When you want to buy something, where do you look first?
Most likely, your favorite search engine. Google alone processes more than 3.5 million searches per day and over 1.2 trillion per year. Clearly, search engines like Google have become an essential part of the modern consumer’s buying process. That being the case, it’s essential for marketers to prioritize search engine optimization in their digital marketing strategy. SEO copywriting is an important part of that optimization.
Understanding what SEO copywriting is, how to do it successfully, and what tools you can use to write great content at scale will help you improve your search engine rankings. Not to mention that you’ll be able to drive more leads and sales from organic traffic.
What is SEO copywriting?
SEO copywriting is the process of writing marketing copy that’s optimized for search engines. This type of copy is designed to appeal to both human readers and search engine algorithms with the goal of:
- Driving organic traffic to a company’s website
- Getting that traffic to convert to leads or sales
With SEO copywriting, the writer needs to optimize the content for search engines. Search engines then determine what the content is about and serve it to the right people. However, it’s also important that the writer create this copy for the human reader as the ultimate goal is to get them to buy.
Copy that’s just written for search engines may not be interesting to the reader or have the same readability as copy written for humans. While copy that’s just written for the reader may not contain the keywords necessary to help it rank in Google search, successful SEO copywriters are able to provide that delicate balance between the two.
SEO copywriting vs SEO content writing: What’s the difference
The main difference between SEO copywriting and SEO content writing is the goal of the content. While SEO copywriting has the primary goal of converting organic traffic into leads and sales, SEO content writing is focused on generating organic traffic from search engines.
Content writers and copywriters have a similar skill set, and some people can do both types of writing. But there are enough differences that hiring an SEO content writer when you mean to hire an SEO copywriter can impact whether or not you meet your goal of driving leads and sales.
Both content and copy have the power to generate organic traffic and make sales. But understanding the difference between the two and being able to leverage both is important as you develop your content marketing strategy.
7 SEO copywriting tips for success (with examples)
Search engine optimization can seem a bit complicated for those who are new to SEO copywriting. Here are 7 tips you can use to get started and set yourself up for success:
1. Do your keyword research
Keyword research is often the first step in creating and implementing an SEO strategy. It can be quite a complex process, but you can use tools to speed it up.
To get started with your keyword research, make a list of search terms you think your target audience would use to find your products or services online. Keywords do not have to be just one word. You should also include long-tail keywords and questions in your initial keyword list for content creation.
Consider search intent when doing your keyword research. For example, people who are just starting to research their problem may have an informational intent, meaning they are just looking for information. While “what is SEO” has an informational intent, “hire SEO expert” has a transactional intent, which means the user is probably ready to buy.
2. Optimize your header and title tag
Another element of SEO that contributes to your ranking factor is your metadata. Your webpage metadata is information that Google uses to understand the purpose of your page and what type of content it holds. That way, the search engine can make sure it delivers only the best and most relevant content to search engine users.
Metadata includes your header, title tag, and meta description for each page. The header tag (or H1) is like the subject line of your webpage. The title tag tells the search engine exactly what your page is about. And the meta description, while it’s less important for ranking, is important for getting people to click on your page from the search results.
Here are some SEO best practices for metadata, a few of which you can see in practice in the title tag and meta description from Yeti above:
- The title tag should be 55 characters or less and include the keyword or phrase.
- Meta descriptions should be written in a compelling way and include the keywords or phrases for the piece of content.
- The maximum length for a meta description is 150 to 160 characters, and it shouldn't include quotes or non-alpha characters as Google will delete them.
- You should use your target keyword phrase once in your H1 tag toward the beginning of the header.
- Use H2 tags if there are multiple sections in your piece of content. For example, you would use H1 for the title and H2 for the subheadings of the copy.
- Avoid duplicate title tags, headers, and meta descriptions.
3. Write copy that uses keywords naturally
It’s important to use keywords in your SEO copy as this helps search engines understand what your content is about so they can send the right people your way. However, if you want to drive leads and sales (which is the goal of SEO copywriting), then you need to make sure you write the copy in a way that will inspire people to take action once they land on the page.
This means you need to focus on quality and readability when writing content, not just keywords. Use the keywords naturally throughout the content, but don’t stuff them into sentences or paragraphs where they do not fit. Ultimately, it’s the human that’s buying, so the content needs to make sense to them. The Liftoff Creator Course sales page shows how it's done.
One of the primary keywords—”digital products”—is used 15 times on the page, including in the title, body copy, FAQs, and testimonials. But it’s used naturally; not crammed in any and everywhere it could fit. I.e., it doesn’t distract from the main message the copy is trying to get across, which is that the course is a good investment if you want to create an additional stream of income for yourself.
4. Include calls to action (CTAs)
The goal of SEO copywriting is to drive leads and sales. That’s why it’s essential that you include a call-to-action in your copy. (You may even need more than one CTA!) The call-to-action is going to help get readers to the next step, whether that is to become a lead or buy something from you.
The call-to-action text should be specific, clear, and actionable so that the customer knows exactly what you want them to do next. For example, instead of a general “contact us to learn more” CTA, you might say, “Email our onboarding team to get started.”
You should also include a link that actually takes them to the next step in the CTA. When you make it easy for customers to take the next step in the funnel, they’re more likely to do it. Storespark sets a good example as far as this best practice goes.
It repeats three important CTAs throughout its landing page: ”See Plans,” “Book a Call,” and “Get Started.” All three nudge visitors toward a single outcome—making a purchase, whether immediately or in the near future.
5. Add internal and external links
Another important part of optimizing your on-page SEO is hyperlinking. Search engines like to see you linking to high-quality content from other sources (external links) as well as relevant pages on your own site (internal links). This shows Google that you are providing searchers with a lot of great information.
The more information you provide on the web page, the more likely you will be to get backlinks from other sites to your content, which also improves your chances of ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). Link building takes time, but the more high-quality pages that link back to your content, the more valuable it is.
You should only link to external pages that offer high-quality, relevant, and accurate content. Also, be sure to make sure the external links open in a new browser tab to avoid distracting the reader from your copy.
6. Create a good user experience
Write with your audience in mind, taking into consideration their needs, goals, current understanding of your topic, and so on. Also, make your copy easy to read, navigate, and digest. Use white space, headings and subheadings, bullet points, and media to break text up and keep it interesting. Just like Postaside did with its simple landing page.
It uses simple language, speaks directly to readers, addresses pain points and concerns like manual social media posting, uses white space and images, and provides transparent pricing.
Ultimately, the more relevant you make your copy for your audience and the easier it is for them to consume, the longer they’ll stick around. And that can be a positive sign for search engines like Google when it comes time to decide where you’ll rank in search results.
7. Take quality to the next level
Any article on SEO writing best practices will tell you to analyze the top ranking pages in search engine results pages. But what many leave out is the need to differentiate from those pages.
True, the top-ranking pages will tell you a lot about search intent, what subtopics you need to cover in your copy, and what elements may be good to have on your page. However, you shouldn’t just combine and remix what you find on page one of Google.
- Go more in-depth when there are topic gaps present.
- Source quotes from internal or external subject matter experts to give your copy greater credibility.
- Add charts, images, or videos to make the copy easier to understand and more impactful.
- Do original research to build your authority and earn backlinks that will strengthen your pages and make them more capable of ranking for competitive, high-volume keywords.
If you can outdo competing sites as far as the value your copy offers to searchers, you’ll have a better chance of your copy ranking well.
3 SEO copywriting tools you need to save time
Want to save time and energy with your SEO copywriting? Here are 3 awesome SEO tools you can use to take your optimization to the next level without adding hours to your workweek:
While the other tools on this list will focus on helping you find keywords and optimize the copy you’ve already written, Jasper will take care of the SEO copywriting for you. To get started with this AI-powered writing tool, choose from one of the many Jasper templates, including everything from Google and Facebook ads to blog posts and product descriptions.
Once you’ve chosen a template, Jasper will guide you through step-by-step what information you need to put into the tool to get an effective piece of content. When you use Boss Mode, you’re able to create SEO copy quickly by using multiple copywriting skills in the same document. For example, you could use Jasper to create a product page by using the tool to write a product description, a sub-header, and persuasive bullet points—all in the same doc!
You can even use Surfer and Jasper together to write and rank blog posts faster, which is a great way to build up the SEO content on your website so you can start driving more organic traffic.
Surfer is an SEO tool that offers a variety of features to help you plan, create, and optimize SEO copy. The content editor reviews and scores your content in real-time, making suggestions on how you can optimize it further. While the content planner helps you generate a content strategy by giving you relevant topics and keywords in just minutes.
Surfer shines with its keyword research feature. It allows you to find phrases with the same search results in Google to identify new keyword opportunities. For example, if you find a competitor is ranking for 3 different keywords, there’s a good chance that you might be able to rank for all 3 as well.
With Surfer, you can type your keywords into the tool to get ideas for keywords and phrases that are relevant. You can also discover real questions that people are typing into the search engine, allowing you to align your keyword phrases with the user’s search intent.
And thanks to the Jasper-Surfer integration, you can see and adjust Surfer’s recommendations for your content as you write in Jasper. That way, you can guide Jasper to use relevant keywords and see how your content score improves in real-time as you optimize the copy.
BuzzSumo is a great tool for finding topics and trends in your industry. The tool shows you what content and topics are popular and what’s on the way out. Getting this information allows you to identify new topics and trends that you can write about to take advantage of the interest in this content.
BuzzSumo scans billions of articles and social media posts, bringing you powerful insights on the most popular content in your niche. Not only will you see which specific articles are most popular online, but you’ll also be able to see the most popular content from your competitors. You can even scan the past 5 years of content performance data to see which topics have real staying power.
Get started with Jasper
Need to create search-optimized copy at scale? That’s where Jasper comes in!
With Jasper, you can create copy that’s optimized for search engines in far less time than it would take for you to do it on your own. We know seeing is believing, so sign up for Jasper now to see just what it can do.