What Is SEO, and Why Is it Important?
SEO means “serious enough to outsource”.
Just kidding – or not. SEO (which actually stands for “search engine optimization”) is essential to use in any marketing channel that relies on keywords to match user queries to content. Many (but not all) of the main marketing channels use SEO for this function, such as LinkedIn, Slideshare, Google, and Google Ads. Even highly visual channels like YouTube and Instagram rely on keywords to some extent.
All of this means that SEO is a very important consideration for anyone using these channels, particularly if they want to get good organic (i.e. unpaid) results from Google.
Once a list of keywords is generated, the copywriter gets to work at integrating the terms throughout the texts that they create. The proper use of SEO terms depends on various tips and tricks. To make things easier, here are 7 essential tips to get the most out of your SEO copywriting.
Tip #1 – Outsourcing?
And now, back to the brilliant “serious enough to outsource”. Every business needs to decide whether they will hire an SEO person full time, or use an SEO agency/freelancer. In general, the larger the company, the greater the use of in-house SEO expertise: 91% of larger companies use a full-time SEO person. At the other end of the scale, 40% of SMBs outsource at least part of their SEO burden. So how do you choose?
Tip #2 – Testing!
Analyzing SEO results is a constant effort. Luckily, there is a plethora of tools which assess engagement and conversions so that you can compare the success of various keyword setups. You can also apply these analytical tools when deciding whether to outsource, by comparing results from your own people to the services of a freelancer or agency (it’s easier to start with a freelancer and they are less expensive, but SMBs are often happier with agencies). No matter what choice you make, you will still need to continuously experiment with and refine your keyword strategies. But how much does SEO really matter?
Tip #3 – WFKS
WTH is WFKS? It’s copywriter-speak for Writing First, Keywords Second. One can say that SEO copywriting matters, but not so much that the copywriter should fit the text to the keywords. The real deal is that many of the keywords should appear in the course of writing.
The doctrine of WFKS states that you should start by writing the copy of the content in question, and then find natural places to insert keywords. This is easy because the keywords should match the subject of the copy. In fact, one way to check the agreement of your content with the search terms used by the audience is to write copy without a list of keywords (if you’ve got the time). If the search terms (or approximations thereof) are there anyways, then the copy is representative of the content desired by the audience.
Tip #4 – Care for Your Keywords
Whether outsourced or in-house, the SEO expert will provide the copywriter with a list of keywords to implement. But it’s the task of the copywriter to apply them in ways that both the audience and the search engines will like:
- Different people use different keyword expressions. Some might input “copywriting SEO”, and others will try “SEO tips for new copywriters”. You can check common usages by simply typing them in to see what results come up. In addition, many marketing channels (for instance, Google’s Search Console) let you see the traffic stats for keyword phrases.
- Keyword stuffing is a practice that the search engines will penalize. Sometimes it really seems natural to use the same keywords repeatedly, but there’s a limit that the channel will impose on you. To ensure that you have not gone overboard, use a keyword density checker.
Tip #5 – Headlines
If we said it once, we’ll say it a hundred times. Pound for pound, the headline is the most important part of copy. It should contain at least one keyword which should also be the focus of the content. This will alert the search engine.
But to attract humans, additional effort should be invested. You can read more about the science of headlines here. The basic steps to follow in creating great headlines are:
- Define your target market and understand how your product meets their needs
- Generate the main text first
- Write an eye-catching headline by, for example, asking a question or promising to solve a problem
- Build variations
- Test and reiterate
Tip #6 – Length
How long should a piece of content be? At one time, short articles were the standard recommendation. Now, longer articles are all the rage.
The real guide is your user. The length of an article should be determined by the subject and its complexity. For instance, to discover the reasons why some Google ads get triple the CTR of average rates, along with a statistical analysis, be prepared to read a lot. But don’t take it from us – Google itself explains that search engine ranking is not affected by article length.
Tip #7 – AI
If there’s one takeaway from the above, it’s that SEO is only meant to trigger the appearance of an article on the results page in response to a user search. After that point, it’s really up to the copywriter. Clicking on a search result is merely the start of the user journey down the sales funnel. Getting them to continue requires copy that keeps them engaged and willing to move on to the next stage.
But if you are marketing through multiple channels, the constant chore of deriving SEO terms, creating text, testing, and reiterating can be exhausting.
That’s where artificial intelligence saves the day. Anyword’s AI platform generates copy for a range of channels and allows you to input the keywords of your choice. Through the power of its technology, Anyword will then build a series of marketing texts and grade them according to their conversion potential. Instead of you spending hours writing copy with the hope that it will convert, Anyword gives you ready-made texts and an indication of how they will perform. Plus, you can try the leading AI platform for SEO copywriting success with no commitment. Get started with Anyword’s 7-day free trial, and see how much better SEO can be.