SEO and copywriting both go hand in hand. But SEO copywriting is something that most marketers struggle with, especially when incorporating it into their SEO strategy. Since search engines like Google crawl through web pages in order to index and rank them, the content on your website must be optimized properly in order to adjust to the ever-changing algorithms of search engines. Your content must be easy to read, clear, and informative. Your audience should enjoy the content on your website.
Believe it or not, readability is an SEO ranking factor.
Copywriting for search engine optimization is about creating content that search engines love—Also—it satisfies the user’s search query. When executed properly, SEO copywriting strategy can boost your search engine rankings and also satisfy your website visitors at the same time. Keeping this in mind, we’ve come up with an SEO copywriting guide that’ll teach you how to perform keyword research and how to write SEO-friendly content for your website.
So without waiting anymore, let’s get started…
What Does Writing for People & Search Engines Mean?
Every high-quality content piece that you’d find online are comprised of two crucial components:
(A) They offer real value to the reader
(B) Each content piece is well-written
Most content writers often make the mistake of writing content purely from an SEO perspective. They worry about adjusting keywords or creating content of a certain length.
That’s not a good approach. It makes the content seem…well, robotic to be honest. Content should always be written for human beings — for people who’d actually read your content. That is the major difference between copywriting vs SEO copywriting.
Creating content for humans means using:
- Short paragraphs
- Informative H2 headings
- Bullets, charts, tables, and graphs
Creating content purely for SEO can be problematic for a variety of reasons. We say this because search engines like Google don’t necessarily require content producers to write content just for them. Instead, search engines want us to create content that is easy to understand for our audience and also represents our brand.
Now don’t get us wrong, SEO is important. Copywriting for SEO is important. It’s what’s going to help your audience find your content.
To sum up, if you write engaging content for people, Google, and other search engines will reward you. However, the same cannot be said for content that is predominantly created for search engines.
Stages of SEO Copywriting
Here are 9 stages of SEO copywriting. Below we’ll cover everything from keyword research to fulfilling keyword intent and everything in between.
1. Perform keyword research
The first stage of SEO copywriting is to identify keywords that are relevant to your niche.
You’ll need to figure out the right keywords while also keeping your visitor’s search intent in mind. For example, if your website is about offering SEO services, you’ll need to perform keyword research related to everything SEO. You can use tools like Ahrefs to find keywords within your industry:
- You’ll need to start by entering your primary search term, or your primary keyword
- Next, organize your keywords based on keyword difficulty, search volume, and other metrics
- Analyze the search intent of the keywords you’ve chosen to see if they align with your goals
2. Look for the questions people ask and include them in your content
Search engines are all about making information easy to find. Over the years, Google has improved its search engine result pages (SERPs). Now, users don’t even have to click on a web link to find the information they need.
The thing with writing SEO-optimized content is that you should aim to include all the relevant information a prospecting user may look for in your content. By relevant information, we mean information that’s related to your website.
So for example, if you are covering a topic on “Local SEO tips”, you should also cover all the related keywords and phrases to your topic. One way to do that is to use Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature. That’s the box that appears at the bottom of every search result page of Google.
There are also other tools that can help you find questions related to your topic. Tools like Quora, AnswerThePublic, and AlsoAsked are some of the best tools on the market.
To sum up, no matter what topic you’re writing on, don’t forget to add more value by targeting related questions. Of course, don’t go ahead and add everything to your content. Only add information that is relevant to your topic.
3. Figure out the search intent
You may write lengthy guides spanning thousands of words, but if you're not satisfying the user’s search intent, your content isn’t going to perform well. User intent and content both go hand in hand. Your keywords will vary depending on different intents.
What do we even mean by “intent” here?
Well, “intent” is basically the reason why a particular person entered a certain search phrase on Google.
What was their reason for that?
Are they looking for basic information or do they want to buy something?
To further understand “intent”, let’s understand the four types of keyword intent:
- Informational - User is looking for information regarding any topic
- Navigational - User wanted to visit a specific website or a page
- Commercial - The user is considering purchasing something and wants more information
- Transactional Users wants to purchase a product or service
For example, if your business sells car parts, a visitor who visits your website will have a commercial intent.
Once you’ve figured out the search intent of different keywords, you’ll know which keywords align with your business. You can then proceed to use them in your content.
4. Research how your competitors are using your target keywords
The best way to write SEO-optimized content is to take inspiration from your competitors. Look at how your competitors who are ranking on the top positions on Google are using your target keywords.
To do that, you can manually research who your competitors are using the incognito window of your browser. A manual SERP audit is the best way to see who’s ranking on the top SERPs for your target keywords.
You can also use Ahrefs to see who your competitors are based on your target keywords.
When researching your competitors, look for:
- How are your top 3 competitors using your target keywords in their content?
- What other related keywords are they using in their content?
- What are the readability scores of their pages?
- How long are their content pieces?
Using this information, you can figure out what keywords, intent, and length of content you should be focusing on when creating content for your own website.
6. Optimize Your H1, Meta Title, and Meta Description
When someone searches for anything on Google, the first things they see are the meta titles and meta descriptions of different pages. Once they open any page, the first thing they see is the H1.
Writing a clear and concise meta title and meta description can greatly improve a page’s CTR (click-through rate). Your pages will get viewed by more visitors. Keep in mind that Google can alter your meta description on the SERPs based on the user’s search query. Despite that, it is important to provide your pages with an optimized title and description for users and search engines.
Meta tags are important to tell your visitors what your content is about. Meta titles should be 55-60 characters long and 600-pixels in width while meta descriptions should be 155-160 characters long.
7. Write organized and easy to read content
When creating content, always assume that your target audience can’t read above the 8th to 12th-grade reading level. You’ll need to avoid using complicated texts. Your vocabulary should be simple. When anyone searches anything on search engines, they want quick answers. They don’t want to read through complicated paragraphs to find the information they need.
If your content isn’t easy to read and comprehend, it won’t be able to gain much traction.
Aside from making your content easy to read, you also need to structure it properly. A content piece should be broken down into H2, H3, and H4 headings. This makes reading content easier. Also, it is important to make your content skimmable. Adding a TOC (Table of content) at the start of your content can help your readers know what they’ll find in your blog post or article.
Remember, your content should be easy to read. We can’t stress that enough. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to make your content skimmable.
8. Add eye-catching visuals
Content should be visually pleasing. If your content is full of text and lacks images, your readers will find your content, well, boring. This is why it is super important to use visuals in your content pieces. Adding images, videos, graphs, and infographics can make your content look visually appealing.
When using visual content like images in your blogs or articles, don’t forget to add image alt tags. Remember, Google can’t read images. Therefore, it is your job to let Google know what your image is about.
9. Add CTAs (Calls-to-Action) in your content
When we write content pieces, we have a specific goal in mind. For example, if you write about “The best winter car tyres”, and you own a tyre shop, you would want your website visitors to purchase tyres from you. This is why it is important to add call-to-actions CTAs in your content pieces. CTA doesn’t mean adding a “Buy now” button on your website. A CTA can be anything. It can be any action that you want your visitor to perform on your website. It all depends on the “search intent”.
Adding CTA to your content can improve your conversion rate and justify the ROI of your content. From an SEO point of view, adding CTAs can increase your website’s page views, decrease your content’s bounce rate and indicate to Google that your content is engaging.
SEO Copywriting Examples
When done properly, SEO copywriting can help you:
- Improve the rankings of your target keywords
- Get your website visitors to perform the desired action (conversion)
When you use the search phrases in your content that your buyers are searching for on Google, you can essentially attract them to your content and drive results. Search Engine Optimization copywriting is all about fine-tuning your content for search engines. Tweaking just a few words in your content can have a massive impact on your website traffic and conversions.
Using the right SEO keywords at the right places in your content can directly impact your website traffic and ranking and following SEO copywriting best practices is key to creating content that ranks on search engines.
Here are a few examples of excellent SEO copywriting.
1. Effective use of CTA in SEO copy
Here's the thing - if you don't ask your website visitors to do something (take some action), they’re not going to do it on their own. If you’re not using a call to action in your content, your reader won't know what action they are supposed to perform after they’re done.
You may have created an SEO copy that is compelling - the reader is sold and just wants to click on the “buy now” button, but guess what, you forgot to add the CTA. Do you think they’ll spend more than 10 seconds looking for the CTA on your page?
They're going to leave your page, visit some other website and click on the call to action they’d find somewhere else. Here’s an example of how using the right CTA at the right place can boost conversions:
In the above example, in an attempt to quickly build a waitlist for his course launch, Robbie added a CTA at the top of all his high-traffic SEO content. Notice that the copy is powerful too. Words like “premium SEO training course” are enough to entice a potential visitor. And adding a simple CTA like “here”, gave his visitors a direction to take the next step.
Without spending any marketing budget on paid ads, he was able to build a waitlist of 600+ people for his course in just a few months.
Seeing that this strategy worked for him, he replicated it on his top-performing pages. As a result, he was able to generate 50 sales.
2. Numbers in headlines for increased CTR
Believe it not, most of us are subconsciously attracted to numbers.
Seeing numbers in headlines tricks our brains into thinking that the content that we’re about to read will be easy to digest and won’t take much time.
Here’s an example of what we’re talking about:
- Tips to improve your website rankings
- 7 tips to improve your website rankings
Which one sounds better to you?
The second one right?
Here’s an example from Moz. in the image below, you can see that they’ve added “60” in their title. Also, they’ve used “100% Free”. It may not seem like much, but using numbers in their title is what’s helping them drive 4,411 traffic.
That’s a lot.
Numbered headlines can increase CTRs and improve conversion rates significantly.
Even we at Orion use numbered headlines all the time. It is what helps us drive a significant amount of traffic to our website.
By following the SEO copywriting steps and examples we’ve covered in this guide, you’ll be all set to create high-quality content for your website.
After you’re done publishing your content, don’t forget to measure critical KPIs such as:
- Conversions rate
- Click-through rate (CTR)
- Brand awareness
- Social shares
Monitor your KPIs over a period of time, update your content when needed, and create new content on a frequent basis to cover as many topics as you can in your niche. As long as you create user-friendly content that helps your readers and is optimized for search engines, you’ll be able to drive more clicks and increase your conversion rate.