SEO copywriting refers to the art of writing copy that ranks well in search. Writing search engine optimized content is also about engaging readers, building authority, and selling your services.
1. Know Your Audience
Knowing whom you are writing for is one of the best and most important copywriting tips anyone can give you. Your content can never really rank or sell if it doesn’t appeal to a particular audience/consumer. If your audience needs to be informed of new technologies, we might need diagram and graphics heavy content.
2. Craft Magnetic Headlines
An irresistible, well-thought-out headline gets your article read and sets the tone for your content. It is important to have keywords in your H1 and H2 on your website.
3. Use Subheads
A catchy headline reels readers in, but how do you get them to continue reading? Use subheads. Subheadings (header tags – h2, h3, etc.) make your articles ‘skimmable’ and guide readers through the text. They also describe your content to search engines.
4. Write More Content
Does longer content rank better in search? It sure does. Look at these studies by serpiq, seomoz, and quicksprout. Longer page blurb (1,500 words +) also enable you to provide more value for readers, which helps you establish authority and expertise.
5. Shorten Paragraphs
While longer blog posts and articles generally outperform shorter ones, longer paragraphs do not. Chunky blocks of text just bore and intimidate readers – not what you want. For best results, it is best to keep paragraphs short (2-4 sentences).
6. Don’t Dock Long Tails
Ranking for terms with high search volumes can be tough, especially if your website is new. This is where long-tail keywords come to the rescue – basically ‘Key phrases’ rather then ‘Keywords’ eg. weave ‘best wifi solution for hotels in Ireland’ and similar into your copy.
7. Give Them Answers
Another way to take advantage of the long tail. When people have questions, they type them into Google. When you answer those questions insightfully and credibly as a content writer, your copy ranks, engages, and sells.
8. Forget Keyword Density
While it is important to include strong keywords in your content and not “over-optimize,” there is nothing indicating that search engines favor a particular density. Keep keywords to 2 mentions on a page – never more than 3 as google could penalise the site.
9. Link Out
Links to relevant resources and references in the body of your copy can support key points and provide more value for readers. What’s more, search engines view websites with outbound links to trusted blogs and sites as more valuable.
10. Link In
Linking internally is equally important. As in, interlinking the pages on your own website. Why do this? Because, like linking out, it adds value and improves user experience.
11. Make the Most of MS Word
Did you know that Word has a “Find” feature that can help you spot overused words, or that there is a text to speech feature that can read text aloud? Here are a few MS Word tips and tricks to get you started, but you may want to play around and see what it can do.
12. Remember the Call-to-Action
What is professional copywriting without an enticing call to action? It’s how you get your readers do what you want them to do, which is usually the purpose of the copy. Many strong, high-traffic keywords make great call to actions. Win win.