SEO Copywriting – Optimising for Google
If you want your targeted blog audience to find your site, you need to include SEO in your copywriting. However, the average writer is not familiar with SEO copywriting, writing content infused with SEO to attract your audience. SEO may seem mysterious to you right now, but it is not that difficult to understand when broken down into pieces. The goal with SEO copywriting is to write interesting content that is of value to people, but also is optimised for search engines.
Writing for your blog must be optimised or you might as well just write in your personal journal at home. Therefore, let’s discuss one of the most misunderstood topics online, optimisation.
|SEE ALSO: Get to Know SEO: A SEO Glossary|
What is SEO? This question has been asked online often, yet it is frequently misunderstood by writers and bloggers. The simple answer is that SEO is matching your content with search engine queries that relate to it. Here is how it works:
When you are ready to research a topic, you type a word or phrase into the search engine and press the enter button. Then you receive the results, a list of sites that are relevant to your search term. The results page or SERP (search engine results page) provides you with information that are relevant to your query. These pages match the term that you entered into the search field. They appear due to SEO (search engine optimisation). Therefore, SEO is a method of enhancing your content in order for search engines to know which queries it should match. The better the match, the higher it ranks on the SERP.
In simple terms, SEO works in this order:
- You research search terms or “keywords” relevant to your content topic
- You select the best keyword or words to focus on in your content
- You (or your writer) write content using that keyword (optimised for that keyword)
- Searchers connect with your content then share it to like-minded people
Relevance and Authority
Other factors that influence where a page is found in SERPs include relevance and authority. Relevance and authority are determined by Google.
- Relevance is determined by analyzing content and words used in that content.
- Authority is determined by number of trustworthy links pointing to the content page.
Trustworthy links are in essence votes with a quality of each vote an important element. Quality is now the top ranking factor in search engines since the most recent Google updates.
What is Copywriting?
Copywriting or writing copy is the art of writing content that encourages the reader to purchase an item or service or take another action. Actions can include conversions such as signing up to an email list or joining an online group. Copywriting is a form of sales and marketing which can be used in print, audio, film or online content.
A copywriter is the professional who writes copy for websites, advertisements and commercials. They use creative writing to persuade. Skills necessary to become a copywriter include:
- Understanding people
- Marketing knowledge
- Language expert
- Creativity in thinking
- Flexibility to write to a concept
Copywriting is a type of writing just like short-story writing, novel writing, and journalism.
Often bloggers learn to become copywriters by virtue of their need to sway their audience. Copywriting is a skill that can be learned with practice and study.
In the current online world of bloggers, a skilled copywriter has an advantage, especially if they are knowledgeable in writing optimised content for search engines.
Combining SEO and Copywriting
SEO copywriting is a subset of general copywriting. It is adding the element of SEO to standard copywriting. SEO copywriting is designed to create content that will connect searchers with the right kind of content to answer their questions. It is used to help content rank well in search engines, particularly Google, to drive traffic and conversions to a content page.
Using SEO copywriting, a writer can create valuable and useful content targeting specific keywords to promote it to searchers and on social media for sharing. These actions improve the authority of the content and link it to relevant sites. Over time, ranking on Google improves. Like all marketing, the goal of SEO copywriting is to provide an answer to your target audience.
Step-by-Step SEO Copywriting
1. SEO Copywriting Elements
What elements are necessary to be included in good SEO copy? What makes content valuable? Google has consistently shown that specific elements on entire sites and single pages are needed for reaching the top of SERPs. These are site speed, headline, content, meta description, keyword frequency and page links.
Site speed has become even more important with the proliferation of mobile devices. Mobile phones and tablets require a higher site speed because they are often used in less-than-optimal locations for internet connection. Therefore, site speed is reduced from the connection alone. Users will often abandon a website if they have to wait too long for it to load. There is no question that online users have short attention spans. Surveys have shown that a site that loads faster increases conversion rates.
Headlines are often the only thing that searchers see when choosing a page to land on. A mediocre headline can lose you traffic and conversions. A headline should peak a searcher’s attention, then entice them to click to learn more. There are many resources for writing fantastic headlines. Whether you prefer to write a headline before or after your content, spend time crafting it well.
Content is king according to many sources online, and what that really means is that quality content proves to be useful to the reader by solving a problem or answering a question. At the very least it should provide a place to direct you to further information. Writing content is more than putting words on paper. A good content writer can paint pictures with words to help people visualize the topic. Part of content writing is including long-tail keywords or phrases that are used by people when searching for your topic. A good SEO copywriter can successfully fold keywords into their writing in a way that is natural to the individual reader.
The meta description is usually what you see when sites or pages are listed on Google. Although Google sometimes selects text from other spots on the page, it generally uses the meta description. Part of SEO copywriting is including your keyword into the meta description.
Keyword frequency has changed over the years. In the old days, writers needed to bludgeon Google over the head with a keyword to ensure that it was noticed. That is no longer true. Search engines have become much more sophisticated and can glean the keywords from context more readily. In fact, you can use a variety of similar words and phrases as alternates when writing content. This method offers a rich selection of keywords for Google to match from the same content. However, “keyword stuffing” or a high percentage of keywords used in a post is a way to get penalised. If you want to include several keywords, your content needs to be long enough to include them naturally. The best bet is to provide the information that people want before worrying too much about adding keywords to your content. Each piece of content should focus primarily on one keyword.
Page links are the last essential bit of SEO copywriting that can be applied both on-page and across your website. Google has recently cracked down on poor linking practices. Links should provide relevant information to your readers. Places to go for further data, resources and related pages are the best places to link. If you are not sure about a site, then do not link to it. It is also a good practice to link to other related pages within your own site. The quality of links is much more important that the quantity.
2. Writing for People
While SEO copywriting is the best method for connecting with people through search engines, ultimately your content is written for people. Therefore, your content should be written with people in mind, not search engines. A good writer can easily add the SEO elements necessary to an excellent post on any topic. It is a matter of skill and practice. Remember, that you can learn to do this yourself or you can hire someone with experience.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is more of a science than an art. Experts can assist you in finding the best keywords to use for your content. One of the worst mistakes that bloggers make is assuming that they know how people search. Keyword research often proves that people search for their products or services in ways they never considered.
4. Taking Action
The ultimate goal for any online content is to induce the reader to take action. The call-to-action is usually to click on a link, download a free report or sign up for an email mailing list. If your content is not resulting in conversions, then it is most likely not effectively written.