Honestly, it isn't really all that hard to make your content incredibly rich in keywords. But in order to make it shareable, it has to be high quality AND engaging. When you create readable content it needs to be SEO-friendly in order for it to succeed in search engine results. Especially on Google. This is why SEO optimized copy is the ultimate goal, no matter what your role or industry you're in. It doesn't matter if you are a larger business, a small brand, or even a blogger. Content that is rich in SEO will help get your brand out there and fast. But if you're new to this, you need a little direction. So let's dive in!
What is SEO when it comes to content?
SEO is what you do to optimize the effectiveness of your content. This is done specifically for search engines as a way to get your content to rank higher than other sites that target the same keywords. Let's go ahead and take a look at the SEO process for a second.
- Research: research the main keywords using a variety of tools, analytics, and competitor analysis
- Structure: develop a structure for the keywords on each page
- On-Site SEO: optimize each page for your main keywords
- Link Building: build links to the homepage and main pages
- Improve: search engines take time to update their links and keywords
- Analyze Rankings and Traffic: as search engines update and traffic increases, take a look at rankings and traffic
Essentially SEO is then condensed into 5 easy steps...
- you research keywords
- select a particular keyword
- use that keyword to write content
- other people read the content
- those people share it on blogs and social media platforms
What is SEO Copywriting?
If you want to create content that ranks well with Google, you need to think about Google’s Ranking Algorithm.
SEO copywriting is whenever you create compelling and valuable content. Content that targets specific keywords that entice other people to share your content even more. Every time someone shares your content it increases your authority and the content's ranking in Google. This happens because whenever something is highly recommended, Google views it as being relevant and, as a result, you'll get better SEO content results.
How To Write An SEO-Optimized Copy
Okay, so SEO isn't that hard but it can get a little complex. This is why content strategists and analysts make the big bucks. And honestly, most digital marketers don't have a deep knowledge of it. However, the good news is that there are a lot of tools that can do the basic work for you. While at the same time, help you gain a better understanding of what's going on with your web page or copy. So yes, it may be complex - but it is completely do-able.
If you blog in WordPress, there is an awesome plugin called Yoast. This plugin automatically sets up your post so they are more SEO-friendly. If Google is more your speed, you're in luck too. Google has a whole suite dedicated to easy-to-use tools (like Google Keyword Planner) that will analyze your traffic patterns and rank keywords. If these still aren't striking a chord with you, there are others. Such as SEMRush and MOZ that help people with varying levels of SEO knowledge and will get your content off the ground.
Alright, so now you know about the plugins and tools that will help you. You're one step closer and if you do it correctly, SEO copy will help you target your customers. But remember that the content has to be well-crafted. So how can you do that? Let's take a look at the steps that will put you in the right direction.
Get Cozy with Your Audience
The strategic placement of keywords isn't the only thing when it comes to an effective, optimized copy. It also needs to be well-composed in a way that comes off as genuine. The more genuine the content, the more it will reach and resonate with your audience. Another bonus is that it adds value to their lives. Whenever this happens, they're more likely to come back for me.
So whenever you are trying to develop some keyword terms, take time to think about what the audience actually needs and values. This is something very valuable that you can build on everytime you write a copy.
In fact, this is an ongoing process for those in the content field. Content managers and strategists are continually doing research and testing to figure out their audiences. Therefore it's never really going to be cut and dry. Especially in terms of writing for your audience. Here's the thing, audiences evolve and when it comes down to it, you need to evolve as well. But the best part is that a great piece of content will win with both its audience and SEO.
Create Better Headlines
I'm sure you've heard me preach the benefits of a good headline before, and rightfully so. Your headline is the first thing that people see and it will also be what shows up in search engine results. This is why you need to create headlines that are both useful and SEO-friendly. So go ahead and use some power words and hooks within your headlines. It's really the best way to grab a reader's attention. It doesn't have to be over-the-top though, you can avoid the hyperbole.
Whatever you do make sure the headline is realistic and unique enough to actually pique their interest. A good rule of thumb is to keep them simple, short. and full of active language.
Come Up with A Keyword Strategy
Whenever you write with SEO in mind, it's all about those keywords. There's no way of getting around it. Therefore you need to learn how to build a post based on keywords if you want to make an effective copy. An easy way to do this is to enter your own search terms into Google and see what the most popular searches are.
You should also get familiar with something called latent semantic indexing (LSI). This is essentially the specific terms that match the theme of your content. This is usually associated with your secondary keywords. If your whole site is properly structured for LSI, you'll be one step ahead of the majority of your competition.
Don't Stuff Your Content with Keywords
Keyword stuffing is a definite no-no. This happens when you use far too many keywords on each page. In fact, this is something that can actually make your content ranking drop. It's important to use keywords sparingly and in a way that flows with the rest of your content. The number of keywords you use in your copy will depend on your strategy, ranking, industry, etc.
Optimize for Mobile
There's no denying that we live in the mobile age. Mobile devices are now the most widely used devices, especially when it comes to online searches. Google even has mobile-first indexing, which prioritizes mobile content OVER desktop computer content. Your site and copy MUST be optimized with mobile in mind. If it isn't, you'll end up getting lost in a sea of content that does.
Follow the Trends
People LOVE current information. So it's a good idea to create content that caters to that from time to time. It's important that you stay current with what's trending within your niche. If you do, you will definitely see an increase in traffic. Of course, the trending copy needs to be relevant to your niche. And when you do it right, that post has a greater chance of going viral.
Create Useful Content
Overtime long-form content will become more and more prevalent. And the more useful and well-researched your content is, the better. Another way to boost your search rankings is to combine this strategy with great linking. Creating one or more useful posts or guides is the best thing you can do to create content that builds authority and visibility. Whenever you do this, it will be naturally rich in SEO. So go ahead and try your hand at things like how-to-guides, demo videos, and e-books.
Adding links to your content adds validity and authority to your copy. However, you need to pay attention to the links you use. You need to make sure to link only solid sources. This will create better value for your readers and can even boost your page ranking. This applies to BOTH internal and external links. Whenever you do link keywords back to reputable sites make sure that they are relevant to your content.
Content managers should consistently track ALL key performance indicators. Naturally, Google Analytics is the basic tool to use when it comes to tracking. You should also check and analyze your keywords. One way to do this is through industry-based queries. You can often find these on sites like Quora and Reddit.
Another thing to keep your eyes peeled for is bounce rate, page views, and social engagement. These metrics will work in combination with your actual keyword strategy to inform the next phase of your digital marketing campaign.
Pictures & Videos for the Win
The goal for any SEO optimized content is to be dynamic and interactive. This is where images come into play. It's a good idea to use some sort of image, whether it's photos, infographics, or illustrations. The goal here is to break up the wall of text. But again, make sure that the photos are relevant to your content. And be sure to construct your image descriptions carefully. Don't forget to include the right types of tags in your YouTube videos either.
When it comes to video, you're moving in the right direction. While they may or may not have a direct effect on SEO, they are a great way to boost engagement and sales. One way to incorporate SEO into your videos is to include a transcription with them.
Pay Attention To Previews & Descriptions
Every piece of content you write has a certain section or two that are key to creating optimal SEO. In Google searches, they are Meta descriptions. These descriptions show up as previews in search engine pages and through social media shares. This is a peek into what's in store for the reader. You can also use this as a way to pique reader's interests and also boost search engine rankings! This also applies to the introduction.
Call Them To Action
Adding call-to-actions (CTA) to your copy is a great way to sell your product. In fact, there's really no point in doing any of this unless you're guiding your reader to the next step. Don't get me wrong, you don't have to explicitly "sell" your product. It's good enough to just encourage them to do something that will keep you engaged with them. Such as sharing the article or leaving a comment.
Plus, your CTA is a great place to include a few more keywords for SEO.
Keep It Simple
If you want your copy to be easier to read (and more versatile) you need to use short paragraphs and concise statements. You should also use plenty of headlines. This is something that will help you in the long run whenever you are working out your strategy. In fact, your overall content strategy may require longer posts. But trust me, rambling is NOT a strategic move. Irrelevant pieces won't work when it comes to building traffic.
Here's the thing, when it comes to creating engaging, SEO-friendly content it doesn't need to be extremely complex. Even for beginners. However, getting your site to the top of those search engine results is something that every business and brand in the world wants. So, maybe it isn't that easy when you consider all the others striving for the same goal. But creating high-quality content that's chock full of SEO is a pretty good starting point.
A well-thought-out and constructed content strategy will help you build brand awareness and make your business skyrocket to the top of the search rankings. What’s your take on SEO copywriting? Do you think it’s a major factor in online content marketing success?