Ranking high on Google search results pages can be a struggle as you look for the the reason why your website is hidden on page twenty instead of page one. Quite often, this is due to 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 copywriting 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, 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.
Thankfully, 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 doing keyword research to find 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. Therefore, your webpages need to be written specifically around those initial search terms. Knowing and matching the searcher’s intent is essential 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 deciding on which one to pick. 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 while other keywords may take multiple pieces of content for Google to notice. You should only ever attach one keyword to a 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 tail. Short tail keywords will only be one or two words that give a broad outline of what that person is looking for (i.e. “sushi restaurant”).
Short tail keywords are searched more regularly and bring in more traffic. However, they are also harder to rank for as they have more competition. While the rewards are greater for successfully utilising one, achieving that success is a steeper mountain to climb.
Meanwhile, long tail keywords may be better for newer, smaller businesses that 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. “best Sushi restaurant 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. Search engines are now savvy towards this technique, and therefore penalise pages who have overstuffed 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. Incorporating your keyword should come fairly organically as you will be writing around a 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 more frequently during the edit.
How Long is Good SEO Copywriting?
The answer to what’s the ideal word count to please Google is that it depends. Research in 2016 showed that the average length of the top results on search engine results pages was 1800 words. But that doesn’t mean 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 the web pages on your site are going to vary greatly in word count. Research your competitors’ equivalent content length to get a ballpark idea of what you should be aiming for.
- In general, blog posts should be between 800 and 1500 words. You can always write your long form pieces in stages, with consistent updates to your existing posts a smart SEO decision.
- Paragraph and sentence length should also come into consideration. Readers are turned off by huge blocks of text that are suffocating to read. Short, punchy paragraphs that are between 3 and 5 sentences are the way to go.
- Sentences should be less than 25 words. It’s easy to lose the attention of readers when your writing is filled with run-on sentences that are constantly tripping over themselves.
Remember, Google is looking for quality content that respects the visitor’s time and reading ability. Shorter sentences are more accessible, but also more direct in how they present your message.
How to Format for the Best SEO
Correct formatting is a big aspect 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. This 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 and should ideally be between 6-8 words.
Going back to keywords for a quick moment, it’s essential that your main heading features your focus keyword. Meanwhile, it’s 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. However, going overboard with these can make the article look messy and inaccessible. So, try not to use them for more than five words in a row. Once used, allow a few paragraphs of regular text to let the piece breath.
A Link to Great Rankings
Using links correctly gets your webpages talking to one another and can send users on a journey around your website. Internal links help move traffic throughout your website, rather than just having people click on one of your pages. 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.
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. This can help Google find your work as a result.
Links aren’t just a convenient way of helping users jump around the web. They show you are connected with your industry. They also show you are aware of the best places to send people looking for a topic. Link invite readers down a path of knowledge that ties into your work and the work of others. This creates an ecosystem of great content for the world to explore.
Now that you know some of the essentials of SEO copywriting, let’s give you some specific tips to help get you started. Follow these tips to take your SEO copywriting to a whole new level. You’ll be surprised by the big difference these small changes can make.
1. Understand the Questions Your Audience is Asking
People turn to Google to find the answer to a question they have. You do it, we do it, and your target audience does it as well. The secret to success then, is understanding what questions your audience is asking. Once you know these questions, you can begin to create content online that provides the targeted answers that people are looking for.
But what kind of questions are people asking Google? Well instead of thinking of it in terms of question/answer, think of it more as a problem/solution pairing. People have a problem they need solving, and your business provides the service or product that will act as the solution.
Let’s say you own a plant nursery in Paddington, Brisbane. People will turn to Google to find solutions for the following problems:
- Problem: Convenience – Question: “What plant nurseries are near Paddington?” – Search term: “plant nurseries near Paddington”
- Problem: Affordability – Question: “What are the most affordable plant nurseries” – Search term: “cheap plant nurseries”
- Problem: Quality – Question: “What is the best plant nursery?” – Search term: “best plant nursery”
We could go on and on about the different problems and questions your audience may ask. And those questions will vary dramatically depending on the type of business you run. A medical centre is going to have a very different audience asking very different questions in comparison to a mechanic, for example.
At the end of the day, you need to conduct your own research into the questions your audience is asking. This way, you can write copy targeted at those specific keywords. If you don’t know where to start, jump onto AnswerThePublic, which is a great resource to discover your audience’s questions online.
2. Optimise Your Metadata
Metadata can refer to a lot of things, but in SEO copywriting, it refers to the information that users will see on Google’s search result pages.
The meta title should be as close to your webpage’s heading as possible. Ideally, both should also include your focus keyword. Your meta title should be clear, concise (preferable between 6-8 words) and inform users on the topic of the webpage.
The meta description is the short snippet of text that appears under the meta title. This should go into more information about the topic, while also included your focus keyword in there.
Both the meta title and meta description are important parts of your SEO copywriting that shouldn’t be overlooked. They are likely to be the first part of your web page that users see. So, make sure they are informative, eye-catching, and optimised to match the topic you are targeting.
3. Research Your Competitor’s Content
We’ve already briefly spoken about this, but a great way to know how best to optimise your SEO copywriting is to see what your competitors are doing.
Once you have decided on your target keyword, search it up on Google to see what is ranking high. Visit those top pages and take note of their length, style of content, and overall quality.
Other things that you should be looking for in your competitor’s content include:
- What sub-topics do they cover in their various headings
- Does their page have an FAQ section
- How many links do they include, and where do they link to
- How often do they reference your focus keyword
Once you have completed your research, it’s time to create your content. What questions do you feel like were left unanswered when reading those other webpages? How can you present that information in a better way? What point of difference does your business have that you can really highlight in your SEO copywriting?
All of these factors will lead to your website containing content that is well-written, highly-optimised, and created with the intent to be the best out there. 4. Implement Visuals
SEO copywriting involves more than just the written word. It also takes into account the visual aspect of presenting your information through pictures, videos, and graphics.
Visual components are a great way to break up the text within a long-form post. They make it more accessible and eye-catching, helping your overall readability score.
Video and social media links also feed back into our previous discussion over the importance of external links. They connect your web page to a larger network of relevant information revolving around your chosen topic.
Pictures don’t just make your article look nicer, but can improve your SEO by having the focus keyword included in their title and alt-text.
And graphics are a great way to present your message in a more easily-digestible way.
Never underestimate the significance of a good visual element here and there. They add a professional edge to your webpage while helping to improve your overall SEO.
5. Never Forget Your Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call-to-action (CTA) is the open door you leave in your web page to invite your audience in. When it comes to SEO copywriting, a strong CTA should include a link to your contact page and/or social media accounts. This way, your readers will have a clear understanding of where to go next once they have finished reading.
A CTA is an important part of the customer journey, driving your audience towards engaging with your products or services. Your audience is going to seek out your webpage for a reason, and a strong CTA will help them find what they are looking for.
I Need Help with My SEO Copywriting!
Well, you’ve come to the right place. BeKonstructive Marketing provides a range of Brisbane Copywriting Services andBrisbane SEO services – get in touchto request our packages and pricing. Hopefully, these essentials of SEO copywriting will help your webpages be more informative, engaging, and competitive.