Copywriting for SEO
The way we look for goods and services has changed dramatically over the past decade or two. Long gone are the days of flicking through the Yellow Pages searching for a local individual or company to fulfil our requirements. Search engines have made searching for what we need much more convenient and have also opened up the market further afield. Customers are no longer restricted to local businesses, since the digital age means that national and international organisations are accessible to us. Equally, such organisations have the potential to reach a far greater client base and will go to great measures to ensure that they do so.
The pre-eminence of search engines has had a huge impact on the marketing strategies that companies use. The focus is largely on websites, with the goal of having them rank at the top of SERPs for relevant search terms. One important aspect to work on in order to achieve this goal is to publish web content which will be valued by Google and other search engines. Here is our brief guide on copywriting for SEO purposes.
Target your Audience
Ironically, our first piece of advice on copywriting for SEO is; don’t write first and foremost for SEO. Offline copywriting skills are still relevant here, since you are writing primarily for your human audience, not for search engine robots. This means that your content should be engaging to your target audience, should provide what they’re looking for and address their needs. Search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can tell when a page has been thrown together purely to appease them. The chief goal of any search engine is to provide the information that users are looking for, so ensuring this is also the primary goal of your online content is the best place to start.
As such, any content you produce should be unique and of a professional standard. If you publish content which is genuinely relevant and helpful to readers, both they and search engines will reward you for it.
There has been much speculation about the ideal length of copy for SEO purposes, but there is no such ‘optimum’ word count. The element to prioritise is the quality of your content. Producing in-depth copy which covers all relevant points and provides the information your audience are searching for is the best way to meet their needs, and consequently is the best way to please search engines. As with any piece of writing, it is always a good idea to be concise, making sure your piece is focused and entirely relevant.
Organising your content into sub-sections is a helpful way to make your piece user-friendly, breaking it down into engaging, manageable chunks rather than allowing readers to get lost in one exhaustingly long paragraph. Using headings is also a great way to target your keywords.
Of course, all of the above requires that you have a thorough understanding of what you are writing about. Preferably, copywriters will be experts in their field, but it is still fundamental that you undertake some research where necessary. One tactic is to take a look at websites which are ranking above your own in SERPs, and take note of what they are including which you may have missed out. You should also think about what search terms you want to rank for: an SEO agency can help with keyword research to consider metrics such as search volume, related search terms and so on. Avoid stuffing these into your copy, but ensure they are included; this should come naturally if your copy is relevant and focused. As mentioned above, including keywords in your subheadings can be particularly helpful.
Call to Action
Ranking highly in SERPs is essential to the success of your business, but this is not the ultimate goal of your website. Including a call to action such as ‘find out more’ or ‘download brochure’ within your content is a great way of encouraging users to further engage with your website, and should serve to achieve your greater goal; namely gaining business.
On that note, you can find out more about content marketing here.