SEO copywriting is the most critical skill in 2023. However, navigating this landscape can feel overwhelming if you are starting. This article will teach you everything you need to master SEO copywriting. Whether you are a professional writer, a business owner, or simply curious, let’s enjoy this search engine optimization journey together.
What is SEO copywriting?
SEO copywriting is the practice of writing keyword-optimized content that both people and Google love. SEO copywriting is essential to any successful digital marketing strategy. It drives more organic traffic, increases sales, and enhances the brand’s reputation.
Why is SEO copywriting important?
SEO copywriting is a compass guiding potential customers to your web page. Without it, your website will be lost on the Internet. SEO copywriting helps your website rank higher in Google, so people can find you easier. Higher visibility results in more clicks, potential clients, and revenue.
SEO copywriting is not just about driving up traffic but also about connecting with your target audience. By utilizing terms and phrases that your potential customers understand and can relate to, you demonstrate that you appreciate their wishes and concerns, thus creating trust and credibility – the two most essential components of a prosperous business relationship.
Finally, SEO copywriting can improve user experience. Producing informative and engaging content will draw visitors to your site and keep them longer, thus improving your conversion rate.
How Does Copywriting Help With SEO?
First, it’s all about relevance. When your content contains the target keyword, search engines can easily identify the relevance of your content to a search query. This means you have more chances of appearing in the search results.
2. Create valuable content
Modern SEO copywriting emphasizes the importance of valuable and engaging content. Search engines now prioritize content that offers real value to readers, and good copywriting does just that. An SEO copywriter can provide helpful, interesting, and informative content that keeps readers staying longer, another ranking factor for search engines.
3. Good copywriting aids in earning backlinks
When your content is valuable and share-worthy, other web pages are more likely to link back to it, and these backlinks are important for SEO. We all know that Google loves backlinks. More backlinks will improve your site’s rankings.
4. Improve click-through rate
Finally, SEO copywriting involves creating compelling meta descriptions and titles. These snippets are what users see on the search results page. People are more likely to click on a well-written title and meta description, driving more traffic to your website.
What is SEO copywriting vs copywriting?
Copywriting and SEO copywriting share a common goal: attracting, engaging, and converting more leads for your business. Nevertheless, they are different in several ways.
Target audience: SEO copywriting focuses on potential customers who are still researching the problem. They might not buy yet, so they research information on search engines. On the other hand, copywriting leans toward customers who are ready to purchase or even bought the products. A good example of this marketing funnel is the product newsletter.
Consumption: SEO copywriting often provides comprehensive content in a blog post or article that meets the customers on a webpage. In contrast, copywriting is often used to produce content in a short-form format, such as sales emails, TV commercials, or product labeling.
5 important elements of SEO copywriting
The Headline is the most important aspect of an article. According to research from CopyBlogger, 8 out of 10 people read the headlines, but only 2 out of 10 will click through them. If your headline is unattractive, it’s tough to get traffic, even if your article is the best in the world.
So what makes a good headline? First, the headline must contain the target keywords you got during your keyword research. The more keywords you can put in the headline, the better. However, only put keywords that make sense in the context and don’t stuff them.
The foundation of SEO copywriting is the content itself. Quality content that meets the needs of your audience resonates well with both searchers and search engines. Integrate target keywords naturally within the text, but avoid stuffing keywords as it can lead to penalties from Google.
Additionally, storytelling is a powerful technique in your content marketing toolkit. Crafting stories that emotionally impact your reader fosters a connection between you and them.
Content length also affects search engine performance; comprehensive articles provide deeper value than shorter pieces of content, so strive for lengthier, informative pieces instead of brief blurbs.
Finally, keep a consistent publishing schedule, as regularity builds authority in your brand and indicates to search engines that your website is regularly updated – which can boost search engine rankings.
3. Page links
Page links are one of the most critical pillars of SEO copywriting. Internal and external linking not only guide your audience through your content but also help Google understand the context of your website.
Your content becomes more credible when you link to relevant and authoritative sources. In addition, internal links distribute page authority throughout your site and encourage visitors to spend more time exploring your content.
However, keep in mind to use links strategically. Every link should provide value to your readers and improve their understanding of your content. It’s not about quantity but the quality of your links that makes a difference.
In essence, linking is a matter of SEO and user experience. Give your readers valuable resources and a logical path through your website, and the search engines will follow.
4. Keyword frequency
Keyword frequency refers to the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears within your content. This aspect of SEO copywriting is a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, it’s critical to include relevant keywords in your content to help Google understand what your page is about. On the other hand, the overuse of keywords can lead to penalties from Google.
The key is to maintain a natural and reader-friendly tone. Imagine having a conversation with your audience. Your keywords should flow effortlessly within your dialogue, providing valuable context without interrupting the natural rhythm of your content. Achieving the right keyword frequency is an art – it’s about creating harmony between user experience, readability, and SEO.
5. Site speed
Site speed has been a ranking factor of Google since 2010. People also expect websites to load fast and don’t want to wait. A study from Akamai back from 2009 shows that:
47% of customers expect a website to load in 2s or less.
40% of customers will abandon a website if it cannot load after 3s.
52% of online shoppers state that site’s speed is an important indicator of their site’s loyalty.
In the world of social media (Tiktok, Instagram, etc.), people’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter. A slow website will never please customers; people will leave your site because of a bad user experience.
How can you check your site’s speed? I recommend using Pingdom Website Speed Test. I will take my favorite website Ahrefs as an example. Just plug in the URL and hit Start Test. As you can see in the image, the load time of Ahrefs is 581ms, which is pretty fast.
If you want to improve your website speed, check out this video from Ahrefs.
SEO Copywriting Tips
1. Conduct thorough keyword research
Keyword research is the foundation of SEO copywriting. First, you must understand what your audience is searching for. Brainstorm topics relevant to your industry, product, or service.
Next, use SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, SE Ranking, etc.. to find out what keywords people use to find this type of content. Look for high-volume and low-competition keywords. These are often less competitive and more specific to your niche.
For example, let’s say you try to rank for the keyword best project management software. If you plug that keyword in an SEO tool like Ahrefs, you can see that it is pretty challenging to rank (KD: 82). However, you can write the same article but target a long tail version of its best project management software for individuals. Suddenly, the competition drops and the keyword difficulty is only 22.
Once you have compiled a solid keyword list, incorporate them into your content naturally. Aim for a smooth, organic integration of these keywords into your content so it reads seamlessly to your audience.
2. Master the search intent
Understanding and creating content that satisfies user search intent is key to successful SEO copywriting. Search intent is why people search. Are they looking to learn something? Or are they looking to make a purchase?
To master search intent, you must put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What would they want to accomplish when they type in a particular keyword or phrase? Google increasingly prioritizes search intent in its algorithm, so getting this right can significantly boost your SEO efforts.
Let’s consider our earlier example of best project management software. Here are the top 10 results on Google. Google loves these articles, so it puts them in the first spot.
We can see that they are all about comparing different project management software. That means if a user is searching for this, they intend to learn about different software options before purchasing. Your content should fulfill this intent by providing an in-depth comparison of different project management software options in the market.
3. Do competitor analysis for your target keywords
Competitor analysis is an essential task of any SEO copywriter. It’s not about copying what your competitors are doing but understanding their strategies and identifying opportunities where you can outperform them.
Start by identifying your top competitors, and investigate the keywords they rank for. Different competitor analysis tools can help you with this process, including SEMRush and Ahrefs.
Once you figure out these keywords, research the associated content. What topics are they covering? How detailed is their content? How well are they engaging their audience?
Use this information to craft your content strategy. Find gaps in their coverage you can fill or provide a unique angle that has yet to be explored. Your main goal is crushing your competition. A thorough competitor analysis can give you a leg up in this race.
4. Find topic ideas in People Also Ask
The People Also Ask (PAA) section in Google search results is an incredible resource for relevant content ideas. This feature presents questions that users commonly ask related to your search query.
Tapping into this resource can provide a deeper understanding of what your audience is genuinely curious about and what questions your content should aim to answer.
Start by typing your main keyword into the Google search bar and scroll down to the PAA section. You’ll find a list of questions that people frequently ask related to your keyword. Note down these questions – they can serve as excellent subtopics or headings for your content.
For example, if your keyword is best protein powder, you might find queries like “What is the No 1 protein powder in the world?” or “How do I choose the healthiest protein powder?”. These questions can guide your content creation, ensuring it aligns with user interest.
5. Optimize your 3 kings (URL, H1, SEO Title)
I learned the “Three Kings” concept from Diggity Marketing. These elements include your URL, H1 (article heading), and SEO title. Each element plays a significant role in determining how your page is indexed and presented in search results.
Optimize the URL
Your URL should be concise, readable, and descriptive. It should include your keyword to make it more SEO-friendly. Avoid repeating words and unnecessary punctuation special characters, as these can make your URL harder to interpret for both users and Google.
For example, if you’re writing about the best protein powders, a good URL could be www.yourwebsite.com/best-protein-powders. But a URL like www.proteinwebsite.com/best-protein-powders is not good; it has the repeating word “protein.” Google doesn’t like over-optimization URLs.
Optimize the SEO Title
The SEO title tag is what appears in search results. It should be compelling and contain your primary keyword. You should follow these rules for a perfect heading:
Keep your top keywords at the front of your title.
Write in English; only write things that make sense.
Don’t repeat words.
Keep it under 70 characters so it’s not cut off when displayed on Google.
Optimize the H1
H1 represents the main topic of your article. You can follow the same SEO title optimization rules to optimize your H1. However, try to make it slightly different from your SEO title.
6. Optimize your subheadings (H2, H3)
Subheadings are not merely structural elements of your content but are also crucial for SEO. Carefully optimizing your H2 and H3 tags can guide readers through the narrative of your content and significantly help Google comprehend the structure and context of your page.
Follow these steps to optimize your subheadings:
Use keywords wisely: Include relevant keywords in your subheadings. Ensure they fit naturally within the sentence and add value to the reader.
Make them informative: Your subheadings should act as signposts, giving readers a clear idea of what the following section will discuss. Keep them concise and informative.
Spread them evenly: Avoid large blocks of text. Break your content into digestible chunks with subheadings to improve readability and user engagement.
7. Craft a compelling meta description
Your meta description is a mini-advertisement for your content. It’s the brief snippet that appears under your title in search results, and it’s your chance to convince searchers to click through to your article.
Your meta description should be concise and straightforward. You only have around 160 characters before Google cuts it off, so make it solid.
Remember to include your primary keyword in your meta description. This doesn’t directly influence rankings, but it helps reaffirm what your content is about to searchers.
The whole point of meta description is to get people to click on your blog. Encourage searchers to click through with a clear call to action. Words like Learn more, Read now, or Discover can be effective.
Remember, your meta description should accurately reflect the content of your page. Misleading meta descriptions can lead to high bounce rates, negatively affecting your site’s overall SEO performance.
8. Structure your content the right way
Your content structure is necessary for readability and SEO. Start with a captivating introduction that intrigues the reader’s interest and concisely outlines what the article will cover.
Move onto the body of the text, breaking it down into small, digestible sections. Use subheadings to guide your readers through the piece and make it easy to scan. Be sure to use bullet points or numbered lists where appropriate to make complex information or lengthy lists more digestible.
Lastly, conclude with a compelling ending that summarizes the key points of your article and encourages reader engagement through comments, shares, or following a call to action.
The best content is not just well-written but also well-structured. It guides the reader seamlessly from one point to the next, making absorbing information enjoyable and effortless.
9. Include visuals
Visual content is a powerful tool for your SEO copywriting strategy. Statistics reveal that 42% of bloggers with strong results have 2-3 images. Moreover, content with videos gains 83% more traffic than content that does not. This underscores the importance of incorporating visuals to enhance your content’s appeal.
Visual content doesn’t just mean images. You can also include infographics, charts, graphs, and videos to make complex information more understandable. For instance, an infographic can brilliantly illustrate statistics or a process that might have seemed monotonous in text format.
Visuals are not just for decoration. They should add value to your content, clarify your points, and engage the reader’s attention. A well-placed and thoughtfully chosen visual can be a game-changer in making your content stand out.
10. Include CTAs (calls-to-action)
A call-to-action is an invitation to the reader to take a specific action. It could be a nudge to subscribe to your newsletter, download a free e-book, sign up for a webinar, or follow you on social media. CTAs are pivotal in converting passive readers into active participants or customers.
The key to an effective call to action is making it compelling and clear. Be sure to use action-oriented language and convey a sense of urgency. For instance, Download your free guide now or Join us today and start experiencing the benefits are more likely to elicit a response than vague or passive phrases.
Incorporating a strong CTA in your SEO content is not just about boosting conversions. It also provides readers with a clear next step or solution to their problems. A well-crafted CTA can significantly enhance reader engagement, making it a must-include element in your SEO copywriting strategy.
11. Use a table of contents
A table of contents is an excellent tool for improving your content’s structure and readability. It gives the reader a neat snapshot of your content, allowing them to jump to the sections that interest them most. This enhances the user experience, making it easier for your audience to find and absorb the necessary information.
Well-organized content will likely retain the reader’s attention and promote engagement. So, remember to include a clear, concise, and clickable table of contents in your SEO content. It might seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in your content’s performance and your audience’s response.
12. Be concise and straightforward
Brevity is a virtue for SEO content. While providing comprehensive and in-depth information is important, bluffing without communicating much can be a turn-off for readers. Aim to express your ideas directly and straightforwardly. Try to avoid industry jargon, complicated phrases, or convoluted sentences.
Your goal should be to make your content easily understood by a broad audience. Clear and concise writing is not only more accessible but also more engaging. It keeps the reader focused on your message, increases the readability of your content, and enhances the overall user experience.
13. Avoid keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing is an outdated SEO practice that overloads your content with specific keywords to manipulate your site’s ranking on search engine results pages. This tactic can lead to a negative user experience and harm your site’s rankings.
Today’s search engine algorithms prioritize high-quality, relevant content that reads naturally and provides value to the user. Overusing keywords can make your content sound robotic and unnatural, deterring your readers and leading to penalties from Google.
Aim to incorporate keywords organically into your content. Use synonyms and related phrases to offer your keywords a diverse and rich context. Remember, your primary focus should be creating valuable and engaging content for your audience, not tricking search engine algorithms.
14. Aim for the featured snippet
The featured snippet, often called position zero, is a prime location on the search engine results page (SERP). It’s an elevated spot that offers high visibility, essentially putting your content at the forefront. To aim for a featured snippet, prioritize creating content that directly answers commonly asked questions within your niche.
Use a clear, concise format with headers and bullet points to increase readability. Include your target keyword in the section’s header that answers the specific query.
A featured snippet spot can help you get more visibility and an implied endorsement from Google.
15. Test, test, test…
Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and so should your SEO strategies. All changes you make, whether updating a meta tag or incorporating a new keyword, must be rigorously tested to monitor their impact on your site’s performance.
Use analytics tools to track your site’s traffic, time spent, bounce, and conversion rates. Keep an eye on how your users interact with your content — what they click, how long they stay, and why they leave. This data will provide critical insights into what’s working and what’s not.
A/B testing is a useful method to evaluate the success of specific changes. This involves creating two versions of the same webpage — one with the applied change and one without — and then comparing the performance of the two.
Be patient, though. SEO is a long game, and it may take time to see results. But with consistent testing and adjustments, you can optimize your site for success.
SEO Copywriting Tools
There are several tools that can make a remarkable difference in your SEO Copywriting strategy. Here are some examples:
SE Ranking: An all-round SEO platform, SE Ranking offers a variety of solutions great for SEO copywriting. It features a keyword suggestion tool, a website audit tool, and a competitor research tool. This platform helps you understand what terms your audience is searching for and how your competitors are ranking for those terms.
Surfer SEO: This tool has a unique approach to SEO copywriting. Surfer SEO analyzes the top-ranking pages for your chosen keywords and provides you with information about the optimal keyword density, structure, and other vital factors. With Surfer SEO, you can craft content that aligns with what Google loves.
Ahrefs: Best known for its backlink analysis tool, Ahrefs also provides a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that can improve your copywriting. Its Keywords Explorer helps you discover thousands of great keyword ideas, analyze their ranking difficulty, and calculate their traffic potential. Meanwhile, the Content Explorer allows you to discover the most popular content in your industry and analyze what’s been shared socially.
These are the 3 most outstanding tools that I have used. They will significantly enhance your content’s performance on Google.
If you want more solutions, check out our article on the best SEO software for small businesses.
In conclusion, SEO copywriting is an art and a science, harmonizing creativity with data-driven strategy. You will see some results by applying these strategies and SEO tools to your content.
Remember, the aim is to create content that resonates with your audience but ranks well on Google. So, explore these tools, apply their insights, and watch your content soar to new heights. Happy optimizing!
Is SEO copywriting hard?
SEO copywriting may sound complicated, but it’s actually easy. The best practice is creating content that resonates with readers and search engines.
How much do SEO copywriters charge?
The average cost of an SEO copywriter is between $25 to $25000 per page. However, this number depends on many factors, including the copywriter’s or copywriting agency’s skill and experience.
How much do SEO content writers make?
According to salary.com, an SEO copywriter can make somewhere between $47,324 to $57,516 per year. However, the sky is the limit. If you know how to scale your skill and build multiple income streams, you can make a lot more.
Are SEO copywriters in demand?
SEO copywriters are in high demand right now. Hubspot has a study with 2,300 marketers revealing that brands with a dedicated blog experience a 126% higher lead growth. Businesses need a blog to grow. And who will grow these blogs? The answer: SEO copywriters!
How long does it take to learn SEO copywriting?
Typically, it can take 1-3 months to learn SEO basics and 6-12 months to master through practice. However, the process depends on many factors, including how much time you put into working on your skill, how much information you can absorb in a given time, and how you plan to learn the skill.
Featured Image Source: Image by storyset on Freepik.