SEO Copywriting is both a key element and a challenge in any search engine positioning strategy. In fact, one of the biggest challenges bloggers and copywriters face is SEO writing, i.e. writing content that is optimised for Google, but which is also, and above all, capable of providing the best response to the demand from people on search engines.
In this article, we will deep dive into this topic as well as offer a guide to SEO copywriting and the most important techniques you can follow to make your content more SEO-friendly and therefore more relevant to Google.
What is SEO writing?
Search engine optimisation is undoubtedly one of the least understood segments of web marketing, but learning what SEO copywriting is all about, it is not that hard: it is the art of writing SEO-optimised articles in order to achieve the best possible detection, analysis and reading of content by Google, thus making it more visible (positioned) in the first pages of search engine results.
SEO writing is all about creating useful, valuable, and effective content that targets specific keywords in such a way that, when people type them into search engines, they will then be able to reach that specific content and perhaps share it on their social networks or blogs. This can highly increase the authority and relevance of the content as well as improve the Google position of that keyword. Ultimately, it is your writing method that makes the difference, based on that he you can pave your way towards potential readers or customers, through comprehensive, consistent and structurally well organised content.
Who is a SEO Copywriter?
The objective of the person who implements such writing techniques to position articles onto the Web ocean, is therefore to climb the SERPs (i.e. the search engine results pages for any given query, question) thanks to the work done on each piece of content. This job requires various skills: writing, language, storytelling, and clearly technical knowledge of the art of search engine positioning and the mechanics of how the two leading services, Google and Bing, work.
The SEO copywriter is also, and above all, someone who understands people, who knows what his or her target audience likes, and who knows how to choose the exact keywords to work on, positioning them appropriately in the text.
But how does this professional create content that meets these objectives, that is, that convinces people, satisfies them and ranks well on search engines? This is what we will deep dive into for rest of this article.
SEO Copywriting: a guide
In order to ensure that your website is the best in that specific market segment (niche), your content needs to be beautiful, engaging, easy to read and meet a number of SEO Copywriting requirements. Here is a practical guide on how to structure the work and execute it in the best possible way, without neglecting any element.
Keyword research The first step has very little to do with the writing itself and consists of researching the keywords that we want to use in the article and for which we want to rank on the first page of Google for that particular search (or so we hope). The preliminary questions to be asked in this respect are as follows:
What would I like to write about?
How would I Google this topic? What would I type to find such content on search engines?
For which keywords would I want people to find my content?
Keyword research is a key activity to achieve your goals and can be defined as the activity you undertake to list a number of useful keywords for that topic, namely:
the main keyword;
related and relevant keywords.
In order to achieve a good keyword list, you should fully identify with your audience. There are specific online tools to help you research keywords for your content, including SEMRush, Answer the Public and - of course - Google's keyword planning tool. Once you have the list of keywords, which you should bring in an Excel file with the average monthly search volume for each keyword and the difficulty of ranking (competition), you need to choose the main keyword, the related keywords to prioritise and those to use in a secondary way. A good strategy for success on small to medium-sized projects can be to focus on less popular, low-competition keywords, such as long-tail keywords.
SEO writing techniques
Our guide now goes straight to the heart of the matter, addressing the most well-known SEO writing techniques that should help you in your work, even if you are a beginner. The element to focus on first is the structure of the text, which is important for SEO copywriting as this will give your content a better chance of ranking well on search engines.
If the content is excellent but has a bad title, then hardly anyone will click on it even if it is on the first page of Google. Sufficient time should be spent on creating a title that is effective but also engaging: it should contain the main keyword, be structured with a meaningful sentence, grab people's attention and thus invite them to click and read the whole content. It's a lot to take in, but with a little practice you will have no difficulty.
There are several techniques for writing content. In the actual writing phase, after having identified the keywords on which you are going to work, it would probably be better to just write (i.e. to write straight away) and then, at the end, go on to edit the article. The structure of the text of a web content, therefore optimised for search engines, should respect that of a chapter in a paper book, i.e. it should contain the title, paragraphs (H2, H3, H4 if necessary) and the right indications on how to find the content (the sources), the ones we find in every book at the end of the pages.
Make sure to write clear paragraphs dealing with that specific topic and subtopic (title and subtitle), preferably starting with the most important sentence and then expanding on explaining or elaborating on that concept. This will give the reader the opportunity to grasp the essential elements of the content just by reading that one sentence, and then to go deeper if they want to; then make sure that the text is easy to understand: no words that are too complicated to assimilate! This applies to the reader but also to Google and Bing. An example of content with title and subtitles? Just look at one of the Wikipedia pages.
Length of content
One of the most frequently asked questions is: how long should my content be? The answer is one and the same: there is no minimum or maximum length, only common sense. Google's 4.1 update (called Panda) was designed to penalise shallow content, so the aim should be to develop the chosen topic until it is complete, until it answers every possible question the user might ask.
How many times should the chosen keywords be repeated within a piece of content? Keyword frequency indicates how many times the selected keywords appear on that page (keyword density) and, since it is no longer a decisive ranking factor as in the past (quite the opposite), it is good to avoid page optimisation errors, such as over-inserting keywords. Better to use them where appropriate.
Internal and external links
As one would do in a good book or a quality newspaper, you should always cite the source of inspiration for the content (if necessary), by inserting an external link to that website, but let's take a closer look at the dynamics of web links.
Linking one's own content to one or more pages of the website, i.e. inserting internal links, facilitates users' navigation - allowing them to explore useful topics directly related to the content - and indicates to Google that one is connected, sociable and has other content that people can easily reach. It is therefore necessary to:
link to other relevant pages or content inside and outside your site;
link to guides or other very in-depth content;
place each link in an appropriate text (anchor), without manipulating the meaning of the content, but making it look natural.
The meta description is the short description that appears on Google and Bing right below the title and the link. It must be coherent with the written content and above all attractive: for the same position in the results, an attractively written meta description has an indispensable function, which is to generate more clicks.