If you want people to find your website and use your services, you need to show up in search results. But Google won’t put you on the first page just because you published a blog on your website. That’s where SEO copywriting comes into play.
Good content will help you rank in search results. But optimizing your website is so much more than that.
What is SEO Copywriting?
In short, search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting is a strategy for composing quality content that attracts your target audience via Google, Bing, or even Siri. In other words, you want to create content that answers the question your potential customer is asking.
For example, if you start a welding company in Atlanta called The Iron Giant, you want to make sure that people visit your website because they’re searching for a welder in the area, not for information about the animated movie.
But stating on your About page that you are a welder and offer welding services may not be enough. Google wants more evidence than just a couple mentions of the word “welder.” You need content on your site to convince search engines that you are, in fact, a welder in the Atlanta area (and a good one!).
How Does SEO Work?
Before I continue, I want to be clear: there’s no secret formula that magically makes your content go viral. There’s no check list that guarantees you will rank number one if you tick every box. And be cautious if someone guarantees that your website will rank by using their SEO copywriting services.
Search engines and social media platforms change their algorithms constantly. And as of late, it’s become harder and harder to get “above the fold” in search results without paying. If you want to be the top search result for multiple keywords or rank month after month, your marketing and advertising budget better be bottomless.
Ranking number one also doesn’t happen overnight (unless you pay for it). Readers have to click on, engage with, and share your content multiple times over the course of months before Google may recognize it as a good source of information.
That being said, there are a few factors that search engines use to determine whether a website, page, or article is an authoritative source. And by appealing to these metrics, your content has a better chance to rank than if you don’t consider them. (But no guarantee!)
Remember how your professor required a bibliography with your research paper? Or that your teacher insisted that you use quotes in your essay?
Google does the same thing: it expects that you link to authoritative sources to support your claims. You may be an expert in your field, but Google doesn’t know that – unless you link to papers you’ve published on other respectable websites.
In other words, Google wants to know you’ve done your research.
Other websites create a backlink when they link to a page on your website. Building backlinks may be one of the most difficult aspects of SEO because you have very little control over it.
If other websites are linking to your page or website, Google sees that people consider you an authoritative source for information. And if other people consider you a good source, then maybe Google should, too.
To some extent, quality may be subjective. But there are a few metrics that search engines use to “grade” your content, which a good SEO copywriter will incorporate into their work.
The keyword is the word or phrase that you expect people to search in order to find your content. The density refers to how often it appears in your text.
Let’s go back to the Iron Giant example. How do you expect people to find your business: by searching “Iron Giant” or “welders near Atlanta”?
You might call yourself “The Iron Giant,” but people won’t search for that term if they need a welder. So on your website or in your blog, you will want to mention that you are a welder in Atlanta, or that you offer welding services to businesses in the Atlanta area.
But you don’t want to use the term too much. For example, consider this paragraph about rose wine:
Do you love rose wine? Do you want to know more about rose wine? I can tell you everything these is to know about rose wine. Rose wine is my favorite style because it pairs well with almost every dish. You can drink rose wine all year round, whether you like it chilled or room temperature.
Can you imagine that being the introduction to an article? Over the years, the “right” keyword density has evolved, but I can promise you this: having the keyword in almost every sentence is not the right density.
Your content should be easy to understand. Because let’s be honest: even if most of your readers have a master’s degree, they don’t want to work hard to read your content.
But that isn’t to say it needs to be dumbed down in any way. You may have learned all kinds of fancy words in school (I know ubiquitous is one of my favorites), but packing your article with them can be a turn off for both Google and your audience.
There are, of course, some exceptions to the rule. If you’re writing for an academic journal or the New Yorker, those publications may demand a higher level of writing.
Consider this: how do you search for answers on the internet? How do you ask Siri a question? How do you interact with content on the internet?
We don’t usually use big words when searching for answers via Google or voice search. And once we have search results, we want to read the article without struggling through it.
SEO copywriting prioritizes these needs. Short sentences and common vocabulary will make your content approachable and easy to read. And when people enjoy reading your content, they’ll be more likely to share it or explore your website for more.
Have you ever landed on a webpage and said “there’s no way I’m reading this wall of text”?
Similar to readability, the format of your writing also makes the content more (or less) approachable. That means using short paragraphs, bullet point lists, headings, photos, or other design elements to break up the text.
For example, did you skim this blog post before reading it? Did the headings help you determine whether this would be a worthwhile read?
I wrote and published this article so that you could easily skim it for the highlights, and then read it in depth if you wanted. (SEO copywriter, at your service.)
But consider a paragraph like this. It may not be much longer than the average paragraph you would find in a book or magazine article. But on the internet, it’s considered a wall of text that no one really wants to read. It’s a big, blocky chunk of dark scribbles on a light background. In fact, I bet most of you will skip over this paragraph altogether because of how much you don’t want to read it. But if you do read it, please leave a comment below with the word “brownies” to prove me wrong.
Social Media Engagement
Google also considers how often people share your content. If your content is shared multiple times, it must be a trustworthy or interesting source for information.
And this is where that desire for “viral content” comes in. An article, graphic, or image goes viral because people think it’s worth sharing.
To some extent, you can predict what type of content people will want. Consider your sales cycle – in which season do your products sell best? Are there local holidays or events that relate to your services?
But how you determine when something will go viral is a mystery. You can create the cutest, most informative music video about puppies reducing plastic waste, but there’s no guarantee it will be shared thousands of times when you publish it.
But that’s also the importance of consistent social media marketing. Everyone competes for a spot on our timelines. So if your audience doesn’t engage with your content today, try again later.
In addition to backlinking and social media, people need to talk about your brand as well. Efforts like press releases, guest blogging, and events can boost your brand recognition.
It’s yet another way that Google sees you a legitimate source of information! But just like backlinking and social media, brand recognition a difficult metric to control without a comprehensive public relations and marketing team.
Do I Need To Optimize My Content?
If you want search engines to find you, then you need optimized content. But you shouldn’t compromise quality and depend on paid advertising or short cut strategies.
Have patience and be proactive about your SEO practices. If you produce high quality content, then it will withstand evolving trends and algorithms over time.
And keep in mind that I barely scratched the surface of SEO copywriting in this article! There are so many other strategies and techniques to help your content rank. This article just takes a dip in the shallow end of the pool.
Do you need quality content for your website? Or a marketing strategy? Contact me!