Knowing how to learn SEO copywriting can be tough. With many sites offering contradictory information on the best SEO strategy, it’s a challenge writers and business owners need to overcome to optimise their content for the web. Let’s take a look at why SEO copywriting is so vital, highlight some key things to remember and some top tips on how you can sharpen your skills.
What is SEO?
According to the Search Engine Journal, 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine. However, with thousands of other websites and blogs competing for your target market’s attention, standing out from the crowd requires content marketers to understand how search engines rank their results.
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a way of stimulating organic traffic by making a site easy to find through a search engine. This marketing strategy takes into account the algorithms used by companies like Google or Yahoo, such as:
- The trustworthiness of the host domain, including SSL certificates
- The popularity of the individual page
- The external links on the page
- The use of keywords associated with the topic
What is SEO copywriting?
The aim of SEO is to use subtly placed cues in your content to direct your core target audience to complete an action – also known as a conversion. SEO copywriting, therefore, involves optimising your content (such as a webpage) to be found and recommended on search engine rankings. It is part of a wider SEO content marketing strategy that can span various platforms and be fine-tuned over several months or years.
At its heart, however, SEO copywriting often means creating content that uses target keywords in a natural-sounding way to help inform readers with an answer that’s relevant to their initial search query. At the same time, the information needs to be displayed using clear structural and design elements, use language that engages and persuades, and ultimately lead your reader to the intended measurable outcome.
Utilising SEO copywriting is an important marketing strategy for any business. A professional SEO copywriter can analyse what a potential reader would search for, write optimised content suited to this market, and incorporate a defined set of target keywords associated with your topic, product or service in the most optimal way possible. With higher quality content optimised for search engines, a website can increase its visitors, boosting its sales and reputation.
How to learn SEO copywriting: Key things to remember
Now that we understand the importance of SEO copywriting, the next question is how to use it. If you’re looking at how to learn SEO copywriting, then there are some top tips you need to keep in mind.
Do your research
Ensuring your copywriting is informative and useful requires you to understand the topic. Only 20% of a copywriter’s time is spent on SEO and keywords, while the other 80% is on researching, writing, and editing the content. So, spend some time finding out which sites are currently top in the rankings for your keywords. Identify your competitors and take a look at their webpages and blog to understand what strategy they are using and how well they are using it. When sourcing statistics or information, find credible sources to create a compelling argument and high authority.
Consider your audience
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what they will want from your content. A key part of SEO copywriting is figuring out what the target audience will search for so that you can direct them to your site. In deciphering this, an experienced copywriter can then cultivate the central message of the content to match the principal question the target audience needs answering.
If you’re unsure about who your audience is, then looking at Google Analytics or Facebook Insights for your company is a great place to start.
Choose your headline carefully
First impressions are lasting, and the same is true of your headline. When it comes to SEO copywriting, your headline is the primary prompt for your audience to read further, increasing click-rates and site traffic. For those wondering how to learn SEO copywriting, it’s often best-practice to write your headline first, so you have a clear focus of the rest of your content.
If you’re struggling for headline ideas, or are looking to create a plan for your website’s content, then you can use an online tool such as Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator or Portent’s Content Idea Generator to help.
Edit and structure with care
Being favoured by Google is as much about how you present your content as the writing itself, so spend some time finding the best structure for your post. Keep techniques such as storytelling in mind to help make your content more engaging, ensuring it has a clear beginning, middle and end. Check for spelling and grammar errors, as these can impact your copy’s readability and increase your bounce rate.
People versus algorithms
The balancing act for an SEO copywriter is between the people reading the content and the algorithms ranking the page. While keywords are significant for helping algorithms find your page and present it to readers, having too many of them can make your content difficult to read. Known as ‘keyword stuffing’, it can harm your website’s rankings by creating a poor user experience.
There is no better marketing alternative than great content, and it’s the copywriter’s job to create it. Keeping the keywords in mind to use appropriately, focus on formulating well-written content that it is useful for the intended audience. Some estimates suggest that sticking to around a 2% keyword density is best practice for SEO. Information-rich content that’s easy to read will always outperform pages with an overly high keyword density.
Sharpen your skills with an SEO copywriting course
If you’re looking for a structured approach to learning SEO copywriting, then there are a few places to look. Providers such as Udemy and Coursera offer a range of programs on copywriting and SEO content. A popular choice is to learn from the algorithm creators themselves with a course by Google on the fundamentals of digital marketing. It includes a module on SEO and how to choose keywords, plus it’s entirely free.
For those looking to boost their CVs, finding a certificate program on copywriting from AWAI or The Writer’s Bureau could give you an advantage over other candidates.
A final note
When it comes to learning SEO copywriting, practice makes perfect. Finding that balance between keyword density and informative content will only come with experience. Ensure you evaluate your approach, measuring its success and how things could have worked better. Keep reading up on tips for SEO content creation and improving your writing as you go.