Copywriting is about so much more than mindlessly putting words together. If you are looking to create content that impacts and connects with your readers and provides a return on investment then it is imperative to have an SEO strategy.
SEO copywriting is key but can be a challenge if you aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Search engines will crawl your pages and it is important that what you write on your site is fine-tuned to the ever-changing algorithms. At the same time, you also need to make sure that your content is engaging, enjoyable and informative. Put simply, it needs to be functional yet tailored for both search engines and those that are reading the content.
If you are looking to improve your content and want to see measurable results, here are some top tips you need to adopt as well as the best places to go for SEO training for copywriters.
What is SEO copywriting?
Traditional copywriting is the process of creating content that is designed to sell. Its purpose is to persuade readers to take action, to inform them, to tell a story, and to bring a brand to life.
SEO copywriting takes that method of creative content creation one step further and involves optimising it to be found high up the results pages on search engines. It incorporates aspects such as keyword use, keyword/content marketing strategy, visual layout of content and more.
It is a little more technical than regular copywriting, and is always changing as search engines and their algorithms become more sophisticated to respond to users’ needs and behaviour.
Courses offering SEO training for copywriters
If you are looking to improve your SEO for copywriting skills, then a course is a great and efficient way to do so. No matter the form of copywriting you are looking to improve, whether it be for landing pages, social media, video scripts or newsletters, SEO can inform all these areas, so an SEO training course can help. There is a myriad of training courses out there that can help you to learn SEO for your copywriting. It is down to you to find the best one for your knowledge and skills.
Just some of the benefits of SEO courses include:
– Help you to discover and keep up with current best practices
– See real-life copywriting examples, analyse these and see how you could implement a similar strategy for your work
– Learn the skills required to leverage your SEO copywriting
– You may even earn an SEO copywriting certification that can help to boost your reputation within the industry and can allow you to further enhance your career.
Top SEO courses
There are a host of SEO training courses for copywriters, it is down to you to find the right one for you. Some of the most popular ones include:
Yoast Academy SEO Copywriting Training
The Expert SEO Content Writer Course
Web Design Academy SEO Content Copywriting Course
You can also learn some great introductory skills to SEO research, strategy and data analysis via resources such as the Google Analytics Academy and SEMrush Academy – both of which offer certification.
Essentials of SEO training
When you enrol in an SEO training course, you will learn all the basics of how to implement and improve your SEO. This might include:
On-page SEO: Adding things such as keywords, metadata and image alt tags to your pages and blog posts to improve their chances of ranking
How to conduct keyword research: There are many programs designed to help with this, such as SEMrush, MOZ and Ahrefs. You will learn how to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for and how to use this to your advantage.
Building your domain authority: This is how high your website is ranked on search engines. You will learn how to improve this through ways such as building your backlinks from other sites and other basic SEO methods.
How to improve your site speed: Site speed is integral for good SEO and can be improved through reducing image sizes, minimising elements on pages and using a CDN.
Let’s explore in a little more detail what you might learn and some tips to help you get started…
Perform keyword research
Before you start writing a piece of copy, you must do your keyword research. You need to establish exactly what you are writing about and what you want to be discovered for in the search results. Sourcing the proper keywords for your text is a three-step process:
To begin with, you need to formulate a goal for your content – consider your company, what the aim of your copy is and how it fits into a wider content marketing plan (such as being linked from/to content on other channels).
Once you have done this you will need to make a list of the main search terms that you want to be found for e.g. ‘laptops’ ‘[brand] laptops’ if you sell tech and hardware. From here you are many tools to assist with finding the right keywords to target based on competition. These include tools such as SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Moz and Yoast SEO.
The aim is usually to target keywords that have a healthy search volume per month but also few results so that you can have the best chance of your page ranking for them.
Wordtracker has a useful guide to help you discern your primary keywords from secondary ones.
Once you have done this, look at the searcher intent which is the process of making sure your copy offers what the reader is looking for when they Google these terms. Once you have done this, you can tailor your keywords accordingly.
Take a look at Hubspot’s beginner’s guide to SEO keyword research if you need more help.
Understand search intent
When a reader types something into a search engine it is because they are in search of information or to have a question answered. When you are writing your copy, to optimise it for SEO you need to consider the search intent. The different types of intent include:
Informational intent: When users search to find information on something.
Navigational intent: When a user wants to find a specific website through entering a term in a search engine.
Transactional intent: When a user searches to find something to purchase.
Commercial intent: When a user researches something they are looking to buy in the future.
Intent can be subjective so it’s important to scrutinise your list of keywords to make sure that the purpose of your copy is going to align with the user’s intention when they search that specific keyword term.
Write unique and readable copy
When writing SEO-optimised copy, it is important that what you write is unique and readable. Search engines take both of these factors into account when looking to rank content. Your content must be entirely different from anything else that can be found on the web – even if it is two very similar pages on your website.
While it may take extra time to do this, it is vital for your long-term SEO plan, so use a range of sources and try to provide a unique angle. Readability is key to SEO too, and that comes down to aspects such as reading age and how your copy is presented on page. A tool like Hemingway App can help check your readability score.
Optimise your content
Once you have written your copy you must go back over it and edit it to ensure it is as optimised as possible. To ensure your copywriting is as best as it can be, you will need to read through it slowly and thoroughly, ensuring that spelling and grammar are correct.
Focus on our paragraph length and make sure that they are not too long. Check that your text is well structured, in a logical order and is broken up with multiple ‘nested’ headings and subheadings. When search engines crawl your site they will use these H tags to identify the different sections of your content and to establish how well-formatted your writing is.
Ensure that if you are targeting specific keywords, these appear in the text a good amount of times. The general rule is that you want to include your keyword once for every 100-150 words. Too little and it isn’t relevant enough, too much and it can look like you are keyword stuffing and just putting it in the text to rank without caring about readability for the user.
As a rule of thumb, make sure your primary keyword is in your page URL, title, meta data, introduction and one subheading.
These are just a few of the things you will learn on a course specialising in SEO training for copywriters. In the meantime, the tips above and the insights on our blog can help you get started to improve the visibility of your content.
SEO is vital if you want to leverage the impact and effectiveness of your copy so it is best to integrate it into your content as soon as possible.
Main image credit: Photo by Merakist on Unsplash
Embedded images: Wes Hicks, Myriam Jessier, Glenn Carstens-Peters