SEO content writing grammar is grammar in terms of simplicity.
If you understand my three big rules for SEO content writing you’re halfway there in becoming an SEO content writing guru.
Experienced salespeople will recognize rule one as basic sales strategy. Experienced writers will recognize rules two and three from Strunk and Whites Elements of Style [<- affiliate link] which is the one $5.00 book every SEO content writer should read and keep handy.
How do you emphasize simplicity in SEO content writing? Let’s look at essential elements behind rules two and three.
- Active sentence structure
- Enabling nouns
SEO content writing grammar and active sentence structure
When writing sentences, you are connecting an actor to an action. Active sentences always have the actor fresh faced in the front of the sentence. Literally the first thing you read or as close to it as possible. The actor is always acting out the action of the sentence. The action of a sentence is usually the second thing your eyes come across.
You connect actors to actions in sentences with direction. My favorite example to show you is about John and a door.
Examples of an actor and an action in a sentence
- John kicked the door open
- The door was kicked open by John
- The door was being kicked open by John
- The door shattered as John kicked it open
Most word processers will automatically rule sentence two as passive and show you some error. MS Word gives you blue dots under was kicked.
Sentence actors and actions: Stay away from passive wording
You feel a difference reading John’s sentences. In example one you clearly see John’s foot smashing through the door. It’s powerful.
Example’s two and three you see a door while John was kicking it open. Hopefully, you feel it is less powerful than example one.
Example four is the interesting case where you change the actor and action around. Here we have the door in the power position, but it is there to clearly show shattering shards flying as John kicks it open.
Grammarians would call sentence one active wording and sentences two and three passive wording. Sentence four is active wording, but the action is the essential element of the thought. We want to see shards of door wood flying in the air.
How to enable nouns in SEO content writing
Nouns are the persons, places, and things we write about in SEO content. My experience is understanding the use of common, concrete, abstract, and collective nouns in SEO content writing is important.
Nouns trigger our brains to insert an image of something in our thought process. In a deep dive to understand how language works, you would confirm that the word “Tiger” is not the actual tiger, but a place holder in the brain holding your understanding of what a Tiger is.
This may seem a ridiculous consideration, but it’s important in how you describe the things you write about and how those descriptions trigger thoughts.
Enabling nouns in SEO content is an exercise in creativity. Because you need to find the imagery you want to show. When writing SEO content your mind needs to think like the consumer you’re trying to reach. To me, enabling nouns in SEO content writing means thinking where you need to concretely discuss an idea, and then what about the idea you need to elaborate in a person’s mind bringing about the buying decision.
I think you want to concretely discuss the hardware of what you have, and then paint the abstract idea of how the hardware you have helps the buyer.
Describing the drill and selling the hole it makes
Reading this site, you know I have a favorite go to examples. I think the drill and the hole story fit here. It goes like this: “You don’t sell a person a drill, you sell a person the hole it makes.” Understanding nouns now, you can see that concretely describing a drill is different that describing the abstract concept of making a hole with it.
To sell the drill, you first get agreement with the person that drills make the hole they need. With this agreed on, you simply say “Oh, and by the way, I just happen to have a few drills right here. This one right here will….”