As brands working to build awareness and consideration from your target audience, you are naturally building your blog audience along the way. As such, you want and need to get smarter with the content for Google that you are producing. Time and time again, one of the greatest challenge we hear is that content marketers have wonderful, appealing content, but it’s just not optimized for search engines, like Google.
And it’s no surprise. SEO is the most misunderstood topic that marketers just can’t seem to get hold of. So, how can you optimize your content for Google? How do you create content that meets the goal of awareness and consideration, leading your readers through the purchase and conversion process of the journey?
In this article, we’ll take you through the following…
- Understand what SEO is and why it’s important
- Must-have elements of SEO Copywriting
- Keyword research and why it’s important
- Tips on writing with keyword research in mind
- Getting your readers to convert on your content
Are you ready? Let’s go!
What is SEO, and why is it important?
It’s integral to the process that we start here. Why? Because if you don’t understand what SEO is, you won’t be able to work through it properly.
Picture this. You type a search into Google – like “help me sell my iPhone” – and you hit enter. You’ll get a list of results that come up from your search term. You’ll see brands and businesses with high search rankings – ideally on the first page. Those result appear because they have properly optimized their content.
When marketers take these search rankings into consideration, the process looks like this:
- Research your keywords. If you are a company that provides a buy and sell exchange for iPhones, determine what the keyword traffic is around keywords like “iPhone for sale”, “help me sell my iPhone” or “Selling iPhones”, for example.
- Select a particular keyword you want to rank for.
- Write content – blogs, for example – with this keyword in mind
- People will read this content and share it with their networks
Keep in mind that quality of content is of the utmost importance. Blog posts, for example, should have a high quality of writing with keywords in mind. When in doubt, always opt for quality over quantity.
Must-have elements of SEO Copywriting
So, you’ve determined what your keywords are and now you’re ready to get started with copywriting for you website.
But wait! You need to know what the written work actually has to entail and include before creating a beauty of a blog post.
Copywriting is a true art and science. Your writing – whether in the form of a blog, landing page or service page on your website – needs to have a user prompt. Buying a product submitting a form, or requesting a callback – these all include calls to action that your copywriting must include. Your written work needs to drive a user to take some form of action on your page.
So, here’s what you must include:
Your copy needs to be persuasive.
Think headlines, words, sentences and paragraphs. You need to persuade your audience to take an action. Gone are the days when a blog post is simply that – a blog post. Now, you need to create a purpose and a goal for your content.
It needs to be optimized for search engines.
Using your keyword once won’t get you anywhere. Using the previous example of buying and selling iPhones, you need to create content and build on your determined keyword multiple times.
Long-tail keywords are a must.
What are long-tail keywords, you ask? Long tail keywords are three and four keyword phrases that are specific to whatever you are selling or attracting. To write the best content for Google, you need to target keyword phrases. Avoid over-optimizing anything – it needs to be readable! Do the basic SEO tasks, such as adding keywords in your headline, adding them in your meta-description, etc. Just ensure everything reads smoothly for your readers.
Blog posts should be at least 1000 words.
As content is (and will always be) King, blog post should have substance to them. They need to be 1000 words at the minimum. Yet, ensure you’re not ‘stuffing’ your posts; focus on your keywords, and your written length will follow.
Consider your reader.
If your blog post isn’t engaging, your reader will drop off – meaning that time on site will decline.
It’s critical to your success that your content is gold. By this, we mean that every piece of content you write needs to be engaging – a great introduction, sub-headline, keyword intent and more.
Make your headings count.
Well, your keyword should be in one – or a few – to help you engage and connect with your readers, not to mention optimize your SEO performance.
When using keywords in your blog post, ensure you have your long-tail keywords within a H2 tag.
Keyword research and why it’s important.
We can’t stress enough how important keyword research is. So, we’ll stress it here again.
Keyword research is so important.
Writing for SEO is all about creating useful and compelling content that targets specific keywords that people are searching. Write for what Google sees is relevant and your traffic will follow.
The research you complete in the introductory phase of your blogging endeavors will dictate the success of your strategy.
When it comes to the research phase, there are two important approaches to take:
On-page optimization and off-page optimization
On-page optimization refer to what is happening on your site. Think about…
- Internal links
- Bounce rate
- Retention rate
- Outbound links
- Social sharing buttons
- Long content
- List keywords
Off-page optimization is different. Off-page optimization is a rank that Google takes into consideration, and it is work that is done off of your website (only makes sense, right?)
Examples of off-page strategies include:
- Building and engaging a community through social media
- Business reviews on networks such as Yelp
- List building through guest posting, competitor link analysis and outreach
- Networking on other sites
When it comes to the research phase, both on and off-page optimization are important in this portion of the process.
Tips on writing with keyword research in mind
Below are the elements of Google’s Ranking Algorithm:
- Link popularity of the specific page (this refers to traffic and overall shareability)
- Anchor text of external links to the page
- Trust and authority of the host domain
- On-page keyword usage
- Registration and hosting data
- Traffic and CTR data
- Social graph metrics
Long list, but the most significant part of this is writing with intent. By this, we mean that you must write with the reader in mind. Before you can create wonderful content, you need to know what each keyword stands for, and how users are searching for the next blog they’ll read.
There are two types of keywords you need to consider:
Instructional keywords are generally “how to” in nature. For example, “how to sell my iPhone” or “how to wipe an iPhone”. You can write very useful content around such keywords, but it’s likely not attracting a target, purchasing user. These type of keywords generally mean that you user is looking for free information. On the other hand…
These keywords show a true ‘intent’ to buy. They want solutions – and they want it quickly. Examples are: “best places to sell iPhones” or “best places to buy iPhones”.
This is your target audience – and this is how you need to write to such an audience. They are ready for your products and services.
Getting your readers to convert on your content
When it comes to conversions on your content, there are a multitude of factors that come into play; however, we have the 8 most important pieces you need to have to get readers to convert on your content.
1. It’s all about that headline.
How many times have you clicked on clickbait type of content? Our guess is a lot. And that’s because clickbait works.
Now, creating content through a stellar blog post is important, but the headline is often forgotten. Make sure your headline is clickable and one that users want to read.
Some ideas for headlines are…
- X Ways To Do Y!
- X Ideas To Achieve Success With Y
- X Things You Didn’t Know About Y
2. Site speed.
If your website is slow, users will drop off. It’s as simple as that.
It’s been proven that 40% of readers will abandon your page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. 3 seconds! That’s not a lot of time to convert your traffic. Site speed has played a major role in website performance for years. Test your website now, then come back to number three…
3. Write useful content.
Makes sense, right? But think about it…
Words are powerful. They drive engagement. If you can piece your words together, you can create truly valuable content that your audience will love.
Better yet, they’ll come back for more. Blogs that products fresh content are growing rapidly. You can no longer post once every couple of weeks – you need clean, fresh content that scores well.
4. Backlinks are integral.
Even if your content is useful (and you post frequently!) you need more. You need backlinks.
Why does this matter for conversions? Because backlinks – trusted backlinks – indicate that your website is a place of education, where readers can go to find content that they can engage with and ultimately trust.
5. Meta description is key.
The meta description refers to the description that is viewed in social sharing, or on Google, for example. This is where search engines understand what the content is, and what the topic is about. Readers will also get a look into what your blog is about.
Your blogging tool likely has meta description features included, which means that you will have the ability to edit and optimize before publishing. If it does not include, simply use this code below and place within the head of your web page:
<meta name = “description” content=”WRITE YOUR DESCRIPTION.”>
Below is an example of a meta description in Search:
By using a meta description that relates to your content, you will attract the visitors you want and need, helping them convert on your content.
6. Go beyond the blog – think Case Studies.
Case studies are a fantastic way to get users to convert on your content. Why? Because if they are reading your case studies, they are interested in your products or services. In fact, they’re one of the 15 types of content that will aid in driving traffic to your website.
Write case studies with the user in mind. Ensure that the case study is written in a way that doesn’t come off as pure marketing – make it a story. Make it a success story. Create something that readers are intrigued with, and want to know more about. Write it in a way where they want you to perform the same services or solutions for them.
Ultimately, these six elements will help get users to convert on your site, but how can you really get people to act?
There are a few secrets you can use to sell yourself and leave your target user wanting more – so much more.
- Use bullet points. See what we did there? One of the greatest ways to push people to read and engage with your content is to include strong benefits that you will cover. Headlines, paragraphs and bullet points are key.
- Include CTAs throughout your content. Use linkable images, buttons and more to instill a true action for users.
- Have purpose. Ensure that you’re clear with your copy (make it readable) and get your key message across quickly – in the introduction. Explain to users what they are going to read within the first 60 seconds of displaying the content.
When it comes to SEO strategies for your blog, these are tried, tested and proven techniques to optimize your content for Google. With these tactics, your readers will not only fall in love with you – they’ll come back wanting more, and more and more.
Do you use these SEO tactics in your day-to-day? How is it working for you, and what sort of successes have you had?
Looking to create powerful written content to boost your SEO? Connect with us today and we would be happy to help.