Copywriting for SEO: How to Write Engaging Copy That Ranks Well
by Sandra Wilkins
As a content marketer, I think it’s important that we take a step back and really examine how SEO is becoming a part of our jobs as content producers and strategists.
When I recently searched Google for copywriting specifically for SEO, I was served articles that suggest SEO is somehow a thing of the past. They even spoke of how the keyword aspect of SEO is a dying craft.
This line of thinking is completely misguided.
With the way we search online for knowledge, SEO can never be dead – however it’s at a point of transformation.
Due to the way we search and the content we deem reputable and important, there’s a fundamental shift in the landscape of SEO from being its own craft to being integrated into what we do as copywriters and content marketers.
This is why we say content is king.
And I know those who are against the new content marketing backed “build-it-and-they-will-come” form of SEO are shaking their heads in disapproval.
I won’t deny that copywriting is only one aspect of SEO – but as content marketing proves more successful and as Google’s algorithms get pickier about who they display on the first page of any search, copywriting is becoming more of an important determinant of how websites are ranked.
Content marketing and thus copywriting is becoming the solid foundation upon which successful SEO strategies are built.
It is my goal in this post to help you create or update your copy foundation so that your content ranks well on search engines. Let’s get started:
I’m going to give you a list of the key components of copywriting for SEO regarding blog posts, web pages, and landing pages as well as some tips and examples to jumpstart your efforts.
- Research. You should:
- Conduct keyword research before you write copy – especially important for longer pieces like blog posts
- If you already have keywords in your overall company SEO strategy, try to incorporate those, as well
- Know how your audience searches for your subject – speak their language
- Focus on longer keyword phrases (long tail keywords) that you can seamlessly and naturally write into your copy
- If you have direct competitors, look at the keywords they rank for
- Tip: Use tools like HubSpot, Google Adwords, Moz, and WordStream
Title / Headline. You should:
- Create your headline before you write body copy
- Naturally integrate long tail keywords into the title
- Make your headline impactful by presenting a problem and solution
- Tip: Numbers perform well in headlines
Ex: 56 Ways to Repurpose your Tired Blog PostsVs.How to Repurpose Content
- If you’re presenting an offer, tell what the offer is in the title (Slideshare/deck, template, best practices eBook, etc.)
- Your title / headline is a promise – follow through on your headline within your body copy
Body / Page copy. You should:
- Be strategic about your first sentence, it should capture your audience. Use controversy or even shock value when appropriate. Take this first sentence for example:
“According to The Value of Marketing study that was launched at the 2014 UK Festival of Marketing, most financial executives think marketing professionals give inconsistent and insignificant strategic results – also known as fluff metrics.”
- Use bold headers and bullets – this makes your page easily navigable by readers and indexed by Google
- Use the keywords you researched and naturally integrate them into the copy – do not overload your copy with keywords, this does not work anymore
- Come through on the promise you made in the title / header
Supporting Copy. You should:
- Craft your meta description – This should be a natural adaptation of your title including what you’ll offer with your piece
- Craft great social posts – if you use social to promote your content, make sure the social copy is just as compelling as the piece to persuade your audience to click through
SEO and its transformation into a major component of online copywriting is a difficult sea to navigate. In order to fully grasp everything explained in this post, I suggest you first understand how search engines work. Then, you can start building the best content marketing and SEO strategy based on your new or updated knowledge of search engines and copywriting.
Have anything to add to this post? Have any questions about SEO and copywriting? Be sure to leave them in the comments below!
Let’s face it: content marketing is showing some major successes with businesses both in the B2B and B2C marketing realms. And if you don’t adopt content-friendly SEO methods, your organic search ranking will suffer.
But, if you’re still skeptical, click the image below to download this easy flowchart to see if content marketing is right for your company and let us know your results!