Your business needs lots of content to achieve its sales and marketing goals, but this must reflect the different purposes of the platforms,
buyer journey and KPIs that are being used in order to be successful.
Why SEO writing matters
Achieving this requires multiple types of copywriting and a professional perspective to ensure your content contains all the right elements. One of the factors that must be taken into consideration in your website copy is search engine optimisation (SEO).
It’s an important part of any content marketing strategy and vital to not only attracting visitors to your site but converting them into customers. Employing the services of an SEO copywriter will ensure you get this right.
What impact does SEO have on copywriting?
Understanding the relationship between SEO and content will help you in all areas of your digital marketing. Nobody wants to write just for a search engine, but as the algorithms that govern this technology become more sophisticated, they are recognising well-written content and moving it up search engine results pages. This means SEO copy should be useful to users and therefore more likely to convert.
What is copywriting?
As a business, your promotional materials are powered by content, which in turn is filled with words. Copywriting is text that has been created specifically with the objective of being persuasive. It should motivate those reading it to take an action, which can vary from clicking on a link or filling out a form to making a purchase.
You need good quality copywriting for everything including your website, social media posts, email campaigns and any other digital marketing assets you create. Each piece of content for these diverse platforms should be written to reflect their audience and purpose. For example, a post on Facebook should have a different tone to your website content and a professional copywriter will be able to adapt to these varying needs.
What is SEO?
SEO is the art of writing content that performs well in search engines. This is incredibly important to businesses as not all customers can be expected to come to your website directly or through opening links on social media or via email campaigns.
It’s widely recognised that the higher up the search engine results page you appear, the more traffic you’re likely to attract. After all, when was the last time you clicked on a website from page 14 in your Google search results?!
An SEO copywriting service will be up-to-date on all the latest best practices for securing the top results for your business. While it’s not an exact science, there’s a wide range of techniques that should be employed to maximise your content for search.
From making sure you’re addressing the questions potential customers are asking to tagging content in relevant categories, all of these elements work together to improve your website’s performance.
How do copywriting and SEO interact?
Before your copywriter can use their persuasive writing skills to motivate the reader to take a certain action, they need to get them onto the page in the first place. What’s clever about an SEO copywriter is that they can achieve both of these goals simultaneously, not only moving a potential customer onwards through the buyer journey but attracting them to your site too by applying SEO best practices to all your content.
The traffic you get to your website from a search engine is organic, which means you don’t have to pay for it. Unlike other digital advertising that requires a budget to improve its chances of being in front of your target audience, SEO writing can boost your discoverability from search simply with your words.
Think about how you use a search engine. You put the words you’re looking for into the search bar and expect the corresponding words to come out the other side. If your SEO copywriter is directly answering the questions searchers are putting into that bar then you’ll be rewarded by attracting them to your site.
Search engines want to direct their users to the most relevant sites, so your SEO service should provide road signs that highlight how useful your content is. Keeping search queries in mind, as well as the user experience while content writing is good for everyone involved. The customer gets what they want, so does the search engine, and your business attracts more qualified leads.
Gone are the days when SEO content writing tried to trick users into visiting a website. Digital marketing is constantly evolving and while content continues to be at the heart of it, the techniques involved are becoming more nuanced. This makes it all the more important to have a professional SEO agency handling this side of your business.
What SEO research do you need before writing copy?
The process of creating quality content begins long before a copywriter starts tapping away on their computer keyboard. High-performing SEO content requires careful planning and research to ensure it meets its potential. In fact, a lot of what makes articles, blogs and landing pages do well in search engines is to do with technical SEO and elements like the featured snippet and meta description, which must be carefully crafted too.
Why do you need keyword research?
Writing relevant content isn’t just about knowing the market you’re functioning in; it’s important to do the research and base your content decisions around cold, hard data. This is where keyword research comes in. Understanding what your audience is typing into search engines like Google will help you design content that answers their queries and brings the right people to your site.
Not only will conducting SEO keyword research through a tool like Google Analytics help to identify good search terms to target, it’ll also furnish you with other data that will be useful when planning your content. For example, you’ll be able to see how popular terms are in search engines and how difficult it is to rank for them.
Working in a specific industry might make you think you know all the relevant keywords relating to your product, but there’s a good chance your potential customers will type something else into their Google search. The only way to know for sure is to do the research and then you can make sure your content meets this purpose.
The main benefits of conducting keyword research are:
- Better understanding marketing trends – this will enable you to create web copy on topics that are interesting to your audience.
- Grow traffic – targeting a specific keyword will help you rank highly in search engines and direct more users to your site.
- Improve customer acquisition – meeting the needs of searchers will help you to lead them through the buyer journey to become customers.
As search engines take more context into account in their results pages, it has become more important to fully investigate topics in your content. That means one well-written page based around a single keyword will not perform as well as a piece that fits inside a wider body of articles on the topic.
While you don’t want to repeat your content, as that’s not good for SEO, you do want to build up a library of interconnected pieces that demonstrates your authority on a subject. This is how an SEO tool can help you plan your content strategy around solid, relevant keyword research that really delivers results for your website traffic and therefore your business.
Keyword research involves a number of steps, which when taken in turn will give you a good insight into what users are searching for. The main elements to assess when planning your keyword strategy are:
Search engines rank content highly if it meets users’ needs and provides more value than alternative sources.
A Google search will return results that are seen as authoritative, so informative content with strong backlinks is essential.
Ensure there are users searching for your primary the keyword, otherwise there’s no point in being on the first page in SERPs.
Getting the right keyword density is also vital – Too little won’t get you found, but overdo it and your content is likely to be flagged as potential spam.
What is search intent?
Most people complete multiple searches a day and many of them are rushed affairs where they quickly type something into Google or another search engine. It’s often only if the first search doesn’t return the results they’re looking for that they start to refine the words they use to find a web page with the information they require.
Search intent is a way to look beyond just the keywords a visitor is using to find the motive behind their query. Search engines are aiming to direct users to the most relevant content and therefore need to understand what it is they’re looking for. As marketers, this is something your keyword research must tap into too.
If a user types “best dog food” into a search engine, their intent is quite different to someone who enters “Pedigree Chum” into the search bar. The first user is still at the research stage of their journey and is not yet ready to make a purchase. This keyword phrase therefore demonstrates commercial intent and a dog food brand can tailor its SEO content to address this specific query.
Understanding how search intent can differ will help you identify where in the buying journey a user is and the best ways to create web copy that takes advantage of this knowledge. There are four main types of user intent:
- Navigational, when the searcher is aiming to find a specific page.
- Informational, to learn more about a subject.
- Commercial, for the purpose of research prior to making a purchase.
- Transactional, with the view to completing an action, like buying a product.
By aligning these different forms of search intent with the awareness, consideration and conversion steps in the buyer’s journey, an SEO content writer produces copy designed to seamlessly guide a user onto the next stage. All of this research into keywords and user intent will inform the types of copywriting needed in different scenarios, making it an integral part of the process to increase your likelihood of success.
How do different types of copywriting work?
So, you know that you need marketing copywriting to power all your promotional content and that it should be optimised for SEO to reflect different types of user intent to perform well in search engines. What other things need to be taken into consideration when designing your content marketing strategy and employing the services of a content writer?
Finding the right copywriting services for your organisation may depend on the niche you operate in or the type of business you perform. Technical copywriting and creative copywriting require different skills, so it’s worth looking at examples that have been produced for other clients in the past.
You’ll also want your marketing copywriting to be created in varying ways depending on the platform it’ll be published on. A blog post for your website shouldn’t be written in the same way as social media content, just as whitepapers and newsletter sign-up forms should be different. A professional copywriter should be able to adapt to each of these mediums to provide the best content for your business.
Why can’t all my copy be written in the same format?
If all copywriting was written in the same way it simply wouldn’t perform its function very well. Just as we change the way to speak to people when we’re communicating face-to-face in order to elicit different responses, we have to talk to them in varying ways through our content too.
Trying to persuade a reader to make a purchase when they’ve only just started researching the type of product they need will only turn them off from your business in the long run. Great copy can only perform well if it’s deployed in the right way, which means publishing it in the correct place at an appropriate time.
While each and every piece of content should be nuanced and designed to work in the specific scenario where it’ll be placed, it’s worth thinking more widely about the different types of copywriting out there and how they work. Here are some to consider:
- SEO copywriting – written with the view to increase ranking in search engines
- Marketing copywriting – designed to drive sales and generate leads
- Email copywriting – aimed at encouraging a conversion via a call to action (CTA)
- Technical copywriting – detailed walkthrough of a complex matter
- Creative copywriting – written to be compelling and stand out from the crowd
- Brand copywriting – designed to support a brand’s values and communicate these effectively
- Social media copywriting – developed to speak directly to the audience in a more informal setting
- Direct response copywriting – aimed at encouraging users to take an action
- Public relations copywriting – designed to be read by the media to inform them of company news
- Thought leadership copywriting – written in detail to demonstrate a high level of knowledge of a subject
- Product copywriting – aimed at showcasing the benefits and features of your products
Who should write my different kinds of copy?
There’s a certain amount of overlap between some of these types of copywriting, with many of them fitting within the wider banner of marketing copywriting. Utilising a full service marketing agency will enable you to have many, if not all, of your copywriting needs handled in the same place.
If your business operates in a very particular industry, you may wish to find an agency that specialises in this copywriting niche. After all, they will be familiar with any jargon or market-specific terminology and should be able to provide examples of work they’ve completed in similar areas.
Effective brand copywriting relies on a collaborative approach to begin with, as those providing the service work to understand the ethos and tone of your company communications. Once copywriters have nailed your tone of voice and style, they’ll be able to create much of your SEO content based on an efficient briefing process.
How do I know if my copy is performing well for SEO?
Assessing your marketing copywriting to see how it’s performing and where improvements can be made is one of the most important parts of the process. While the content itself must be optimised for search, there are other elements that can have a huge impact on rankings and the amount of traffic you get coming to your website.
Setting up tracking measures, such as Google Analytics and other SEO tools right from the start is vital. Not only will they quantify the leads and conversions you’re achieving, but also see how far you’ve come. Pinpointing anomalies swiftly can mean a quick tweak can see a large improvement in real time.
After putting the foundations in place with keyword research, your copywriting should be achieving results through SEO, but this shouldn’t be taken for granted. Tracking and regular reporting will demonstrate your gains and represents a great resource to take to your stakeholders to show the ROI on website copywriting services so you can justify the investment.