The Definitive Guide to SEO Writing
Did you know that every minute over 500 websites are created? Of course, only a small part of these sites can somehow be your competitor, but it has a certain effect to think that, when you have finished reading this article, there will be 5000 more sites on the web.
In this scenario, SEO copywriting assumes great importance, i.e. web writing techniques that aim to offer quality content to its users and, at the same time, allow search engines to effectively grasp the nature of the content created.
Why Can’t You Do Without SEO Writing?
The right question should be: why not do it? Think about the effort involved in writing content for your site and the frustration you feel when it doesn’t bring the traffic you expected.
The web is full of high-quality articles that struggle to position themselves due to poor SEO of the content. That’s why I want to talk to you about how SEO copywriting can help you intercept your users’ searches and generate quality traffic.
Before jumping into writing, make sure you know the keywords you want to optimize your text for. If you still don’t know which keywords to use.
Search Intent of Visitors
Before you start writing entire pages of text, stop and think about the search intent behind a particular search. Is it a search that denotes an intent to purchase or an informative one? Or something else?
Analyzing the results that you find within the SERP for the key of your interest, you may find that the user who carries out that type of search has a different need from what your article covers.
For this reason, it is essential to know the user and the topics of interest to create quality web content. So take some time to analyze the search results for the queries you are interested in positioning yourself and take a look at the contents: what are they talking about? What are the topics covered? How was the content structured? Are there images or other elements that facilitate reading? And so on…
In how many articles have you already read the well-known mantra “content is king”? The point is that, however trivial this may sound, a well-written content, free of grammatical errors and that you thoroughly study a certain topic is certainly more appreciated than a text written with low professionalism or, worse, made only to sell.
The guidelines provided by Google, evaluate the quality of a web page taking into consideration elements such as:
the goal of the page (or, when necessary, of the entire website); the completeness of the content covered on the page; the level of expertise of those who wrote the content.
A golden rule of SEO copywriting is then to learn to deal with a topic in a precise, in-depth manner and consistent with the purpose of the page. It is clear that if a page has a humorous intent, the presence of desired grammatical errors will not be a low-quality index; but would you trust an online source that reports medical information written in broken English?
The Use of Keywords in SEO Copywriting
One of the most frequently asked questions, when it comes to SEO copywriting, is: how often do you use the keyword in the text? It is the concept of keyword density, as famous as it is now obsolete. My advice is to write in the most natural way possible, also because if a topic deals with a certain topic it is normal for a keyword to occur several times within the same text.
Rather, it is important to make use of synonyms, plurals, and keys related to the keyword for which you are interested in positioning yourself. By using a broad and semantically coherent vocabulary you will be able to make reading less repetitive and, above all, you will give the search engines the impression that your content is authoritative and complete.
However, there are some specific elements or tags where the insertion of keywords can give the content a significant boost within the search results.
Title and meta description are HTML tags (present in the section of a web page) which, together with the URL, form the snippet of a page among the search results. Since these are the first elements the user encounters following a search, it is essential to make sure that they are as attractive as possible to induce the user to click on the result.
Tips to optimize the title tag. Enter the main keyword towards the beginning of the tag; do not exceed 65-70 characters, including spaces.
Tips for optimizing the meta description. Do not exceed 160 characters, including spaces; given the largest number of characters available.
From an SEO copywriting perspective, the most important is undoubtedly the <h1> tag (completely understandable, being the main visible title of the content).
The choice of the optimal <h1> tag is a very delicate phase, as it must be able to be as attractive to users as to search engines. Suffice to say that inserting the keyword of your interest in the <h1> tag has a significant impact on positioning I advise, however, not to use identical words or phrases for the compilation of title and h1.
The and tags also affect the positioning of the page. The ideal is to be able to create a semantic hierarchy using not only related keywords (I particularly suggest the use of so-called long tails).
The keywords at your disposal will, therefore, help you create a sort of mental map useful for drafting the content, as they allow you to expose the most important topics for your users – in terms of research volumes and relevance – inside of dedicated sections and paragraphs.
Even the images represent an element that suggests to Google the topic being discussed. In particular, you can get SEO benefits in two ways.
The first is to enter a keyword inside the alt attribute, thus getting a result like this:
The second way is to rename the image file, again using a keyword related to the content topic.
Do You Want To Do Good SEO Copywriting?
Pay attention to the title In the previous section, we talked about how to optimize the h1 title from an SEO perspective. But how can you write a title that truly captures users’ attention?
Without prejudice to the fact that accuracy and brevity remain the main characteristics for an effective title, over the past few years some standards have been established that can transform a simple headline into a real magnet for users. Let’s see some of them.
Lists: “5 ways to increase visits to your site”
How to: “How to increase visits to your site and why”
Questions: “Do you know how to increase visits to your site?”
Negations: “Things NOT to do to increase visits to your site”
Tips and tricks: “The 5 tricks to increase visits to your site”
Clearly, as for the rest of the text, the choice of title will also have to take into consideration the user you are addressing. Also, be careful not to be caught unprepared: if you write a title using the “Tips and tricks” format, you will have to make sure that the information you provide is very little known, otherwise, you would risk being unreliable.
Length and Formatting Of The Text
Another question that is often asked to those who understand SEO copywriting is: how much do I have to write to have an SEO-friendly text? The answer is just enough. There is no magic number of words beyond which your content will pass from the second to the first page.
Writing an SEO-friendly text means respecting the rules described so far and, I repeat, creating complete content that responds optimally to the user’s search intent, however, that in many cases very long texts, the so-called pillar content, are placed. But have you ever seen the category page of a text-rich eCommerce?
The number of words to be written varies from query to query, and it is evident that an informative query, to be satisfied, requires a quantity of text necessarily larger than a search aimed at purchasing a product.
Instead, pay attention to text formatting. In many cases, Google looks favorably on content that features elements such as bullet points, tables, videos, or anything else that distinguishes them from hundreds of other content already on the net.
To be on the safe side, once again analyze the SERP results for queries of your interest and take a look at how your competitors have structured the page.
Finally, do not forget to use stylistic elements such as bold. This has a double significance: on the one hand, it gives liveliness to the text making it less flat and aiding reading, on the other, it allows to give greater importance to the highlighted words. Also as regards the use of bold there are no particular rules to follow, the important thing is to avoid exaggerating.
Internal links vs. external links
We conclude this article on SEO copywriting by talking about links. An online text can, first of all, contain internal links, which allow you to keep the user on the site by passing it from one article to another. Not only that: the correct use of internal links allows you to spread the authoritativeness of the site from page to page, and by optimizing the anchor text of the links with a keyword you can also help to strengthen the ranking of the target page for the keyword used as yet.
Even the external links or so-called backlinks are essential in the process of content creation. All other factors being equal, Google will favor those contents which have an outgoing link to an authoritative source, provided that this is consistent with the content treated on its page and that it has not been penalized by the search engine. At Aftera we build backlinks with guest posting, and guestographics.