Is SEO losing its importance? Some say SEO is not as useful anymore. But don’t be misled. SEO is not only surviving but thriving. This is mainly because of the pandemic. More people now use the internet for learning, working, and entertainment.
Forbes reports a 70% increase in internet usage since COVID. Pew Research states that 90% of Americans see the internet as essential in their lives.
So, if you’re hesitating about investing in the long-term strategy of search engine optimization, stop. Today, having an SEO copywriting plan for your company is crucial. In fact, it might be more important than your social media strategy. According to one estimate, SEO brings in 1,000% more traffic than organic social media.
Sure, when you blend these two, you get great results. To make it happen, you just need to understand how to create SEO content that brings in natural traffic and sales. That’s what we’ll talk about today.
Keep reading to find out how to use SEO writing to increase business growth in 2024 (and beyond).
Why Does SEO Matters?
Whether you have an online store or a digital magazine, SEO plays a crucial role in your digital marketing plan.
Here’s why, as explained by Moz:
Using SEO copywriting is effective for getting more people to visit your website without paying for it, like through ads. Since you didn’t spend money on it, this traffic stays on your site for a long time without additional costs, saving you from going over your budget.
Search engines really care about this kind of traffic. They see it as evidence that your content is helpful and valuable to readers. This, in turn, makes your website look better to them, leading to higher rankings. People tend to trust pages that rank naturally, rather than those that pay for a top spot.
What Is SEO Copywriting?
SEO copywriting is about creating content that not only interests readers but also grabs the attention of search engines. It’s a careful balance that needs the right strategy to be done well.
In the beginning, SEO content was robotic and full of keyword spam. Websites would create content that didn’t make much sense but had targeted keywords. These dishonest practices are now known as Black Hat SEO or Spamdexing.
These pages didn’t give any value to readers, and search engines quickly noticed.
These methods won’t work in today’s world. Search engine algorithms are much more thorough, searching for ranking factors beyond just keywords.
Instead, include keywords and other ranking elements naturally, while also delivering quality content to visitors. That’s how SEO copywriting became what it is today.
This sparked the well-known debate: should you write for search engines or humans?
Surprisingly, many businesses still only create blogs aimed at search engines. Although this might bring short-term success, it’s not sustainable. Readers will soon find the post dull and unhelpful, so they’ll look elsewhere for information.
For lasting success, create outstanding content that informs and educates readers while following SEO best practices.
In the world of best practices, many factors influence your ability to rank, such as:
- Keyword Targets & Usage
- Search Intent
- Meta Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
- Heading Tags
- Internal & External Links
- …and much more
In this article, I will discuss some of the most important things that will make your SEO writing stand out.
Let’s get started.
Find Relevant Keywords With Keyword Research
An essential part of SEO copywriting involves improving your content by using keywords. To do this, start by researching keywords.
This means using different methods to figure out which words people in your specific field use the most when searching. A search engine connects these search words (keywords) to web pages that are relevant to your content. This is why keywords matter so much in SEO: they really boost how many people see your website.
Select a main keyword or topic that many people search for and that connects well with your target audience.
When picking keywords, it’s crucial to think about a few important measures. These include:
Select words that many people search for each month. If not, you’ll waste time trying to rank for words that aren’t used much.
Tools for finding words will display the average search volume for each word, so focus on the information.
Some tools, like Google Trends, let you check the trends for specific words. This includes how much people are interested over time, where the interest is, and what other words are related. This info is helpful because it helps you figure out if people are becoming more or less interested in a certain word.
Search Volume Over Time
Let’s talk about Google Trends. You can also use it to see how many people are searching for a word over time. It goes all the way back to 2004 when Google Trends started. It’s another tool you can use to figure out how much people are interested in a certain word. It’s best to pick words that more and more people are looking for.
The ‘difficulty’ of a keyword is all about how many others are trying to rank for it. For instance, if your keyword tool says a word is ‘challenging’ to rank for, it means a bunch of people are also trying.
Trying to rank for tough keywords isn’t a good idea. It takes a lot of time and money, and you might not see much in return. It’s better to focus on words that lots of people are searching for but aren’t too hard to rank for.
Finally, figure out the cost-per-click for your chosen keywords. Even if you’re not using paid ads, it’s essential to know if many businesses are using PPC ads to beat organic search results.
If a term has a high CPC (costing $10 or more), it means many advertisers are eager to jump ahead with PPC advertising. Look for keywords with low CPCs because a click only means a visit, not a conversion. Trying to rank for a term with a high CPC can be a waste of money.
These are the key factors to keep in mind when doing keyword research.
To stay on track, create a list of the top ten terms you find.
Remember to search for popular words that many people look for, with low difficulty and cost. Arrange the words on your list based on how well they fit each of those criteria. After that, focus on the top five words for writing.
Looking for good words should be something you do regularly. The last thing you want to do is research once and use the same words forever. Like everything else in SEO, words change over time. That’s why it’s important to do word research for your SEO efforts regularly.
Understand What Users Want With Search Intent
What do people want when they enter your chosen keyword?
The answer isn’t always clear, and making the wrong kind of content can make it hard to rank.
When you understand the “Search Intent,” you’ll know what users truly want when they use certain keywords.
The easiest way to figure out the search intent of a keyword is to Google it and see what kind of information comes up.
Are they ultimate guides? Lists? Reviews? Product pages?
This can help you understand what users wanted when they used the keyword. There are a few types of search intent that you’ll find online, including:
People are looking for info about a specific topic, like a step-by-step guide or a blog post that explains something.
Content marketing does really well with using informative posts to show expertise and gain readers’ trust. Sometimes, having helpful info can even lead to a purchase, but it needs to be done right.
This happens when someone types in a word just to go to a particular webpage. For instance, searching for ‘guitar center’ to get a link to their website.
A user shows commercial intent when they look at things online with the plan to buy later, but not immediately. Remember, searches with a commercial purpose work well for future conversions. Right now, at this stage in the sales funnel, the user is just exploring.
This happens when someone has already looked at products and knows exactly what they want. They then use specific words to find the things they want to buy. If you can show up in searches for these words with the goal of buying, you will see a big increase in money coming in.
Let’s check out an example to make it easier to understand. If you sell guitar accessories online, you could try to show up in searches for ‘guitar string gauges.’
However, the purpose behind the keyword is not clear. Do people want to buy guitar strings, or do they want to learn about the different gauges? Let’s type the keyword into Google to see what we can find out.
The first five results mainly talk about how guitar string thickness works. So, the main aim of the search is to get information. People want to know more about guitar string thickness.
But, by creating smart content (and using SEO writing), you can change the focus from just giving information to selling something. This is clear in the top articles on Google. They all describe how guitar string thickness functions and have a straightforward message encouraging readers to buy strings from their site.
Let’s explore another term in the same category. Instead of searching for ‘guitar string gauges,’ try ‘guitar strings near me.’ In this case, the search goal is to find and buy guitar strings locally.
The person is searching for guitar strings available at a store close to their home. Getting a higher ranking for this keyword can bring more people to your store, especially if you have a physical shop.
Recognizing the search intent initially is important for creating the right kind of content. This is crucial for the success of your content strategy, so make sure you understand the purpose behind each phrase.
Titles & Meta Descriptions
When search engines check your website, they first see the title tag and meta description. So, it’s crucial to improve them for your keyword and other key info.
Many websites ignore metadata, but that’s a pity because enhancing your metadata is crucial for SEO. If your metadata has the right keywords, Google and other search engines can quickly understand your content.
This is a big plus for ranking higher in search results.
The title tag and meta description show up on search engine results pages. The title tag has a link to your website, and the meta description gives a preview of your content.
Think of this as creating an ad: you’re often vying with about ten other websites for a user’s click, so you want to grab your reader’s attention! So, your meta description should be on point, interesting, and well-crafted. There are also some good ways to create meta descriptions:
- Keep it short, around 160 characters. This is the ideal length for meta descriptions, so avoid going too long or too short.
- Quickly answer the question from the title tag.
- Be clear and use an active voice. Meta descriptions should never be unclear or puzzling – so, keep them straightforward and simple.
- Include a call to action. Encourage readers to click on your article by using phrases like ‘learn more,’ ‘try it out now,’ or ‘try for free.’ Since you have limited space, these CTAs work well.
- Ensure you create a unique meta description for each page.
Tick all these boxes, and you’ll end up with a great meta description that’s optimized and will make readers want to know more. There’s a right and wrong way to write a title tag, so here are some expert tips:
✅ Make sure your title is 55 characters or less to avoid it getting cut off the page.
✅ Make each title tag on your website unique.
✅ Place your main keyword at the start of the title tag.
✅ If there’s room, include your brand name in the title tag.
✅ Aim to reflect the article’s content in the title (posing a question is effective).
Here’s how to create a catchy title tag to improve your ranking on Google searches. Keep in mind that each meta description and title tag should be different for every page. You definitely don’t want to have the same content in your SEO plan—it’s crucial to avoid duplicate material.
Creating A Killer Headline
Next, make sure to create a catchy title that contains your main keyword. Usually, it’s placed in a <h1> tag or header 1 tag. Being able to come up with an interesting title is a crucial skill for any writer. Here are some basic tips for making a standout H1 tag that both readers and search engines will notice:
Only Use One H1 Tag
Typically, it’s best to use only one main heading (H1 tag) in each article or post. This main headline acts as the title for your page. When breaking up the content, use subheadings like H2, H3, H4, and so on.
The H1 Needs To Sum Up The Content Of Your Page
Start with a question, introduce a topic, or share a fact that you’ll talk about in your article. Just make sure it relates to your article’s main subject.
Keep it Between 20 And 70 Characters
Like title tags and meta descriptions, H1 tags have a specific number of characters that work best. Making sure your title fits within this character range ensures it’s not too long or too short.
Use Long-Tail Keywords in The Title
If you can, use a specific and detailed term related to your subject in the main heading (H1). Map your keywords out before you write. Then write. Then go back and look for good places to implement.
The first sentence or paragraph is good; headlines and subheadlines are great. And don’t forget to add keywords/useful information to pictures and graphics.
Aside from that, check out Yoast. Their website is a treasure trove of pointers.
Make Your Title Stand Out
Research relevant online posts and examine their titles. Identify commonalities and gaps. When creating your H1, steer clear of conformity. Instead, craft a title that distinguishes itself on Google’s first page.
This guide walks you through creating H1 tags that grab attention online. A memorable title grabs the reader’s interest and sparks curiosity to learn more.
Optimizing The Content
Let’s talk about making your new content better. This will help you understand how to create great SEO material that gets into the top five on search engines.
It’s not just about writing – it also includes using links inside your content, adding pictures, videos, and other useful things. Here are some good tips for general writing and SEO on your pages.
Covering The Topic
Once you figure out what the user is searching for, dive deep into the topic with detailed information. To understand your competition, do a quick search for your main keyword and check the first five results.
Study their articles closely and note where they could give more information. Identify areas lacking detail. What can you add that hasn’t been covered yet?
A powerful way to create excellent content is to aim to do better than your competition. I always suggest reading what your competitors write and finding ways to surpass them.
Ask questions to gather information for your article. Specifically, find out what consumers want to know about the topic. Creating content that provides answers to user questions is a good practice and can boost your click-through rates.
Moreover, you can earn a featured snippet on Google by addressing a common user question.
What’s a featured snippet?
It’s a brief response to a popular question that shows up prominently at the top of a search results page (SERP). If you’ve ever used Google to search for something, you’ve probably come across one. Securing a featured snippet is excellent for your SEO, so here’s how to write copy for it:
- Start your content by asking a common user question in the first 100 words.
- Answer the question quickly in a few sentences, and highlight them in bold.
This tells search engines that your content provides a solution to a user’s question, improving your chances of appearing in a featured snippet.
Google sees content as ‘thin’ if it has fewer than 200 words. If your website has pages that meet these criteria, either enhance the content or relocate it to another page. For better chances of showing up in search results, it’s best if a piece of content has at least 700 words.
This is because search engines strive to provide users with top-notch, useful information. Google prefers comprehensive content on one page, so it dismisses thin content as it doesn’t contribute much value.
In recent years, long form content has become more popular. Blogs that have 2,000 words or more generally rank higher, as long as the content is relevant and well-written.
If your page has a lot of unnecessary information just to meet a word count, it hurts your SEO. Keep in mind that you’re writing for both search engines and readers, so ensure that each part of your content provides helpful information.
Simply writing without a purpose won’t help you reach your main goal of ranking and making money.
Write about things that matter to users and give them answers to their questions.
If you’re writing a blog and run out of ideas after 600 words, chances are you’ve covered everything. In this situation, crafting a brief 600-word post will be more beneficial than a 1,000-word one filled with more fluff than useful information.
Optimize For E-E-A-T
Google knows that, although ChatGPT can give correct answers, it doesn’t have human experience and trust.
In lots of search questions, people like getting answers from trusted sources with real-life knowledge. For example, a mom would rather hear parenting tips from another mom with successful, happy kids instead of a chatbot without kids.
So, Google is trying to fix this by putting more importance on info that comes from personal experience.
To do this, Google created the E-E-A-T guidelines (experience, expertise, authority, and trust).
While Google uses computer programs to decide if a writer is an expert, it can’t check if they have many years of knowledge on its own. Still, there are simple steps you can take to improve how Google sees you as an expert.
- Include phrases like “from what we’ve learned,” “we discovered,” and “research indicates.”
- Share links from reliable sources.
- Share personal stories or examples.
A lot of E-E-A-T criteria come down to basic on-page SEO tweaks (instead of actual copywriting), like connecting author profiles with education/credentials or adding “peer reviewed by ” or “medically reviewed by ” at the top of the page.
Getting links from other trustworthy websites is likely the most important E-E-A-T factor.
The positive update is that by creating top-notch content with unique viewpoints and personal examples from experience, you can build a strong brand reputation and earn backlinks.
SEO On-Page Optimization
While making SEO-friendly content, it’s not just about value and relevance; there are other things to think about too for a high rank.
To get your content in the top three spots, pay attention to small details. These include:
- Meta Title
This is the title you see in search results. Make it interesting and relevant by using the main keyword. The more unique the title, the higher the chance someone will click on it.
- Meta Description
This text shows up below the title in the search results and gives a bit more info about the post. Use keywords to make it better for search engines, but the main aim is to tell the reader why they should click the link and check out your post.
- Image Tags and Captions
To make your writing more interesting, add pictures and visuals within the text.
But keep in mind that search engines notice these images, so make sure they are set up for your target phrase. For instance, the image named 120LK.jpg is not as effective as SEOmarketinginfographic.jpg.
- URL Slug
The slug, or the part of the web address representing the article, needs to match the title of the article. This helps prevent confusion about what the content is about. Make sure to use the same main keywords in both the slug and the title for consistency.
In your post, support your ideas with numbers and examples to help the reader trust you and get your point. Aim to build trust and be recognized as a leader in your field.
As a writer, think about the long term.
Readers are naturally wary of blogs and articles that only aim to sell them something. So, steer clear of using aggressive selling tactics when creating content.
Instead, people like content that saves them time, answers their questions, or positively enhances their lives. This appreciation will make readers trust you, eventually leading to more sales.
That’s why you should create blogs that share useful information, teach something, and keep readers interested. Even if you don’t ask them to do something specific or promote a product, you’re still offering them something valuable. This builds trust in your brand, making visitors likely to come back whenever they want to discover new things.
Becoming a thought leader is more valuable than just making quick sales. It helps build lasting connections with customers, ensuring your brand stands the test of time.
Divide Your Content With Headings
Arranging your content with header tags is a great way to keep readers interested and make it easy to scan. This helps in keeping visitors engaged and reduces the bounce rate.
To start, kick off each post with an H1 tag. The main title pulls in readers to explore more.
Next, employ H2 tags to divide the content and emphasize the main idea. Follow an H2 tag with a good chunk of content, including H3 tags. An H3 tag under an H2 introduces and delves into a new subtopic. Although header tags can go up to H6, most articles stick to H3.
Some people like to quickly look through articles before deciding to read the whole thing. Header tags are favored by those who scan because they help make the scanning process simpler. By reading your header tags, they can easily grasp the main topics covered in your content.
Keep Paragraphs Short
Make your information easier to read by keeping paragraphs short, consisting of 1-3 phrases. This keeps the reader interested, avoiding a large block of text.
Reading is simpler with short bursts of text and plenty of space in between.
To enhance readability, consider using text enhancements like bold, italic, or underline. If you want to highlight a point, use bold or italics.
These enhancements add visual variety to your posts, making them easier to read.
Lastly, make sure your writing has enough trustworthy links. This helps both your readers and Google.
People like being able to look up more information on a topic. When you add reliable links, readers can easily check what you’re saying with just one click.
Link Building is part of any SEO plan, and writing is no different. To boost your website’s authority, use links inside and outside your content. Find places on your site where you can link to other articles. This not only helps with SEO but also makes it easy for visitors, as they can quickly read related content.
Meanwhile, Google notices when you’re open to linking to other sources. This shows that your website is cooperative and works well with other authors. As a result, Google’s algorithm will rank your website higher.
You can also receive backlinks from other sites. These are links to your site that show up on other websites. There are various ways to gain them, such as creating better content than your competitors and attracting the backlinks they have.
All SEO writing aims to guide people into taking a specific “call to action.”
You need a clear goal, like motivating people to buy a product or sign up for a mailing list. This means the rest of your writing should convincingly support this goal and turn it into a reality.
But, as mentioned before, people get doubtful if you come across as too salesy. Using aggressive sales techniques, like making exaggerated claims, can harm your business.
So, how do you make your writing convincing without being pushy? It starts with crafting your content from the user’s point of view
For example, your readers are naturally curious about what you can do for them. Instead of just telling them to “Sign Up Now,” explain how this will make their lives better.
For example, using “Get Started Ranking Your Site” helps a reader imagine the practical results of making a purchase. It tells them that by clicking the link, they can improve their search engine ranks. It’s specific enough to attract potential customers who want to rank higher in Google.
Think about your readers’ viewpoints from the headline to the call to action. Show that you comprehend their issues and, when relevant, how you can ease them.
Making your content SEO-friendly involves different strategies than it did a few years ago, especially with the rise of AI, which is changing things rapidly.
You don’t just want to bring people to your website; you want to turn them into potential customers. To do this, you need an SEO copywriting strategy focused on creating excellent content that meets your main goals.
Whether you aim to grow your email list or boost sales, engaging content can make a difference. Always keep in mind that you’re creating content for people first and machines second. This guide to SEO copywriting will take you through the steps needed to achieve that.
Focus on getting to know your audience, finding the right words, creating detailed content, and making connections. This will improve your position, reputation, and how many people take action. Everyone wins.