“I’m writing website copy for two clients. I don’t know the first thing about SEO. Please tell me it’s a website designer’s job to take care of that?”
This is the question that was recently asked in a Facebook group for copywriters.
My response? Well, I hate to be a heartbreaker but…
If you’re writing website copy for a business then you MUST know something about SEO and, specifically, SEO copywriting.
A business can have the prettiest looking website in its industry, with ah-mazing copy, but honestly? It’s a little pointless if SEO hasn’t been factored in.
Because it’s SEO that will get your website seen by your target audience in Google searches (and in any other search engines).
Not having a strong SEO game for your website
is like having a gigantic billboard
in the middle of the desert.
Yes, it’s there. But no-one will actually see it.
And the words you have on your website (and how you structure them) are a huge part of a successful SEO strategy.
So, I’m going to give you some simple techniques to help you write website copy like an SEO Rockstar and, ultimately, get more visitors to your site through Google search.
Read on to learn:
- What SEO is
- What SEO copywriting is
- 4 simple tips to help you write SEO friendly copy
- Useful links so you can geek out on all things SEO
- The free SEO tools you can use for SEO keyword research
Firstly, what the heck is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
It’s defined by Moz, as the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
Organic traffic is any visitors that come to your website directly from the search results that you haven’t paid for (eg. through Google, Facebook or Instagram advertising).
SEO covers many aspects of a website.
Technical SEO includes crawling, XML sitemaps, structured data, schema mark up, page speed, site security, SSL certificate, responsiveness and indexing.
Essentially, it’s the not-so-sexy technical stuff that creates a well-built and secure website. Having a technically sound website will get you major SEO brownie points from Google.
But it’s not the only piece of the SEO pie.
What is SEO copywriting?
A copywriter understands their audience and chooses words that motivate or persuade them to take action. Tick.
BUT an SEO copywriter also understands the impact certain words and phrases have on Google rankings and the ability for the website content to appear in the search results.
SEO copywriting is the art of making sure your website content has the highest chance of getting found on Google by your target audience. Double tick.
My Top 4 SEO Copywriting Tips
1. Write high-quality, useful content
This is the bread and butter stuff, right?
To consistently attract your target customers to your website then you need to consistently create fresh, persuasive and interesting content to bring them into your online world.
The content needs to encourage them to stay on your website for as long as possible and read more content. The longer visitors stay on your site and engage with your content, the more SEO brownie points you’ll get with Google.
You’ll get even more SEO kudos if your visitors share your content and link to it from their website or social media platforms.
So drill down into who your audience is and brainstorm what type of content you think they’ll find interesting and helpful.
Pssst. This is why a blog is a valuable thing to have on your website – it gives you a platform to continually share new content. #bloggingisnotdead
2. Do your keyword research
Keywords are the building blocks of SEO. Keywords are words or phrases that people use to search for things on Google or other search engines.
If you want your website to rank on Google then you have to understand how keywords work.
If your content is well optimized with keywords, when Google crawls the internet it can decide how relevant it is to what someone is searching for.
The more relevant your content is to the search query, the higher it will appear in the search results. The higher it is in the search results, the more visible it will be and the more traffic it will drive to your website. Simple, right?
Each page on your website should have a primary keyword that tells Google what your content is about.
A quick overview on how to research keywords for your SEO strategy
Firstly, get brainstorming. Make a list of the keywords and questions that you think your target audience will use to find your products or services.
Once you have your list of target keywords you need to go deeper and research into how many people are searching for them (the volume of search queries) and how competitive it is to rank for that keyword.
There’s no point optimizing your content for a keyword that no one is actually searching for or if it’s very competitive and hard to rank for.
These are some of the best free tools I recommend using for your keyword research:
- Answer the Public
- Keywords Everywhere
- Google Search Console
- Keyword Surfer
- Google Trends
- Google (tip – do a Google search for your topic and look at the ‘searches related to’ box at the bottom of the page for more ideas).
Another strategy is to look at your competitors’ websites and identify the content that’s driving traffic to their website. Ubersuggest is a great tool for this.
Remember, the goal is to identify keywords that have a significant volume of monthly searches but are less competitive/easier to rank for.
3. On-page SEO
On-page just means all the words you can see on a web page.
Each page of your website should be optimized with one primary keyword and several secondary keywords.
Primary keywords are the most important keywords on the page and should describe what the page is about.
For example, if your business sells handmade chocolates in San Francisco then your primary keywords could be:
- handmade chocolates San Francisco
- chocolate shop San Francisco
- gourmet chocolates San Francisco
- artisan chocolates San Francisco
- handcrafted chocolates San Francisco
Secondary keywords are terms that are related to the primary keyword and add more context. For example:
- best chocolate in San Francisco
- where to buy chocolates in San Francisco
- handmade chocolate truffles near me
- handmade chocolate gifts San Francisco
- handmade chocolate box near me
To optimize your web page for SEO you need to include your primary keyword in the following places:
- Title Tag (include the primary keyword at the start of the title)
- Meta description (this is the snippet of copy that shows up in the search engines. It should encourage the reader to click on the link).
- Body copy (write the keyword phrase in the first 100 words of copy)
- H1 (Main headline)
- Image filename
- Image alt tag
- Internal links
- URL name
Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’. The trick is to naturally weave the keywords into your copy.
4. Focus on Readability
My final top SEO copywriting tip is to make sure your copy is well-written and easy to read. Readability is another huge part of SEO copywriting.
The easier it is to read, the longer your website visitors will hang around on your site. Google will clock that your website is interesting and rank it higher in the search results.
No-one reads a wall of text. People skim-read websites so structure your copy to make it easy to understand at a glance, by:
- Using short sentences
- Avoiding complex words and long sentences
- Breaking up chunky paragraphs
- Using bullet points and lists
- Using headings and sub-headings effectively
You might also like: 8 Tips to Help You Improve Your Website Copy
The key takeaway to becoming an SEO Copywriting Rockstar and getting your website found on Google?
Write high-quality copy for your audience and structure it in a way that optimizes it for Google search.
Do this and you’ll be winning major SEO brownie points for your website.
If you want to geek out on SEO and keep up to date with the latest trends then check out:
INTERESTED IN WORKING TOGETHER?
Does your business’s website need more love from Google? Let me help you to raise your website’s SEO game through my SEO copywriting services.