SEO Copywriting with People in Mind
If you are running a blog, or intend to write for someone who runs a blog on his or her website, or just web content in general, then you have to get smarter with your content. Yes, it is possible to write SEO content that people will want to read and that will pay you top dollar, but let’s first define SEO.
What is SEO and SEO writing?
SEO writing is a kind of writing that assists websites become more visible to major search engines such as Google and Bing. With so many new websites going up every day, it is imperative that search engines remain competitive, and to do that, they sort of favour websites that have better content, that people interact with and which are mobile friendly. This means that a website owner has to keep their content fresh and relevant, but optimise it with the relevant keywords related to their business in order to rank high and be visible to web visitors. When you have SEO optimised content on your website, then it is guaranteed to get a kick from search engines and consequently much needed traffic.
It is also important to note that this kind of work is in high demand, because every other website owner needs fresh content that is worthwhile for both search engines and their audience too. This is why you need to understand exactly what SEO content writing entails in order for you to become a much sought after writer in the industry, and get repeat ongoing work from your clients.
Now here’s the big question; how do you create content that appeals to both search engines and people? That is what SEO copywriting is all about.
Writing the content
On most occasions when you are writing for clients, they will give you keywords to write on, and even sometimes provide and article title, which makes your work very easy.
The other thing that you will need to think through carefully is the article headline. You might have very valuable content, but if the headline is mediocre, then people will be unlikely to click on the article or blog post and want to read it.
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” —David Ogilvy
Notably, many SEO managers and bloggers spend about 55% of their time on content marketing; which means creating the content, monitoring social signals as well as consumer reactions, tracking analytics among other tasks, but few actually take the time to create catchy headlines that people will want to click through. This is where you come in to help.
In SEO Copywriting, your headline should be catchy, attractive prompting people to click through and read. As a rule of thumb, always write your headline before you move to the content body, and ensure that the headline conveys a particular message. In addition, it is also good to note that headlines with figures gain more attention than those without.
Many authority sites use numbers in their headlines since they understand the psychology behind numbers. Some of the notable authority sites that use numbers in their headlines include Lifehack, Bloomberg, Upworthy, Mashable, and Inc among others.
Apparently, headlines that have numbers get shared the most on social media, with the most popular site that has article headlines with numbers being HubSpot.
If you are stuck and don’t know what to do to generate an article title, here is what you could do.
Search on google for the topic or keyword that you are interested in; and then pick 3 – 5 of the best articles, and use that as a guide to give you an article headline that people are likely to share. See the example below.
Writing the content body
Writing out the content body should be the easy bit in SEO Copywriting, now that you have the keyword/s, title and know what you are writing about. Apparently, many people shy away from writing web content because they believe that they must have prior knowledge of what they want to write about, but this is not true.
Actually, most of web content writers hardly know anything about the subject they want to write about, however, information is always readily available on the internet. This is what you need to do.
After you get a couple of high ranking articles that are relevant to the subject you want to write about, read through them briefly and confirm that they have the content you are looking for. The next thing would be to sort of combine the 2 – 3 articles and come up with a single unique article, while remembering to reword each sentence and paragraph. As a rule of thumb, never research from a single article, since this will be simply rewriting what the other person had written. Read through the articles, collect points and write out your own unique article that is not plagiarised and will pass copyscape.
The average length of web content is about 500 words. In this kind of content, you will want to have the introductory paragraph that highlights what you want to talk about, and then break the rest of the content into 3 – 4 paragraphs, with subheadings. Subheadings are very helpful since they make an article less boring, and they also give it good aesthetic appeal when posted on a blog.
When it comes to the keywords, here is the rule of thumb. Use 1 keyword in the first paragraph, first sentence, one keyword somewhere in the middle of the body and the last keyword in the conclusive last paragraph. That way you article will look balanced and not over optimised.
Finalising your article
Once you have finished writing the article and have the required word count, the next thing will be to proof read, ensure it has no grammatical, spelling or typo errors. If you get into the habit of writing relevant, easy to read, error free content, you can expect a continuous flow of work from your clients, good reviews and frequent invites from new clients.
When I talk of easy to read content, ensure that it also has a high Flesch reading score; the higher the score, the easier the content is to read; when writing web content, keep it between the 60 – 70 mark.
|90.0 – 100.0||easily understood by an average 11-year-old student|
|60.0 – 70.0||easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students|
|0.0 – 30.0||best understood by university graduates|
Mistakes to avoid
Just like with other kinds of writing, you will want to avoid these mistakes when writing your content.
- Do not write from a single source, always research several sources
- Never copy and paste sentences
- Proof read your work at least 3 times until you are satisfied there are no errors. If possible have second eyes check your work
- Change you MS Word settings to check for grammar and style as opposed to spelling only; see screenshot below
- Always do your research from authority sites. Ffor instance if you are writing a car review, one of your best sources would be Edmunds or CarAndDriver among other sites.
Learning SEO Copywriting, and how to write for the web in general is not difficult at all. This is mostly because the content is always available. All what one needs to do is good research, which should not take any more than 5 min. Put the content together, proof read, check through Copyscape and you are ready to submit content to your client. Lastly, keep improving your skills; if you started writing very simple SEO content, work at improving your skills and be able to write content that is more complex. E.g. press releases, product reviews and descriptions among other pieces of content that pay top dollar.
Happy writing guys!
About the Author
A die hard Upworker | Jake's Mom | Virtual Assistant | Crafter | Favourite Auntie