SEO Copywriting: How Strategic Copy Decisions Yield Big Results
We all know what copywriting is, but SEO copywriting? Now that’s a different story… kind of. Over the past decade, the term has transformed from something rather nefarious to an essential piece of digital marketing. How can you harness the potential gains afforded by SEO copywriting? By knowing how it is different, and capitalizing on those differences.
A Brief History of SEO Copywriting
In the beginning, SEO was awful. Truly, unapologetically terrible. In the early days, the “art” of SEO copywriting was simply stuffing as many keywords on a page as was physically possible – whether they were related to your business or not. Some chose to do so with a little tact, hiding the stuffed keywords by making them the same color as the background of the webpage, while others did not, creating pages that were near impossible to read.
Luckily for the sanity of the general population, search engines like Google took action to penalize these abhorrent tactics to create a SERP that only delivered quality, relevant content. But that was only the beginning. Now, Google is learning to better parse user intent, which is changing the way digital marketing professionals view SEO copywriting altogether.
What SEO Copywriting Is Today
According to Writtent, SEO copywriting “refers to the art of writing copy that ranks well.” But that definition is a little lacking. SEO copywriting may be the art of writing copy that ranks well, but it ranks well because of the strategic use of keywords. By targeting specific keywords and phrases, your copy can be more easily identified by search engines and, therefore, rank better. Beyond the on-page copy, SEO copywriting includes crafting effective title tags, apt meta descriptions, and punchy headlines to create the perfectly optimized page.
What SEO Copywriting Can Do For Your Business
SEO copywriting, when done well, can help your business in several ways.
- By optimizing your content you can improve your business’s visibility through web traffic increases. The better your site ranks, the more likely that search engine users will click on your SERP listings and visit your site.
- SEO copywriting, when done correctly, helps to establish trust with your users. By writing content and title tags that jive, you let users know that your intention is not to mislead them – which goes a long way with consumers.
- Employing SEO copywriting strategies can improve overall user experience for the customers who visit your website. Many people only consider user experience from the perspective of users entering their site via the homepage, but it is essential that you create appropriate and easy to follow paths for users who enter your site on any given page. By crafting content that covers keywords in all stages of the buying cycle, and implementing appropriate calls to action, your website will become a helpful resource that users will keep coming back to – not one that they visit once only to immediately hit the back button.
- Utilizing targeted SEO copy can also improve your bottom line. With higher visibility and a better overall user experience, your site is now primed for more conversions and increased revenue.
Using SEO Copywriting to Your Advantage
Now that we know what SEO copywriting can do for a business, how might one implement this practice? When embarking on your SEO copywriting journey, there are three essential elements that you must keep in mind – lest your efforts fall flat, or worse, get penalized.
Integrating keywords into your content is the true bread-and-butter of SEO copywriting. The key here is to use relevant keywords and blend them seamlessly with the rest of your content. If a visitor is reading through your website, they should not be able to pick out your keywords. If they can, you’re going to have to revisit your strategy.
Truly Unique and Relevant Content
The importance of maintaining unique, relevant content cannot be understated. Duplicate content is penalty-worthy, while content lacking relevance will send your potential customers running for the hills. In SEO copywriting, there should be no content for content’s sake. Everything must have a purpose, and that purpose is to provide your users with the information they need – regardless of where they currently sit within the buying cycle.
Something About a Woman’s Skirt…
The length of your content matters. Period. Though there are no perfect formulas for calculating the exact amount of words that should live on a page, there is one universal rule: thin content is never appropriate. As many an English teacher has touted, “your paper should be the length of a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the topic, and short enough to keep it interesting.” If you have pages that only have one or two sentences of content, you’re doing it wrong.
Taking The Next Step
If you fall into the category of people who believe that nobody reads your site content, or that it doesn’t matter, you’re overlooking one immensely important reader: Google. But never fear, even if you’ve previously subscribed to that thought, there’s still time to turn it all around. Whether you’re ready to take on your web copy internally or need outside assistance, SEO copywriting can make all of the difference in your digital marketing efforts.