Website copy is one of the most difficult tasks for a site owner. Sometimes, the creative juices just aren’t flowing and the words aren’t coming as easily as you would like. Factor in the whole business of utilizing keyword phrases for SEO and you’ve got a combination that’s sure to intimidate anyone. SEO copywriting doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, most people get so intimidated by it because they over-think the process.
The next time you’re faced with the task of writing SEO copy for your site, try out some of these tips and tricks for making the process easier. Not only will copywriting be a less stressful process for you, but the resulting copy will be better – guaranteed:
- Build your content around subjects – not just specific keywords. This is a mistake that many people make when they’re first starting out with writing SEO copy. They choose keywords without consideration of subject matter and how it will add value to the site. Instead of diving into the writing with only the keyword in focus, work on writing more about the subject, rather than just the keyword itself. Keywords will be worked in throughout the process.
- Remember keywords occur naturally in well-written copy. You shouldn’t have to force a keyword into copy. If you’re forcing, you need to go back to the drawing board and work with another subject or keyword.
- Tell a story. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways for us to reach our target audiences while communicating the desired message. Don’t be afraid to use a narrative approach to informing and persuading readers. Use your words to encourage an emotional connection.
- Be authentic. You don’t need a Ph.D. to write great copy. Rely on your experience and be authentic. Share your knowledge and give your website a voice by staying true to the language, interests, and expectations of your readers.
- Keep it short. Most internet readers tend to skim, so there’s no need to write the next great novel. Instead, keep paragraphs around three sentences each and use concise language to make it easy on the reader. Try using Twitter as a 140 character writing exercise and see if you can say what you need to in that short text limit. Then, apply that same principle of brevity to your copy.
- Link smart. By this, I mean utilize anchor text appropriately and don’t overload your copy with too many links. When choosing a destination for an anchor text link, always link to a relevant page or product on your site. The goal with that link is to guide the user and search engines deeper into the site itself.
- Use keywords naturally. This is key for users and search engines, as both can determine the quality of the content you’re writing. If you’re stuffing in keywords here and there to
- Ignore keyword density formulas. They’re an outdated and constricting guideline to work with. Search engines have gotten better when it comes to determining relevancy and context. Instead of focusing on using a keyword phrase exactly X times throughout a piece of copy, think about using different phrase variations and playing with language so that you’re targeting keyword phrases that are relevant to your site but still occur naturally throughout the text.
- Put relevancy and value first. This is what readers expect from your copy. Deliver. Take a step back and read through your copy and ask yourself, “If I were a reader, would I find this valuable/compelling/interesting/informative?”
- Use formatting. Bullet points, lists, headings, and subheadings make SEO copy easier to digest. Utilize these formatting elements to make your copy more reader-friendly.
- Hit on the key points. It’s important to give direction to the “conversation” you’re having with the reader in your copy and you can do that by hitting on key points relating to the subject. In the case of an e-commerce site, be sure to include specifics about the products, like technical specifications, size dimensions, etc. In an information site, that may mean providing a definition of something or a bullet point list of key facts. These are the details many readers look for when they’re assigning value to a site’s content, products, or services.
- Utilize value propositions. Your copy has to communicate value to the reader, so use that valuable copy space to show the reader why your site is special. Do you offer free shipping? Newsletter coupons? Expert advice? Personalized service? Custom embroidery? Whatever value you can offer to the reader, communicate it clearly. Show them why you’re different and why they should do business with you.
- Don’t forget a call to action. Give your readers direction and encourage them to take action, whether it’s purchasing a product or signing up for your email newsletter. Calls to action work. Period.
- Build trust. Be open and communicate clearly. Set expectations early and follow through. Whatever promise in your writing, be sure you can back it up with action.
- Proofread. Proofread. Proofread again. Spelling and grammar are everything.