fruitless exercise.Click To Tweet
The content brief showed how serious my client was about getting results from the piece. A good brief springs from a solid content marketing strategy. Sadly, I’ve seen countless businesses churn out loads of posts without a content strategy let alone a content brief guiding them.
You don’t stumble upon the front page: you must be intentional about it. A solid well-researched content brief acts as a reliable compass that keeps your writer focused on the true north of your content–in exact alignment with your post’s goals.
With a good brief on hand, I moved on to the next step.
#2. Quality Writing
A first-class brief without a quality writer to use it is worthless.
For your content to succeed you need a topnotch writer in your corner.
In this case, yours truly, ahem 😀
Most businesses don’t get results in their content marketing efforts simply because they hire cheap, untrained, and lousy writers who have no clue what they are doing. SEO content writing in 2020 isn’t about about keyword stuffing as many beginner writers think. It’s about pleasing people first, and then tweaking for search engines.
How do I know the post was interesting, useful, and engaging?
First, the Smart Blogger crowd enjoyed it.
Second, 167 unique domains linked to it.
Third, I got hired on the spot two days after writing it.
What’s the point of all this?
With 2.49+ million blog posts (WordPress report) published every day and each piece fighting to break through the content saturation ceiling, an A-grade SEO content writer is a must if you want to stand a chance in the fierce ranking race.
Good content isn’t enough anymore. You must raise the bar much higher and produce awesome content that’s:
Unique. Useful. Unparalleled.
Or, in a word. Epic.
Anything less and you might as well kiss high rankings goodbye.
Let’s get into the intricacies of the post itself.
With a word count of 2654, the guide is exhaustive compared to competing posts. It covers everything readers need to know about trading on ClickBank.
It includes detailed insights on how to register on the platform, how to search for the best products, how to avoid common mistakes, and more.
It solves all the common questions and challenges people have about the popular affiliate marketing platform. Case in point, it discusses all payment methods ClickBank accepts.
These are minor but critical details people want to know so they decide if the platform is right for them.
Many studies reveal top-ranked content is:
In most cases, long-form content that’s 2000+ words long does the trick.
Not only is the guide in-depth, but it also satisfies user intent. People found exactly what they were looking for in the content. This is shown by the 21 comments it has received so far and the hundreds of people who linked to it.Content that ranks solves a problem and answers a nagging question comprehensively.Click To Tweet
Next, let’s examine the post’s visual elements.
#4. Visual Appeal
Another standout feature of the post is its visual appeal.
Have you ever tried to read an unending wall of text online? I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say it’s tiring and uninspiring. Most people dump such posts instantly.
For long text-heavy posts, it’s important to give readers eye-candy to break up the text and make reading pleasurable.
This boosts dwell time.
And, when readers linger on your page, Google takes that as a vote cast for your content’s utility and enjoyability.
The post has 11 screenshots, that’s an image for every 241 words.
Take this short section for instance.
These images give readers’ eyes a break while still shedding light on the subject.
- 11 H2 subheads, further broken into H3.
- Lots of bullet points.
- Short sentences and paragraphs.
- Simple direct conversational language.
All this made the post easy to read and digest despite its massive size. Look at the readability stats below.
When readers enjoy a piece of content, they stay longer on the page thus giving search engines a signal that the post is valuable.
But having a valuable all-embracing resource isn’t enough. You must tell the world about it.
#5. Manual Link Building
As you know, backlinks are one of the top ranking factors.
Without them your prospects of ranking are low.
Therefore, I manually built 5 backlinks over a month. The average Ahrefs DR of the target sites was 48.8.
This helped the post gain initial traction.
Once the post gained momentum and rose to the top, people began linking to it organically. Backlinks ballooned into the hundreds.
I linked to:
- Medium to high domain sites
- Relevant sites
- Great content
Besides links, I also pushed the post on social media.
SEO practitioners argue all day about the connection between social shares and rankings.Do social shares directly affect a post’s ranking?Click To Tweet
Well, the jury is still out on that one. But one thing is clear: shares indirectly contribute to higher rankings.
The reason is simple.
Having more shares means more eyeballs on your content. And the more people see your content, the more chances they’ll have to link to it.
My main promotion tool was Viral Content Bee, a platform comprising a community of micro social media influencers who promote each other’s content on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Mix, and Flipboard.
Here are the shares stats from the backend of the platform.
I pulled out Facebook, Pinterest, and Buffer shares numbers from Shares Count
Let’s tally all the numbers:
- Twitter 81
- LinkedIn 6
- Tumblr 15
- Mix 1
- Facebook 53
- Pinterest 24
- Buffer 12
- Total 192
These figures are not earth-shattering but they’re pretty decent. According to the Buzzsumo Content Trends Report 2018, based on a sample of 100 million posts, 50% of all posts got just 4 shares or fewer across all the main social networks.
I’m sure this social buzz drove a bit of traffic to the post. Most importantly, it spread the word about the content and it’s likely several people linked to it.
SEO Writing Example: Your Post Is Next
In conclusion, ranking on page 1 of Google is no child’s play, but it’s worth the effort.
The client’s goal was to be on page 1 within 9 months.
I did it in 3 months.
Why did we get results so quickly? A key factor is that Smart Blogger is a big authority DR 78 site and so it’s easier for them to rank than low DR sites. Still, the case study shows the power of a carefully planned and expertly written piece of content.
I hope this SEO writing example motivated you.
Use the tips to craft your own winning post.
Meet you on the front page 😀