Good SEO copywriting has the power to revolutionise your business and its content marketing strategy. But where should you begin?
In this ultimate guide to SEO copywriting, we cover every step in the process – from finding the right keywords to identifying target audiences, devising clear plans, writing clever copy and reviewing your work.
Check out our 6 simple steps to perfectly optimised content today and start bolstering your digital strategy!
Do your research
Before you start writing, it’s important that you do your research. After all, you could spend weeks writing the perfect article, but if there’s no research behind it – it’s unlikely to make a dent on the search rankings. That’s why taking the time to properly research, scope and strategise your content is key to success.
Here’s where your research should begin.
Fire up Keyword Planner
First, fire up Keyword Planner! This tried and tested SEO research tool is an essential ingredient to the content creation process and enables you to ensure your content ends up in front of the right people.
So how do you use it? Simply open up the website, log in with your Google account and plug in some search terms that you feel are relevant to the content you want to produce. Collect a list of all the keywords that show up. Download them as a csv file and add them to a Google Sheet.
In the marketing world, building a solid list of keywords is a key step in creating high-quality content that ranks. Aside from Google’s Keyword Planner, there are many SEO copywriting tools that can help you identify and incorporate effective keywords. Try Surfer SEO or Yoast SEO.
Choose your targets
Next, choose your targets. Your target keywords should relate closely to your proposed web content and have decent search volume. They should also be specific and relevant to your brand or industry to ensure accurate and meaningful keyword intent.
As you select relevant keywords, take a look at Google analytics to get a sense of how your chosen keywords perform. You’ll be able to see data relating to search traffic, organic ranking, and search engine results.
Make a list of FAQs
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to start thinking about your content’s purpose and structure. What is it that you want to say? More importantly, what did your keyword research teach you about the terms people search for ? This information can help you identify what audiences want to know.
Begin to make a list of frequently asked questions. These can be a helpful guide for blog content, web content, and social media marketing. Including FAQs in your SEO copywriting is a great way to optimise search engine ranking. It can also save you time by giving you a quick, easy way to answer common questions.
For the best results, plan to answer FAQs in a way that incorporates several of your target keywords. This will help you maximise the impact of your copywriting by making it easier for audiences to use Google and other search engines to find your content online.
Check out your competition
Next, check out your competition! Knowing your market is an important part of constructing effective copy, so it’s essential that you take the time to research and understand your online competitors.
Get started by performing a simple Google search for the targeted keywords you’ve identified already. This is a great chance to find out whether your specific keywords are the right choice before you start to write content. Are your searches yielding highly relevant results? Are your chosen keywords taking you to businesses in your niche?
During this research phase, stick to just the first page or two of your search results. This is where you want your content to rank too! Visit a few competitor websites to see what’s working for high-ranking copy in your niche, and identify any patterns where they occur. You can use this knowledge to inform your own copywriting choices.
Finally, assess opportunities for keyword-rich copy. What market gaps can you create copy to fill, or what dialogues can you add to with your own written content?
When it comes to online business, good SEO copywriting is a great way to find and pursue growth opportunities, so make the most of every chance to improve your approach. Search for relevant high-interest topics, and choose to pursue content ideas that matter to your audience.
Before you begin to write copy, conduct one last round of research. Look for any additional keywords or FAQs that could inspire you. Check that your keyword list contains a mix of short keywords and long tail keywords and that your keyword intent is clear, relevant and on brand. Then get ready to start planning your content!
Devise your plan
SEO copywriting success starts with a strong content plan. Planning ahead allows you to define your SEO strategy and to set clear goals for your written content.
As you learn SEO copywriting, the planning stage is especially important. You can use this time to block content in cohesive and comprehensible structures, making it easy for search engines to analyse and for readers to follow.
If you’re producing copy for a whole website, try to set well-defined category pages that break up information to follow a logical progression. If your content is brief, focus on headings and sub-headings, ideally featuring your keywords.
Craft an in-depth brief
Next, it’s time to craft a brief. Your copywriting brief should be as clear and in-depth as possible. This is even more important if you’re working with SEO copywriters who may be unfamiliar with your business or brand.
In your copywriting brief, set out your specific content goals and needs. Make a list of the keywords you have chosen, specifying both primary and secondary keywords. Your brief should also include information relating to your sales funnel and target audience.
If you want to achieve the best results out of your content, you can also add extra details to your brief. You might pre-prepare a meta description or a selection of meta tags to use later. You can also make provisions for URL slug, target word count, and internal links. If you have a preferred content structure or a specific call to action in mind, include these in your brief as well!
Write for your life
At last, it’s time to start writing content for your online business! As you begin to write, there are many things you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure that your SEO copy remains clear and purposeful.
First, set out your copywriting structure in line with the content plan you created. This will give you a helpful guide to follow, making it easier to stick to the important features of your content.
Next, have your keyword list handy! You can refer back to this as you write to make sure that you’re including enough keywords to support good SEO copywriting. As you write, try to include keywords often, incorporating them in a natural way. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing, which occurs when you jeopardise clarity or content flow in favour of including extra keywords. Even in SEO copywriting, high-quality content that is easy to read and understand should always be your priority.
When you feel confident and well-prepared, write for your life! Your pre-writing preparation should have provided you with plenty of inspiration to help you create effective SEO copy, whether you’re writing for a website, producing your company’s next blog post, or preparing copy for your social media platforms.
Review and tweak
When you’ve completed a first draft of your SEO copy, it’s time to review, tweak, and edit your work. Strong attention to detail is the secret to great copy, making revisions a key component of any copywriting journey. Even SEO experts have to revise!
As you read through and edit your work, look for ways to make it better, clearer, and more in line with common search queries. Is your content communicating effectively? Is it easy to understand and relevant to your niche?
If you’re feeling unsure of your content clarity or structure, you can ask a friend or family member to help you review and analyse your copywriting. It can also be helpful to take a short break and return to your work with fresh eyes. Remember to pick up any errors or mistakes as you edit!
The revision stage is also an opportunity to further enhance your SEO. Look through your writing, and notice whether you’ve used your keywords effectively. Are your keywords naturally integrated in your content? Have you included at least one long tail keyword? Have you effectively steered clear of keyword stuffing?
If you notice that a particular keyword is missing, this is a good chance to include it. It’s also an opportunity to check your content using an SEO tool, such as Yoast SEO. Revising your SEO helps you give yourself the best chance at effect search engine optimisation that will boost your online traffic later.
Add the extras
Finally, you’ll need to add the extra details that contribute to great SEO performance. This is the last step before your copy goes live online.
Check that you’ve included a relevant meta title, a good title tag, a clear meta description, and decent selection of meta tags. Write a featured snippet of your content to be displayed online as a keyword-dense overview of your copy. These details play an important role in helping search engines categorise your content, which enables them to help you reach your target audience.
You’ll also need to make sure that you’ve included a few internal and external links in your copy. Internal links should take searchers back to another location in your website, while external links should direct users to other online destinations. These elements contribute to effective link building and can have a strong influence of search ranking results.
Hit publish and monitor performance
After your write SEO copy and double-check it to ensure it’s your best work, the content creation process is complete. Hit publish! But the work of a copywriter doesn’t end there.
Even after your content goes live online, you’ll need to monitor it closely to analyse performance and identify areas for improvement. After all, you want your content to reach the first page of Google results!
Ask yourself if your copy is achieving its intent. Are you reaching your target audience online? Has your copy helped to boost site traffic, and is it also effective in improving conversions?
All SEO copywriters need to check in regularly on their work to find out whether it is having the intended effect online and how it could be further enhanced to improve results. Consider what your written content achieves and how it integrates with your web design. Look at how your copy facilitates a buyer’s journey. Is there more that you could do?
You can use a range of tools to examine and track your SEO copywriting performance accurately. Your site’s in-built search data interface will be key to the process. Remember that good copy is rarely perfect on the first try. Great copywriters learn and adapt regularly to improve content and keep up with a changing digital marketplace.
Looking for an easier way to get compelling SEO-optimised copy?
Feeling overwhelmed? If SEO copywriting still feels like a bit of a challenge, you don’t have to work alone. You can work with a professional copywriter to achieve great content results!
At Prozely, we have a team of hand-vetted Australian SEO copywriters who help businesses improve their copywriting approaches and optimise their content for SEO.
If you’re interested in working with one of our talented writers, learn more about how Prozely works, or submit a brief for your SEO content.