Marketers: Do you spend hours working on each blog for your website?
You’ve done your research, backed up your articles with meaty facts and statistics, and made sure to stay on topic within your established niche.
But months later, those articles still aren’t being read, and they aren’t ranking on Google when people search for your keywords. ?
What went wrong?
The first and most common diagnosis for content that isn’t performing is it wasn’t written with SEO copywriting in mind.
Which begs the question…
What is SEO copywriting, and how can you do it in a way that brings in readers and Google? Let’s discuss.
What Exactly Is SEO Copywriting?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, which means content is optimized to be discovered, indexed, and cataloged in search engines such as Google.
Copywriting is the practice of writing ad copy, product descriptions, or other publicly read material meant to influence readers to perform a certain action – for example, buying a product, downloading an ebook, signing up for a newsletter, etcetera.
Put the two together, and SEO copywriting results in content designed to rank highly in search engines, provide maximum value, and motivate readers to act in some capacity.You spend hours working on blog content. But months later, those articles still aren’t being read, and they aren’t ranking on Google. ? What went wrong? You're missing the key: ? SEO copywriting. Click To Tweet
SEO copywriting is an important part of content marketing. Facts: Search engines begin 68% of all online experiences, and organic searches bring in 53.3% of all website traffic.
Of all the search engines, Google remains the top dog with a near monopoly over 90% of web search volume.
If you’re writing content solely for your human readers, you likely aren’t using keywords regularly or placing them in the right strategic places. Google isn’t going to catch on and rank your content at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
If you’re writing specifically for Google without much regard for your audience, your content is probably going to sound repetitive and robotic, which means your readers won’t want to read it. It will sound more like an AI wrote it rather than a human who speaks like, well, a human.
Proper SEO copywriting requires striking a balance between optimization for both humans and Google.
How to Write Content That Gets Read
Google’s search algorithm is in a constant state of evolution, which means proper SEO copywriting practices have changed over the years.
Content that used to be rewarded for keyword stuffing and other bad practices was later penalized for practically unreadable writing for sane people looking for quality information.
The good news is, despite all of the changes over the last decade, there’s a common and reliable theme in every change Google makes to its search quality rating program – an emphasis on value for the readers.
Here’s how to deliver that:
1. Go with the Flow
Remember those essays you wrote in school? You know, the long, eloquent paragraphs with high-level vocabulary?
Yeah, forget all that.
Google’s taste is much different than your English professor’s.
Search engines want to deliver content that the average reader can skim and easily retain. This means short, punchy paragraphs with a logical flow and clearly defined sections broken up by subheadings.
Your content needs to be well organized. Google isn’t keeping this preference a secret – they disclose exactly what they’re looking for in their SEO starter guide:
2. Kill the Fluff
Content needs to be valuable to readers.
Meaning, don’t string them along. Be selective with your words and get to the point.
Don’t turn your article into a creative writing assignment drowning in adjectives, adverbs, and wordy metaphors.
Descriptive text is great, and of course your content should be well written and entertaining, but you need to provide value in a timely manner.
If someone clicks on your headline promising tips to save money, guess what that reader is expecting? Tips to save money. Not paragraph after paragraph telling your life story or skewing into irrelevant details that have nothing to do with the primary topic.
That’s not to say you can’t elaborate on relevant points that offer some value to the theme, but keep it concise before your reader gets bored and leaves your website without reaching the end of your article.
Pro tip: Subheadings are not only great for SEO by improving readability, but they’ll also help you stay on track. Planning your headings and subheadings before you even start writing is a quick, easy way to create a loose outline so you don’t accidentally lose focus and start rambling on and on across various tangents.
Need help ditching essay-style writing in favor of online writing that actually works? Check out Unlearn Essay Writing, a one-week course that teaches you everything you need to know.
3. Be Trustworthy
The epidemic of misinformation in 2020 took a toll on consumer trust when it comes to content in just about every form, from search engines as well as traditional, owned, and social media.
People are naturally wary these days.
What does that mean for current SEO copywriting if writers want to create content that gets read?
- Double check your facts. You’re responsible for ensuring you’re publishing verified content your consumers can trust.
- Ditch the traditional sales pitch. Customers aren’t buying into overpromises, too-good-to-be-true offers, and flashy pitches like they used to. Content marketing is outperforming cold calls and other dying marketing techniques by prioritizing value instead of pushing the sale.
- Back up your claims. If you’re using data and statistics to prove your point, make sure you aren’t just pulling them out of thin air. Find sources for your content.
- Use credible links. While linking to qualified sources is good practice anyway, it also factors into Google’s algorithm. If you’re going to provide trustworthy content, you have to link to trustworthy websites that have established online authority. Tools like Alexa can help you ascertain a website’s credibility.
- Link directly to sources. If you’re citing a study, make sure your link takes readers directly to that study. Don’t send them to another article that links to another article that links to that study.
In today’s untrustworthy atmosphere, many readers can smell B.S. a mile away.
Content creators are responsible for being honest with their consumers. Once again, Google is clear and upfront about how important trustworthiness and authoritativeness is in their publicly accessible SEO starter guide:
E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is a common acronym Google often refers to in regards to page rank and SEO.
Every piece of content you publish should embody E.A.T. if you want Google to even consider listing it on the first SERP so people can discover it.
A pro copywriter will ensure E.A.T. is infused in all of your content for great results. Hire a pro copywriter now.
4. Include a CTA
SEO strategies will get your content read, but if you want it to convert, your readers need to know what to do next.
The best way to tell them is to add at least one call-to-action (CTA) in the middle and/or at the end of your articles.
Your content provides valuable information to the reader, and the CTA prompts them to take action.
When deciding on your CTA, it’s important to make sure it works with the content.
For example, if you write a well-researched article about the history of social media, does it make sense to finish your content with a CTA pushing your readers to hire your landscape company for yard maintenance?
No. Those two topics aren’t even remotely related.
(And the history of social media isn’t something the audience within your niche is probably interested in, so you shouldn’t be publishing that kind of content on your website anyway.)
But, if you wrote an article about social media and then finished with a CTA for your copywriting agency to provide a free social media analysis followed by a digital strategy collaboration, then you’re maximizing the chance for a conversion.
Everything needs to work together.
Your topic needs to be relevant to your niche.
Your content needs to stay consistent with your topic.
And your CTA needs to accurately tie in with your content.
Sticking to this level of consistency will ensure that your content is not only discovered and read by the people who are interested in it, but also that it converts so you can reap the benefits of your invested time and effort.
With These Tips, Your Content Is Sure to Get Discovered and Read
Content is the most important factor in SEO.
It’s not even a debate anymore. Google has confirmed it:
There’s simply no way around it – if your content is subpar, it’s not going to perform.
It needs to flow smoothly, use concise and easy-to-understand language, demonstrate E.A.T., contain links to high-authority websites, and guide readers to take action by using at least one CTA.
The primary goal of your content should be to serve the reader. Google’s optimization guidelines are based around this very principle.
This is why SEO copywriting is so important to content marketing – it caters to both search engines and human readers. Google loves subheadings, lists, and short paragraphs because that formatting is easier for people to read as they skim through an article.
Keywords are still important so Google can accurately categorize your content when generating search results for users, but the overall quality and readability of the content is the most important.
If you follow these guidelines, your content strategy will be off to a strong start.
Express Writers provides high-quality written content in any format you might need, whether it’s expert blog posts, infographics, ebooks, ad copy, case studies, press releases, social media, and more. See what we have to offer.