SEO Copywriting 101

seo copywritingAs a freelance copywriter with a lovely little website, I’m often asked to write search engine optimised website copy for my clients. The fact is, plain and simple website copywriting – however good it may be – just isn’t enough anymore!

After all, if you’re going to create a website, then you want to do everything in your power to make sure as many people as possible get to see it, and the best way of doing this is to optimise it for the search engines.

So if you’re thinking of doing this, what are the main things to consider?

1. Header Tags

The header tags, numbered H1 – H6, are hugely important when it comes to your website’s ability to rank for your principal keywords. If you don’t include your main keywords in the header tags, you’re missing out on a very simple way to improve your website’s ranking.

Typically, best practice is to include 2 – 3 header tags on your web pages, and focus on one keyword per page. However, you can include other keywords on the same page’s header tags if you want to. All you need to know is that the search engines will place the greatest importance on the H1 tag, so this should be reserved for your main keyword for that particular page.

2. Keyword Density

These days, the ratio of keywords to overall content isn’t as important as it used to be. The search engine algorithms are now so sophisticated that it takes a lot more to rank highly than simply loading your web page with relevant keywords!

A few years ago, the internet was littered with “spammy” pages that simply repeated keywords over and again! It wasn’t conducive to good quality, valuable content, and the major search engines soon realised this. Any site that adopts this policy these days is immediately penalised.

Today, the significance of keyword density has, thankfully, been greatly reduced as a result. However, it’s still important to include a certain amount, because without them, the relevance of your content to the keyword you’re targeting will be reduced. And relevance, as always, is crucial. A figure of around 6-10% is a good ratio to aim for.

3. Relevant and Unique Content

The primary concern of the search engines is to pick out the most relevant results for each search. After all, their goal is to help the user find exactly what they’re looking for, as quickly as possible, because if they don’t, the user will find a rival search engine which does this better.

Consequently, an SEO copywriter must always be trying to make the content as relevant as possible to the subject matter, optimising it for the client’s keywords and including appropriate synonyms.

As well as creating relevant content, they should also be sure that it’s 100% unique. The search engines penalise duplicate content, so if you want to give your website the best possible chance of success, you need to make sure that it doesn’t exist elsewhere.

Some less than reputable “copywriters” have been known to simply lift content from other sites and then pass it off as their own to unsuspecting clients. You can protect yourself against this by using anti-plagiarism software such as Copyscape.

4. Good Quality Content

Perhaps more important than anything else is that your content is of good quality, and offers value to your readers. Ultimately, keyword density, relevance and original content is of little significance if the quality of your web content is so poor that visitors are put off by it to such an extent that they leave immediately.

A good SEO copywriter will be able to construct well written copy that flows nicely and reads well, while at the same incorporating the required keywords.

Providing value for readers should always be the principal aim of any good copywriter, whether they’re involved in SEO copywriting, article writing, sales letter copywriting, or anything else. If a website is well written, informative and useful, then people will choose to come back to it again and again, and crucially, link to it.

And it’s these “backlinks” that are arguably the most important aspect of any SEO campaign. This is because Google and the other search engines give (good quality, relevant) backlinks a huge weighting when it comes to SEO. If someone links to your site, then it effectively counts as a vote for your content, and the search engines reward you by pushing it higher in the results.

As a result, your SEO copywriter should always concentrate on producing good quality content, because by doing so, you’ll have a far better chance of achieving backlinks for your site, which will then serve to boost your search engine ranking anyway.

Nick Cobb – SEO Copywriter

Useful Resources:

What does a good SEO copywriter do?
How to learn SEO copywriting

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