Search engine optimization is critical to the success of a website. These days, nearly everyone uses a search engine like Google to find the products and services they’re looking for and to price shop. If your website isn’t showing up on the front page, it’s going to be much more difficult for people to find you.

Ranking on Google on the front page is no easy task, and the bigger your industry, the more competition you’ll have for that front page space. Anything you can do to improve your search engine optimization is worth doing, and one of those tasks is writing SEO-friendly website content.

Brainstorm a list of keywords and phrases

There is no limit to how long this list can be. Start typing keywords and phrases related to your business into the search bar and see what comes up. (This can be a good time to take stock of your competition as well.) Use the related searches at the bottom of the front page to generate more ideas. I like this method because it’s how people are naturally using search engines, but there are also sites like UberSuggest that can help you automate this process.

Focus on “long tail” keywords

As website developers in Saskatoon, our company Vireo Productions has about 50 local competitors competing for that front page space. It’s going to be hard to land on the front page for “website development Saskatoon.” But there may be some more obscure phrases and keywords related to our industry that we can rank for. If you’re interested in the long tail keyword method of search engine optimization, I recommend reading this detailed Reddit post on a system you can try.

Keep the user in mind

The last thing you want to do when writing content to be optimized for search engines is to forget about your user. The writing should be clear, concise, and useful. The temptation is to “keyword stuff,” and throw in as many of the keywords and phrases as possible, but that’s an outdated practice that has fallen by the wayside. Search engine algorithms are complex, and Google itself says they value websites that are user friendly.

Work with pros to bring it to the next level

You can optimize your website content for search engines on your own using the tips above, but working with a professional is always ideal. An editor can review the content you’ve written to ensure no errors slip through, a writer can help define keywords and phrases and write the content for you, and a marketer can help you define your message. Working with any one of these types of professionals will improve your content, and working with all three, or companies that specialize in this type of work, will have the biggest impact.