SEO Writing For Newbies: How To Attract Readers And Search Engines
What is SEO copywriting?
Even if your site fulfills all technical and design requirements, if your copy is mediocre and lacks depth, the SE will not show it on the front positions. Remember, "Content is king." so put all of your efforts into creating helpful pieces that deserve to be then optimized.
What are the different types of SEO content?
Depending on the topic of your post, your articles can have a different format.
Lists: readers love lists, as they are easy to read and contain much info. Posts like "The 10 Best SEO Strategies" or "200 Free SEO Tools" carry a sense of expectation and are overall far more clickable than a simple news article.
Guides: the second most popular type of articles are the guides. They are usually longer than the average blog post and contain detailed information about a given topic. The purpose of the article guides is to offer your target audience facts, advice, and tips to satisfy their needs and eliminate the desire to click on a competitor's page. You can use data both from your business or personal experience or from reputable external sources.
As a rule of thumb, each time you scroll down to reveal more text, there should be a picture of some kind. Images can be optimized, as they have three distinguished elements:
File name: be sure to name the image with the right keyword corresponding to the page before uploading it on the website. Avoid file names as IMG782633.jpg.
Image title: this is essentially the heading of the picture. A user sees it when hovering the image with the mouse. Title also helps the crawlers understand it.
Alt tag: an HTML element, the alt tag is short on the pound description of the image. You shouldn't misuse it and "spam" the explanations with irrelevant keywords.
Different images can be combined to create fresh and unique content. Some of the most popular complex image types one can use in their content are:
Infographics. They present facts and ideas using different charts, images, and icons. The text is limited, but the idea is to visually present the data rather than plunge into long, monotonous explanations. Everybody loves looking at well-made images, so readers are likely to share and click on them more. However, you need to optimize the accompanying text to rank both for the image itself and the desired keywords.
Slideshows. This is a series of images that you can use to get your message across. Like infographics and simple pictures, the SEs can't read the actual text written on the image, so don't forget to write your image title and alt tag. You need to put your efforts into boosting the other elements of the SEO copy.
What are the elements of SEO copywriting?
- H1 represents the title of your copy. Every page, regardless of its contents, must have it. The H1 tag needs to be put first, and there can't be more than one per page.
- H2 and H3 are used to mark the beginning of new subtopics within the main theme. A good practice is to have at least two H2 tags in your content.
H-tags give structure to the text and make it easier for the users and crawlers to scan through the copy. The way your H1, H2, and H3 are formatted can influence where your site ranks. More importantly, they are a valuable copywriting tool, as headers can hold long-tailed phrases and guide the users towards the information they are looking for. A smart way to use the H tags is by converting frequently asked questions about a specific topic into heading and subheadings in your copy.
For example, you are writing an article about coffee brands and find out people are searching on the web "How to pick the right brand?" or "What is the difference between Brand X and Brand Y?". You can use those sentences as H2s. This way, you hit two birds with one stone. First, you can directly address the query of your users. Secondly, you are using words and phrases that the SE has already recognized as key.
The more on-point questions and answers you have in your copy, the better chance you will obtain the golden spot on the first results page — the featured snippet. This is a short piece of information that directly answers a given question, located on the top, above all ads and other links.
With external links, you focus on showcasing your content on other platforms or include reputable sources in your copy.
Internal linking focuses on creating a solid structure of intertwining topics that will benefit your potential clients. For example, now you are reading an article about SEO writing, but you find yourself interested in linkbuilding. Wouldn't you find it helpful if there is a conveniently placed link to an article that can answer your recently formulated questions?
Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are short summaries of what a user (or a crawler) would find on that particular page. They need to be 160 characters at most and have to contain keywords or long-tailed phrases.
These pieces of content are essential for the optimization of your content. If more people click on your page, your CTR (click-through rate) will increase. This is a clear indicator for the SE that you are a valuable source of insight for the public, and your content will be indefinitely shown amongst the top results on the SERP.
So your meta titles and descriptions should be appealing, straight to the point, and accurate. A good writing strategy for both meta titles and descriptions is to use call-to-action words or phrases that create intense emotions like urgency, loss, winning, etc. Another thing you can do is include a question you know people are seeking the answer to. For example, "Do you know what CTA is? Our experts at Company A are here to tell you!"
Meta titles and descriptions are an HTML attribute and should be added to the code of each page of your site. Thankfully, most platforms like WordPress or Wix have special plugins for that, so you don't have to write the code itself. Fill in the necessary information into the tabs.
Now that we covered the different types of content you may have on your page and their most important elements, it's time to get down to business. To create a quality copy, you need to have a solid strategy that will attract both users and search engines.
How to create a successful SEO content strategy?
- Do you want more people to read your blog content?
- Do you want to monetize your copy and increase your traffic?
- Are your service and product pages the ones that need to be showcased, whereas your blog is just a side dish?
The way your content should be written and constructed depends solely on your goal. After you got that one figured out, you need to move your attention to creating a strategy that will achieve it.
Define your audience
The same goes for your blog content. For example, if you target audience in the 18-25 age group, you can include additional videos, funny or eye-catching images, and short but memorable casual-toned paragraphs. If you want to attract a more business-oriented audience from the 30+ group, focus on infographics, tables, statistical data, detailed explanations, and reputable external sources.
Research your keywords
For example, if you provide carpet cleaning, the text of your service page should contain keywords directly connected to what you offer, like "professional carpet cleaning" or "carpet cleaning services." If you are creating a blog post or a guide, you need to do in-depth research and find out not only the generic search words people use but also examine the intent behind them. Here is a possible line of thought: since you are looking for ways to clean your carpet, you might also be interested in the type of detergents used in this process or would like to find how to identify a particular spot on your rug.
The semantic core is often built using competitor keys that can be found with the help of Serpstat. Just enter a domain to Serpstat search bar and export the Keywords report.
Make a schedule
You've laid out your strategy and have a clear view of how you want everything to be organized. However, this is not enough to gain you the desired results. You still don't know how exactly to grab the attention of your readers and the search engines. So let's figure it out together.
How to attract readers?
Forget about the algorithms and the requirements search engines have. First and foremost, you need to think about the people. Analyze their desires by researching the intent hidden in their questions. You can still land on the first page of the SERP even if you don't have enough keywords or are missing a meta title. Why? Because your content gives on-point, detailed information that is in line with the needs of the audience.
Let's say people are searching for "neck pain," "neck pain after sleeping," and "why does my neck hurt after waking up." The intent is clear — people feel pain in their neck after taking a nap, and they need to find why this is happening and how to prevent it. You can take two different paths when you write.
The first one is to tackle the scientific side of the problem. You can create an informative post about the human body's physiological needs, muscle contraction, and nerve damage. Of course, you would also use the appropriate medical terminology and sprinkle everything with a hefty dose of anatomical terms. Do you think everybody will understand your piece of content?
The second option is to write a guide on how your sleeping posture affects your body and choosing the right type of pillow to prevent it. Your article would be comprehensive without flashy words but informational enough that even a 5-year-old will understand why memory foam is good.
Both posts carry valuable knowledge; however, only the second one is created with the user in mind. Thus, it will land your site farther ahead in the rankings.
How to attract search engines?
What are the common mistakes in SEO writing
Too many keywords
Trying to make it long, not useful
Missing the evidence
Only when you know what your exact goal is, start planning the creation of your copy. To have a successful SEO strategy, you must be aware of the 3 factors that form the skeleton of each piece of content:
- The scope of your audience.
- The intent, hidden behind the keywords.
- A clear time-binding plan that will keep you on track.
To attract the attention of your audience, you must:
- Discover what people want.
- Give users a direct answer to their query.
- Understandably present the information.
To attract the attention of search engines, you must:
- Fulfill the 3 points from above.
- Optimize well all elements of content optimization.
- Stay on track with the latest requirements and avoid the "bad old practices"
Writing well-composed content may take a while, but we promise you it is worth the effort.
Stay positive and continue to create an excellent copy. Remember, nobody is born wise, so keep learning and developing your skills. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comment section below. Let's have a chat and discuss how to become better at copywriting.
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