Content writing is the process of planning, writing, and editing web content, typically for digital marketing purposes. Content writing is important for all types of different content formats, including blog posts, articles, email newsletters, and website copy.
Writing is the foundation for pretty much any content that you publish. The voice that you choose for your content affects the readability and SEO. If you want to improve your content writing for SEO, choose the active voice over the passive voice.
Understanding active voice versus passive voice does more than just transport you back to middle school grammar class. Knowing the difference between active voice and passive voice can improve your content writing and affect your SEO.
First, we’ll talk about why content writing is important for SEO and the different types of content writing you can use. Next, We’ll discuss what voice means in content writing as well as the difference between active voice and passive voice. Then, we’ll talk about why active voice is important in content writing and how passive voice can hurt your SEO. Finally, we’ll identify readability tools that can help you improve your content.
Table of Contents
Why Is Content Writing Important in SEO?
SEO begins and ends with content writing. Before you can even begin to think about SEO, you need a sold content writing strategy. SEO content writing is all about writing content so that it ranks higher for the related keyword searches. Ideally, your content should be optimized for search engines as well as humans.
When it comes to search engine optimization, high-quality content is essential. There are five reasons why SEO is all about content marketing.
SEO Needs Keywords and Search Terms
Keywords are important when it comes to ranking highly in search engines. Strategic content writing allows you to incorporate the right keywords to appeal to users and to Google. Without content, you can’t rank for keywords.
Quality Content Achieves Social Validation
In marketing, social validation is when people buy products or services because other users left positive reviews for a product or positive ratings for a business. For small to medium-sized businesses, quality content writing is key to achieving social validation. When you provide great content that delivers value to the readers, people will be more likely to engage with your content and share it on social media. Google uses these acts of social validation to rank your links.
You Need Content on Your Website to Be Ranked
Google ranks text and without writing content, there is nothing to rank. Content writing is important to SEO because it gives Google something to rank. It also tells Google the keywords and search teams your content should rank for.
Content Fulfills User Intent
Content should solve user problems and answer user questions. A user should be able to find exactly what he or she is looking for when he or she uses the Google search engine. If your content fulfills the user’s intent quickly and easily, your rank can improve.
Types of Content Writing
When you write content, you will encounter a few broad categories and types of writing. Each serves a different purpose. The categories of content writing include blogging, copywriting, technical writing, writing for social media, and email campaigns.
Blogs cover a wide range of topics and have a variety of writing styles but, typically, they are conversational and approachable. The goal of a blog is to educate, inform, and entertain readers. Well-written blogs can impact the amount of traffic to your website.
Copywriting includes website copy, product descriptions, sales collateral, advertisements, traditional print media such as press releases or print ads, and infographics. These written pieces are the foundation of a company’s brand as they are often the first things potential customers will read.
Technical writing includes things like white papers, ebooks, and how-to articles. It gives you the opportunity to explain how your product or service works and how your customers can use the products or services. The goal of technical writing is to educate the reader on all of the specific aspects of your product or service.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone is on social media. Businesses can use social media to help grow their business and attract new customers. To write well for social media, you have to create relevant, approachable content that fits into each unique online space.
Email campaigns are geared towards developing a loyal customer base and keeping those customers coming back for more. Quality email content should provide value to your customers and keep them engaged and interested.
What Does Voice Mean in Content Writing?
A writer’s voice expresses their ideas, emotions, experiences, and personality. When you write content for digital marketing purposes, you want to engage and connect with your reader. Your voice allows you to achieve that goal.
The writer’s voice is more than just the words, grammar, and structure of the writing. It’s the personal way writers communicate their perception of the world around them. A writer’s tone, choice of words, selection of subject matter, and even punctuation make up the authorial voice.
A simple way to improve your voice in writing is to use the active voice rather than the passive voice.
What Is Active Voice?
In a sentence with an active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the verb’s action.
The focus is on the subject of the sentence because the subject is in front of the verb. Sentences in the active voice have a strong, direct, and clear tone.
Examples of Active Voice
- Monkeys adore bananas.
- The cashier counted the money.
- The dog chased the squirrel.
To figure out if your sentence uses active voice, ask yourself the following questions.
- Who is doing the action?
- What is doing the action?
What Is Passive Voice?
In a sentence with a passive voice, the subject is acted on by the verb. The passive voice is always constructed with a conjugated form of to be plus the verb’s past participle. Passive voice conveys a subtler and weaker tone.
Examples of Passive Voice
- Bananas are adored by monkeys.
- The money was counted by the cashier.
- The squirrel was chased by the dog.
Don’t use the passive voice just because you think it sounds fancier than the active voice. Aim to write the majority of your sentences in the active voice unless you truly cannot write them any other way.
Why Is Active Voice Important?
When it comes to content writing, sentence construction is key. There are several reasons why active voice is important in content writing.
The active voice provides a straightforward, authoritative delivery of content with a focus on what the company can do for the customer. The company becomes confident and credible because the content is direct and packs a punch.
Online content should be accessible to the masses. If you want people to read your content, it’s important that they are able to read and understand it easily. Reading sentences that are written in active voice requires less effort. Passive voice, on the other hand, can be exhaustive to comprehend.
High-quality content is meaningful and gets right to the point. Active voice allows you to write clearly with fewer words. Passive voice wastes words.
An active voice that uses active verbs engages the reader and makes your content more enjoyable for them to read. Using active voice also helps you provide information in a quick and easy-to-digest manner, which keeps your readers interested in what you have to say.
The goal of content writing is to call the reader to action, either by doing business with your company or by sharing your content. When you write with an active voice, you can persuade and captivate your readers.
Why Is Passive Voice Bad for SEO?
Often, content writing involves direct marketing via copywriting or indirect marketing via articles and blogs. Either way, your writing is a marketing tool. If you want to sell your products or services to potential customers, you’ve got to engage them. Active voice can help you do just that.
Active voice allows you to hold your reader’s attention and further optimize your content. If you write in passive voice, your content will likely be drawn out, difficult to read, and hard to understand.
Your audience landed on your web page because they wanted a quick answer to their question or a solution for their pain point.
Give them what they want. Keep them on your page with a reliable and trustworthy active voice.
Improve Your Content With Readability Tools
Writing quality content is a science and every detail matters. If you want to improve your search engine rankings and reach that coveted number one spot, you’ve got to obsesses over tiny details like:
- Content reading level
- Word count
- Keyword distribution
- Formatting and use of subheadings
- Use of phrases related to the focus keyword
- Sentence structure
If you want to create the best content you can, use these writing tools for SEO that specifically help you to improve your content’s readability.
SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant
The SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant gives your writing an aggregate score based on readability, the number of difficult sentences, word length, word count, reading time, and tone of voice. Additionally, you can set a preferred readability level and customize the tone of voice. SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant can also recommend top-ranking keywords that relate to your topic.
WordPress offers a plugin called Yoast SEO that gives you basic SEO assistance as well as a content readability score. Yoast offers a readability report that includes the Flesch reading ease score, the use of passive voice and active voice, the variety of sentence structures, subheading distribution, paragraph length, sentence length, and the use of transition words. It is an extremely useful tool for digital marketers.
The readability analyzer by Datayze estimates the readability of a passage of text using Flesch Reading Ease, Gunning Fog Scale Level, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, SMOG Grade, Fry Readability Level, and other metrics.
Get Professionally Written Content
Using the active voice consistently in your written content can be challenging, but once you master it, you can drastically improve your writing. SEO Design Chicago can help you improve your web page readability and your SEO with our professionally written content. Check out SEO Design Chicago’s content creation services today!
- What is the goal of SEO content writing?
- What are the categories of content writing?
- How do you know if you are using the active voice?
- How do you construct the passive voice?
- Why is the active voice better than the passive voice for SEO?