So, you want to up your copywriting game and start incorporating high-impact, effective SEO? Awesome — we’re all about it. Having killer copy on your site is a top-notch digital marketing strategy. After all, people love engaging with authentic and inspiring brands that actually care about their needs.
However, there are some basics that you should keep in mind as you begin your path towards optimized content.
There are a few tricks of the trade that make the difference between stellar copy and the stuff that ends up on page 36 of a Google search. If you’re serious about stepping up your game and writing engaging, powerful copy, then keep reading. We’ll walk you through the basics.
Use keywords effectively
Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO copywriting. They’re how Google and other search engines are able to pull up results. When you type in “benefits of aerial yoga” or “cat cafe near me,” part of what Google uses to find your results are the words on the websites that match your search terms.
That means keywords are essential when it comes to SEO copywriting. In the old days, keywords were all there was to it. In fact, some devious little websites even gamed the system by including massive white pages with white text that simply repeated the same keywords over and over. It worked for a while, but Google eventually wised up.
Here’s a fun exercise: check out this ShareAble article and see if you can spot any keywords!
These days, the algorithms are pretty ingenious. They’re still sensitive to keywords — how else would Google know what to bring up in a search? — but if they catch you piling keywords on top of keywords (often called keyword stuffing), your site could be penalized. Instead, the best move is to use a keyword research tool to find some of the top keywords related to the content you’re writing on, and then include them just a handful (we’re talking like 3 to 7) times in the copy.
For instance, let’s say you’re a health and wellness brand marketed toward hip, urban-dwelling twenty-somethings. You can start developing a blogging strategy that incorporates topics relevant to your demographic — and the keywords that come along with them.
So, when you do end up writing that article on the benefits of aerial yoga, include plenty of concise and clear information on yoga’s many physical and mental health benefits, peppering in keywords like a powerful but delicious seasoning. And then be sure to add a plug for your own wellness products at the end.
Remember your linking strategy
Speaking of plugging your own products, links are also key to any SEO strategy. Now, you may be familiar with backlinking as an SEO outreach strategy: you know, partnering with other brands and including links to and from your sites on their sites. However, linking is actually a critical part of SEO copywriting too. Here’s how:
1. Linking creates better site architecture
Something else Google looks for when bringing up search results is the general “shape” of your website — how well-connected it is internally, and how well-organized. By using your blog to create pillar pages (basically a hub with tons of links to products and topics), for instance, you can increase how well-organized your site is in Google’s eyes.
Using futuristic tools like AI and predictive analytics shows Google that not only is your site well organized, but focuses on the user experience as well, making you a star in their eyes.
2. Links are an opportunity to keep people on your site longer
The amount of time people spend on your site is another factor Google cares a lot about. If they see your bounceback rate (how quickly people leave your site) is high, they won’t be happy — and your site will suffer in the rankings.
By having plenty of links to more informative content, you increase the amount of time that people spend on your site on average.
3. Links help drive sales
People are much more likely to buy from a brand that they trust. They gain trust partly by seeing that your site and blog content are honest, informative, and interesting. Then, once you have them hooked, they’re more likely to follow through with a purchase; so, be sure to include plenty of links that drive those sales. This is good for your revenue, but it has a great positive feedback loop too, as having tons of conversions can also help you climb the rankings.
Keywords and links: they’re really the fundamentals that make SEO go. But there’s one more critical feature that we really have to emphasize before you go.
Write for real humans
Yeah, it’s really that obvious. Don’t write like a weird marketing robot — write like someone (you know, a flesh and blood person) is going to set their eyes on your content. After all, you do actually want real people to read your content. This is important for a few reasons. It’s great for your brand, it’s great for your rankings (they spend longer on the page), and it’s great for the user — a win-win-win. As you can see below from FTD’s blog, their articles are relative to their industry and are appealing for customers that are searching for information about floral tips, designs and inspirations.
As Google gets smarter, it’s only getting better at identifying genuine content, and punishing sites that publish fake, sloppily written, or obviously spammy content. The more you gear your writing toward real people, the more Google will see that and reward your site for it.
Plus, you can’t build trust if all your articles and on-site copy is spammy and overly salesy. At the end of the day, one of the most important lessons you can learn about writing SEO copywriting is something you probably might have guessed all along: writing good, informative, interesting stuff is the most important priority. And, if you’re a writer, that’s probably already your specialty, so good news all around!
In a time crunch? Here’s what to remember before you go:
- SEO copywriting should have plenty of keywords, but not so many that your page looks stuffed and spammy. Aim for about 3-7 instances of about 3 to 5 different keyword phrases.
- Links are critical too. You should link to blog posts, product copy, and other informative parts of your website to ensure that your site is well-connected and directs users in a productive way.
Focus on writing well. At the end of the day, Google likes sites that are informative and clearly written for a flesh and blood human audience. Prioritizing that will help you tons.
Noelle Fauver is a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com. She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge and experience in marketing, copywriting, and small business management. She volunteers on the board of the San Diego American Marketing Association as the Event Experience Chair to help local marketers in the area develop their professional repertoire and connect with other professionals. She loves curling up next to the fire with a good book on a rainy day with a bowl of homemade soup. But most of all, she loves marketing.