When doing SEO copywriting, it’s easy to get bogged down in the “textbook” methods, and lose sight of the reader.
But writing without your reader in mind is simply a waste of time.
After all, being on the front page of Google isn’t going to do you any good if your content isn’t relevant, compelling, or engaging enough to draw a reader in.
At the end of the day, your goal as a copywriter should be to make readers love you.
That’s not to say you should completely ignore the basic tenets of SEO.
But you do need to find a balance between appeasing Google’s webcrawlers as well as your human audience.
Get ready for some good news:
Some of the best practices of good SEO copywriting can help you create compelling, informative, and engaging content that also contains just the right amount of SEO spice.
Sacrificing clarity of content or readability of results is never a good sacrifice to make in terms of gaining better SEO. Don’t worry about “keyword stuffing” your articles; headlines, title tags, and the meta description in your link are more important to search ranking than keyword repetition (In fact, as Google’s algorithms continue to evolve, attempts to game the system – like mindlessly repeating keywords within your content – will actually punish your site).
Here are a few tips to help you find the right recipe for your SEO enabled web content:
Remember the Title
Hands down, the single most important thing you can do for your SEO copywriting is make sure your keyword phrase appears in the “title” tag of your html page.
Now, if you use blogging software and have no idea what we’re talking about, don’t worry. Just set your page’s title or headline the way you normally do. Blog software automatically populates the page’s title tag, as well as making your title a nice, prominent heading on the page, usually.
And don’t forget, don’t just cram keywords into your title. Your title should be a magnetic headline that contains your keyword phrase. Using proven headline methods like including numerals, making a list post, implying consensus, and offering a quick fix to a common problem are some great ways to get clicks to your titles.
Refer to one of our articles on best headline practices for more details.
Second to the title, the way you begin your post should immediately let your readers know what they’re getting themselves into. Remember that in a search engine, readers only see the first few sentences (if that) of a page’s content, so make sure that your opening statements are going to reassure readers that this is, in fact, the link they’ve been looking for.
Use Subheadings for Details
But how are you going to fully explain to your readers everything this article is about?
You may not be able to get all the detail you want into your headline while still making it SEO friendly, but that’s okay!
Subheadings are an SEO-friendly way to clarify the ideas you present in your page that you weren’t able to work into the headline due to character constraints.
A good subheading hints at the content to come while not giving away any major information. You want your audience to read your entire post, right?
Dig Up That Thesaurus
There was once a time when websites needed to include exact phrasing if they wanted to rank in Google for a specific keyword.
Luckily, as we mentioned earlier, Google is getting smarter.
While you still want to include exact keyword phrases a few times throughout a post, Google’s webcrawlers are now able to identify synonyms and similar phrases as well. For example, if your main keyword is “create an effective blog post,” Google will also notice if your content contains a phrase like “effective blog creation.”
The main benefit here is you don’t need to sound robotic when optimizing your content for search engines. Mix your phrasing up, and remind your audience that you, too, are a human being.
Finish with a Call to Action
Finally, when you write your piece, ask yourself what your ultimate goal is.
Do you want your reader to choose your product or service after reading your compelling description of the way your widget works?
Do you want your readers to share this message virally?
Do you want your readers to keep in touch with you via social media sites such as Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter?
Find a strong call to action, and include it in your page’s conclusion. Couple it with a nice, friendly graphic or button that links them easily to the page, content, or site that you want to drive them to.
Wrapping It Up
And there you go: a few of the top tips help your SEO copywriting turn into engaging, compelling, and unique content that will make readers love you.
With these tips you can guide your own writers or your style to make sure you get the most ROI out of your copy investments, whether it’s your time or your money.
Speaking of calls to action: For up-to-date SEO strategies and more, be sure to subscribe to The Write Blog. Join our weekly Twitter chat where we discuss principles on content marketing, SEO and more with guest experts: #ContentWritingChat at 10 AM CST with @ExpWriters on Twitter.