Here are some tips to get the right balance of SEO copywriting to attract both Search Engines and remain engaging to visitors.
SEO copywriting involves a balance of written copy to attract Search Engines while remaining reader-friendly and nudging visitors towards conversion. It has evolved from simply writing web page copy with clumsily inserted keyword phrases to developing compelling copy for visitors and for other websites to link back to and resources for their own sites.
Here are 8 SEO copywriting tips you can incorporate on your pages.
Write well and write often
The underlying premise of SEO copywriting is to write quality, SEO-optimized content that other websites will naturally want to link back to. Google and other Search Engines love useful, well-written, fresh and original content. If visitors find the material on your website useful, they will link to it and share it with their community. Google sees a backlink from a high authority website as a validation for your website, and this will impact your rankings.
Natural keyword insertion
Your aim is to insert keywords organically within SEO copywriting. Remember, you are writing for visitors as well as Search Engines. Well-optimized pages will drive traffic to your pages, but the well-written copy (see above) will result in a higher conversion rate and attract backlinks to your site. Be careful not to stuff your copy with keywords as this is considered to be spam by Search Engines and your website may even lose rankings as a result.
There is a certain art to writing SEO copy that finds a balance between inserting keywords seamlessly and naturally within the text and keyword stuffing (using keywords too frequently or out of context). Your content needs to appeal to humans as well as Search Engine spiders.
Use headings wisely
Headings are used to define organization structure on a web page and as a navigation or guide for the reader, but they are also important for Search Engine Optimization and telling the Search Engines what your page is about. Headings should match the selected keywords and ideally, your main keyword phrase should be at the start of your H1 heading on the page. Use subheadings to optimize for secondary keywords.
Title tags and meta descriptions
The title tag is displayed on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). The text you use in the title tag is an important factor in how a Search Engine may decide to rank your web page (65 characters is the cut-off in Google). The suggested meta description tag you write is not always used by Search Engines, but it is the summary text that sits underneath the title tag in the SERPs (160 characters is the cut-off).
It is important to place your primary keyword in the title tag and as close to the start of the title as possible. This article focuses on ‘SEO Copywriting’ at the start of the title and is used to communicate what the web page is about to Search Engine spiders and visitors alike.
A meta description tag is a guide for Search Engines to use as summary text (beneath the title) when a website is listed in the Search Engines results. It is important to use keywords within the description as these are bolded in the results. Search Engines may not always use the description you have written but providing a description will encourage Search Engines to use it rather than grabbing text off your page.
More importantly, you must ensure that the meta description tag matches the content on the web page. If you promise in the description that the page will contain certain information, you need to deliver on that promise, or your visitors are more likely to bounce off the page. Word counts should be aimed at 160 characters, which is the cut-off for Google Search Engine results display.
Good use of internal links
Cross-linking serves several purposes; it gives readers more information about a topic and guides them through your website. It also facilitates Search Engines crawling through your pages, helps build the relevancy of a page to a keyword phrase, and ensures PageRank is shared among the articles on your website. Interlink your pages with contextual links whose anchor text is relevant to the target page.
Make sure your anchor text contains keywords where possible. Instead of using ‘read more’ or ‘click here’, try to include your keyword phrase, so this may change to ‘Download SEO copywriting tips’ document with ‘SEO copywriting tips’ being the hyperlink.
Have useful external links
Some people believe that if you link to external sites, this will dilute your PageRank, but organic copy should naturally have external links to help visitors find more information. However, if possible, try not to use your main keyword phrase for that page as anchor text to link out to other pages. Keep in mind, that you should only link to pages on quality websites that are relevant to your content.
Don’t forget about images
Don’t forget, the naming of images can also increase your website’s ranking, and Google Images is an important referrer of traffic. With SEO copywriting, it is important to have a balance of text and images and a good image-to-text ratio, as Search Engines prefer websites that are text-heavy. Give your images keyword-rich names, and use ALT text (alternative text) to describe an image in case it doesn’t render on a website.
Unique and original content
Search Engines prefer websites that are updated regularly with unique and original content. Ways to create fresh, unique content on your website are:
- Creating new landing pages targeting keywords;
- Creating new blog entries for your company blog;
- Adding media releases to the website;
- Adding case studies or testimonials;
- Publishing a monthly newsletter.
Research shows however that the first link may have more relevance, so place your most important keyword in your link as high as possible on the page.
When hiring either in-house copywriters or outsourcing your copy, it is important to find a writer who understands how to write for both Search Engines and visitors to your site.
The SEO Works is a leading service provider with a team of SEO experts, copywriters, and link-building analysts who will help you optimize your pages and create SEO copywriting that drives traffic to your website and results in an improved conversion rate. Contact us for more information.