Right now, your company needs to invest in SEO – especially if you’re struggling.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. And SEO is what improves your ability to grow your traffic organically (free traffic). After you have your traffic on your website, then it’s only a matter of converting that traffic into customers.
You don’t need to be an expert to start making improvements! In this blog, I’ll go over 12 tips for great SEO copywriting that you can implement without an SEO specialist.
What is SEO Copywriting?
SEO copywriting is a style of writing that prioritizes humans, while still keeping SEO in mind. SEO copywriting seeks to achieve the perfect balance between writing for visibility and writing to create genuine engagement with your audience.
SEO Copywriting vs. SEO
Why does SEO Copywriting beat out SEO when it comes to writing strategically online?
When writing purely for SEO, you will sound mechanical. It sends a message that you’re writing for an algorithm that places your copy higher in the search list rather than engaging with and selling to your audience.
Remember, Google doesn’t pay you – humans do!
Why SEO Copywriting Needs to be a Bigger Priority
So, if humans are the priority, why do we need SEO at all?
The truth is, well written content still needs to be found by search engines. And in order for that to happen, SEO should still be kept in mind while writing. Striking a balance through SEO copywriting will ensure that your content is valuable for your audience and easy to find.
Before we get into tips for SEO copywriting, let’s go over a few SEO strategies to keep in mind.
Types of SEO Strategies
SEO copywriting usually refers to on-page SEO; however, it would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the different types of SEO strategies that companies need to pay attention to.
On-Page SEO refers to the things that you include on a web page to drive organic traffic and increase visibility. This helps your audience find you more quickly through a Google search.
Strategic on-page SEO can help your web page rank high on a search engine results page (SERP). And there are two philosophies for getting there:
- Black hat – stuffing keywords in a nonsensical way into your content just to rank. Avoid this like the plague.
- White hat – including a typical amount of keywords into your content, but not overdoing it.
As the names suggest, white hat is the ethical approach to on-page SEO. Black hat methods might help your page get a higher SERP ranking, but your audience won’t stay on your page long if your content is nonsensical keyword soup.
On-page SEO requires extra copy development time to achieve and maintain consistency. If you’re starting from scratch, expect 3-6 month time lag before you see results. The best way to get started is to write content – like blogs – on a regular schedule (weekly or bimonthly).
Technical SEO refers to your website’s backend settings that make it function optimally for the user. This ties into the overall experience that your audience has when interacting with your content. You are trying to make it easy for your audience to navigate your website.
If you ever clicked on a link because the headline seemed spot-on for what you were searching for, but then the website…
- Took forever to load
- Wasn’t optimized for mobile viewing
- Was difficult to navigate
- Seemed like spam because of the URL
… You probably left within seconds. The average user’s attention span is under 5 seconds per click (unless they find what they are looking for).
Even if the headline of a web page is a perfect match for your search, you’ll only stay if the website looks safe, easy, and organized.
Off-page SEO refers to the things you do outside of your website to draw attention to it. It helps your audience decide if they can trust your website and determine if it is an authority among its competitors.
Think about how you approach hiring talent for your company. Many people might apply for the position with the skills you’re looking for. But an applicant with several beaming references and a successful work history will stand out the most, and you’d be more likely to trust them than Joe Schmoe.
Similarly, off-page SEO is like having “references” for your company’s website that helps build trust online.
12 Tips for Great SEO Copywriting That You Can Implement Without An SEO Specialist
Now that you have several SEO strategies you can implement without an SEO specialist, let’s talk about how to combine them with copywriting for an optimized SEO copywriting approach.
1. Genuinely Communicate With Your Audience
Prioritize a strong connection with your audience by writing genuinely – not robotic. Not only will authentic communication provide better value for them, but it can be beneficial for your company’s SERP ranking too…
“When you’re writing for humans, search rankings will rise because bounce rates will be lower and time-on-site will be higher. It’s all about the user experience.”Dan Moyle, Impulse Creative
It’s a win-win. Search engines use metrics like bounce rate and the time spent on a given page in their algorithm to rank your website.
2. Don’t Be Spammy
If it sounds like spam, it probably is. Avoid writing content that looks like spam. If your content looks like spam, people will be less likely to stay on your site. Avoid using…
- Black hat SEO approaches. Don’t stuff your content with keywords. Your audience can spot unethical approaches from a mile away (even if they don’t know what they are looking at), and this will reflect negatively on your brand.
- Stock images in your blog posts. Instead, opt for images that are uniquely yours (e.g. photos of yourself, your products, or services). You can even include your own screenshots for how-to’s. Schedule a brand photoshoot to create your own photos.
Above all, if the copy sounds or looks spammy, change it.
3. Use Practical URLs
Another way to avoid having your content mistaken for spam is to use practical URLs. Best search results have URLs between 50-60 characters long and a top-level domain (TLD) of ‘.com’. Bypass gibberish symbols and letters; they can imply there is something shady or you are trying to hide something.
Instead, include logical, intuitive URLs that are associated with the content of your webpage. Not only will this help your website look more legitimate, but it will also portray your company as being logical and organized.
For example, the slug – the phrase that follows the domain in the URL – for this page is https://focuscopy.com/seo-copywriting-tips. You can expect to learn SEO copywriting tips in this blog. But if the slug was https://focuscopy.com/6&sct12, you would have no clue what to expect. It may be exactly the same as the first page, but it may also be a scam – you can’t tell.
4. Have an SSL Certificate
While we’re on the topic of URLs, another great SEO copywriting tip is to have an SSL certificate.
Users will see “https://” in the URL, which lets them know your website is safe with:
- Secured user data
- Ownership verification
- Website authenticity
Plus, it might hurt your SERP ranking if you don’t have an SSL certificate. Google is about to stop ranking non-SSL sites and may flag them as “Not Secure”.
5. Cover Topics Comprehensively
Another way to practice effective SEO copywriting is by covering topics comprehensively. It increases the quality value that your audience receives from your content, helping you stand out among the competition.
Try using content splintering to be more comprehensive in your writing. When you’re more comprehensive about a specific subset of a topic, you will be more targeted and have more opportunities to crosslink to other blogs or pages.
Don’t worry – you won’t have to post everything back-to-back. In WordPress, use categories and tags to cross-link related content. This will logically organize your content together, even if they aren’t published one after another.
6. Use Keywords that Resonate With Your Audience
Ideally, you should use keywords that are broad enough to reach your target audience and specific enough to stand out from the crowd. Above all, make sure your keywords resonate with your audience.
For example, suppose you’re a CPA based in Boise, Idaho who wants to start marketing your services as tax season rolls around. Here are two keyword approaches you could take:
- SEO: “tax CPA boise idaho”
- SEO Copywriting: “tax and accounting help in boise”
SEO alone includes long-tail keywords with the goal of ranking top of an SERP.
On the other hand, the SEO copywriting approach includes keywords that your target audience would actually use in a search. You’ll maximize visibility while centering your audience.
7. Incorporate Relevant Headers
Relevant headers are a staple of SEO copywriting. They make your page easier for your audience to read and enable search engines to readily parse (understand) what your page is about. Make sure your headers are relevant by…
- Incorporating keywords or keyword synonyms
- Including calls to action
- Making them readable
8. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Viewing
Today, many people access web content through their smartphones. Ensure their mobile experience is as effortless as possible by making your site mobile friendly. You don’t want your audience to lose patience trying to find what they need.
Optimize your website for mobile viewing by…
- Resizing text and images
- Restructuring page formats
- Creating an easy-to-use navigation bar
9. Make Your Content Easy to Share
Make your content easily shareable to social media platforms with a customized preview image, SEO title, slug, and meta description. This is what it looks like when you use the Yoast SEO plugin.
For example, here’s what it looks like when someone shares a FocusCopy blog on their Facebook page.
10. Establish Backlink Equity
Backlink equity is an SEO Copywriting approach that leverages off-page SEO. It helps your site establish trust and authority online. Build a variety of backlinks. Examples of potential backlink opportunities include:
- Articles on Medium
- Interviews on Voyage or a local news channel
- Publications on reputable .gov, .edu, or .org website
- Press releases
11. Build a Backlink Network
Don’t stress out if you can’t get published on a large, reputable site. Try creating partnerships with other companies and build pages or posts to refer traffic to them. It’s all about building a backlink network.
Since COVID-19 has been difficult for many of our friends and clients, we wrote several blog posts to create backlinks to their websites. Check those posts out here:
- Avoid Business Burnout by Communicating Your Boundaries
- Communicating Your New IT Solutions During COVID-19 with Brooks IT Services
- Experiential Branding with Go Savvy: Building Brand Equity
12. Cross Link Your Posts or Pages
Linking isn’t just an off-page SEO strategy. It’s also fantastic for on-page SEO copywriting too. Here’s how cross-linking works…
Imagine you have a huge mansion with many bedrooms, ballrooms, and more. But you walk in and realize there are no doors. You can’t explore the other rooms. So you turn around and walk right out – there is nowhere for you to go! The mansion is useless.
But you’re a smart person and put doors between each room. So your guests can come into your fancy mansion, go from one from one room to another, and get lost in the beauty and splendor of your palace.
The same is true of your website. Google and your audience needs to be captivated and get lost in the different sections of your site. Cross link your pages or posts so they can move around and even go back to places they’ve already been.
So there you have it – 12 great tips for SEO copywriting that you can implement without an SEO specialist. However, we understand that writing isn’t for everyone. If you’d rather hire an expert to do your content writing for you, reach out to our FocusCopy team.