For the uninitiated, Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, can be a daunting challenge. Because Google’s rules are constantly in flux, it’s fair to say you’ll never know everything there is to know about SEO, and that’s an intimidating thought. Just when you believe you’ve got it cracked, Google goes and changes its algorithm and you’re left scratching your head once more.
But as true as that is, it’s also true that the basic guiding principles stay more or less the same, especially when it comes to SEO copywriting, which is an essential skill to master if you want to rank high. The actual words you use are critical to your SEO success, just as important as things like your website’s design, layout and navigation. So if you’re struggling to put together a solid piece of SEO copy, follow these tips.
Write for readers, not robots
The key to successful SEO copywriting is remembering that you’re not writing for robots anymore, but real humans. In the old days, perhaps ten years ago, it was true that any keyword-laced fluff could rank highly on Google’s search pages, but these days it’s much more complicated. What Google’s algorithm wants to see if actionable, interesting, and useful content that human readers will digest and appreciate. Those readers actually want to learn something that helps them, and a certain quality standard must be met too. When you begin writing your next blog post, try to think of some questions your clients regularly ask you about, and try to offer a solution.
Don’t stuff keywords
To be frank, stop it. If you’re still asking yourself how many times you should stuff a long-tail keyword into each post, you can give up on SEO right now. Google has advanced well beyond those days, and more often than not it just sees keyword-stuffed articles as spam, which means they won’t rank well. The best advice is to just try and write naturally.
It takes more than words
Don’t just post a post, if you understand what we’re saying. Your content needs to stand out, and that means adding things like GIFs, infographics, embedded videos and at the very least, some nice images. Be sure to use high quality and relevant images, as these will make your professionalism stand out. If you’re struggling to find suitable images, check out Pixabay.com, a fantastic source of rights-free images.
Focus on your headlines
The headline is what draws readers in. If it’s dull, most people will never click on it, so be sure to come up with something enticing to pull in those clicks. Check out this resource for some great headline writing tips if you’re unsure.
Link to older posts
One thing Google likes to see, which so many people forget, is internal links in your content. By linking to previous posts, Google sees your site as being more organized and therefore gives it a higher priority in its search engine rankings. Of course, you should only link to content that's relevant to the current article you're writing, and the link should be in the right place, naturally leading to a related article.