SEO copywriting is the well-optimized content creation process that attracts users and enables search engines to better render content on SERPs.
SEO copywriting is content that is well written for both users and search engines.
Three Simple Reasons Why SEO Copywriting Is Needed For Business:
- Attract more qualified traffic at a minimal cost.
- Build trust by providing the content the audience is looking for.
- To convince readers to take action (download the app, subscribe to the podcast, make a purchase, etc.) and/or convert them into customers.
10 Steps to SEO Copywriting Success:
Let’s get straight to the keys to successful SEO copywriting;
Well-thought-out content starts from the beginning.
Make sure to create optimized content that is easily understood by search engines and users.
Find the right keywords to target with the Keyword Magic Tool.
1. Find the right keywords:
An SEO copywriter needs to identify the keywords for the content that he is writing.
Some of these factors will be important when planning the content strategy:
- Text type (blog post, landing page, eBlast)
- The purpose of the text (informative, subscribe, transaction, etc.)
- Style and/or tone of voice.
- Suitable keywords for targeting.
One of the most critical factors on this list: keywords.
Keywords are terms that people search on the Internet to find information.
Successfully targeting the right keywords, while keeping the search intent in mind, will help to get there.
Don’t have to guess the correct keywords, use online software to help with keyword research.
Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool can help.
Enter the main search term and the tool will display semantically related keywords.
Play around with filters and group the keywords by search volume, keyword difficulty, or other metrics.
There are a variety of factors that go into choosing the right keywords for targeting.
Some companies or writers may need to focus on high-volume, competitive keywords.
Most writers and companies should search for medium to high volume keywords with little difficulty to target, that is, relatively easy to target, but have strong search volumes.
Keyword difficulty scores will be even more accurate than ever.
2. Find questions people ask:
- Search engines are now essentially responsive engines.
- Resources like People Also Ask on Google, AlsoAsked.com, and forums like Quora or Reddit can be great starting points for finding out what questions arise around the topic.
- Use Semrush’s topic research tool, which provides headlines, related questions, and more based on the keywords to need to enter.
- Get headlines and questions related to the topic research tool.
- Identify which questions come up the most, to develop a superior answer to what other SERP competitors are writing about.
3. Identify and map search intent:
- Every web page and the content that is placed on it should focus on the user’s intent.
- Content will vary based on different stages of the customer journey.
- Keywords should also vary based on different intentions.
- By identifying the reason why a user types the target keyword in search engines, the “intent of the keyword” will be discovered.
There are four types of intent searches:
Informational Intent Users want to find more information on a specific topic, product, or industry.
Navigation Intent – Users intend to visit a specific site or page.
Business Intent – Users are considering a purchase and want to research their options.
Transactional intent: users aim to buy a product/service.
The copy should target keywords that closely match the user’s search intent.
4. Check out competing articles for the target keywords:
- Enter the top keyword into the Google search bar (or use Semrush’s keyword overview tool or SEO content template) and look at the top 10 search results to determine what these pages have in common.
- A good writer should do first to gather copywriting and optimization ideas from their main competitors.
- Semrush makes it easy to quickly get SEO recommendations for future content using the SEO content template.
- See how the top 10 competitors use the target keywords in the article, what semantically related words they are likely to include, the sites linking to them, their readability score, and the length of the text.
- Export all of this data to help prepare the content outline to make sure to hit the target keywords and monitor which domains may be relevant to start planning the backlink reach.
5. Gather the original data:
- An effective tactic to attract readers is to share unique and original data.
- This can help generate backlinks to the page, which will positively affect rankings.
- An outside writer will definitely not have all the knowledge about the company (although he can ask the right questions before starting work).
- An in-house writer may not have enough information either.
Therefore, data collection is essential.
- Set up surveys and ask customers about their preferences, lifestyle, etc.
- Share the results of the survey.
- Most likely, bloggers and news sites writing about the industry will be able to check the survey results or simply share them on social media.
- Review sales data to discover patterns.
- This is especially interesting to observe during times of crisis when many industries are under severe stress (negative or positive).
- Industry writers will appreciate some inside data to look at.
- Use customer-generated content.
- Ask customers to share success stories with some statistics on how the product or service has helped them increase their sales.
- Accurate data, original images, and catchy sentences encourage readers to share the message with their followers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, etc.
- Brainstorm and come up with data sources that the business has on hand, and start collecting data for content.
6. Optimize the header, meta title, and meta description:
- Readers see when they look at the Google search engine results pages is the title of the page.
- The title is attractive and gives the reader the information they need, which can increase the organic click-through rate (CTR) and increase page views.
- The title should help both people and search engines determine what the content is about and what information they will find on the page.
- Describing content to users and search engines is meaningful.
- Here are the recommendations for meta titles, meta descriptions, and the H1.
Recommendations for meta titles:
- It is unique and includes the target keyword.
- It is between 55 and 60 characters long.
- Google truncates title tags that are longer than 55-60 characters and have a width limit of 600 pixels (but this can sometimes vary depending on the device used).
- Sends a message that accurately matches the content and searches intent.
- If the content doesn’t live up to user expectations after clicking on the title, it will just bounce off the page.
- This will tell Google that is not serving relevant content to users, which could, in turn, affect ranking.
- Include a call to action.
- A call to action is a crucial addition to the title or meta description.
- Calls to action should motivate users to visit the website.
Recommendations for meta descriptions:
- Contains target keywords.
- It calls for action and/or addresses an emotion.
- It consists of 140-160 characters (1-2 sentences).
- If it’s too long, it won’t fit, Google will truncate it, and people won’t understand what the site can provide.
- It must be unique and describe a web page.
- Make it meaningful by offering a compelling reason to visit the specific page.
- Google recommends including certain information such as price, manufacturer, etc., spread over a page.
Recommendations for the H1 tags:
- Fits within the width of 600 pixels.
- Within this width, readers can see the full title, Otherwise, Google truncates it.
- One can include numbers, for example, “10 quick ways to create the perfect title.
- “Articles with list headlines get up to twice the traffic and up to two times more shares than other types.
- One can include clarifications in brackets such as [interview],
- Articles with clarifications in brackets perform 38% better than those without clarifications, suggesting that readers like to have a complete picture of what they will get when they click.
- Include actionable words like “learn”, “take”, “push”, “improve”, and so on.
- This can help readers understand what they will get from the page.
- Motivate users to visit the website: Emotional triggers can help to get users’ attention and generate interest.
- Flow and readability are essential for search engine rankings.
- Make sure the text is legible.
- If the vocabulary of the text is above the head or the reading level is too advanced, one will lose the visitor.
- One needs to gain their confidence by sounding professional, so for a more educated and experienced audience, up to a 12th-grade reading level is fine.
- The good structure guides both users and search engines through the content as smoothly as possible. Each new point should be reflected in the H2, H3 and H4 headings.
- 36% of articles with H2 and H3 tags perform better in traffic, shares and backlinks.
- Sliding headlines that report without reading.
- Readers usually take a look before reading.
- Only 16% of people will read the copy word for word.
- Make sure the headlines inform the reader of what will get from reading individual paragraphs or the page as a whole.
- When thinking about search intent and the answers people need, one can give those answers in the headlines and develop them in the following paragraphs.
- Like headlines, readers like to flip through paragraphs to find the information they need quickly.
- The vast walls of text are overwhelming and difficult to scan.
- Make sure the paragraphs in the copy are short and start with the key message.
- Clarity and conciseness are the keys to excellent readability and user experience.
- The larger the white space, the better the user experience.
- Long paragraphs can be divided with bullets or numbered lists and graphics that inform the user.
- These techniques help guide the reader through the copy without making them work too hard to find the information they need.
- They can also be read, which is a bonus.
- With shorter sentences, once again facilitating the reader’s work and making the message more digestible.
- Consider a few points from the previous research: target keywords, the structure of top-ranking pages, user queries, and questions.
- They can be separated into paragraphs or grouped but should be included in the article and placed in a logical order.
- Make sure to limit the use of words that are too difficult to read.
- At the same time, educate readers about the industry or brand terms, but need to explain what they mean and make the explanation as easy as possible.
- Check the readability score, Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant extension can help.
- Automatically analyzes the target keywords and suggests the optimal readability level for the copy based on the main rivals.
- Find out which sentences are too long.
- Find out which parts of the copy may not be original.
- Make sure the text is perfectly structured for a target keyword and written in an SEO-friendly style.
- Make sure the piece of content meets the overall voice of the brand: casual, neutral, or formal.
- A picture is worth a thousand words.
- Use visuals throughout the page like videos, images, charts, infographics, etc.
- 74% of marketers used visuals in over 70% of their content because it works.
- Videos, informational images, charts, and infographics can increase readers’ time on the page and cause them to share the visual on social media accounts.
- This strategy could potentially increase the reach of the content, and the media, when properly optimized, could be used in Google SERPs.
- With Google Image Search on the rise, one should take advantage of this trend by adding short but clear descriptions for images.
- SEO copywriting has a clear purpose to propel users along the customer journey.
- That’s where calls to action come in handy.
- If users come to the copy that was produced with informational intent, include a CTA that directs them to another page that targets keywords with navigational intent, and so on.
- From a copywriting perspective, this will improve the conversion rate of the copy and the ROI of the content.
- From an SEO perspective, this can improve page views, decrease bounce rate, and send positive engagement signals to Google.
- Include some calls to action throughout the copy, as readers may not read the entire page.
- Add a CTA after a few opening paragraphs, another somewhere in the middle of the page, and one more at the end.
- When linking the copy to an internal or external page, just follow Google’s philosophy that more information is always available.
- By linking to external content, one can build trust around the copy.
- By linking to internal content, one can guide users through their customer journey and direct them to the pages that convert.
- Link to some other content that expands on the idea to be covered.
- This will show that there is a valuable source of quality content, which makes the reader spend more time on the site.
- Here’s some more information on the importance of internal linking and how to get it right, and also a bit about external linking.
- Make sure the external link opens in a new window to avoid distractions from the copy.
- Prefer to order SEO optimized content, Semrush offers Content Marketplace.
- The Content Marketplace is a place where one can request content written by an experienced copywriter.
- However, if interested in doing SEO copywriting, here are some tools that I recommend taking a look at to help:
Best Semrush Tools for SEO Copywriting:
- Keyword Magic Tool is used to narrow down the keyword search and find the best keywords to target with the copy.
- Topic research is used to discover new content ideas and discover what people are looking for around the topic (subtopics and questions).
- Organic research is used to find the best-performing rivals for the topic to learn from.
- SEO Writing Assistant will help optimize content based on the top 10 rivals in Google rankings.
- Download its plugin to check content for SEO compatibility and originality, and to adjust copy readability and consistency of tone of voice when typing.
- On-Page SEO Checker can help set up monitoring after the copy is published for SEO recommendations to improve rankings.
- SEO content template to get SEO recommendations for future content based on the top 10 competitors.
Other useful writing and editing tools for writers:
- Google Search Console and Google Analytics to analyze page performance.
- Google search trends for trending topics and for keyword research (shows search query volume and related keywords to analyze).
- Grammarly will help find all the wrong problems in the grammar of the copy and improve the clarity and engagement of the content.
- The Hemingway app will help improve readability as it checks the copy for sentences that are too complicated.
- AlsoAsked.com will display the questions that arise around the chosen topic.
- Typeform / Google Forms can be used to create and run surveys to collect data.
- Short / Bitly URL can be used to shorten page URL, track link clicks, and share performance on social media.
- Canva will help create custom images, social shares, animations, and infographics for websites, articles, and social accounts.
- Unsplash / Flickr / Pixabay will help to find high-quality, royalty-free images.