Search engine optimization (SEO) is often thought of as technical wizardry, understood by only those familiar with the nitty-gritty of web development. In reality, there’s much more to an SEO strategy — a good SEO strategy, that is — than development tactics. Enter the copywriter, the all-too-often ignored component of a strong SEO strategy. This blog’s for you — those who make words sing and products sell.
Let’s take a look at how search works and a few ways that you, the copywriter and content strategist, can strengthen the SEO performance of any website.
Influence Organic Results
It’s said that about 51% of all traffic comes from organic search and we know that a site’s copy effects and influences organic search results. But how does organic search work? It’s best understood by looking at three components:
- Search engine spiders crawl websites and compile lists of pages to store in an index
- The index contains data collected from the web page
- When a user performs a search, algorithms return appropriate pages (ordered from most to least relevant)
Traditionally, search has been about matching keywords to queries. For example, if you searched for American rapper Kanye West, you’d expect to the search engine to return something similar to this:
Google is now going one step further. It’s connecting the relationship between entities and search queries:
Google knows that each user will potentially search for the same answer in unique ways and it’s getting a better understanding the similarities and differences.
To better focus your writing, it’s smart to find the keywords and phrases people search when they look for something related to the brand or product you’re offering. At that point, you can optimize the website for those terms.
When performing traditional keyword research, remember to:
- Compile a list of keywords you want to target
- Confirm they are important with search volume data
- Review and edit your collected keywords
Optimize Content for Search engines
Each page of a website provides an opportunity to not only grab the attention of a potential customer but also the eyes of the robots crawling and indexing your site. Here’s where and how:
Include targeted keyword at least once and preferably at the front of the title tag. Limit to around 65 characters or less. Use pipe symbols (|) in between the page title and brand name.
Example: Charity Work in Your Community | Acme Co.
Use a strong header with the targeted keyword at the front. Keep the H1 under or around 60 characters.
Clearly explain the purpose of the page and include the targeted keyword in the first sentence. This provides the first content for a user and also a search engine reads.
Ensure content is at least 500 characters. Make sure users’ questions are answered within the body content and information is relevant and unique. Content should flow naturally and avoid overuse of keywords.
Use 2-4 target keywords throughout the content, but only if the keywords naturally fit
Incorporate images or videos to make the content more user-friendly and engaging
Use lists and bullets whenever possible as that format is better suited for mobile users
Link to specific sections of your site to help users better navigate the website (e.g., related product pages and blog content)
Create the Right Content
Knowing how to write for SEO is just one component. Also knowing what to write is as important. We recommend content strategists follow this workflow:
- Conduct competitor and keyword research
- Write strong headlines
- Include images and videos to engage users
- Create unique content
- Answer search queries
- Write concisely
- Publish quality content
It’s also important to create and write content for each step of the customer journey:
- Awareness Stage
- Buying Guides
- Engagement Stage
- How-Tos + Tips
- Landing Pages
The world of SEO is sprawling and ever-changing, but as a copywriter or content strategist, your focus can remain on crafting copy to attract the eye of a customer and search engine. If you’re looking for more help tailoring your message to your customer and search engines, reach out. Our SEO team loves talking content strategy.