When ranking your website in Google organic listing, you must be intentional with your copywriting. Copywriting for SEO is a deliberate act that separates excellent content from average content. For example, a blog post that doesn’t rank well is a huge missed opportunity and squandered investment of time, effort, and money.
In this post, we’ll hand you everything you need to know about copywriting for SEO like a superstar. Let’s dig in!
Making the Most of Your Focus Keyword
As we mentioned earlier, the focus keyword is the keyword that we’re primarily trying to rank for.
The first thing you want to know about the focus keyword is that you don’t want to use a focus keyword that you’ve used in the past. If White Peak is running your SEO campaign, we will ensure that new content never reuses a focus keyword.
If you’re handling your SEO independently, haven’t performed keyword research for your past content, and haven’t gone back and audited your existing content, this could easily be an issue. Reusing a focus keyword means you will be competing against yourself for rankings.
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We want to try cannibalizing ourselves, right?
This is one of the benefits of working with White Peak to handle your copywriting for SEO or another SEO agency. We will complete a full-scale audit of your content so that you’re not undermining your efforts.
Second, we want to ensure your focus keyword appears in your title tags. We also like that keyword to appear at the front of a title tag.
Let’s say you’re writing a blog post about dining room chairs. Your blog post could be titled “10 Things You Need to Know About Dining Room Chairs.” Well, that’s a good title because your focused keyword, dining room chairs, is in the title. But the bad news is your focus keyword is at the end of your title. So consider rearranging the words in your title to read “Dining Room Chairs: 10 Things You Need to Know.”
This small change kills two birds with one stone as far as best practices are concerned.
Don’t have time to read the rest of the page? Check out this short video!
Getting Even More Value Out of Your Focus Keyword
You should also include your focus keyword in the actual URL of the blog post. Most blogging platforms, like WordPress, automatically add your post title to the URL. The good news is that if you’ve included the focus keyword in your title, it will automatically be included in your URL.
It’s essential to help Google’s crawlers understand the page. One way to do that is to put your focus keyword in the first and last paragraphs of the content. The first 100 and last 100 words should include your focus keyword. When you’re copywriting for SEO, this is an easy win.
But that’s not enough. It would help if you also had your focus keyword appear throughout the content.
How Often Should Your Keyword Appear in the Content?
There isn’t a fixed number of times you should use your primary keyword. However, a good rule of thumb is at least four to five times per 1,000 words. There’s no harm in increasing this number, provided your content still reads naturally. In that case, the high-end ceiling would probably be six to eight times per 1,000 words. Don’t go overboard because no one (including Google) likes keyword stuffing.
Google Uses Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural Language Processing evaluates content the way humans read content, making it easier to use your focus keyword naturally. This is important when considering SEO copywriting tips because it impacts how you’ll write.
Let’s say that your focus keyword is “dining room chair.” “Dining room chairs” and “chairs in the dining room” would be considered the same as your focus keyword. Therefore, keep this detail in mind when counting how many times you’ve used your focus keyword.
Don’t Forget About Alt Text
My last point related to the focus keyword deals with alt text.
Every one of your blog posts should have at least one image that uses your focus keyword as the alt text. You can use several variations of your focused keyword as alt text if you have many photos.
Your Blog Title Impacts Where You’ll Rank
There is this interesting dynamic regarding the search engines and their search results pages. The rich get richer.
Let me explain.
The pages that get the most clicks increase their rankings the fastest. So if you can get your pages clicked on when they are ranked low, you should steadily increase the rankings.
As you would expect, pages that are higher in the rankings tend to get the most clicks.
This is where your blog titles come in. If your blog post titles are compelling, they will draw people to click on them, moving your content up in the ranking, yielding even more, clicks, and pushing you higher. The net result – you increase organic traffic to your site.
As I said, the rich get richer.
So, What Makes a Great Blog Title?
Part of good SEO content marketing is keeping conversion rate optimization in mind.
During your SEO copywriting process, try to infuse your content title with positive or negative sentiment. This means using words that create emotion. You’ll receive more clicks if you can put the positive or negative sentiment into the 55 to 60 characters that make up your title.
You also want to include what we call “power words.” Power words draw people in by creating intrigue or excitement. The most recognizable power word is the word “free,” but there are truckloads of other great options to consider. This list of power words is a great resource — I use it all the time.
Lastly, try to include a number in your blog post title. People like lists and gravitate toward them because they tend to be functional and helpful. A number in your blog post title will get more clicks than titles without a number.
Positive or negative sentiment, power words, and a number may not fit naturally into every blog post. But, if you’re actively looking for opportunities when you’re copywriting for SEO, you’ll be surprised how often these pieces can be added to your blog titles.
Subheadings Are Your Secret Weapon
A subheading is a heading in your blog content that’s secondary to your primary title. These are your H2, H3, H4, etc.
Subheadings break up the content in your blog to make it more readable, but they do so much more — they can be one of your SEO secret weapons.
Guess what? Your “readers” don’t always read your content. Moreover, they rarely read all of your content.
The typical site visitor will skim your content, checking your bullet point lists, picture captions, and subheadings. If the reader is drawn in by the cursory scan, they will read more of the actual page contents.
Now, if someone skims those things and is not captivated, they are not drawn into reading the content in more detail, then one of three things is likely to happen.
- The visitor doesn’t dwell on the page for very long;
- The visitor bounces off of the page without clicking deeper into your website; or
- They “pogo stick” back to the SERP and click on a competing result.
All three of these results hurt your page rankings, so as you can see, great subheadings are key you good copywriting for SEO. Make sure your subheadings advance or summarize your content’s storyline.
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are secondary keywords that provide context to the overall piece of content. They are a must-have for any good copywriting for SEO purposes.
If you’re working with White Peak, we will have researched and identified a focus keyword and all the necessary LSI keywords before anyone’s created a single word of content. There are typically one to two dozen of these terms for every blog post.
Do your best to include some of those LSI keywords within your subheadings. This helps to make your post contextually relevant to both the person scanning your post and Google crawlers.
Your URL and the hyperlinks within your content can significantly impact your content’s readability and rankability. If you’re copywriting for SEO, you must keep this in mind and find opportunities.
If you use WordPress, when you assign a title to your web page or post, the title will automatically be added to the URL of the landing page. Sometimes, it can be way too long! While this isn’t a copywriting for SEO suggestions, it’s something you need to know if you’re creating your own content.
You want the page or post URL to be seventy-five or fewer characters, including your primary URL. So I recommend that you immediately go into the URL and change it once you’ve nailed the title and you’ve put that into WordPress so that it reflects less than 75 characters.
Make sure the focused keyword is included in your URL. You can strip away all other words, except for the focus keyword if it makes sense. You don’t need the full title in the URL, so shorten it.
Within the content itself, you’re going to want to insert hyperlinks. Hyperlinks are links from your web page to some other place on the web.
Whenever you’re doing copywriting for SEO, at least one hyperlink within your content should connect to another page on your site. You don’t have to stop at one; you can have two or three, depending on the length of your blog post.
Those internal hyperlinks do accomplish two things.
- Internal hyperlinks make it easier for Google’s crawlers to move around your site. The last thing you want is orphaned pages that the crawlers don’t find. If Google doesn’t see the page, it won’t rank a page.
- By using keyword-rich anchor texts and variations, those hyperlinks help rank the pages they’re linking to. So if you are writing a blog post about dining room chairs, and you have another blog post about dining room tables, when you say the word “dining room table” in your dining room chair blog post, hyperlink “dining room table” to the dining room table blog post. This strategy will help Google understand the page you’re linking to so it will rank better.
You must add at least one hyperlink to a relevant external page. External hyperlinks serve two purposes.
Relevant, external hyperlinks help Google understand what your page is about, which always helps it rank better. It’s also a great way to avoid repeating content already published elsewhere. You can link to related information and focus on your unique perspective. I suggest you don’t need to be afraid of your competitors, provided your links open up in a new tab.
Don’t be afraid of competitors.
Your competitors may have something relevant and valuable on their site that can help add credibility to what you’re writing about. As long as you’ve got good products, you probably don’t have to worry about losing the sale to a competitor.
After all, your customer can access the entire world, including your competitors, at their fingertips with Google. So you’re not keeping any big secrets by not linking to a competitor.
The only caveat is that if you’re selling dining room chairs, you probably don’t want to link to your competitors’ dining room chairs page. Linking to a competitor might mean linking to a blog post on their site that can help Google understand your page.
Readability Means You Write for Humans, Not Google
Content readability addresses how inviting your content is and how easy it is to get through the content. If your content takes too much effort to get through or looks daunting, it’s not readable.
For this reason, avoid paragraphs with more than four sentences and more than 120 words. Of course, you can go far less than that but never go more than that.
A 120-word paragraph will cover more than the entire screen of a mobile phone, even with several scrolls. A larger paragraph is intimidating on mobile, and with more than 50% of web users on a mobile phone, you can’t ignore this.
You also need digestible sentences whenever you’re copywriting for SEO. Try limiting sentences to less than 20 words and less than 30 syllables. This is important.
There’s an old saying that goes like this. “I wrote you this long letter because I didn’t have time to write you a short one.” The point is it takes effort to write efficiently. Anyone that’s ever done copywriting for SEO knows this can be a challenge. Go through your content and tighten it up; no one wants to read long, rambling sentences.
It would help if you avoided words with four or more syllables whenever possible. If you’ve got sentences that include words with four or more syllables, make sure other options aren’t available.
LSI Keywords Impact Readability When Copywriting for SEO
LSI keywords give your content life and provide context to your primary keyword. For example, let’s say you’re writing a piece with a primary keyword of “cars.” If you use LSI Keywords such as “Pixar Entertainment” and “Lightning McQueen,” Google and the reader will know that that piece is about a children’s movie.
If you use LSI keywords like “Labor Day Sale” and “trade-in,” then Google and the reader know your piece is about buying and selling cars.
White Peak can help you identify all the LSI keywords you need to use before writing your first draft. Good copywriting for SEO doesn’t mean that you stuff in the LSI terms, however. Instead, you want the LSI keywords to be added to the content naturally. So if some of them can’t fit, they can’t work, but do your best to include them.
A Table of Content Can Go a Long Way
Insert a table of contents at the top of your blog posts. A table of content breaks down the material so users can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. This will lower your bounce rate, increase dwell time, and create a good user experience.
Since most visitors scan content before in-depth reading, a table of contents helps readers quickly pinpoint their area of interest. Readers will likely read the rest of the post if they find what they’re looking for.
LuckyWP Table of Content is a simple and effective plugin WordPress site owners might consider. But, of course, if you’re a White Peak client, we’re already taking care of this for you, so you don’t have to do a thing.
A Picture Is Not Worth 1000 Words — But They’re Important
Break up your blog post with images and videos. The inclusion of media is a ranking factor with Google because they make for a better reading experience. Try to include one photo or video for every 500 words of text. You need pictures or videos even if you’ve been copywriting for SEO. If you have more images and videos, that’s even better — provided they advance the storyline.
Copywriting for SEO Requires Quality Content
If you’ve followed all of the copywriting for SEO best practices but haven’t written quality content, you won’t rank well. Your SEO content needs to be high-quality, helpful material.
What does great content look like? Your blog content should reflect your:
- authority and
Your posts should show that you know what you’re talking about. Don’t cover what’s already been covered elsewhere; add your unique perspective.
Creating unique content is challenging when you’re copywriting for SEO because there are billions of web pages. It seems like somebody has written about everything. Your goal is to add your perspective, voice, thoughts, and expertise to the discussion. And if you can do that, you’re headed in the right direction.
Instead of writing what has already been said, consider using hyperlinks to external sites. Then you can include only a mention of a well-covered topic, and the hyperlink will give your post context. This kills two birds with one stone. It deals with quality and helps with some ranking factors we mentioned earlier.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to engage your audience and have some personality. Of course, you want to be on-brand with your voice, but try to have a character that makes your content enjoyable to read.
White Peak’s Blogging Process
If White Peak is writing your blog posts, we have a well-established process that ensures excellent content and great SEO.
Steps for copywriting for SEO
- White Peak and you collaborate to define target keywords at least 30 days before publishing.
- Together we will collaborate on proposed blog topics.
- White Peak identifies LSI Keywords.
- An abstract may be created for the post by you or White Peak to define the direction of the piece, as needed.
- The writer (you or us) performs research and creates a post’s first draft.
- White Peak and you provide redlines and feedback within the draft post.
- The writer finalizes the content and delivers it to the client or posts it to the blog.
If you have a specific topic you’d like to write about, we can start with Step Two, but a draft copy should never be created until all the keyword research has been completed!
Do You Need Help With Your Copywriting for SEO?
In the end, if you decide that you don’t have the time or the know-how to do your own copywriting – we can help.
White Peak copywriters are experts at copywriting for SEO, and the research we do before writing content is second to none. Not only do we create great content, but we can work with you to nail your search engine optimization. We can help you land on page one quickly and cost-effectively. Let’s talk.
Tim Woda is the CEO and founder of White Peak Marketing. He has been on the founding team of five successful start-ups and his digital marketing campaigns have acquired more than 800 million customers for his start-ups and White Peak’s client companies. Tim has been featured by The New York Times, Fox News, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and more. Under Tim’s direction, White Peak was selected as one of America’s Top Digital Marketing Agencies for 2021 by MarTech Outlook magazine.