SEO and good copywriting are two peas in a pod when it comes to your online presence.
If you want to create exceptional content that people will love to read, then you need to write it well. But if you publish online, potential readers and customers can only find what you’ve written if it’s optimized.
The combination of SEO and copywriting is a hybrid field in marketing that is built equally on creativity and data. Creativity is essential for framing an idea in a unique and compelling way that makes site visitors want to read more. Data comes from keyword and demographic research, which make it possible target potential readers and — in the best cases — convert more customers.
When you combine copywriting and SEO, the end result is a new page on your site that readers will enjoy and search engines will easily find.
The value of optimized content
If you’re new to Internet marketing, this may be the first time you’ve heard of optimizing content. Optimized content is critical to your site’s success. Writing unique text for your website drives organic search traffic by helping your site rank well in the results pages of search engines like Google.
Content makes up the body of your webpages, and although some site owners my only write the bare minimum, it’s far better to flesh out ideas comprehensively. Today’s consumers turn to the Internet for information about businesses they want to help them, and if your site can’t answer their questions, they could take their money to the competition.
Basically, you need to create useful and valuable content if you want people to find your website in search engines. Plus, if it’s well-written and informative, you can show potential customers that you’re an authority in your industry. And over time, you can build a solid reputation for your business.
To start, check out a couple key points on creating optimized content.
Good writing is subjective, and as a result, you can find tips on how to write well pretty much everywhere. The most important quality to keep in mind is that you need to write in a way that’s accessible for your audience. However, writing can generally improve from few habits that you can practice every day.
Every successful writer will tell you the same first step to writing well — just write. The specifics may differ depending on who you ask, but almost every writer agrees that the best way to get better at writing is to write often.
If you’re just starting out, try writing at different times of the day and under different circumstances to find when you write the best. Preferences differ for everyone, so taking the exact advice of someone else may not always work. The most successful writers discover for themselves when and in what context they work most effectively.
However, no matter how happy you are with your new habit, you need practice another writing essential to make the most of it.
Edit your work
First drafts are never perfect. It doesn’t matter who you are or how much you write, you will always need to edit.
Let your first draft sit for a few hours (or a day, depending on how long you need) and then go back to it. Re-read to make sure that your grammar and spelling are correct, but more importantly, read the entire piece for organization, cohesiveness, transitions, and other nuances.
This is where you have the opportunity to take your content from passable to exceptional. You’ll most likely discover that you have a certain writing style (or “voice”) as you edit, and that style can become a part of your brand just as much as your logo and company name.
Even after your self-edits, your draft still needs some finishing work. The best way to prepare your writing for publication is to enlist the help of a skilled proofreader.
Find an editor
Allowing someone else to critique what you’ve written can be hard, especially if you become attached to what you create. However, it’s important to remember when you’re working with an editor is that their criticism isn’t personal. A good editor will stick to the text and make practical cuts, additions, and suggestions based on what they see on the page. Their motivation will be to make your content more useful and successful.
It’s easy to feel attacked when someone else is changing what you’ve made, and sometimes an editor’s comments may come across harsher than they intended. Read their language carefully — if an editor addresses the text frequently with clear and actionable ideas, then they’re focused on improving the text. If an editor addresses you personally in vague critiques or insults, find another proofreader.
As you become a better writer, you can also become a better SEO by keeping up on industry trends, changes to search engine algorithms, and best practices. SEO balances the raw creativity of your writing process with practical, data-driven evidence to keep you grounded — not to mention making your content accessible in search engines.
Add keywords naturally
Adding keywords throughout your content is imperative to drawing organic traffic from search engines. However, just because they’re essential for visibility doesn’t mean that you can throw them anywhere.
Google prefers content that is written with readers in mind — not robots. That means that the more readable, useful, and accessible your content is, the more likely your page will rank well in search results.
Generally, this isn’t a big obstacle. If you’re writing about a topic for a specific audience, you’ll probably use keywords in the text without even trying. Still, it doesn’t hurt to go back and add a few keywords where they’re relevant to give your content a little extra boost.
Include relevant links
Linking to credible sources is an important part of any content SEO strategy, especially if you’re writing about a topic that includes statistics, studies, or surveys. Taking the time to legitimize your content with links from well-known, trusted websites will show your website visitors that you care about the quality and accuracy of your information.
On top of that, you can add internal links throughout your text to connect your content to other pages on your site. This helps keep readers on your site longer by offering them similar content, and it comes with the added bonus of making your site easier to crawl for Google.
Write long content
While you don’t want to unnaturally stretch your content beyond its limits, there’s a correlation between word count and top rankings in Google search results. The idea is if someone is looking for information or answers to complex questions, the odds are pretty high that a quick “yes” or “no” won’t give them what they want.
So, when you write content for your site, go into detail — especially if it could be a confusing topic. While short pages can sometimes give readers what they want (like a contact page), longer content with a couple thousand words is a great addition to your website.
However, don’t let the allure of long content tempt you into artificially lengthening content. Meaningless, irrelevant text that is used just for the sake of length could be deemed as having “little or no added value,” as Google likes to say. This kind of “thin” content could not only hurt your chances of ranking well, but also risk a penalty from Google.
The end result
Creating well-written, optimized content can go a long way for your website, regardless of the specific goals in your digital marketing strategy.
If you write well, your readers will appreciate what you have to say and potentially become customers. And if you optimize pages properly, there’s a better chance that Google will rank your page higher in search results. Solid copywriting skills and an understanding of SEO are a match made in heaven. When you have both, your site — and business — can reap the benefits.
How have you improved your copywriting or SEO skills? What results have you seen from optimized content? Let me know in the comments!