SEO is probably one of the least understood online topics, period. This doesn’t come as a surprise once you understand just how often search engines such as Google adjust and calibrate their ranking algorithm. The biggest challenge content creators then have to face is writing content which not only appeals to the right kind of audience but is also optimized for various search engines. But the moment you realize that content should revolve around people instead of search engines, you will find that SEO copywriting really isn’t that complicated.
What is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization refers to various techniques and practices used to elevate a website’s ranking position. As users input search queries into a search engine, they are greeted with a list of results relevant to that search query. The correct order and way in which those results are ranked and displayed can be influenced by properly executed SEO campaign.
With SEO, you can essentially optimize your content and make it relevant not only for the readers but also for the search engines, which will rank your content higher than that coming from competitors’ websites.
What is SEO copywriting?
Copywriting can be considered to be the art of writing content which stimulates the end-user to purchase a specific product of service, subscribe to a particular mailing list or to simply perform an action that will end up benefiting the client.
Copywriters are skilled professionals who drive users to take action. They need to be skillful in writing content ranging from advertisements and promotions to customer engaging content.
SEO copywriting, on the other hand, is the art of writing unique and compelling content in order to target specific keywords used in the search queries. The content itself needs to provide exact information users are looking for and be relatable enough for them to promote and share that content on various social media platforms. The sharing aspect is particularly favored by Google’s algorithm, as it increases both relevance and authority of your content, resulting in improved ranking for specific keywords.
What are the elements of SEO copywriting?
Before we begin exploring the various elements you need to incorporate into your content, first, we need to mention site speed. Nearly half of all people will simply abandon your web page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
No matter how interesting and worthwhile your content is, it is completely useless unless people actually read it. Once your website is properly optimized and pages load quickly, then and only then should you focus on creating unique and relatable content.
Creating a mediocre headline will result in a low click-through rate. When it comes to SEO copywriting, the headline should not only attract the users’ attention but also make them want to click it and continue reading.
A headline is there to convey an idea or a message. The best SEO copywriters create their headlines first and then move on to the content body. Using numbers in headlines is perfectly normal, as long as the headline directly corresponds to the rest of the content.
2. Content body and keywords
Writing content that ranks well on Google revolves around targeting specific keyword phrases. This, however, does not mean that you have to stuff keywords into your content. Google and other search engines do not approve of keyword stuffing and doing so can result in your website getting demoted, or even omitted from the search results. SEO copywriting is not just simple keyword placement and targeting, but rather a way of writing content that focusses on the intent behind those keywords.
3. Keyword frequency
Keyword frequency refers to the number of times the keyword appears in your content. Keyword density and frequency used to guarantee high SEO rankings, but with the recent moves against keyword stuffing, it is no longer as effective. Effective SEO copywriting balances the repetition of keywords with relevant surrounding content.
4. Meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are used by search engines to better understand the topic of your content, as well as the reason behind why your keywords keep appearing in it. They provide a concise explanation to search engines regarding your content. Search engines then use that information to provide users searching for the targeted keywords with a snippet copy. This snipped copy directly determines whether your content will get clicks and how high your page will rank. Meta descriptions need to be informative and include a call to action enticing users to click on your website. They shouldn’t be longer than 150 to 160 characters.
Inbound links are one of the most important factors in SEO ranking. They tell Google and other search engines that your website is connected and user-friendly, with plenty of informative and useful content.
Linking to external websites and pages with high authority tells visitors that you value content other than your own. Google rewards this behavior as it organizes the information and makes it readily accessible.
Likewise, using internal links to other pages on your own website is highly encouraged as it improves the structure of your website in the eyes of search engines. Plus, users can navigate to other pages from within your articles.
Other elements you should go over are title tags, heading tags, and overall title optimization practices. Title tags are the first thing to appear in the search engine results page, and heading tags are used to structure the content and make it easier to skim-read. Make sure these use your keywords and accurately reflect your website's content.
The key points to remember in creating SEO-friendly content are to include specific keyword phrases but avoid keyword stuffing, use both internal and external links to connect to other relevant content, and make sure you're providing the right information at every level of your website. As Google, Facebook, and even Netflix are using storytelling to further grow their digital assets, we can see a trend towards more complex methods of SEO optimization. This makes it trickier to ensure your website is on the first page of search engine results, but getting it right results in a much better experience for the end user.