Many people get tricked by the “copy” thing, so they think that copywriting has something to do with copying. Paraphrasing and copying someone else’s content is plagiarism. It’s not good for search engine optimization and it’s certainly not good for online promotions of businesses.
Others confuse “copywriting” with “copyright” — the exclusive right to use your content as your own. That’s still true for SEO copywriting, but this is not a right. It’s a process.
SEO copywriting is the process of developing unique content for online promotion. “SEO” stands for search engine optimization. You’re creating content that the search engines (especially Google) will recognize as relevant to the needs of their users. For that purpose, you use keywords. But SEO writing is way more complex than that.
To make it simpler to understand, we’ll list 7 important things to know about it.
SEO copywriting is different from traditional copywriting
Copywriting is defined as “the act of writing text for the purpose of advertising or other forms of marketing.” It matters for both online and offline marketing methods. You may engage in copywriting for catalogs, magazines, press releases, billboards, direct mail or email, and all other marketing channels.
Adding “SEO” to the concept changes things. This type of copywriting is friendly to search engines.
You know how Google works, basically. You type a keyword and it sends you to a relevant website. That relevant website got to you thanks to SEO copywriting techniques. That content was written for the reader, but optimized for the search engine as well.
There are 5 key elements of SEO copywriting
- Meta description – it’s the little snippet in Google results that tells you how relevant a page is;
- Headline – it has to be attractive enough to draw attention;
- Links in the content – they may boost the authority of your site;
- Keywords – it’s how you show the content is relevant to one’s search;
- Content – no matter what other elements of SEO we talk about, content is still the most important ranking factor.
- Tons of analytics are involved
How do you find the right keywords to target? How frequently will you use them? What are the most researched topics in your niche? How does your competition target them?
Here’s an example that shows how precise you need to be: let’s say you’re publishing short horror stories for your target audience. Some will use the term “short horror story” to search for that kind of content. But others will get more specific: short horror stories about cats, short horror stories with mothers, and so on. You’ll identify the exact search phrases and you’ll plan how to target them.
Google’s Keyword Planner is the usual tool that SEO copywriters use for analytics.
Links matter –both external and internal
Whenever you read a great article, you see links in it. Some lead you to other pages within the same website. That’s the context, which makes you stay at the site to get more info. Others get you to authority pages that help you understand the matter more.
Google has a way to evaluate links. That’s why it’s important to place the right ones at the right place.
Keywords aren’t more important than quality
It’s easy to get carried away with this keyword thing. You’ll target all you could possibly target, but you’ll end up with an unreadable, spammy text. Google has a way to evaluate that, too. It calls it spam, and that’s a red alert for your website.
Readability is crucial in successful SEO copywriting
Yes; you’ll use keywords. Yes; you’ll use links. But readability is the focal point of successful SEO content. You target a specific group of readers and you need to make the text understandable for them. You won’t use too long sentences, weird phrases, unusual words and slang.
Meta tags are part of it all
The meta title and meta description are the last things writers pay attention to. But marketers know they are important. That’s why they specifically instruct their writers to include these tags in the copy they develop.
The title tag is for the clickable headline that shows up in the search results. The description is the text below it. The H1 tag is also important; it’s the highlight of the text that Google considers for relevancy.
It’s not that complicated, after all
Whether you’re a writer or marketer, you’ll easily understand the principles of SEO copywriting once you start researching them. There’s a lot to learn, but you only need the basics for start. The seven things we mentioned above are enough to get you going.
But don’t forget: this is an ongoing learning process. You’ll stay informed on trends and you’ll experiment with different techniques until you find the ones that work.
SEO copywriting is demanding, but it’s also fun. You never stop learning, so you never get bored with it.
** About the Author: Emma Rundle is an academic writer for EduBirdie and has her own SEO agency. Copywriting is her forte. It’s always fun to see what new challenges Google sets for marketers.