Ready to write for robots?
In the past, human beings were the only possible audience for a piece of writing.
Whether you were penning a novel or writing newspaper ads, you only had one customer base to appeal to – even if you could break that audience down into smaller segments. Now, in the digital age, we’re not just writing for people anymore. We’re writing for machines.
Those robots aren’t our futuristic AI overlords (yet), but they’re still important. In fact, when it comes to online content, from eBooks to infographics and blogs, machines are the gatekeepers determining whether other people get to see your creations. Fail to impress the bots, and you’ll never get anywhere near their human counterparts.
Before you begin to captivate your audience with your articles and podcasts, you need to prove that you have some value to offer. This means jumping through the hoops of the previously mentioned machines and meeting their complex standards.
An SEO copywriting strategy is how you navigate the online obstacle course leading to successful digital marketing.
With an SEO copywriting campaign, you discover how to write both for your fleshy end-users, and the digital defenders that hold the key to your success.
What is an SEO copywriting strategy? Simplifying SEO
As mentioned above, SEO copywriting is all about communicating simultaneously with your end-users, and the algorithms that dictate where you show up in the cluttered online world.
While most people assume that keyword research is the only important element of a good SEO copywriting strategy, there’s a lot more to balancing SEO and content than shoving the right words into your website copy and blog posts. As anyone providing a good SEO copywriting service will tell you, the key to a successful strategy is finding the right balance between what the search engine crawlers need from your content, and what your users need.
While copywriting is the art of using content to convince customers to convert or make a purchase, SEO is all about enhancing that content to ensure that you rank as high as possible on search engine result pages. Remember, Google currently receives more than 63,000 searches per second. The easiest way to spread brand awareness as far and wide as possible is to tap into the organic traffic that search engines offer.
In the past, SEO copywriting used to be all about structuring every page on your website to suit a specific set of technical rules. It was all about writing for the robots and had very little to do with telling your brand story or connecting with customers. However, now that Google and other search engines are more committed to offering users the best possible digital experience, SEO copywriting strategies are growing increasingly balanced. Today, if you want to get the most out of your SEO copywriting campaign, then you need cohesive, well-written content that both suits the machines, and the audience you want to engage.
As with any other form of digital marketing technique, the better your strategy, the more likely you’ll be to achieve your goals. With an SEO copywriting strategy, you ensure that you’re making the right impact on all the right audiences.
SEO copywriting and keyword research: How to get started
While keywords aren’t the only thing you’ll need to consider when asking yourself: “What is an SEO copywriting strategy?” they are a crucial component.
In fact, it would be fair to say that SEO can’t exist without keywords.
SEO copywriting is the process of “optimising” your content to ensure that you appear in front of as many qualified leads as possible. You can’t do this unless you know which words and phrases your customers are searching for in the first place. The first step of any SEO copywriting strategy is understanding your target audience. The more you know about the customers you’re speaking to, the easier it will be to perfect your copywriting techniques. Here are 3 steps to getting started with your keyword research.
1. Understand your audience
Keywords and phrases are the bridge between your digital presence and your target market. Learn what your customers search for when they’re looking for your USP online, and give yourself a constant stream of potential leads, ready to purchase your products and services. So, how do you figure out what your audience is looking for?
- Look at existing data: If you have any sales information about your previous customers, use it to find out which issues your clients want to solve when they search for you online. Use previous Google Analytics data to inform your keyword research too.
- Conduct competitive analysis: If you’re a new company without much existing data, you can always find out what similar companies in your industry are ranking for. Competitive analysis should give you a list of potential terms and phrases to consider.
- Create marketing personas: Use social media data, sales information and even interviews with previous customers to build personas for your target audience. This will help you to create marketing strategies that specifically reach the right people.
2. List and research possible keywords
Once you understand your audience, begin to list some of the terms and phrases they might use to search for your company, product, or service online. There are plenty of tools out there to help companies boost their keyword research strategy, including Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs.
During this stage of your strategy, it’s worth working with your SEO copywriting agency to determine the right balance of long-tail and short keyword phrases for your campaigns. Remember, some keywords will appear in your copy more often than others. For instance, the term “SEO” probably appears in this article dozens of times, but that doesn’t make it seem spammy. However, if we had 50 mentions of “SEO copywriting campaign strategy advice and tips,” the flow of the content would start to suffer.
A SEO company like MJ SEO can help you make the most of your keywords.
3. Know how to implement your keywords
Building a great SEO content strategy takes more than simply finding the right keywords and phrases. You also need to know how to infuse those terms with your website copy, articles, and other published content. The key thing to remember with SEO today is that you should never let yourself get obsessed with the concept of “keyword density.” There’s no magic number of times a keyword needs to appear in your text for it to have the right impact on Google.
Instead of getting caught up on a percentage, remember:
- Keywords need to be natural and organic. They shouldn’t harm the flow of the content.
- Include your keywords in your meta descriptions, tags, and image alt-text, as well as in the body of your content.
- Remember to use different kinds of keywords to get the best impact.
Building best practices: 3 crucial elements for SEO copywriting
With an SEO copywriting strategy, you improve the potential of all your online assets.
SEO copywriting helps you to rank higher on the search engines, lets your clients know that you’re writing about topics relevant to them, and boosts your authority. However, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed when you’re trying to translate your content into a language that resonates with both machines, and people.
Not only do you have two simultaneous audiences to consider with SEO copywriting, but you also need to keep on top of all the constantly-changing algorithms dictating how search engines rank and value content. Here are a few SEO copywriting strategy best practices to help keep you stay on track.
1. Invest time in high-quality headlines
Headlines have an important role to play in any SEO copywriting or promotional content campaign. Your headlines are both the first thing that your customers see when they’re searching online, and the first thing that the search engine bots assess. So, how do you get your headlines right?
- Show your value: Make sure that your customers see what they get when they click through to your page. For instance, the title of this article instantly highlights the fact that you’re getting an “SEO Copywriting Strategy” guide.
- Use numbers: Numbers grab attention and help to demonstrate value in a way that’s easier for readers to absorb. Try using numbers in your title to earn attention, e.g., “10 SEO Copywriting Strategy Tips for Marketers.”
- Make it all about the reader: Using the words “You” and “Your” is a great way to remind your customer that you’re writing for them (not just the search engines).
2. Perfect the length and structure of your content
These days, short or basic blog posts just don’t have the right impact. Research indicates that posts with 2,000 words or more get the best results for your SEO. However, it’s not enough to just waffle on for 10 pages. You need to make sure that you’re structuring your content properly too.
Search engines are suckers for structural precision. The algorithms will rank your content higher if it’s designed to improve user experience, and your customers will thank you too. Remember, when you’re creating compelling long-form content:
- Choose topics that your customers are actually interested in, and cover them with in-depth, useful insights.
- Use short paragraphs to make reading easier and break those paragraphs up with images, so your customers don’t feel overwhelmed by blocks of text.
- Use bullet points and other formatting tools to make key points more scannable.
- Remember your subheadings so that customers can skip to the part of your content they’re most interested in.
3. Leverage your links
Links are an essential component of your SEO copywriting strategies. There are two forms of link to include in your copy:
- Outbound links: These inform Google that you’ve done your research and found the most accurate information to include in your text. Outbound links also attract the attention of authority websites that may be willing to work with you in the future.
- Internal links: These links help to strengthen your sitemap. By linking to relevant pages when you’re discussing important topics, you show your customers that you’re an authority figure, and demonstrate your value to Google too.
Remember to use a good balance of outbound and internal links in your content. Ideally, every link you include should work naturally in the text and have a strong “anchor.” For instance, if you want to link to a page about “disruptive marketing” your anchor text might be “Learn how to be a disruptive brand.”
The biggest SEO content strategy mistakes (and how to avoid them)
One of the reasons that it’s so important to have an SEO copywriting strategy is that a plan helps you to avoid common copywriting mistakes.
Every piece of content you put out into the world when you’re working on your search engine ranking, reflects on you and your brand. Getting too caught up in the technical side of SEO or using outdated techniques could mean that your reputation starts to suffer.
Here’s are a few mistakes to avoid with your SEO copywriting plan:
1. Keyword stuffing
In the older days of SEO copywriting, you used to be able to get ahead of the competition just by having more instances of your keyword in your text. Today, including too many keywords on your content could lead to a slap on the wrist from Google – or worse. Keep your keyword use natural.
2. Bad grammar
Speaking of reputation, it’s hard to get people to believe in you and your brand promise when you’re constantly making grammatical or spelling mistakes in your content. Remember to double-check anything you publish as part of your SEO copywriting strategy. According to one study, 59% of customers say they wouldn’t purchase from a brand who make a lot of mistakes in their written content.
3. Pointless content
Every piece of content you produce should serve a purpose. One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is assuming that the more content they have on their website, the better their SEO strategy will be. Although more content gives the search engines more keywords to index for your brand, it’s important to make sure that you’re delivering true value with the things you write. Listen to your audience, answer their questions, and provide them with useful information.
4. Text blocks
While long-form content currently ranks better on Google than its shorter counterparts, it’s important that most people don’t want to see a wall of text when they visit your site. Avoid giving your customers a headache by breaking your information up with handy graphs, infographics, or brand photography. The more imagery you include, the easier your SEO copywriting will be to read and share.
5. Forgetting to use tools
One of the reasons that SEO copywriting service providers are so popular is that they have a selection of powerful tools they use to help you boost your position with human readers and search engine bots. Whether you’re working with an SEO team or not, you can still tap into useful free tools like the Yoast plugin for WordPress, which allows you to optimise your text for search engines as you write. Use tools like Google Analytics to track the success of your SEO copywriting strategies and adjust as you grow.
SEO copywriting tips: 5 ways to improve your strategy
Creating the perfect SEO copywriting strategy is part art, part science.
You need to know how search engine algorithms work to excel in the technical parts of your content creation, but you also need the imagination and creativity to provide your audience with something they want to read.
While the rules for SEO copywriting are always changing, there are still ways to improve your strategy. For instance:
1. Optimise your meta descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions are an important way to capture the attention of your target audience and impress the search engines at the same time. There are plenty of ways to make the most of your meta descriptions. For instance, make sure you:
- Use your keywords in your meta description to remind Google of what you want to rank for.
- Max out your character limit to provide readers and engines with as much useful info as possible.
- Describe the value of the content clearly so your customers know why they should click through to your page.
2. Try LSI keywords
There are many different types of keywords. For instance, long-tail keywords appeal to the customers in your audience searching for answers to complex questions. One of the best ways to boost your SEO copywriting strategy is with LSI keywords.
Latent semantic indexing or “LSI” involves using keyword terms in your copy that are similar to your primary keyword phrase. This helps you to reach out to a broader range of customers while giving the search engines extra context into how they should rank you. For instance, if your primary keyword was “SEO copywriting strategy,” the LSI terms you include might be:
- SEO copywriting campaign.
- SEO content strategy.
- SEO keyword research.
3. Maintain your human tone
Perhaps the most crucial thing to remember when you’re building your SEO copywriting strategy is that you’re not just writing for the robots – you’re trying to communicate with people. It’s no good having a technically perfect piece of SEO copywriting if it doesn’t convince your customer to convert when they arrive on your website.
- Use a consistent tone of voice.
- Be emotional and engaging.
- Use the active voice whenever possible.
- Try storytelling to give depth to your content.
- Add statistics and data to your content to demonstrate authority.
4. Publish fresh content regularly
For most companies, an SEO copywriting strategy begins with writing content for your website. This means filling out your “About” pages, product pages, and other evergreen sections of your site. However, if you really want to make the most of SEO, then you need to constantly provide the search engines with new content to index. That’s where a content marketing campaign comes in handy.
In today’s competitive online space, publishing regular content reminds Google of why you should stay at the top of the search results for certain key phrases and terms. Additionally, regularly published content helps to maintain the attention of your target audience, which leads to greater brand loyalty.
5. Think beyond your website
Many companies still assume that their website is the only place they need to optimise with SEO copywriting. However, thanks to the rise of social media, that’s no longer the case. Google wants to provide its searchers with the best selection of high-authority content. That means that it looks for evidence beyond your website when deciding how “authoritative” your website is.
Your social media campaigns have a huge impact on your SEO today. Not only do they link back to your website, but they also help you to build a wider audience of happy customers and strengthen the impact of your brand name too. Don’t forget the power of social media when you’re designing your SEO copywriting strategy.
Time to cultivate a better SEO copywriting campaign?
If you want the best possible results from your SEO copywriting campaigns, then you’re going to need a strategy.
An SEO copywriting strategy is how you make sure that every piece of content you publish speaks both to your target audience, and the search engines too.
Simply writing content for search engine algorithms isn’t going to get you the results you need. It’s not the search engines that buy your product or refer you to new customers. However, search engines advocate for your brand, by telling potential leads that you have the information they’re looking for.
At the same time, writing content entirely for your target market is great, but if your clients never find the pieces you’ve created for them, then they’re not going to help your bottom line. The only way to get ahead in the modern marketplace is to adjust your strategy to suit both sides of the coin.
Begin by writing compelling and engaging content that connects with your customer on an emotional level. Once you’ve perfected the creative side of your copywriting, use the techie side of SEO to beef up your content strategy and give it the volume it needs.
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy these too:
— How to create a killer content marketing strategy
— Once upon a time… storytelling in marketing
— How to sell yourself, without selling out