To Write a Love Letter to Google (& Other Search
aren’t many secrets to SEO Copywriting –
but here’s a hint: it is more than knowing how
to put two sentences together. A basic understanding
of how the search engines determine relevance of a
website’s content is a must, that’s no
hidden secret. But you must be able to write well.
The delicate balance between constructing prose that
attracts the attention of the search engines but reads
naturally to people, depends on the skill of the writer.
If that’s the
secret, and you aren’t a natural writer, don’t
despair. Writing is an art, and some people are naturally
talented, true. But you can learn to write and the
more you do it the better you will get. There are
plenty of books to teach you to write. My favorite
is Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer
Within by Natalie Goldberg.
My not-so-secret, but
very important top ten copywriting tips.
1. Don’t confuse
SEO copywriting with calls to action
and other direct marketing copy techniques. A good
copywriter for websites will understand both - but
they are two different skills.
2. Focus on Keywords. It starts
with keyword research. If there’s an SEO on
the project, you’ll be given the keywords
for the page. If you’re on your own, do the
research first to determine what terms are searched.
3. Look for “long-tailed” keyword
phrases. Searchers who type in four to
five word query strings know what they are looking
for and have qualified themselves in advance. These
terms are excellent for conversion.
4. Structure and Heading Tags –
Make an outline before you start – I know
it feels like high school theme writing all over
again. But it works – if your outline is good,
your copy will almost write itself, the ideas will
flow well for the reader and you’ll know exactly
where your h1, h2 and h3 tags belong.
5. Write naturally, write well.
Keep your keywords and related terms at the back
of your mind in your first draft for the main content.
Just let the natural content write itself. When
you are happy with this version, return to the copy
and see where you may be able to use your keywords
without overstuffing the page.
6. Other hot spots for your targeted
- File names –
write keyword rich, logical file names for graphics
and page names.
- Anchor text –
link away from the page and to the page using
your targeted terms
- Numbered and bulleted
lists like this one.
7. Look for ways
to naturally use your keyword strings
in bold, italics, and other styles that bring attention
to your targeted copy.
and Meta Description Tags. Do bring your
grasp of direct marketing copywriting to the table
with these tags. Your title and description should
contain your keyword string, a benefit to the user
and a call to action.
9. Don’t ever lose sight of the human
visitor. You are writing for both the search
engines and the user. Usability must never take
a backseat to SEO or you won’t have conversions.
Stuffing – Don’t do it. Hint:
find someone you can trust to tell you the truth
and ask them to read your copy. They can tell you
whether it sounds natural or whether the keywords
trip their “stuffing meter.”
To talk with
an SEO Copywriter,
for an appointment.
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