5 Quick Ways to Improve Your SEO Writing
As we continue our copywriting week, we now turn to the relationship between copywriting and search engine optimization (SEO). See our previous posts: Copywriting Goals and Methods and Copywriting for PPC Ads.
I’ve been arguing that copywriting is an essential skill for marketers and advertisers – regardless of their specialization. And I want to double down on those arguments when it comes to SEO work. Finding SEO success without investing in quality copywriting is nearly impossible, so why even try?
As with all copywriting, learning to write for search engine optimization takes a heavy investment in learning and practicing your skills. When it comes to SEO writing, the ultimate goal is to craft copy that is appealing to real people (primarily) while also optimized for search engine bots (secondarily).
Before I really dig into advice on writing for SEO, we should talk about what we mean by search engine optimization. SEO is the process of optimizing your website to increase your organic traffic from the various search engine services. At its core, SEO is about two factors: relevance and authority.
And so, the process of writing for SEO is all about crafting content that is relevant to your searchers and presenting it in an authoritative way. That sounds easy, but when balancing keyword usage, readability, usefulness, and relevance; it isn’t such an easy task. But I’ll lay out my favorite tips for SEO-based copywriting to make the process a bit easier.
The SEO Writing Process
When I’m writing copy for SEO purposes, there is a set process that I use to get started. It is designed to set the stage so that when I start writing, I have everything I need and can work without interruptions. It goes like this:
- Research Keywords
- Keyword Selection
I’m sure the process looks different for each person, but the overall structure should be there. Just sitting down to a blank Word document isn’t going to be enough if you’re looking to succeed at SEO copywriting. You must set out with a clear plan in place and that means having a target keyword to focus on – otherwise your copy will meander and fail at accomplishing your SEO goals. But enough introduction, it’s on to the actionable tips for crafting SEO friendly copy.
SEO Copywriting Tips
Given the goals of SEO, your copywriting needs to be focused on generating clicks, shares, and links while sticking to an effective keyword strategy. That’s a lot of elements to balance, but if you follow these SEO copywriting tips you’ll be off to a good start.
1. Headlines Matter
If your goal is clicks and shares (and it should be), then your headline is the most important part of your content. It is tempting to skimp on headline writing – you’ve spent a few hours writing some great material and you just want to hit publish. But resist! Spend enough time to craft a great headline. I’m terrible at writing catchy headlines, so I’m preaching to myself here.
If you, like me, struggle with headlines, run your options through CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer. It’s a great tool. Beyond that, consider the most popular headline formats: numbered lists, how-to’s, questions, and directly addressing your reader.
2. Write for Specific Keywords
This is what really sets SEO writing apart from other forms of copywriting. When looking to earn organic search engine rankings, you need to have a clear keyword target in mind when you are crafting your copy. In today’s saturated digital landscape, your best bet is to go after long-tail keywords.
These high-intent specific key-phrases are easier to rank for, easier to write for, and will find searcher deeper into the buyer’s journey. Read up on our favorite keyword strategies with this recent blog post: SEO Keywords: Strategic and Feasible.
3. Outbound Links
One of the main goals of SEO writing is to earn backlinks. But don’t underestimate the importance of including outbound links in your content. The internet is like one big conversation, and that means you need to interact with others. By including relevant and helpful outbound links, you will help Google bots to understand what your page is all about.
I should also mention internal links here. Also, include some relevant internal links to make sure that Google is crawling and understanding your site architecture. If you’re worried about losing ‘link juice,’ you shouldn’t. This isn’t 1999 and that idea has been debunked too many times to count.
4. Visually Appealing
I know, we’re talking about writing here. But if you want people to read what you’re writing, then you need to consider how it looks. When I first started as a copywriter/content marketer, I would publish long, ugly blocks of text. And guess what? No one ever read them.
Make sure you’re using headings (with appropriate keyword usage), paragraph breaks, lists, and images to make your content visually appealing. No one will read ugly text – especially if you don’t already have a big name in your market. So, spend some time making sure your text looks as good as it reads.
5. Write for Shares and Links
SEO writing should be focused on creating copy that results in social shares and backlinks. That means your copy needs to be the kind of thing that people share and link to. It sounds obvious, but so many writers and content creators spend time on material that serves no such purpose.
Try writing useful content – case studies, how-to-guides, white papers, and interesting takes on current events. Or you go the viral route and try for something fun, funny, or entertaining. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that generating buzz and links should be a top priority.
Search Engine Optimization Services
SEO is a massive field that covers everything from technical coding to copywriting and content creation. And keeping up with the industry is a bit like herding cats. If you find that you don’t have time to run your business and handle the necessary SEO work, then consider hiring an SEO agency that can help you to get most from your digital presence.
Fusion Group USA offers a wide range of SEO services – from on-page optimization to help with content creation and copywriting. You can check out our monthly SEO plans here, or you can contact us directly to talk with one of our experts.