How to Write Good Copy with SEO in Mind
What makes one text rank highly, while similar texts fall by the wayside? Why do some writers seem to effortlessly attract traffic, while others fail?
These are the kind of questions that website editors and marketers need to grapple with on a daily basis, and the answers can determine whether businesses succeed or struggle.
Fortunately, there are some tricks to mastering copywriting SEO which tend to promote high search rankings. If you apply these concepts, even less-skilled writers can turn poorly-performing sites into respectable visitor magnets, so let's explore how they work.
1. Preparation is the foundation of good SEO
For starters, successful SEO content always rests upon solid research and planning. While immense creativity can be involved, it doesn't just spring from the minds of writers - and it isn't the product of one-in-a-billion geniuses.
Writers need solid keywords to work with. These terms need to be tightly focused to the subject matter, so don't be tempted to include high-ranking keywords into texts if they are not totally relevant.
They also need to cover every base. For instance, texts about wooden chairs might need to discuss specific types of wood or styles like rustic or minimalist. But they might also benefit from mentioning prices or ways to buy.
Each text is different, down to the lowliest product description. And each has its own set of keywords to generate traffic. So spend time getting these keywords right. It's just as important as writing well.
2. Structure matters
Regardless of what keywords you are working with, copywriting SEO will be useless if texts lack a clear structure. This might be as simple as an introduction, main body, and conclusion, but you may want to add chapters or sub-sections - whatever the subject demands.
This structure should then serve as the template for the text itself, just like a waffle iron acts as the mould for dough. This won't just make the finished text easier to navigate. It's also a great way to focus the mind of the writer, so they know exactly what needs to be included.
3. Don't get trigger happy with keywords
When writing good SEO copy, keywords are important, but they are not everything. And it's definitely possible (easy, even) to include too many instances, ruining the flow and quality of the text.
Keyword density isn't an exact science, and it shouldn't guide you as you write the actual text. However, as a rule of thumb, aiming for between 1-5% density for main keywords is realistic. The key thing is to ensure that mentions don't compromise the overall effect. With search engines prioritising readable, relevant content, stuffing is a big no-no.
4. Summon up your passion
When you compose an SEO text, it's easy to become robotic. SEO can feel like a slog, as you plug keywords into different variations and build the pages you need. But here's the kicker: becoming jaded will make visitors feel like they are reading a robot, and that's a huge turn-off.
When tackling every piece of content, try to find an angle which excites you, or at least makes the text more engaging. If you are describing a garment, take a look at photos. Read a review or two. Imagine how you would wear it. And then communicate the essential information in a way that readers will respond to.
5. Always stay on point
SEO texts can't ramble off-topic. They need to be focused completely on the subject in hand, and avoid digressions at all costs. This might sound limiting, and it is. But it's essential.
These days, Google ranks pages according to how relevant they are to queries. So if you're trying to rank for a long-tail keyword like "bird baths for urban gardens", spending 200 words discussing trees and flowers probably won't work well.
Accuracy is also vital. You can be as relevant as you like, but if texts are littered with factual errors, their "authority" score will suffer.
6. Proof-read texts to ensure readability
Finally, it's important to stress the importance of proof-reading SEO texts. This helps to weed out errors in grammar, spelling, facts, and style. It also might provide clues about how to refine your use of keywords, while giving a general opportunity to consider additions or deletions.
As with all good writing, concision is better than excess. So read back every text and remove the fat. You'll be amazed by how much difference a quick scan can make.
Find a partner to mix SEO concepts and writing skills
If all of this sounds like a step too far, that's understandable. Even great writers can fail to rank well, and poor writers can struggle to mix the nuts and bolts of SEO with a readable style.
In content marketing, success depends on a mastery of creativity and technical knowledge, and blending the too isn't simple. But if you have any concerns or want to make the process easier, greatcontent is here to help.
Hopefully this blog has provided some SEO writing pointers, but feel free to approach us if any questions should be unanswered. We'd love to share our expertise.
Text: Sam Urquhart
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