When it comes to developing a website, crafting content is often seen as an art, while SEO might come across more as a science. Getting the two to work together isn’t always easy; especially if you’re viewing them as two different – and potentially opposing – forces.
However, with a little insight and practice, it’s possible to bring the two together, saving you significant time and effort. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to write for SEO when you’re creating…
- Google Ads
- Landing pages
- Website copy
- Title tags, and
- Meta descriptions
Once you’re familiar with the basics, SEO content writing is actually a lot simpler than you might think! Firstly though…
What is SEO writing?
In a way, search engine optimization copywriting is about creating content for two audiences: people, and search engines. You want your writing to be easily readable and understandable for humans, while simultaneously helping search engines to index and classify it.
One of the key elements of SEO content writing is using keywords in a way that comes across as natural and appropriate. Other big components include making the most out of limited character space, and avoiding ‘keyword stuffing’. Apart from creating SEO friendly content, you’re also aiming to engage and entertain, and hopefully get some shares on social media!
How to write effective Google Ads:
Knowing how to write SEO copy is extremely valuable when you’re running PPC campaigns like AdWords. Writing Google Ads require you to work your keywords into a limited amount of space, as outlined below:
Headline 1: 30 characters
Headline 2: 30 characters
Headline 3: 30 characters
Description 1: 90 characters
Description 2: 90 characters
You’ve only got a small amount of space to make an impression and drive quality traffic to your website. (Where the rest of your SEO friendly content can hopefully turn them into a paying customer!). Unfortunately, this means really mastering how to write a good Google ad does take practice.
There are, however, some handy tricks you can take advantage of!
- Use numbers – Not only do they take up very little space character-wise, numbers lend a certain authority to your Google ad copy.
- Evoke emotion – Remember that the person conducting the search is looking for a solution to a problem they have right now. Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what they might be feeling. If you can tailor your message to their emotions, you’re well on your way to knowing how to write PPC ads that convert!
- Use ‘you’ – Another super simple trick for SEO copywriting in Google Ads? Attract the reader’s attention just by including the word ‘you’ prominently. Easy, right?
How to write landing page copy that converts:
Unlike SEO blog writing or SEO article writing, landing page writing needs to convey a certain urgency. While you’re not technically restricted by length, you need to get the crux of your message across as quickly as possible. You want the visitor to take action while they’re still ‘in the moment’.
The best landing page copy gets the visitor excited to see what comes next, and perform the action you want them to. Normally, that’s filling in their email address or contact details, or actually buying what you’re selling.
Here are some landing page writing tips to get you started:
- Get to the point – Who are you, what are you offering, and what’s in it for the customer?
- Make content skimmable – Use short sentences and paragraphs, and include bullet points and lists to convey info quickly
- Sell the outcome, not the product – In truth, human beings rarely choose one product over another for practical, rational reasons! We choose products because of the way we expect them to make us feel. You’re not selling a skincare product, for example, you’re selling youth and confidence. Use this in your landing page copy, and indeed all your SEO copywriting.
How to write a good meta description:
Knowing how to write meta tags is another great tool to add to your SEO content writing belt. What is a meta description? When you look something up on a search engine, this is the text that appears underneath the clickable blue headings. It’s basically a short summary of what the reader can expect if they click your link.
Tips on how to write a meta description for SEO:
- Be honest – Don’t try and fool people into clicking through to your page by offering something they’re not gonna get. This will lead to a high bounce rate, and negatively affect your ranking in SERPs. And then they won’t see your meta tag at all.
- Write between 50 to 160 characters – Technically, your meta description can be a lot longer than this, but Google truncates what users see to a max of 160 characters.
- Include 1 keyword + a call to action – Meta descriptions are not the place to try and stuff in all your keywords. Choose the one that’s most relevant to the page, and entice the reader to click through to find out more.
An SEO title tag is that hyperlinked blue headline we spoke about earlier which shows up on SERPs. In terms of title tag length, you’re limited to just 50 characters – which can be a challenge for SEO copywriters who are used to creating long-form content!
To help you keep it snappy, use the following title tag best practices:
- Avoid keyword stuffing – Google and other search engines use website title tags as a key indicator of what that page is about. Apart from confusing them with lots of different keywords, you’re also confusing potential visitors. Use one main keyword only.
- Review all your pages – title tag optimisation is one of the most underutilized SEO techniques. For starters, each page of your website should have a unique title tag. If they don’t, it’s a sign that:
- You’re not accurately describing what makes each page different, or
- You’re producing very similar content on multiple pages, which essentially means you’re competing with yourself! This is called keyword cannibalization. It sounds scary, but it’s better to know about it so you can fix it. (For example, by combining pages with very similar content into one big evergreen post instead.)
- Think like a newspaper – News headlines are a great example of how to deliver a snappy message. Try and get into the mindset of a reporter giving their story a catchy headline that sums up the content succinctly.
As always, keep the problem which your potential readers are trying to solve front of mind. What is it about your content that’s going to make it useful for them? Try and include this whenever you’re writing title tags.
SEO Website copywriting:
Finally we’re into more familiar territory for writers who aren’t used to limiting their thoughts to just a few characters! While you of course want to keep your headings and subheadings to a reasonable length, web page search engine optimization techniques allow you more room to include keywords in an organic manner.
There are still a few basic guidelines you should adhere to, mainly to help search engines get a better picture of what your content is about – and who it’s for. This way, you’re more likely to show up in results. And at the end of the day, that’s what SEO writing is all about.
How to write SEO content for websites:
- Write for people first – Whether you come from a traditional writing background or an SEO professional trying your hand at copywriting, remember the humans who will be reading your work. Meta descriptions are a great example of this in action. While they’re not as crucial to SEO as they used to be, they’re still what makes someone decide to click to your website – or not. All the careful web page SEO strategizing and in-depth keyword research in the world won’t help a page that’s really poorly written. A big part of search engine rankings comes from user experience, and metrics such as dwell time.
- Use synonyms and related keywords – This not only broadens the range of potential searches you might show up for, it also adds flair / spice / zing / variety to your content. Website copywriting certainly doesn’t need to be boring!
- Keep it logical and structured – It’s not always easy to herd your thoughts into website copy that’s easy to follow – but reading unordered content is even harder! Experiment and see what works for you. Some people find it helpful to get down all their thoughts first, and jot down just the main ideas. Others prefer getting all their headings down and building outwards. If you’re really stuck, take a break and come back later!
Whatever works for you, remember the big picture. What problems are you trying to help people solve? What questions are you trying to answer? Thoughts like these will help you keep your SEO copywriting on topic.