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Content Writing Tools for SEO (Explained)

Writing good and rank-able SEO content is one of the most important tasks in digital marketing, and a content marketing strategy. To rank your article on the first page of Google and satisfy people searching for the term you want to rank for, organized and effective research and writing processes are necessary.

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SEO Scenarios

You might be a freelance writer providing an SEO content writing service, a staff writer inside a company or publisher, a content marketer, or a copywriter – getting it right at the initial content writing stage will help every stage of the marketing process, including syndication on social media.

With the right SEO content tools, you can significantly speed up SEO article writing and improve your rankings in Google.

Whether a humble blog post, or a fully-written pillar post aimed at building a site’s authority, rankings, and sales – professional content writing is a central pillar of most website content.

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Return on Investment

Although especially freelance writers might be tempted to use only free tools, it’s very important to consider the return on investment factor when choosing the tools package for writing SEO content.

There’s no point at all in writing articles for the web that have no chance of ranking!

Whether you’re writing for your own website or for another, the most important thing is that your article is well-researched, well-organized, structured, and of a high standard.

Why Having SEO Tools Matters

It needs also to be SEO friendly content, otherwise, you’ll have no chance of being read!

That’s why having the right writing tool, or content writing tool, at the right time can make the difference between succeeding as a content writer/publisher and languishing in obscurity!

You might be writing quality content, but that is not enough to rank on Google on a consistent basis!

Doing SEO writing to a high quality and at a reasonable pace is a challenge.

That’s why it’s very important that you properly assess your time and effort. If an SEO tool can help deliver the same quality of an article in less time, the return on investment is clear.

Another important factor for the return on investment is whether the tools help you find the right topics so that you have the highest possible chance of your articles being clicked on, and whether they’re in line with the overall content strategy of the website or brand.

The Basics

Before we get into the options for SEO tools at different stages of the SEO writing process, we should point out that there are a handful of incredibly useful, even essential, SEO tools that all content writers can use.

These are Google Search Console, Answer the Public, Google Trends, and BuzzSumo.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console allows you to track how your articles are doing or failing in organic search. Although the data is usually a few days out of date, it’s the best indicator of which keywords your site is ranking for and which pages are getting the most traffic.

Over time, Google Search Console will uncover more search terms that you didn’t expect to rank for, but that bring in a lot of traffic.

By taking a close look at these terms, you’ll get a good idea of what you should write about next and the direction in which to take your overall web content.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public is a popular tool for content creators all over the world. Even if you only get a handful of three queries a day, that should be enough to get you started on the query needed to write an article on a given day.

By applying a series of language tests to the particular search term you’re writing about, Answer the Public reveals additional subtopics you could include in the article.

It’s also a great way to get inspiration for other articles you might want to write.

Google Trends

Before you write about a particular topic, it’s usually a good idea to quickly check if the topic is trending. You can do this quickly and easily by going to Google Trends. If the topic is seasonal or the search volume is very low, Google Trends will usually indicate this. You may need to search for the main term rather than the long tail term.

You can also find out if a particular topic is very controversial or under-reported at Google Trends.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo provides a huge amount of data on a specific topic. BuzzSumo offers a free 1-month trial that doesn’t require a credit card. It not only gives you ideas and inspiration for future articles but also allows you to find research material for a specific article.

When you enter a topic into BuzzSumo, you get a detailed list of the most popular articles on that topic, the articles that have been linked to the most, and the most recent articles written about that topic.

The Stages of Content Creation Where Tools Can Help

There are a number of stages where tools can help when SEO writing.

Topic Selection

Topic selection, also known as keyword research, is one of the most important tasks to complete when planning and creating content. It’s important to know that any given keyword phrase can rank on Google, depending on the authority of your site and other factors.

Usually, you’re looking for so-called long-tail keywords that have low to medium competition but bring enough clicks to your site to make it worth writing for.

There are several good SEO tools that can help you choose topics for your articles (see the table at the end of this article). Low Fruits and Keyword Chef are both excellent.

Keep in mind when using these tools that estimates of traffic volume for a particular keyword suggestion, especially long-tail keywords, can be very rough. The most important thing is to find out if there’s interest in a particular target keyword and what related keywords there are.

Article Research

Once you’ve found a keyword or set of keywords you want to write about, the next thing you need to do is create a brief outline of your article and then research it.

The more creativity and originality you can incorporate into your article, the better. Every fresh content idea – providing that it aligns with the article – will help you rank.

Because even though the article must answer the search query and be optimized for Google (see Content Optimization, below), high-quality and original content has a better chance of ranking in the short term and persisting in the medium to long term.

Outline

Outlining your article and setting the right order is a crucial step for the success of your article and for your overall writing progress.

Personally, I’ve found that the quickest and best way to outline my articles is with a mind map. Some people prefer outlines in the form of lists.

It’s important that you make an outline because it’ll serve as your guide when you write the article. Also, you can make sure that you don’t leave out anything important in your article.

If you’re a freelance or staff writer writing for another client, there’s a good chance you’ll receive a content brief as part of the article assignment process. This usually includes a list of topics, questions, links to top-ranking articles on Google, and other elements that will help you write the article and keep you on track.

It’s a good idea to incorporate the elements of the brief into your outline as early as possible.

Competitor Research

In the next step, you need to make sure that the article you are writing is competitive with the other articles that rank for the search term on Google.

Although some writers do this as a first step, I’d advise doing this at a later stage of the whole process to get as much originality as possible in your article.

The most important elements that SEO tools can provide when writing articles, in my experience, are common top-ranking article topics and questions that come up regularly. Frase and Surfer SEO are both great tools for revealing these.

When you incorporate these elements into your article, you ensure that your article contains the elements that someone searching for the topic expects to see. It’s very important to understand that this isn’t the same as keyword stuffing.

Writing

Once you’ve created a detailed outline, you can move on to the next step: writing the article.

Personally, I prefer to dictate the articles and then edit them. I find this gives my articles a friendly, human tone and allows me to write the articles very quickly and create a first draft of the article.

Therefore, for me, VoiceIn is a brilliant SEO writing tool.

Recently, a large number of artificial intelligence writing assistants have appeared on the market. Many of them make great promises in terms of the final results they can deliver, but in my experience, there’s no substitute for doing the article and SEO contest research yourself and using the specialized tools recommended in this article to help you do that.

In the table below, I’ve mentioned the best AI Writing tools for content writers and copywriters: Sudowrite and Jasper.

Editing

When writing content, there are two important stages of editing. The first is rough editing to get the article in sufficient shape to proceed with the final draft.

The second phase is after the article is written to improve the grammar, spelling, and readability of the article.

Although you may have a content editor to hand, they will thank you for ensuring that at least the basic editing work has been done. A good content editor will, of course, improve and tighten the article to get it to serve the readers well.

I’ve found that for the first phase of editing, there’s no substitute for the fantastic Instatext tool and Grammarly Premium is probably the best tool for fine-tuning at the very end of the article creation process.

Plagiarism Check

It’s important to understand that plagiarism isn’t just about copying the exact expression of ideas, but also about taking unique ideas from others and passing them off as your own.

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to research and write your articles in an original way from the beginning, and only include references to other articles at a later stage in the entire article creation process.

That said, it’s important to go through your articles with a plagiarism checker before publishing. The best tools for this are Copyscape, Grammarly Premium, and Copyleaks.

Some SEO tools also include other plagiarism checkers, for example, WriterZen.

Content Optimization

So-called ‘on page’ SEO optimization is all about ensuring that the search engine can find you. The most important search engine is, of course, Google. It matters that the keyword density is optimal, without ever straying into ‘keyword stuffing.’

I find that the best time to deploy my content optimization tool is towards the very end of the article creation process. If I’ve researched and written correctly, optimizing articles is usually just a matter of existing and inserting a few words here and there.

It’s rare that I have to add a whole new section to my articles to get the best content score and thus have the best chance of ranking well on Google.

There are a number of search engine optimization tools on the market, including Market Muse, Surfer SEO, Use Topic, Clearscope, Frase, and others.

Readability

It’s important that the articles you write and publish aren’t too complex linguistically and are consumable for your target audience. The content inside the article, and the experience of reading/consuming it, are what adds up to ‘great content’.

Although Grammarly and ProWritingAid have readability ratings, I personally find that the Hemingway app is the best for getting a quick idea of how readable an article is.

Publishing and Internal linking

The latest versions of WordPress have an excellent editor built in. For most people, WordPress’ own Gutenberg editor is more than adequate.

However, the work of linking in and out of your articles can be quite time-consuming. That’s why tools like Link Whisper can be huge time-savers in this work.

Rank Tracking

It’s very important to track the results of your articles over time. Although full-fledged SEO tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Serpstat have built-in rank trackers, it may be that a low-cost solution like Serprobot will suffice for your needs.

By tracking the rankings of all your articles on a topic-by-topic basis, you’ll get an overview of whether the content you’re writing fits the market and which topics are showing up the fastest in search engine rankings.

Think in Packages

I’ve found that it’s a good idea to think in terms of budget levels and packages of SEO tools when setting yourself up and moving forward as a content writer.

The reason for this is that there are a number of tasks that need to be done to accomplish the overall task. The links to the free content writing tools and the paid ones in this article are my affiliate links – I’ve personally tested and used all these tools.

Links to the tools are here.

Tool FunctionStarter ($50 - $250 per year)Intermediate ($250 - $1000 per year)Advanced/Publisher ($1000+ per year)
Topic Selection:LowFruits, Keyword ChefLowFruits, Keyword ChefAhrefs, Semrush
Article Research:ElinkElink, DevonAgentElink, DevonAgent
Outlining:iThoughtsiThoughtsiThoughts
Competitor Research (SERP):MozBar (free version)Frase, MarketMuseFrase, MarketMuse
Writing & AI Assistants:Sudowrite, JarvisSudowrite, Jarvis
Editing:Instatext, Grammarly PremiumInstatext, Grammarly Premium
Plagiarism Checking:CopyscapeCopyscape, Grammarly PremiumCopyscape, Grammarly Premium
Content Optimization:Frase, MarketMuseFrase, MarketMuse
Readability:HemingwayHemingwayHemingway
Internal Linking:Link WhisperLink Whisper

FAQ

How can I write SEO for free?

The best solution is to use Google Autocomplete to spot long-tail keywords, and the free MozBar to check the domain authority of the top 10 sites. If you see that no one answers the search query properly – write it!

What’s the difference between normal content writing and SEO content writing?

SEO Content Writing differs from Content Writing in that it specifically aims to gain organic search clicks from search engines, primarily Google.

How important are Featured Snippets and how to get them?

Featured snippets are great to get. The best way to get them is to write a comprehensive and helpful answer to a specific sub-part of your article, introduce it with a lead-in statement, and bold the response.