Multiple elements can drive success to your SEO efforts, the most notable of which is the site’s content. For SEO to work and ultimately have your website on the top spot of search engines, you need to have the right content, and you can do this by applying the best SEO copywriting practices.
But First, What Do These Two Words Mean?
SEO is a discipline in digital marketing wherein websites are optimized for search engines, so they can rank well when a user searches a keyword related to your brand’s products or services. One of the ways to optimize is through copywriting—specifically, SEO copywriting—or producing content that uses your keywords with the goal of driving quality traffic to your website.
However, it shouldn’t be just any piece of content with the keyword. Over the years, Google has improved its algorithm to recognize authoritative content, or one that adequately answers a user’s questions. Your audience should identify that your content is relevant to them—something that educated, entertained, or enlightened them, so much so that they end up sharing it on social media platforms.
Elements of SEO Copywriting—and How to Do it Right
There are a few factors that must be present so you can successfully improve rankings with content, the most notable being:
The title is the first thing users will see on the search engine, as the results are on a list format. So, it only makes sense to include your keyword in the title as much as possible. This tip comes in handy when other pages link to your content. To have the title fully visible on the list and increase the chance of a click-through, keep the length to under 72 characters.
A great tip from Conversion XL that you can apply is to use titles with numbers as both the readers and Google prefer that.
The meta description serves as a short excerpt of your content in 165 characters or fewer (so it will also appear in full on the search results). You also want your keyword here. Succinctly summarize the content as an assurance to the reader that they are in the right place.
Perhaps the most critical element, the material you put out should be relevant to your business and have the targeted keyword included naturally. The ideal length for optimized content is a minimum of 300 words, with substantial information, of course. Also, make sure that it is also unique and frequently updated.
The number of times your targeted keywords are used on a single piece of content (keyword frequency) can affect your ranking. But the only way to know if you’re already guilty of keyword stuffing is to check the keyword density, as well, or the ratio of keywords to the rest of the content.
These two terms are often mistaken for one another, but they do go together. Place your keyword density at no more than 5% to avoid getting penalized by Google.
Links are essential to gain the authority that Google wants from content. Your page must be sufficiently connected with other sites because it will indicate your in-depth knowledge of the topic. It also showcases your research and facilitates additional reading for users. Include links to other relevant material or pages near the beginning of the body as well as every 120 words or so, but for obvious reasons, don’t overdo it. You should also include links to your site’s internal pages and add relevant anchor text.
Other Best Practices to Take Note Of
Know the user’s intent
This means paying attention to your keyword and using it as the basis for the information you’d like to share to solve a particular problem. Knowing the classifications of the keywords is the first step to determining users’ intent and if they will convert or not.
Informational: Keywords that are usually how-to’s in nature and are searched for by the audience to find useful information without having to pay for it. Write informative content with these keywords, but don’t expect them to convert perfectly. Instead, focus on nurturing and engaging with prospects to build your brand.
Commercial: These keywords show an intent to buy, sign-up, or any action that determines conversion likelihood. The content should then provide information that’s more focused on the product or service as well as its benefits and features.
Tell an engaging story
According to Kzero, good storytelling had a positive effect on the growth of digital companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Zappos. Weave your brand’s story into blog posts, articles, or videos to attract more attention and have a maximum impact on the reader, and eventually improve your organic ranking, traffic, and sales.
Humor is another element to include to your story. It keeps the readers engaged and can help simplify an uncomfortable or controversial topic.
Write with clarity
An exciting article is one that’s written persuasively, making the reader check the headline and move down to the body. Focus on a single idea or topic and address it as you write your piece of content. Here are some ways to make your purpose clearer.
Find out the topic you want to write.
Use “you” when addressing individual customers and “we” if you’re targeting organizations.
Take a data-driven approach by researching accurate and relevant data.
Use bullet points to not only highlight essential ideas but also to push readers into action. Start with 3 to 4 points that you want to cover.
Edit your text
Anything that is written for publishing needs to be edited first to avoid grammatical and spelling errors. Cut out anything that is insignificant and re-read everything again and again. Improve awkward sentences, vague phrasing, and muddled paragraphs. Check for readability as well, or make sure that sentences aren’t too long.
After editing, you should also ask for feedback, so you get the perspective of a person or reader other than you (as the editor) or the writer. With outside comments, you’d be able to proofread the post and see if the message is appropriately communicated based on the feedback from the audience.
Don’t forget the CTA
Add a call-to-action, preferably at the end of your write-up, to increase engagement and attract more traffic to your site. Be direct with your CTA—tell the readers what you want them to do. You can also do this by asking them some questions, as it will allow you to exchange information with them or to keep engaged.
Remember: You’re Talking to Real People
One of the biggest mistakes content creators are guilty of in SEO copywriting is emphasizing on algorithms too much. But your organized, well-written, accurate, unique, and valuable content is not for spiders—Google even said that “the single most important thing” to do is to provide high-quality content so that you’re also providing readers “the information they’re looking for”.
Keep in mind that although some of these best practices don’t directly improve your rankings, they do increase time on page and reduce bounce rates, which are strong ranking factors for search engines. That’s why it’s so important to understand your target audience and build search-optimized content that will addresses their problems. If you can accomplish this, you’ll see the positive effects it can have on your website and business as a whole in no time!
Which of these best practices have you applied to your own website? Let us know in the comments!