Copywriting for SEO: The Inevitable Balancing Act
Writing web content and blog posts is a real balancing act. On one hand, you want to tell a good story that evokes some emotion, makes a connection with the reader and suggests that you might be a good fit to work with. A great example of this is our Copywriting article you can read here.
On the other hand, one of the main reasons for creating web content is to show up in Google’s search engine results pages. In this case, a more SEO focussed approach is required. In this post, we’ll examine how our original Copywriting article could have been improved for SEO purposes.
The SEO Approach to Copywriting Starts at the Very Beginning
Before you even begin writing, you should decide what keywords you want the post to rank for – “Copywriting” seems the obvious choice in this example. However, it’s far too broad. Consider how many other websites already rank well for that keyword. Websites that have been around for many years and solely focus on copywriting. They will have pages and pages of content around copywriting and you’ll find it hard to compete with that. There only needs to be 20 of these sites in the entire UK and it means you’re on page 3 of the search results, at best. And we all know page 2 of Google is the best place to hide a dead body.
Is Your SEO Keyword Both Relevant and Useful?
When choosing keywords to focus on, think about whether anybody would actually type the phrase into Google. But also consider whether that search term would be useful to your business. A longer tail alternative could have been “copywriting for business”. The title would then be something like “Copywriting for Business – Stick To The Rules”. It’s also useful to have a secondary keyword to focus on. This could be something like “Copywriting for B2B” or even “Writing Copy for Business”.
Headings Within Copy Help With SEO
So, we’ve got our primary and secondary keywords. And our title (which appears in the URL, obviously). As well as the page URL, Google uses title and header tags to help understand page content and, therefore, how to rank it in the search results for any given query. If there are no/insufficient headings in a post it makes it difficult for Google to rank. You should use a mixture of headings which include both your primary and secondary focus keywords.
You can learn more about SEO headings, from Google themselves, by following this link.
Website Hierarchy Sends Important Signals for SEO
Your website in its entirety, and how the page hierarchy is structured, send important ranking signals to Google. That’s why you have the “Categories” and “Tags” functionality within most modern blog platforms.
In our example, you would probably list the article in the “Copywriting” category, with the tag “Business”. Again, think whether the Categories and Tags will be useful to your business. Somebody searching for “copywriting gaffes” probably isn’t as valuable to your business as someone searching for “copywriting for business”. Create “Categories” for each of your business services, to provide a clear structure and help Google prioritise your content.
Images Can Help With SEO
Don’t miss the opportunity to use your “image alt tags” to help Google rank your page. These are used by Google readers for visually impaired users to audibly describe the page to them. In our Copywriting example, the image alt tag could be simply “Copywriting for Business – Skull Image”.
SEO Keywords Within Your Copy
“But what about keywords within the copy?” I hear you ask. If you’ve planned your content from the top down, focus keywords will come naturally within the copy. Once you’ve established your Category, Focus Keywords, Title and Headings, keywords will come naturally, as the copy addresses each of your headings.
Copywriting for SEO Summary
There should be a place for both story-telling and SEO within your copy. Write something that is easy to read, provokes some emotion and makes a connection with the reader. Then apply the above copywriting for SEO principles to your story, and you won’t go far wrong.
Copywriting Digital Marketing Marketing
January 11, 2020