Ranking high on Google search results pages can often feel like a mysterious art as you struggle to find the reason why your website is hidden on page twenty instead of page one. This can often be the fault of poor SEO copywriting – failing to factor in exactly what Google and readers are looking for in a quality, relevant webpage.
And since a good ranking is essential to your business’s online success, understanding and mastering SEO copy is a vital step to the process.
So, to start with, what is SEO copywriting? Well, if copywriting is using words to describe and promote an idea, product, or service, then SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) copywriting is enriching those words with elements that benefit its standing in Google’s ranking algorithms. By utilising a range of relevant factors in appropriate ways, your piece of content will have a much better chance of shooting up those rankings.
It you want to dive deeper into this topic, then check out our Top 11 SEO Tips if you want a super useful rundown of everything under the SEO umbrella.
The good news is understanding the basics of SEO copywriting is stress-free and can get you working straightaway towards more traffic, more conversion rates, and the satisfaction of owning a website with high quality user experience. And don’t fret over wrapping your head around technical jargon that leaves you feeling confused. Even small, easy-to-grasp changes to your website’s copy can make a big difference.
Keywords Unlock Your Copy’s Meaning
The backbone of any strong SEO copywriting is the keyword you choose to create content around. This requires keyword research to see what words are relevant in your field or industry. This is essential in helping Google match your content to its relevant search queries. Keywords are the search terms people type into search boxes, so your webpage needs to be written specifically to build around that initial phrase that people turn to search engines for. Knowing and matching the searcher’s intent is key to forming the most suitable destination for them to reach.
Keywords range in length, structure, and popularity, meaning there is a fair bit to think about when looking to pick the right one. Your research should cover the sites already sitting atop results pages – what about them works, what are the areas you could improve? Some keywords will be more competitive than others while some keywords may take multiple pieces of content for Google to take notice. You should only ever attach one keyword to one webpage, as using multiple comes at the risk of them sabotaging each other in the push to get indexed.
The length of your keyword or phrase will vary depending on whether it’s short or long tailed. Short Tailed keywords will often only be one or two words that give a vague outline of what that person is looking for (i.e. “sushi brisbane”).
They are searched more regularly and bring in more traffic but are harder to fully optimise within your copy as the competition is larger. While the rewards are greater for successfully utilising one, achieving that success is a steeper mountain to climb.
Meanwhile, long tail keywords may be the better option for newer, smaller businesses as they are catered towards a more specific market. They can be phrased as full sentences or questions targeted towards a customer in a specific stage of the buying process (i.e. “what are the best sushi trains in south bank?”).
Knowing where and how often to incorporate your keywords is a fine balance of making them noticeable without resorting to keyword stuffing. This is where you overfill your body text with the keyword as a way to cheat the system by riding your spammy content all the way to the top. Search engines are now savvy towards this technique, and therefore penalise pages who have had their full on a certain keyword.
To avoid this, we suggest mentioning your chosen keyword at least twice in a 600-800-word piece, and at least four times in a 1000+ word piece as a general rule of thumb. Incorporating your keyword should come fairly organically as you will be writing around a certain topic already focused on that particular word. With that said, it may be easier for you to draft out your content naturally and then see if you can feature your keyword in more places during your once you go back to edit.
There’s a reason we’ve gone on about keywords for a good portion of this blog. Without properly researching and implementing them, a webpage may as well be drifting purposelessly through an ocean of obscurity. Keywords offer direction, meaning, and relevance to your page, so it’s best not to sleep on them if you want anything resembling decent SEO.
How Long Is Good SEO Copywriting?
The answer to what’s the ideal word count to please Google is that it depends. Research back in 2016 showed that the average length of the top results on search engine results pages (SERPs) was 1800 words, but that doesn’t mean that every corner of your website needs to consist of long form content to be successful.
SEO copywriting is about understanding how each of these elements work best for the type of content you are creating – and length is no different. This means your on-page work, blog posts, listing pages, and every other kind of webpage on your site is going to vary greatly in word count. Looking to see what ballpark your competitors’ equivalent content falls into may be a good way to gauge what length to aim for.
In general, though, blog posts should be between 800 and 1500 words, with on-page content hovering more around the 600-word mark. And you can always write your long form pieces in stages, with consistent updates to your existing pages being looked upon favourably by Google.
Paragraph and sentence length should also come into consideration. Readers are turned off by huge blocks of text that restrict the eye from having any breathing space. Short, punchy paragraphs that are between 3 and 5 sentences are the way to go.
Sentences should be kept under 25 words. It’s easy to lose the attention of readers when your writing is filled with run-on sentences in a constant state of tripping over themselves. Remember, Google is looking for quality work that respects the visitor’s time and reading ability. Shorter sentences are more accessible while sounding more authoritative. They help your message be more focused and reduce the risk of you waffling on about the same points over and over again.
How to Format for the Best SEO
Correct formatting is one of the biggest aspects of SEO copywriting that is so easy to implement, yet so often ignored. To begin with, formatting your Headings to fit within Heading 1 (H1) for the main title and Heading 2 (H2) for any sub-headings builds a hierarchy of your content that helps with readability and Google’s understanding of the topic.
Furthermore, having the right title tag will help search engines and users match a search query to your page. Title tags are the names of webpages that appear on tabs, SERPs, and on social media posts. Often, this is just the headline of your page. Therefore, it’s important your title tag expresses the intent of your content through eye-catching text, ideally no more than 6-8 words.
Going back to keywords for a quick moment, it’s essential that your main heading features your focus keyword while its highly recommended that any sub-headings feature some kind of variation on the keyword.
Bolding, underlining, and italicising important words can be a great way of catching the reader’s eye if they are skimming through the text. However, going overboard with these can make the article look messy and inaccessible. So, try not to them for more than five words in a row, and allow a few paragraphs of regular text to let the piece breath.
A Link to Great Rankings
Using links correctly is how you can get your webpages talking to one another and potentially send users on a journey all around your website. Internal links are going to help move traffic throughout your website, rather than just having people click on one of your pages and nothing else. Therefore, when making SEO content, it is essential to use your links smartly.
For example, once you are finished reading this article, you can jump over to our blog post on Copywriting Myths Debunked if you’re keen to dive down this rabbit hole further. And you know you are!
External links take the user away to another website from the one they are currently visiting. Relevant external links are important to include as they connect content to the larger web and can help with Google finding your work as a result. Likewise, having your work linked in someone else’s website is a really helpful way of gaining more visits.
Links aren’t just a convenient way of helping users jump around the web. They show you to be connected with your industry and aware of the best places to send people looking to get more involved with a topic. They are inviting readers down a path of knowledge that ties into your work and the work of others – creating an ecosystem of great content for the world to explore.
I Need Help with My SEO Copywriting!
Well, you’ve come to the right place. By signing up to our Brisbane Copywriting Services you can enjoy quality work that works towards increasing your business’s online presence.
Hopefully, these essentials of SEO copywriting have helped unravel that mystery so your webpages can be more informative, engaging, and competitive.