SEO Copywriting Tips That Work
You know your business needs strategic SEO copywriting tips. How do you create and write content that Google deems worthy – read “high quality” – enough to rank on page one for relevant search terms? Do you find Google’s constant tweaking of their search algorithm frustrating to follow? Once you make some tweaks, Google changes something in their algorithms ranking factors again? What’s a business owner to do?
We can’t expect Google to continually update us SEOs on each and every ranking factor. There is a master list however, of 200 Google ranking factors which is worth a read, a share, and maybe even a Pin. Either way, Google’s ranking algorithm will always be a beast that is challenging to tame. But it can be tamed.
The fact that Google’s search ranking algorithm is a tightly kept secret is actually a huge positive for smart content marketers.
Rand Fishkin says “SEO is powerful precisely because it’s hard to predict and hard to measure. If it wasn’t, lots of people would invest a lot more, and the field would be far more competitive than it is. That ‘hard to predict/track’ quality is an advantage in many ways.”
You see, all the hard, tedious, and analytical work SEO companies and SEO consultants do is a huge advantage for your search strategy.
In keeping Google happy, your SEO consultants are keeping your website on top of search rankings for your targeted, short and long-tail keywords and related phrases.
Use These SEO Copywriting Tips Today
With the competitive nature of business and SEO, it’s probably best to get a solid understanding of what it takes to write content that Google will rank on page one. SEO copywriting is a specialized service you should be on the look out for when building a new website and/or creating your SEO strategy.
Your website copy is probably one of the most important factors to your on-page SEO. When Google changes its algorithms, it essentially changes the rules of the game and this means you, or your SEO consultant or company, must be on top of these changes and adjust your on-page SEO strategy accordingly.
1. Write For Humans – Optimize For Search Engines
Who wants to read paragraphs of text where the primary and secondary keywords, and related phrases are used over and over again in the copy? That approach is so 2004 that even search engines don’t want to crawl that crap.
You want to create natural, organic, quality content that is useful to your readers. What’s the point of getting a page to rank #1 on some bogus keyword stuffed term when your end content sucks and won’t convert users to customers anyway?
Focus on your user/buyer personas and create quality content for them. Both your customers and search engines will love you.
2. Screw Keyword Density
Keyword density mattered once. The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast still counts it as a factor in its SEO analysis of your post. It’s ridiculous that a great company like Yoast hasn’t updated the plugin to reflect the fact that keyword density is as bad as keyword stuffing.
These days there is nothing to indicate that Google favours a certain density over another. You wan to still do comprehensive keyword research and use those keywords and related phrases in your copy. The key is to use them naturally.
Stuffing keywords to make your targeted keyword density will certainly do you more harm than good.
3. Related Keywords, Synonyms, and Grammatical Variations
You need to make some new friends with related keywords, synonyms, and grammatical variations of both your primary and secondary keywords for each page. Google and other search engines are using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to match search results to the intentions of the users search query.
Using these ‘extra’ and ‘valuable’ keywords is an easy way to make your content more relevant in not only Google’s eyes, but to your target audience as well.
I like to use this to target multiple search queries with a single web page.
4. Write Long, In-Depth Quality Content
We try and write content at least 1000-1500 words and up to 3500+ for our client’s content marketing strategy. The average web page ranking on the first page of Google has over 2000 words. There is evidence to support the fact that in-depth articles get more shares and backlinks than sort, trivial articles.
Plan to write quality content that digs deep into the subject matter and provides valuable insight. Do NOT write a bunch of keyword stuffed, crap content just to please Google. Publish content because you have in-depth knowledge that you want to share with your audience.
5. The Long Tail Is Your Friend
I’ve worked with many client’s who are set on using super duper competitive keywords and phrases. This requires a mega effort and/or a mega AdWords budget.
A smart SEO will use Webmaster Tools to identify a few keywords and phrases that have already drove traffic to your website and for keywords that Google has already indexed your web page for. You can make use of these less competitive keywords to drive qualified traffic to your website that will likely convert.
Long-tail keywords and phrases may have a smaller search volume, but the traffic generated will be qualified and motivated to buy.
6. Take a Cue From Your Prospects Questions
Your future customers likely have questions about your product and they are most likely typing those questions into a search engine to find answers and/or solutions. Your goal should be to create content that answers some common questions about your product.
If you provide better answers than your competitors, and optimize that content for search, your prospects will find that content, organically, and chose to do business with you.
7. Social Signals Matter
I’ll always be a firm believer in Google using social signals if not as a ranking factor, then certainly as a relevancy factory. If your content is getting shared across social media platforms, it’s obviously useful.
Do your best to encourage sharing from your website and by creating quality content that your readers will wan to share with their following.
8. Don’t Ignore Google+
Google+ will always play a role in SEO. Google+ is the world’s largest search engine’s social product! Author rank is a reality as well, even this authorship and authorship photos have disappeared.
Google will start connecting ranking factors to individual authors – not just the websites hosting the author’s content. Set up and optimize your G+ profile and regularly share your equality content on that platform – always. Trust me.
You will build author rank and boost the authority of every piece of content you publish – regardless where it gets posted.
9. Don’t Forget Your Meta!
Title tags and meta descriptions are so important. Your title tag is one of the first things Google looks at when categorizing that web page.
Also, it’s your title tag and meta description that users are going to see in the search engine results pages (SERPs). I suggest including keywords in your title tag – as close to the beginning of your title as possible.
I’d also you your primary and secondary keywords in the meta description along with any relevant and related terms.
10. Do NOT Stuff Keywords. Period.
Some of the recent algorithm changes have revolved around weeding out content that is spammy or intended to manipulate search rankings. This is essentially what keyword stuffing does.
As mentioned in #2 above, use keywords naturally and only where they would naturally appear. Remember, write for humans, not search engines.
11. Anchor Text Issues
Do not over optimize your anchor text. Big mistake. This may have been ok a few years ago, but with the recent algorithm changes, you’ll want to make sure your anchor text is not over optimized.
Optimizing link text to match keywords and phrases perfectly is not a wise SEO move these days. You could be penalized using this approach, also knows as “link schemes.”
12. Back To Meta – Image ALT and TITLE Tags
Images play a huge role in social media marketing and un Google’s ranking factors. If you neglect to use ALT tags for all your images, Google will not know what they are and how useful or relevant they are to your subject matter.
Google’s spiders crawl images and look for the ALT text to determine what the image is. This is also a super SEO opportunity for your on-page tactics.
You should use a related keyword phrase in your ALT text. I add a primary keyword in the image Title tag as well.
13. Google Suggest and Google Trends as Keyword Research Tools
Since related keywords and phrases are such a key element in today’s SEO, use Google Suggest to find additional keywords in addition to your primary and secondary keywords for any page.
Google trends is useful for this as well as tracking to see seasonal spikes and other changes in search behaviour.
Check out the Infographic below for a nice visual summary of these 13 SEO copywriting tips.
* Featured Image Source