It is a well-known fact that Google regularly updates its search algorithms. This method of continual development and change may be greatly beneficial to ordinary users but can be a cause for concern amongst online marketers and copywriters trying to build and improve their SEO. This raises the question; how do you form a winning campaign if the conditions are in a constant state of change?
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The fundamentals of copywriting for SEO are like the building blocks for a good SEO campaign. When it comes to SEO copywriting adaptability is important, but you can rest assured that there are some fundamental rules that usually stay the same regardless of the algorithm updates.
So, let’s have a look at some of the best advice for copywriting SEO to help you prepare for the year ahead.
Get to grips with keywords
If you want to improve your SEO having a good understanding of keywords is a must. This brings us to the next question: what is keyword intent and why is it so important?
Keyword intent is perhaps one of the most important elements of any online marketing campaign. If you don’t have a grasp of keyword intent and what your target audience is searching for, it makes building a successful marketing campaign very difficult, and often just becomes a hit and miss approach. Nevertheless, by taking advantage of keyword intent for marketing that is aware of its users’ search intentions, you can increase the relevant traffic to your site, by attracting the right customers for your business offering, pushing sales figures upwards and creating better leads.
Low vs High Intent Keywords…
High intent keywords are associated with commercial intent. These types of keywords show that the user is interested in making some sort of a transaction, which could be purchasing a product or service, signaling a likelihood of an eventual sale.
Search queries can be broken down into three groups:
- Transactional queries are searches made with the intention of purchasing a service or product.
- Informational queries are made for research purposes and to find information on any given topic.
- Navigational queries are searches made to get to another website.
On the other hand, low intent keywords are searches that can be categorized as navigational or informational. A user looking to conduct research or navigating to a particular site is unlikely to make a transaction, which means that their commercial intent is less than high intent keyword searches.
Google’s main aim is to deliver the most relevant results for its users, with that said it rewards advertisers who understand keyword intent matching.
It doesn’t matter what type of content you are writing; successful SEO copywriting boils down to understanding keyword intent. An effective marketing campaign consists of understanding what your target audience wants and then tailoring your copywriting and campaign to meet those specific demands.
SEO copywriting is all about generating unique and relevant content. The higher the relevance of your content the higher the Quality Score and placement on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
A great way to demonstrate content relevance is by using keywords from the very start of your copy.
Keyword density – what is it? Keyword density is a term used to describe the frequency with which a keyword is used within a piece of content.
Avoid keyword stuffing
What is keyword stuffing?
During the early days of SEO, something called keyword stuffing became common practice amongst online marketers. Keyword stuffing does exactly what it says on the tin, it is a technique of stuffing your content with an abundance of keywords, which usually damages the reader experience. Usually, keyword stuffing was achieved by bombarding website footers with endless keywords of common queries.
Since then Google has updated its algorithms to filter out content and websites that are littered with keyword stuffing. It doesn’t make sense to waste time doing this. But more importantly keyword stuffing makes for nothing but a bad user experience. Polluting your content with too many of keywords will only damage your Quality Score and relevance as users will be turned away by it.
Pay attention to Google’s related searches section
Keyword research software and tools are a great way to save extra time and effort and help you discover the type of keywords that gain the most traction.
But there is an easier and inexpensive way of getting your hands on some vital information. For most marketers it has been under their noses all along. I’m referring to the related searches area on Google’s SERPs.
For example, let’s say you were going to write a blog post entitled ‘how effective is Facebook marketing’, if we search that keyword on Google and then scroll to the bottom of the SERP we will find a section designated to alternative searches related to our keyword. This is a great resource that provides similar search queries allowing you to see exactly what users are searching for and the choice of keywords that come up. Similarly, you could use this information to single out the most popular and common keywords that are associated with a given topic. ‘Do Facebook ads work 2019’, ‘advantages of Facebook marketing’, these are just a few examples of the related searches that come up our given example.
It’s a no brainer – the related searches section is a free and easily accessible way of seeing exactly how users search for content related to your keywords, allowing you to customize your content to conform to the needs of your target audience. By including some or all of these related keywords into your content and SEO copywriting you will increase your Quality Score and relevance, which leads to higher placements on Google’s SERPs.
Don’t underestimate featured snippets
Especially for informational searches, more than half of searches on Google result in zero click-throughs. This is because most of the time users are looking for a quick answer to their question. This is where featured snippets come in; let’s say you search for ‘when did World War 2 start?’ usually the Google SERP will display a featured snippet of what it deems the most relevant and appropriate answer to your question. For most users this brief explanation is sufficient and therefore requires no further exploration.
What impact does this have on your SEO copywriting game plan? Simply put, wherever necessary you ought to be aiming for the featured snippet. If you are answering a question – that your target audience are interested in – do so in a concise and straight to the point manner, this way you increase the chances of grabbing the featured snippet spot on Google’s SERPs, allowing you to appease the needs of your target audience.
Spend time on crafting a catchy headline
Think of the headline of your content or blog post as a gateway. If the gateway is dull, bland and boring barely anyone is going to show any interest, whereas if the gateway is enticing, catchy and thought-provoking it is more likely to receive engagement. This is how you should look at your headlines; take the time and effort to create interesting headlines that lure the reader into wanting to read more.
Don’t forget meta tags
When it comes to meta tags one word should resonate: conciseness. Anything more than 60 characters and Google crops it. So, it doesn’t make much sense to spend time writing a killer headline for it to then be cropped by Google. Google filters through the meta tags and descriptors searching for keywords so that it can rank your content in terms of relevance.
What about voice search?
As technology improves and develops so do the way users interact and engage with the internet. One of these developments is voice search. According to an article entitled 5 ways voice assistance is shaping consumer behavior by Google’s Sara Kleinberg:
“In a short period of time, voice-activated speakers have become part of people’s routines. Some of their daily habits, such as checking commute times and setting reminders for things to buy later, are now accomplished by talking to their virtual assistant. So long, handwritten notes. By revamping their routines, people are getting more done with less friction. 72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say that their devices are often used as part of their daily routine.”
With this in mind you ought to optimize some of your SEO copywriting for informational searches; queries that warrant simple brief answers. This way you will be hitting nearly all the demands of your target audience and meeting Google’s requirements for high SERP rankings, good Quality Scores and maintaining a high level of relevance which is the number one criterion for a successful SEO strategy.