SEO is perhaps the single most used word in the online marketing world over the last couple of years. It is now common knowledge that any online business that is serious about making more conversions must be able to produce good copy for their landing pages, as well as their blog posts.
Copywriting that is good for SEO is about producing smarter content. SEO is considered by some, such as Copyblogger, to be the most misunderstood topic online. However, others like Neil Patel don’t quite agree, insisting that SEO copywriting is not complicated once you know what to do.
What makes SEO complicated in the first place? The problem many content marketers and bloggers have to deal with is they are required to produce content that appeals to readers as much as it does to search engine algorithms. You must understand that the more important factor is those who are expected to read your content. Search engines are particular about putting the right content in front of users, so it only makes sense that you make sure your content is useful to people.
SEO copywriting is all about creating content that both persuades readers and ranks well with search engines. If you implement the tips in this article, you can be certain to see results in good time, as long as you are consistent. But before we dive into how you can improve your SEO copywriting, let’s have a quick at what SEO is.
What is SEO?
According to Search Engine Land, search engine optimisation or SEO refers to the process of getting traffic from the search results on search engines, which are referred to as “natural,” “editorial,” “organic,” or “free.” Essentially, SEO is about making sure you are visible on search engine result pages (SERPs) by ranking as high as possible.
What is SEO copywriting?
Before we answer the question about what SEO copywriting is, we must consider what copywriting is about. Regarded as both an art and a science, copywriting refers to the creation of content that encourages the reader to complete an action, which could be to take a test drive, subscribe to a list, or buy a product/service.
SEO copywriting on the other hand, as seocopywriting.com puts it, is “quality writing. Period.” It involves producing content that is valuable, persuasive, and useful, while targeting specific keywords in a bid to encourage people to happily share it cross social media. When they do that, the relevance and authority of your content increases, as does your Google ranking for your keywords of choice. So, how do you up your SEO copywriting game?
Tip 1: Make your headlines magnetic
Great headlines are a must if you want to make a killer first impression and get your content read. When you throw in a good measure of effective SEO when you are crafting your headlines, you’ll find your content rocking and ranking better than before. Your headlines should include phrases like “how to” or “learn to,” because people love to learn. Try to pose questions, use powerful action words, clever punctuation, and tell how many (see the title of this post). Also, use suspense to create headlines that leave readers no option but to click, and don’t shy away from away from controversy.
Tip 2: Don’t lose the keywords
These days, about everyone will warn you against using too many keywords if you don’t want to be penalised by search engines. The glory days of keywords might be all but gone, but they are still as important as ever. As long as you keep your keyword use natural, you’ll be fine. Be sure to include your primary keyword in your heading, and make sure your introduction and conclusion have your targeted secondary keywords in them.
Tip 3: Statistics are a no-brainer
Stating the facts is crucial in SEO copywriting because you get to tell you readers that the information you are sharing with them is authentic, and search engines love you for it too. When you back up what you are saying with objective and verifiable forms of evidence, such as statistics, you would be establishing your credibility. From research papers and surveys to influencers, bloggers, and authors, be sure to cite every single source you use.
Tip 4: Fonts matter as much as anything else
It is easy to get lost in the tide of trying to get your backlinks right, makings sure your keyword density is not too high, and so on, but you must be careful not ignore elements like fonts. Your content must be easy to read and with the right fonts, you can affect readers’ emotional reaction positively.
Tip 5: Don’t leave out subheads
Yes, your brilliant headline will draw readers in, but you need quality subheads to make them read the content. Many readers would skim your content before they actually read it and if it is not easy to skim, they could be put off and look somewhere else for the information they need. They are also great for helping search engines understand your content better.
Tip 6: Use the right links the right way
Unfortunately, many bloggers and copywriters have abused link building, but that does not mean it is not as effective as ever. Limit outbound links to no more than one or two per piece and feel free to connect with other websites that are relevant. Also, don’t have too many internal links in single post. Finally, make sure your anchor text is descriptive and reads naturally.
Tip 7: Don’t ignore meta descriptions
Meta descriptions may not be a direct ranking factor, but when they are well written, they can be extremely useful for prompting more readers to click through your content. This would in turn boost your authority and popularity. Make your meta descriptions stay between 140 and 156 characters, and incorporate keywords naturally.
Tip 8: Include long-tail keyword phrases
Keyword research tools don’t often turn up highly specific long-tail keyword phrases, but they are still important. About forty percent of search phrases are estimated to be made up of at least four words. That is too great a percentage to ignore.
Tip 9: Write long form content
For some reason, we believe people don’t like to read much, and so we try to keep our content short. However, that is not necessarily true as readers are more likely to regard a longer post as being more valuable. Longer content is generally above 1,500 words and it certainly ranks better in search, so be sure to start spinning those longer posts, but make sure every sentence is worth the read.
Tip 10: Good pictures will always sell
Words are great, but people tend to respond better to images as they present an opportunity to better understand and connect with what you are trying to say. Make sure you properly optimise every image you use, without leaving out the file name, caption, file size, and alt text. For a little extra, create an original image for your post with the headline included in it.
Tip 11: Don’t forget to include calls to action
Ultimately, your goal for the content you are creating is to drive readers to complete a specific action. Whether you are trying to get them to download content, complete a contact request form, or make a purchase, use calls to action to point readers in the direction you want them to go. Be sure to let them know what the benefits will be and experiment to see what works best.
Tip 12: Use synonyms to your advantage
You don’t always have to use your primary keyword when there are synonyms you can use, especially since Google focuses on Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI refers to synonyms and closely related words, and they are particularly helpful when you are trying to rank for a generic term and need to be clear about what your content is about. This applies to keyword phrases as much as it does to single keywords.
Tip 13: Put your all into the first sentence
Headlines, subheadings, and the entire copy are important, but you must pay extra attention to the first sentence of your piece. As your headline has pulled in your readers, so should your first sentence continue to pull them down that slope of value which you are providing for them.
Tip 14: Short paragraphs are the way to go
While you want to keep your content longer because long-form content does better than shorter content, the same cannot be said for long paragraphs. Successful copywriting is about exciting and engaging readers, and long paragraphs only intimidate and bore them. Stick to no more than two to three sentences per paragraph.
Tip 15: Make the best of title tags
When you use title tags properly, you’ll be making sure your titles rank well on major search engines, including Google. Moz has a comprehensive resource on title tags to help you do it right, but it’s not difficult to do. Simply include your primary keyword, secondary keyword, and brand name. Also, remember to keep all title tags concise and accurate.
Tip 16: Site architecture matters
Google is able to determine which parts of a web page are the most important with help from site architecture. Normally, WYSIWYG editors like what you get in WordPress automatically add header tags when the ‘header format’ option is selected. Try to stick to one h1 tag for every page and keep it descriptive. Check this guide by Neil Patel for more on how to make the best of header tags.
Tip 17: Make sure your messaging is not mismatched
Sometimes, it is easy to go off the rail, so double check to make sure you are not sending the wrong signals in your meta description and title. This is a crucial point because mismatched messaging is sure to result in higher bounce rates. Readers have to find what they expect to find on your page.
Tip 18: Get active
For persuasive writing, you need to make the language feel alive by making it energetic, crisp and direct. That is precisely why you need to use the active voice as opposed to the passive voice which only dilutes your message and makes your copy unnecessarily wordy.
Tip 19: Make power words your best friends
Power words are such an important tool for fantastic copywriters because they evoke emotion. To be able to influence and connect with your readers, you need to leave that “powerful” mark that stirs their emotions well enough.
Tip 20: Speak the language of your readers
Content that readers are willing to engage with goes beyond easy-to-read, digestible content. You might have all the required elements of writing in place, but if you don’t speak your audience’s language, you lose them. Know who they are and use phrases and words that resonate with them.
Tip 21: Never forget to proofread
This is most certainly a no-brainer, but somehow, we find otherwise splendid content with one mistake or two. Errors are not good for your credibility, so always proofread.
Tip 22: Ask readers to share
There is no doubt readers sharing your content across social media is good for business, so don’t be too shy to ask! Be quirky about how you do it and they will gladly share your content if they liked it.
Tip 23: Quote influencers
About every niche has influencers whose advice is trusted and when you quote them and link to them, you would be increasing your credibility.
Tip 24: Video transcriptions help
When you use video transcriptions, you improve usability and indexing while making your content richer with keywords.
Tip 25: Hire a professional copywriter
SEO copywriting is a skill that take time to learn and perfect, so it is better to hire a professional if you want certain results. To have professional copywriters complete your project, you can contact us today or sign up for an account here.