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What You Need to Know About Copywriting for SEO - Part 1

BY Fahim Latif on 13/8/2015

Our Copywriting for SEO series will break down the core elements of copywriting for SEO and guide you through some of the best practices you can implement in pursuit of higher ranking, greater conversions and better user experience.

In the SEO world, there are a myriad of techniques that can be used to increase the rankings of any given site. With a focus solely on the technical aspects of SEO - such as optimising site code and performing proper indexing - it can become easy to forget one of the important yet effective ways to help your website rank online: Creating Good Content.

Writing good, SEO optimised copy can engage your audience, amplify the reach of your content and turn casual browsers into paying customers. And the best part is, most people enjoy writing about their business and the subject matter they’re experts in.

To begin, it is first important to define what copywriting means.

What is Copywriting for SEO?

Copywriting is about creating compelling content that is aimed at increasing brand awareness and to persuade a person or group to take an action to benefit you. Equal parts art and science, copywriting is a form of salesmanship, which allows your website to work around the clock for you and generate leads and sales.

When Copywriting for SEO, this involves generating that content while targeting specific keywords to increase the authority and relevance of your content to search engines such as Google.

There are also other factors to consider. A study conducted in 2014 concluded that in addition to useful content, there are also 3 extra elements required in order to drive organic traffic to the site. 

They are:

  1. Content that is optimised for many keywords and searches, possibly beyond the original assumed scope of the content
  2. A reasonable number of trusted backlinks
  3. An evergreen idea or topic that remains relevant over a period of time.

Knowing Your Audience

There are many tools you can use to determine who your website visitors are at any given moment. The important thing to keep in mind is how you determine whether those visitors are exactly the kind you’re looking for. If the people currently on your site aren’t a part of your target market, chances are they won’t find what they’re looking for and will leave the moment they decide that the content isn’t relevant to them.

Defining your target audience is crucial on many levels. A simple and popular way to start is to take a step back and create several different personas, each focusing on a different aspect or segment of your market. How would you market to them? What are their search habits? What keywords should you be using to get ranked for the search terms your personas are using? Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and try out a few browsing scenarios, making note of any pain points they might encounter.

Once you’ve locked that down, consider also creating an anti-persona; a representative of the market you prefer not to spend as much time, effort and money on. Perhaps this could already be a loyal customer. Perhaps it is a visitor outside of the income range you’re currently targeting. As before, walk a mile in your anti-persona’s shoes and consider the ways they might come across your website.

Creating an anti-persona can be an illuminating experience, and helps to define boundaries when you’re creating content.

Knowing Your Website

Having defined your audience at a high level, it’s time to match that with the analytics you may already have about your website. Take a look at where people are lingering, and where they’re dropping off. Are your blog posts shared on social media? Do people comment on your updates? Are there any pages that have a higher than average bounce rate? If you don’t already have one, consider using one of the many freely available tools such as Hotjar or Inspectlet to generate a heat map of your website to assist in identifying problem areas.

If you have a Google Analytics account, follow these simple steps to find the most engaging site content that you’ve written in the past:

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Click on the [Behavior] section located in the left sidebar.
  3. Click on the Site Content dropdown, and then the [All Pages] option.

The report will show you the pages on your website that generate the most traffic and conversely will help highlight areas of your website that aren’t performing as well.

Asking these questions are important, as they compel you to look at your site holistically. When writing content, you want to engage your audience and drive them towards a particular area or take appropriate action. By finding ‘dead spots’ on your website, you can start to plan around and craft good copy that addresses the problems in a consistent manner. Your messaging and language will be more consistent and thus you can manage the expectations of your audience better.

What if you’re just starting out and don’t have much content to guide you? How can you find out what your competitors are writing about and what their customers are responding to? Tools like Buzzsumo can help you see what kinds of content that people are responding to socially:

Ubersuggest is another tool you can use to generate hundreds of keywords that can help you frame and define your content. 

There are some great techniques presented by Wordtracker to increase your brand’s authority. They do this by answering popular questions in your industry. Different types of answers using rich content, interactive media or initiating social conversations can help to effectively answer different types of queries as well. Learning and harnessing these techniques is a great way to leverage your marketing content and make it more interesting and topical for your customers. 

 

Next week, we’ll take a look at the importance of crafting that perfect headline and how it can influence a user to click through to your content.


Author


Fahim Latif
Fahim Latif
Client Success Manager

Fahim is an expert support content publisher with a strong focus in business process engineering. As a Client Success Manager, he brings a client-centric viewpoint to the table and strives to provide innovative and comprehensive solutions to problems in the digital marketing space. 


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