10 Tips for Effective #SEO Copywriting

“SEO” and “copywriting”—two specialized fields that can seem at odds with each other, yet have entered into a unique marriage. Together, they have created the ultimate offspring in the form of content marketing. Theirs is a complicated relationship that can take some work. One partner is a pleaser and the other is a doer. Inherently, SEO wants to please search engines and copywriting wants to give people information that helps get something accomplished.

There once was a time when these goals were in almost direct competition with each other, but today’s world has changed all of that. Thanks to some much-needed maturity on the part of Google, the way to please a search engine is by giving people the information they need. Imagine that.

All of a sudden the pairing of SEO and copywriting looks like a marriage made in heaven.

The Power of a Good Partnership

A marriage is the ultimate example of partnership, therefore making it an ideal analogy for our friends SEO and copywriting. It’s similar to sales and marketing in a way in that the two work together to deliver a sort of 1-2 punch with results clearly in mind.

SEO is the art and science of enhancing website content or manipulating other elements to attract search engine crawlers and, ultimately, outrank competitors. Copywriting is the art and science of creating content that provokes a reader into taking a specific action (think buying a product, requesting more information, signing up for a mailing list, clicking a link, etc). The power comes when SEO delivers the ranking and copywriting seals the deal.

Figuring out how to balance this relationship can take some trial and error—and some good old-fashioned advice from folks who’ve “been there”. So, without further ado, the following are 10 tips to help you create harmony out of this marriage—and develop some darned effective SEO content.

10 Tips for Effective SEO Copywriting | Search Engine Journal

1. Title it Right

Titles are commonly recognized as the most important element of copywriting. When it comes to titles, there are two factors at play here:

  • Reader Attention: Does your title grab this instantly? Think like your intended reader and write a title that would make YOU want to click.
  • Keywords: Is your title really SEO friendly? Not if it doesn’t include at least one keyword. Note, however, that the inclusion of a keyword should NEVER come at the expense of grabbing the reader’s attention.

The combination of a title and subtitle can be extremely effective as well. It gives both readers and search engines more information about a post’s topic.

Authority Blogger has developed a handy guide with SEO headline formulas known to work time and time again—check it out.

2. Make the Message Matter

This starts with really knowing your audience. Who are you talking to? What do they need or want? You might leverage trending topics as inspiration for what to write about as well as comments you’ve received from customers. With less interesting industries, it’s all about thinking outside the box to come up with topic matter.

10 Tips for Effective SEO Copywriting | Search Engine Journal

From here, you can start flushing out the meat of your content. Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to talk all about you. Make your message all about your readers. Tell them a story, inspire them, solve their problems, empathize with them, make them feel or want something—and do it with an active voice.

3. Leverage Formatting to Increase Consumption

No longer the arena of graphic designers alone, the look of your content matters—a lot. A literal first look at your content can determine whether or not someone reads it. Let your format invite readers in.

  • Allow for white space: It’s all the rage right now on just about every website, and for good reason – it gives the reader room to breathe and take everything in one piece at a time.
  • Keep paragraphs short and friendly: Short paragraphs speak to readers. Smaller blocks of information make it much easier to consume larger pieces of content (oxymoron?). Content immediately becomes more friendly and inviting.
  • Use bulleted lists: Let me rephrase this, “Use bulleted lists as a complement to your content – not in place of it”. While bulleted lists can do wonders to help highlight list-type items, there’s nothing more annoying than a piece of content made entirely from bulleted lists.
  • Segment with subheads: This is content writing 101 – subheadings help organize your content so readers can easily navigate your content before or after they’ve read it. Not only that, it’s another place inside of your content that you can reassure the reader they’ve made the right choice in deciding to read on. Try including benefits in some of your subheadings to increase perceived value.

You don’t have to keep the entire piece of content short, just individual elements. That said, make sure that if you are creating long-form content, it is with good reason. This is generally best left for authoritative pieces that position you as an authority—if you avoid fluff and keep your tips and tricks concise and actually able to be used.

Done right, these pieces can foster trust and favorability, in part because people love feeling like they’re getting something for free.

Article source: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-tips-effective-seo-copywriting/141588/

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