SEO or search engine optimization is a combination of many metrics and factors. The recent trends in SEO campaigns, though, are favoring much importance to strong content. SEO copywriting has been mostly associated with targeting keyword phrases and optimizing web page copy accordingly. Today, it is a refined game, with off-page optimization gaining much more importance.
Most marketing companies have an in-house team of crack wordsmiths now. SEO writing is about creating content that compels readers to link to it and share it. Thus, it promotes the website, increases its trust and authority, all of which help page ranking in search engine results pages (SERP). Modern SEO copywriting involves a lot of strong tactic formulation and strategy development.
What is SEO Copywriting?
Copywriting in SEO is equal parts art and science. The art of crafting compelling content that readers understand as well as find interesting. It is also the science of formulating keyword-rich messages that resonate with the target audience and is fine-tuned to work with algorithms of search engines.
High-Quality SEO Writing
Refining your approach to SEO writing requires trial and error. There’ll be times where you feel your writing is subpar, even if it fills in the blanks and includes the keywords you're trying to rank for.
However, keywords aren't everything.
Sure, keywords are crucial to quality SEO copywriting. But even more importantly, your copy needs to be clear, and it needs to be well-written with content that readers find valuable. But what does well-written content look like?
Your writing needs to use a structure that engages the reader. According to Backlinko, examples of engaging structures include:
- The outlining of an article using snippets of popular online curricula
- The APP method (otherwise known as Agree-Promise-Preview)
- The use of "Bucket Brigades" – curious what they are? You just experienced one in this bullet list.
How Is It Different From the Content or Copywriting?
SEO content is not limited to writing compelling copy but complementing it with some great off-page SEO optimization. The central differentiating factors of SEO copywriting from other kinds of writing is its purpose—calling people to action and boosting SERP rankings of the content.
As search engines evolved and other sources of traffic such as social networks, referring links, email, blogs, etc., became important and interconnected, optimization changed too. Now, unique content is not just about a certain order of words that is not available anywhere else; it is about unique value.
Unique value comes from better usefulness and takeaways that a reader gains from a page compared to other pages targeting the same keyword phrase. To provide this, a web page has to up its off-page SEO game and be rewarded with social shares, links, and all the other positive associations, branding, and ranking signals.
Phases of Writing an Article
Don't let your writing focus solely on keywords before even telling the story or laying out the content. You have to tell that story first to ensure your audience sticks around. Here’s the proper order of writing phases in an SEO writing setting:
- Your Idea/Goal (Research Main Keywords)
- Your Outline
- First Draft, Rough with Content Only
- Next Draft, Engaging Content
- Add Main Keywords, LSIs
- Optimize Structure and Content
- Optimize Other SEO elements (Backlinks/Metadata)
How to Optimize Your Content With SEO Copywriting
There are a number of ways to make your content stand out and help your pages rank better.
The first of these is rather simple: Optimize your meta data. This is a simple way to make your content clear before anyone clicks on it in search results. Give people a preview of what your content is about with an optimized, succinct title tag and meta description.
Another element you can use to optimize your writing is search intent. Every search on Google is a veritable gold mine of information on search intent, such as the “People Also Ask” questions or the recommendations on related searches at the bottom of the search results page
What you find may even prove more valuable than the initial phrase you started with. Using those search intent indicators to bolster your writing is crucial to having an article that resonates.
Boost Your Organic Click-Through Rate
You've put in the work, and now your content is optimized for search. But it won't matter if people aren't clicking. One way to fix this is with your meta data, once again.
Title tags, in particular, are the first calling card for a listing on Google. Without a title that’s relevant to the searcher’s query, your page's ranking may fall. Change your titles to reflect a user’s emotional state, or even to use a question instead of describing the content. These questions, as mentioned above, can be discovered through search intent indicators.
As for meta descriptions, use them as a brief message to pitch the content in an enticing format. These snippets of text can be the difference in a user deciding to click through.
SEO Copywriting Advanced Techniques
Copywriting to Improve E-commerce Traffic
Search intent indicators don’t just exist on Google. E-commerce sites have search suggestions too. And in the case of a robust platform like Amazon, these tend to be more than just suggestions – they get someone to click and buy.
Build a bank of long-tail keywords that can be used in your meta data, your content, and even to inform your search engine marketing efforts.
Other Advanced SEO Copywriting Strategies
Be it through optimized URLs, trendy topic writing, social sharing, or adding places where a Google snippet might ideally be created, there are various ways to further advance your copywriting approach.
The most important of these is building content in clusters (usually surrounding a broad topic), and within those clusters finding ideas for articles to create. Structuring your article to allow for Google to take snippets when answering specific questions in searches is yet another way for your copywriting to become featured.
Skill Required to Become an SEO Copywriter
SEO copywriting works best when a defined process is followed and SEO best practices implemented consistently throughout the content. In terms of content, both on-page and off-page optimizations are important.
The skillset of an SEO copywriter should include a solid technical foundation, understanding of SEO marketing strategies. Great content needs to be made better, and that is done through off-page optimization. Some elements that must be worked on are:
Accessibility through better coding, allowing search engine crawlers and bots to index and rank a webpage. There's no point in good content that remains unseen.
Good user experience enables visitors to easily consume content and share it. This means good design, user-friendliness, good page loading speed, and ease of navigation. Problems in these elements promptly discourage both visitors and search engines.
Optimization of titles, title tags, meta descriptions, page links, image attribute texts, logical site architecture are quite important skills as well.
Understanding the intent of users is very crucial. Whether an audience is searching with informational intent or commercial intent, SEO content should be geared to cater to it. Combining SEO and copywriting means going beyond keyword targeting and placement. The approach now is to write content that addresses keyword intent, focusing on a particular problem that the reader is struggling with and solving.
Competitive SEO campaigns require SEO copywriters to consistently create content that is useful, interesting, persuasive, and well-optimized for search engines. It is all about targeting specific keywords and nailing the user experience so that users gladly engage with it and promote it on social media platforms.
Benefits of SEO Copywriting
SEO copywriters fill the gaps within the existing digital strategy.
First, SEO copywriters know that search engines can measure what users think about content. Hence, engaging content is at par with technical optimization in importance. For instance, Google has contracted over 10,000 human quality checkers over and above algorithms and spiders as tools used to help determine the ranking of web pages.
Second, they know how to put keyword research to work in specific frequencies and densities. Third, a good SEO copywriter will adjust the content to fit a brand's tone. And finally, they will make a webpage as informative as possible.
SEO Copywriting as a Career
How Do I Become an SEO Copywriter?
You can start now! If you have the ability to create a website or start a blog, then you have the capability to write SEO copy.
Develop a writing portfolio to show off your skills. Take on freelance gigs on sites like Upwork and Fiverr to meet the needs of clients around the world. Show off your case studies of service. Your writing samples are ammo that can get you in the door as an SEO copywriter.
Salary of an SEO Copywriter
As more and more of the copywriting market is switching to freelance, the average salary skews quite a bit and can be difficult to calculate.
However, those who are hired as employees (not freelancers) to be SEO copywriters see an average of $40K to $45K annually, according to job board sites like Glassdoor and Ziprecruiter.
Freelancers in the top earning positions (the 90th percentile) of this industry are averaging $85,000 per year.
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SEO Copywriting isn't the supreme power to help rank among the top three on search engines. However, no amount of technical SEO can fix an issue with bad content. Therefore, the best SEO copywriting is the only proper foundation to build the best SEO marketing campaigns and strategies on.
Traditional content creators can easily earn valuable career options and lucrative financial compensations by upskilling their digital marketing knowledge. All they need is to refine their innate content creation talent with SEO skills. Effective courses such as Content Marketing Certification Training are the best bet to upskill and become successful professionals in this evolving and increasingly lucrative field.