Way-back-when in a time when the meta keywords tag and link farms were a prominent fixture of the SEO landscape, things were a lot more cut-and-dry… with SEO Copywriting being hallmarked to be more of science.
This rings true as the writing process followed somewhat of a linear and clinical approach, whereby a ‘formula’ could be followed.
In a digital nutshell this translated to simply plugging keywords into the text a certain number of times throughout a given piece of copy.
Oh how times have changed indeed! Nowadays search engines are a lot more intuitive, with algorithms able to easily ‘pick up on manipulative writing’, that has clearly been produced for the sole purpose of signalling search engines.
With all this in mind, one needs to strive for carefully crafted well woven words that are aimed at providing real value and written to speak to the end-user and or consumer. Consider the tonality of your brand, opting for content that is punchy, engaging and ultimately will drive sales - write copy that will convert.
Doing the Data Dance
Prior to engaging in copywriting, conduct extensive keyword research around your particular topic and or industry niche. Doing so will provide you with comprehensive insights into the online market and user behaviour that is synonymous with your target demographic. Essentially, your keywords are the cornerstone of your copy: being able to ascertain the correlative search data around your topic will allow you to be better positioned in search engine results. In essence, you want to meet the user’s data-retrieval needs by providing them with the exact information that they are looking to find.
Keyword research can be a multi-faceted process. However the most meaningful and sought-after metrics would be: search volume (the amount of times a particular keyword or phrase is searched), keyword difficulty (how difficult this keyword or phrase would be to optimize and or likelihood of ranking for this term), and competitor insights (peeling-back the proverbial curtain and looking at which keywords your competitors have chosen to use… and also not use!)
There are a plethora of resources out there which can easily assist you in the keyword research process.
Once you have articulated the most desirable and effective keywords to use - you can then begin writing data-driven copy that contains a well-rounded balance of keywords and phrases in-line with your target audience.
So click your heels for keyword research because this is what will get your audience to click on your copy!
The Missing Link!?
Fortunately for us, we aren’t looking for a hairy primate, we’re simply looking for opportunities to cleverly include links within our copy. Also known as ‘anchor-text’, this can be defined as the word or series of words that are clickable links from your text to another page on your site, or external website in some instances.
The aloof realm of ‘anchor text’ strategy can become quite involved and subsequently, quite tricky. The fundamentals however once again have the user and search engines both at the helm.
By including links in your copy you are assisting the user with site navigation and this will ultimately increase site consumption.. Which in turn is beneficial for SEO. Over and above, by meticulously using keyword rich anchor text in your copy you are also signally search engines. Also, including a call-to-action in your text can be a pivotal part of the conversion process.
Copywriting… not Copy Writing!
We all heard the term ‘plagiarism’ for the first time back in school. The connotation of this term still remains the same. However in the context of SEO, it is also known as duplicate content.
When writing copy for the online space, it is absolutely pivotal that your writing is one hundred percent unique.
This is a double-sided bitcoin as unique content is favoured by search engines and more likely to be seen whereas writing that has been copied, duplicated or even badly ‘spun’ will be picked-up-on and penalised. For the most part, duplicate content will only lead to bad things… that is something one can be certain.
Green Eggs and Spam
So what exactly is spammy content? It’s content that has been written in a manipulative fashion, with ‘keyword stuffing’ and other black-hat type tactics in play. When writing your copy, it’s imperative that you write for the user, so that the content reads naturally as opposed to shoving the same keyword twenty times into just one paragraph. Remember that there are no real shortcuts and that spammy content can get you penalized or even banned!
So what is the answer? Is SEO Copywriting an art and a science? The answer is - it’s both. SEO Copywriting should be a healthy balance of data insights and eloquent writing, culminated into one masterful piece of copy.
Just make sure you always provide value and you’ll be fine. Strive to answer questions, fulfil the intent of the user’s query - whilst still striving to increase leads, drive sales and convert. The bottom line? Grow the bottom line!