The job of an SEO content writer is to create articles that get their online clients to show up higher in search engine results. One way to do that is with strategic use of keywords.
A keyword is a word or phrase that people type into search engines when they're looking for something. For example, if they live in Minneapolis and are planning a trip to Hawaii, they might type in "Minneapolis travel agent." That's the keyword in this scenario.
Your client, which just happens to be a local travel agency, wants to be the first thing they see in those search results. Failing that, they at least want to show up on the first page, the higher the better (few people read past the first page of results, and most concentrate on the first few in the list). For that to happen, the search engine has to consider the client's site a relevant authority for the keyword.
Now, here's where your writing comes in. When Google sees that your client's site has numerous articles using the keyword "Minneapolis travel agent," it assumes it must have something important to say about the topic. So, who does it show that person planning a trip to Hawaii, right there on the first page of the results? That's right – your client.
Of course, there's a whole lot more to it than that. It's not enough just to have content with the right keyword. The content has to have the right keyword density, or ratio of keyword to text. The density shouldn't be too high or too low. Too low, and the search engine won't consider the site relevant. Too high and it might penalize the site for attempting to exploit the system (this is called "keyword stuffing" - don't do it!). The keyword should also appear in the ideal locations within the article.
Several other factors contribute to well-optimized writing, but we'll save those for another article.
The most important thing to understand is that search engines look at keywords to determine the order of results, so your writing is a crucial factor in your client's success at reaching the top of a Google search.
image credit: Stockerre