Effective white-hat SEO strategies, when married to great SEO copywriting tips, become one. Both can produce great results through a well-executed content marketing strategy.
However, not everyone who earns his living through writing and content marketing fully understood the phrase “SEO Copywriting techniques”. They misunderstood the whole concept and never believed the two can work together.
They never see SEO and copywriting as two interconnected concepts.
This is understandable and comes with no surprises. In the past, before Google started targeting low tiny content sites. Ranking top in search results is mostly about knowing your link-building/keyword stuff right.
Lesser regard for the quality of the content and how it could help users. The top ranking is all about links and keyword stuffing.
Then came Google 🐼 panda…
Google Panda and Quality Content
After the Google Panda update, the table got a turnaround, and SEO tactics that once rocked the search engine no longer prove effective. In fact, Google demotes all these SEO techniques to the bin.
And even ethical SEO tactics can’t work alone to provide better search ranking. It needs quality content to give a better search ranking.
This is where effective SEO tactics and best practices for SEO content writing come into play. And the two become interconnected concepts that MUST go together. You need to learn and master the art of writing helpful content that appeals to your audience.
The two together if done right, search engine crawlers and humans will find your website useful and relevant to your site users.
But your job is not done yet…
You need to market your content to drive target traffic to it. SEO and copywriting aren’t complete without content marketing.
This is how you should perceive the three and not as a stand-alone subject or concept. When the three got blended in complete harmony, the result could be a massive earthquake.
With all this in mind – it is important that we first define what SEO Copywriting is…
What is SEO Copywriting?
SEO Copywriting is an art…
The skills, and, or strategies used in writing keyword-optimized content that ranks high in SERP, and also match the user’s search intent.
Technically, it is not something difficult to do, but mastering the art is something that gets many content marketers scared. They perceive it as too technical to understand. While in a real sense, it is not so.
Writing SEO-optimized content your readers will find helpful is about understanding your reader’s search intent. Identify the one person you’re writing for. Being natural in your writing and presenting the information in the best possible format.
You need to master the art of engaging, educating, entertaining, and informing your blog readers. While you keep them well glued to every word on the page and the whole content provides practical solutions to their problems.
7 Tips for Effective SEO Copywriting Strategy
If you want to learn SEO content writing and improve your skills, here are the 7 best SEO Copywriting tips to follow in 2022
1. Research Your Topic
You need to research the topic before you start writing. Even if the subject is based on personal experience, you can get more ideas or views from reading other people’s thoughts and experiences.
Look up your keyword on Google to see what competitors have written on the subject. Search through forums, question and answer sites, social media, etc…
By doing this, you’ll get more ideas, and thoughts, and be able to read the topic from other angles you never thought of.
2. Do Proper Keyword Research
This concept is tagged “SEO Copywriting “.
If you take away the SEO aspect from your copywriting work, I’m afraid your publishing efforts will not produce long-term benefits.
Your content might create a viral effect and generate lots of social buzz when you first publish it. But after a few days, you will see a big drop in traffic and engagements to the page.
This is where optimizing for a target keyword is a better SEO tactic. The page will continue to get traffic from search engines for as long as it remains relevant and ranked.
As long as people continue to use search engines to begin an online journey or purchase, keyword research will continue to be an integral part of SEO.
In fact, without keywords, SEO is meaningless.
Search engines drive 53.3% of all website trackable traffic, according to BridgtEdge in 2022. Social media has remained 5% since 2014.
So why not tap into this opportunity, and get your share of the traffic?
How to do Keyword Research for SEO
There are a few steps to follow when doing keyword research, and they are not rocket science. You don’t need expensive SEO tools either, you just need to know and understand what you’re doing and how to use the keyword tool to pick the right keyword.
Here are a few steps to remember:
- Brainstorm on your industry-relevant topics. Ideally, pick four to five relevant seed keywords.
- Use the seed keywords to research for long-tail keywords your audience is searching for.
- Analyze the search intent behind each keyword to understand what the user wants.
- Research for related keywords to support your main keyword.
- Analyze keyword difficulty, search volume, keyword trend, cost per click, etc.
- Google your keyword to analyze the SERP result.
For more information on how to do keywords for SEO, check out this Ahrefs blog post.
3. Put Yourself In Readers Shoe
One of the best ways to write content that cuts deep into your reader’s minds and resonates with them is to imagine yourself in their condition.
This is not all that SEO or anything technical. It is all about imagination and assumption. Thinking of what your readers might be going through at the moment can help you write content that solves a particular problem.
Ask yourself, If I’m the one with this problem and I come across this information, does it offer solutions to my problem?
If you can answer yes to the question above, you’ve done a good job and your content meets the user’s expectations. But if your answer is no, you have more work on your hand – get back to the drawing board.
Knowing your audience is one of the best SEO copywriting best practices to help you write content that’s valuable and meet user expectations.
It goes beyond identifying your target audience.
You need to be able to speak their language in your writing. Feel their pain. Understand their different emotions (throughout the buying circle). Also, you need to know what troubles them the most, and how big is their fear.
If you understand all these and more about your audience, you’ll be able to write compelling articles that address their issues and also make them buy from your recommendations or products.
4. Write Your Own Description Tag
A description tag, rich snippet, or search listing (whatever you call it) is an important part of your copy in search result pages. It is one of the factors that either increase or decrease the click-through rate – depending on how compelling it is to the user.
If you don’t know how to write a compelling description tag, you can Google your focus keyword to see what other websites have in their description tag. I use this tactic a lot to get inspiration on how to write a better description tag.
Here are some tips to write a better description tag for your content:
- Keep it short and under 160 characters
- Don’t use passive voice, use active voice instead.
- Include your call to action
- Make sure the message matches the content of the page.
- Use specification where applicable
- Include your focus keyword
5. Write List Posts
If you’ve been around on the net for years, this is a no-brainer for you. After infographics, the list post gets the highest social share number among all other types of content.
Years ago, Buzzsumo analyzed the social share counts of more than 1,000,000 (one million) articles. Here is what they found common in them.
When it comes to counting social shares of articles, Buzzsumo is an entity to trust.
But there is something to watch out for before you start writing your blog with list posts hoping it will go viral magically. No, it won’t go viral magically unless you know this secret, secret.
10 is the secret number – call it the magical number your boss never wanted you to discover. A list post with 10 items listed receives on average 10,621 social shares. Compared to the second spot number 23 (an odd number) which has four times fewer social shares.
The other numbers you can try out are 16 and 24, number 23 came second on the list.
Many experts also believe that odd numbers like 3, 5, 7, etc.… play well too. And are the most common types of list posts, especially on books, novels, info products, etc.
Nevertheless, here are some tips to consider when writing your list post to ensure it meets the expectations of your audience:
Tip 1. Make it Scannable
If your list post isn’t scannable, you’ve defeated the purpose for which it was created in the first place.
The reader’s attention span decreases gradually. The best way you can make your information better for them is to make each point on your list post known quickly.
At a glance, each point on your list post should quickly convey to the reader what you’re saying.
Tip 2. Write an Introduction
Just because you’re writing a list post doesn’t mean your first letters on the page should be 1 (number one), no!
Write an introduction that precedes your main point in the post. Engage your readers first and let them know the purpose for which you’re writing the post. The benefits they stand to gain from reading through your list of items.
Tip 3. Include The Number in Your Headline
This will be a holy sin if you forgot to include the list post number in your page title. Only to write it out in the article body or as a subheadline.
Whenever you’re writing a list post, the best way to craft out your headline is to start it with the list number (figure and not in words) something like these:
…but if there must be letters before your number make sure is just a single word, something like this too:
In some rare cases, there are SEO reasons a three letters words may precede your list post number like this:
- Link-building Strategies: 10 Proven Tactics to Attract 1,000 links to your Post.
- Copywriting SEO Tips: 7 Tips to Write Good SEO Copy.
- Make Money Online: 10 Ways to Make $200 Per Day Selling Other People’s Stuff.
- SEO Copywriting Strategies: 23 Best Practices for 2022.
These types of article titles are primarily designed to attract SEO links.
Tip 4. Go In-depth on Each Point
Writing a list of 10, 23, 50 or even 100 points in your article won’t be enough to make anyone think your list post is great or packed full of great information. You need to explain what each point on your list stands for, the benefits, the usefulness, take away, etc.
If you just list out your points and leave readers to guess what to do with them, you’re not providing any solution. Rather, you’re contributing more to their problem.
Examine closely what I do in this section of this post:
I go more in-depth on this part. I didn’t just tell you to go publish a list post. But I also ensure I give more detailed guidelines on how to write a better list post your audience will find useful.
This tactic will also help you in producing useful content that leaves no readers hanging. Or short of information because you’re leaving nothing out. Plus it helps in writing the longer form content full of useful information that both search engines and your human visitors will find just awesome!
Tip 5. Bullet Points in a List
Notice what I did in this section from writing out point number 5 above in my main list of points for this article?
I use (Tips ) to separate this section from my main list of points. So, you could understand and know that the section’s label – Tips – is right under the main list point number 5 of the article.
If I had labeled Tips 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 – it might get some readers confused and don’t know which point they’re on.
If you must write a list of points under a section in your main article list, make sure to use a tag different from what the main list your article carries. This will make your list post more readable, scannable, and not confusing.
6. The Headline
If there is only one copywriting SEO factor that determines the destiny of your copy – that factor is the headline.
A good headline should convey to the reader what benefits. Values. Promises, features, etc..the user stands to gain from reading your content.
Since the article’s headline is the first set of words a reader will see in your copy, it is important to write compelling titles that grab the attention of potential readers.
There are five main elements that make a great article headline, but it does not necessarily mean you should use all five in your title.
In fact, a good article headline should say clearly what the information is all about. And promise only one benefit or arouse/trigger just one of the numerous emotions in humans.
Your content headline should stay on a topic and give a promise.
Depending on the information you’re discussing and your motive for writing, you’ll need to do one of the following with your article headline:
- Arouse Curiosity.
- Clearly, define the benefits.
- Prove Credibility.
- Make an Announcement.
- Ask Question.
- Make a Promise.
Your content headline should convey one of these elements to trigger the attention of the reader. It should either get the reader “Curious” to want to know more or it says the “Benefits” the user stands to gain by reading your content.
Also, your article title should show an element of “Credibility” on the subject matter. It needs to convince or demonstrate to the reader that the content is backed by expert advice.
For example, take a look at the Google search result below:
Despite all the search results presented by Google for the search phrase “SEO link building strategies” are from credible sources. One headline stood apart from the rest and in my opinion, will get the lion’s share of CTR.
When you read “33 SEO experts” contribute to the content on the page, you’ll definitely want to see what they have to say. Instead of reading the mind and expertise of just one author. You get to see what 33 SEO experts are talking about – that’s credibility at work.
If you’re not so familiar with the SEO world and do not know most of these SEO blogs in the search result. I bet if you will click on any link other than that of 33 SEO experts share their most link-building strategies.
It is either your article’s headline promise to deliver certain benefits to the user. Or it pronounces an announcement of places, things, events, persons, products, or services. Also, it could convey the idea of educating the reader and or, asking a question, etc.
If your article headline does not meet any of these criteria, you definitely haven’t written any title for your content. And a copy without a strong compelling title is not so different from not having any content at all.
7. Use Short Paragraphs
At most keep each paragraph 3 – 4 lines maximum, and 68 characters long in width or a maximum of 15 words per line.
Chunky blocks of text get the eyes tired of reading quickly and are never inviting to the user’s interest in reading. Your content should be at the front and center of the page. Readers shouldn’t need to move their eyes across the page to read the first and last words in a sentence.
And occasionally a one-sentence paragraph is needed – like this one.
While there are many factors to remember when you’re writing your articles like formatting. Following a writing pattern, good introduction, decisive summary, magnetic headline, special quotes, specific statements, etc…
There are also some important reasons you need to keep in mind why your paragraphs need to be shorter.
- Most people don’t read articles in full; they scan through them.
- Shorter paragraphs reduce the chances of committing errors or typos in your writing.
- It encourages reading on the part of the reader.
- Since each paragraph is expected to present a point or support the preceding one, readers have less time to read through the whole content.
- It provides for more white space in your writing which gives the impression that your writing space is clean and free from clutter.
- It ensures less information to filter through.
SEO copywriting tips are not difficult to do or understand if you are determined to push your marketing skills further.
Following these 7 SEO copywriting best practices will improve your blog’s value. And increase search engine traffic if done correctly and give time to measure your progress.