Search engine optimisation can't be ignored in a thriving business. A few copywriting techniques can guide you to the SEO boost you need as a growing, digital business.
Mastering the art of SEO might be a long process, but it can also be very rewarding and profitable. According to a study carried out by Optify, websites in the top three organic positions in Google receive 58.4 percent of all clicks from users. With such a high percentage, businesses need to make sure they’re doing all they can to make the climb up the search engines.
There are a few simple SEO copywriting techniques you can use to start making an impact. SEO copywriting is no longer just about inserting keywords in cleverly chosen places throughout your website content. Times have changed and gimmicks such as article spinning, keyword stuffing and hidden content, which might have worked a few years ago, are no longer your friends. The search engines now monitor content very closely and pay particular attention the quality of content a company produces, both onsite and around the web. Google are cracking down on poor quality content with updates such as last year’s Panda update and the more recent Penguin changes, which focus on ranking websites written to inform and entertain people, rather than to manipulate the search engines.
As Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google said, “The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfil their information needs. We also want the “good guys” making great sites for users, not just algorithms, to see their effort rewarded.”
With the focus being firmly on creating great content, you’ll need to put your copywriting skills to good use to ensure you’re optimising your website in the most natural and effective way.
Below are some onsite tactics you should try to ensure you’re creating regular, quality content to entertain your readers and gain kudos from the search engines.
Writing regular blogs for your website will not only help with your onsite optimisation but it will also help you to build a community around your website and become a recognised professional in your industry. Blogs which feature up to the minute news stories, revealing surveys, relevant insights and engaging opinions are also more likely to be shared via social media and therefore increase exposure for your blog.
Creating great blog posts takes time and good copywriting skills as they need to be relevant, interesting, engaging and include your keywords. See what’s happening in your industry, what’s trending on social media and what your readers are concerned about so you can write posts relevant to them. Blogs work well for SEO because they allow you to concentrate on niche, long tail keywords which might not fit in the main pages of your website.
Whatever you write about, you should always keep your readers in mind and not just write for the sole purpose of optimisation. Choose unique topics which complement your keywords and which entertain your readers.
The most important place to use keywords on your website is the meta title tags. Although these aren’t a golden ticket to SEO success, it’s important to have correctly optimised title tags to tell the search engines (and your visitors) what each webpage is about. Title tags should be relevant to the content on each page and where possible the first word in the title tag should be the keyword you’re optimising the page for. Keep in mind that title tags should be written for people and be unique to each page whilst accurately describing what the page is about.
When writing your main body copy, try to stick to one or two keywords each page and include a few related words as well. For example, if your webpage is about selling knife sets, then the page should also include terms such as ‘cutlery’ or ‘forks’ so the search engines see a general theme for each page. There’s more information on techniques like these in this Advanced Page Optimisation video from SEOmoz. As you’re writing your website content, remember to include your keywords in your headline and sub headlines so again, your readers and the search engines can clearly see what each page is about.
To give your SEO efforts a boost, just remember to always write with your readers in mind and not be distracted by creating content for the sake of optimising your website.
Sarah Evans is joint owner of the UK copywriting company Pure Ink, which she co-founded in 2008. She has been creating content for clients' websites and offline projects for over five years and has worked with clients such as Avon, Best Western, Ford and the Private Health Partnership as well as a range of other companies in the B2B and B2C sectors. Sarah specialises in search engine optimisation copywriting, developing tone of voice for clients and also crafting headlines and tag lines for projects.