SEO copywriting is a key part of any SEO strategy. Content written specifically for websites has to be optimised to ensure your brand ranks high on search engines. Not only should your content be optimised for search engine algorithms, but it also has to engage your audience and lead to clicks.
SEO isn’t just the technical, backend stuff. It includes integrating carefully crafted content on your website to drive traffic, provide value and encourage engagement. Without a combination of the two, your content won’t rank for your target keywords or turn visitors into customers. This blog post will give you the rundown of what SEO copywriting actually is, how it differs from traditional copywriting and 5 top tips for creating copy optimised for search engines.
What is SEO copywriting?
SEO copywriting is content written specifically for effective search engine results and audience engagement. It’s a skill that strikes the balance between technical and creative. With effective SEO copywriting you can rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP) and gain highly qualified traffic to your website. With qualified visitors, you can place optimised, engaging content in the right place at the right time to encourage conversions.
Targeted content helps you communicate with your audience on a deeper level to encourage them to take action and convert. The entire experience, when executed successfully, can create customer trust and loyalty. SEO copywriters focus on creating content that caters to search engine algorithms. It must be the right length, format, have optimised meta tags, succinct ad copy, targeted keywords, headings and calls to action.
How does SEO copywriting differ from copywriting?
You may not automatically link copywriting with SEO. SEO is a technical, data-driven practice that determines where your website ranks in search engines and how you turn visitors into customers. Copywriting is often seen as a creative process revolving around language choices and engagement.
Traditional copywriting involves creating compelling content that engages audiences and inspires action. It isn’t reserved exclusively for the benefit of search engines and achieving a high ranking in SERP. Copy is written for any medium, online and offline, including ebooks, articles, print, press releases, advertisements, social media and email campaigns. Copy is written with the target audience and buyer personas in mind rather than the search engine.
Why is an SEO approach to copywriting important?
SEO copywriting works as just one element of the holistic SEO strategy, alongside other on-page and technical SEO techniques. It’s important that all SEO elements are implemented effectively to ensure your website performs the best it can. High ranking in SERP and qualified traffic will be rewarded as a result of a top-performing website.
You could write any old copy and put it on your website. That doesn’t mean it’s optimised for search engines and will do anything to benefit your business. Having SEO in mind when creating copy ensures you can achieve results from your efforts. To ensure search engines assign value to your website, it has to be easy to read and consistently good quality. It must make sure visitors know exactly where to go next whether it’s to download your ebook, watch your video or subscribe to your newsletter.
5 top tips for successful SEO copywriting
SEO copywriting is a skill that can be learned with experience and knowledge of how it works and what it achieves. Here are our 5 top tips for successful SEO copywriting:
1. Keyword research
First and foremost, you have to conduct keyword research before writing copy for your website. Identifying and implementing the right keywords that your target audience is searching for will ensure your website shows up in SERP. You can’t guess which keywords you should target. Using a tool like SEMrush will ensure you find and understand the data behind which keywords you should target.
Search your product, service, areas of specialism, topics you have expertise in and challenges your customers face. You can find the search volume, keyword difficulty, SERP features to make insightful decisions about which keywords will be the most effective for your audience. Learn how to implement your keyword research here.
2. Searcher intent
Every piece of content on your website should be centred around the intent of the user to help them along the buyer’s journey. The long tail keywords, search terms and questions you identify will show you which type of intent the user has. There are three types of search intent: informational, navigational and commercial.
Informational intent refers to users wanting more information about a topic or product. This is where you should provide product descriptions, demonstrations, how-to videos, guides and instructional content. Navigational intent shows that users want to find a specific page or website. Content here should show users exactly where they need to go to find out more. Commercial intent shows users’ intention to make a purchase. Your content should inspire action to buy now and provide reviews to drive purchase behaviour.
3. Optimise titles
Titles ensure search engines and users know exactly what your content will cover and what they will get out of reading the content. Optimised titles can increase the number of users that click through to your website and improve your ranking in SERP.
Using a tool like Headline Analyser will show you how many characters your title includes, whether it gets cut off in SERP and if it makes an impact on the user. You can change the language in your title to ensure it entices users to click through. Consider using questions, numbers and emotive words to grab the user’s attention. Ensure you use your target keywords in your title so you rank for your chosen topics.
4. Structure and formatting
The structure of your copy is just as important as the copy itself. Begin by knowing which keywords and subtopics your content is based around – use this as the skeleton of your copy to ensure you cover each topic coherently. You can use these topics as headings and subheadings to order your content and enable readers to find the areas of interest to them within your copy. Utilise H1, H2 and H3 tags where appropriate to ensure search engines pick up your keywords and what the page addresses.
Break up block text into paragraphs and sections that are easy to read and pull key information from. You can also make copy easier to digest by using bullet points and numbered lists to highlight steps and tips readers should take. These factors will all improve the readability of your content and ensure readers find what they need and move to the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
5. Call to actions and links
Call to actions (CTAs) show users what you want them to do with the information provided on your website. CTAs help the user along the customer journey to ensure they get to where you want them to go. When creating copy, always think ‘now what?’. Do you want users to make a purchase, subscribe, download or watch? Call to actions relate to the search intent a user has. If they have commercial intent, you want to use CTAs that encourage purchase behaviour such as ‘Shop online’ or ‘Buy now’.
Some users might not make it to the bottom of your page so remember to include a few CTAs throughout the text rather than at the end. You should use inbound and outbound links too. You can send users to another page on your website, or an external site if it’s relevant, to give the reader more information on a topic or product. This all contributes to the customer experience and the value you provide.
Effective SEO copywriting is achievable by understanding and implementing these techniques consistently. You have to cater to the algorithms of search engines but also to the needs of the customer. Comprehensive keyword research ensures you target the right keywords that rank for your audience. Proper structure and formatting ensure the readability of your content while optimised titles encourage click throughs to your website. Aligning search intent with strong call to actions guides users through the buyer’s journey and increases conversions.