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June 13, 2024
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SEO Copywriting Success: 10 Tips For High-Ranking Content

SEO Copywriting Success: 10 Tips For High-Ranking Content

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the secret sauce behind getting your content on the first page of Google, making it more accessible to users, and driving organic traffic to your website. Integrating SEO copywriting best practices means you can convert that traffic into sales.  

As a writer, I’ve crafted SEO copy for a variety of brands with different audiences, intents, and products over the past decade. A lot of changes have happened in that time with the availability of AI tools and constantly updated Google recommendations. Additionally, about 75% of web analysts believe we’ll see an increase in the use of search in 2024.

Clearly, it’s never been more important to tailor your content and copywriting to the right audience. But, with a few tricks, you can create well-ranking and engaging copy.    

In this article, I'll equip you with 10 invaluable tips for crafting SEO-friendly content that ranks well and engages your audience. Plus, we’ll also take a look at the difference between “regular” and SEO copywriting.

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing your audience is the first step in creating SEO copywriting that engages and converts.
  • Keyword and user query research allows you to tailor your copywriting to address your audience’s needs.
  • Well-organized SEO copywriting includes proper header structure and engaging visuals, and keeps copy concise.

SEO copywriting vs. regular copywriting

Let's take a look at the differences between SEO and “regular” copywriting. 

Regular copywriting focuses on crafting persuasive and compelling content. It's about storytelling, connecting with your audience on an emotional level, and driving them to take specific actions, like making a purchase.

SEO writing focuses on creating copy that's engaging and informative and is optimized for search engines in order to drive conversions. It involves careful research, keyword integration, and an in-depth understanding of search intent.

SEO copywriting can be used to create:

  • Landing pages
  • Blog articles
  • Product descriptions
  • Social media posts
  • Brand messaging
  • On-site navigational pages
  • Checkout screens

SEO copywriting incorporates elements of traditional copywriting while also strategically integrating relevant keywords and phrases to improve the content's visibility in search engine results.

10 tips for crafting perfect SEO copy

Now that you know what SEO copywriting is, let’s look at my top tips for crafting engaging, well-ranking content. 

1. Know your audience

Know your target audience, their needs, pain points, and what they're searching for. This helps you craft content that resonates with them. Plus, it helps you identify how you can tailor your content to meet Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines and create people-first, helpful content. 

Trello’s SEO copywriting addresses the needs of its audience immediately.

Let’s take a look at the project management software Trello as a good SEO copywriting example. 

Trello’s homepage immediately explains what its product does (“brings all your tasks, teammates, and tools together”), while addressing its audience’s pain points (“everything in the same place — even if your team isn’t”). 

2. Identifying keywords: The foundation of SEO

Keywords are the building blocks of SEO copywriting and help you reach your target audience. Keywords are the terms that people search to find your website, product, or service. For instance, if you’re writing for a fitness company, you might include keywords like "weight loss tips," "healthy diet plans," or "home workouts."

Let’s take a look at this example of a social media copy for a fitness brand (keywords are in bold):

Discover simple strategies for effective weight loss. Start with nutritious breakfasts, squeeze in short home workouts, stay hydrated, and prioritize quality sleep. These small changes fit into hectic routines, aiding sustainable weight loss without disrupting daily life.

Keep in mind that it’s never a good idea to “force” keywords into your copy, as it can negatively impact your Google rankings. Google prioritizes content that is helpful and people-centered, first and foremost. 

These tools can help you find keywords while drafting your SEO copy or optimizing existing content:

Many of these tools are useful for more than just keyword research. They can help you find user queries, identify search intent, and structure engaging headers — so I’ll be mentioning them again!

3. Identifying questions: Providing answers to user queries

In the world of SEO best practices, understanding the questions people are asking means you can create copy that meets their needs. By identifying these questions, you can craft content that not only ranks well but also satisfies the queries of your target audience.

One powerful method for uncovering these questions is to leverage keyword research tools and platforms. Tools like AnswerThePublic, Semrush, and Google's "People Also Ask" feature can unveil a treasure trove of inquiries related to your niche. 

For example, if you're in the fitness industry, these tools may reveal questions like, "How to lose belly fat fast?" or "What's the best diet for muscle gain?" By including relevant questions in your content and answering them well, you boost your ranking chances and the user experience. 

How to do it:

  • 1. Identify user queries: Research common queries users might have related to your product/service using tools like AnswerThePublic, Semrush, and Google’s “People Also Ask.”
  • 2. Create clear headings: Craft headings that directly address these queries and summarize the content.
  • 3. Use engaging subheadings: Break down the content into sections with subheadings that answer specific user queries.
  • 4. Provide concise answers: Write clear and concise content under each subheading, directly addressing the query while highlighting benefits or solutions.
  • 5. Include visuals and multimedia: Use images, videos, or infographics to supplement explanations and enhance engagement.
  • 6. End with a CTA: Conclude each section with a call to action (CTA) guiding users to take the next step.

I’ll cover each of these steps in more detail below.

4. Satisfy user needs: Determining search intent

Every search query reflects an underlying intent — whether it's informational, navigational, transactional, or commercial investigation. Understanding search intent is important so you can align your content with what users are looking for. 

For instance, if someone searches for "best running shoes," they are likely in the consideration stage before making a purchase. In this case, it’s a good idea to provide detailed product reviews and comparisons in order to convince them to make a decision.

Let’s take a look at the different types of intent and how you can tailor your SEO copywriting approach.

Determining Search Intent

5. Keep your copy clear and informative

Short, clear, and informative paragraphs enhance the readability of your content. As user experience plays a critical role in SEO, it's essential to structure your content in a way that keeps readers engaged. 

This is where Wordtune comes in handy. This AI-writing assistant can help improve the clarity of your writing through real-time suggestions.

When writing, Wordtune automatically suggests ways to make your text more concise. However, you can use the Shorten and Rewrite buttons to reduce your sentence and paragraph lengths manually as well. These help you to get your message across using simple and straightforward language that will engage your audience.

Things to look out for:

  • Remove unnecessary words, phrases, and fluff. 
  • Can you simplify any words? For example, “utilize” → “use,” “enables” → “allows.”
  • Does your writing style match your target audience? If you’re writing for a business audience, a more formal tone of voice works. If you’re trying to sell to a younger audience, use a casual tone. Click Casual or Formal in Wordtune to quickly change the tone of your text. 
Wordtune makes suggestions to make your writing more concise.
Wordtune can shorten your text to increase readability and engagement with your target audience.

6. Going for the snippet: Featured snippets and search engine results page (SERP) dominance

Featured snippets are prime real estate on Google's first page. If you’re crafting content like blog articles, FAQs, etc, it’s a good idea to aim for featured snippets. 

Writing content that Google sees as a suitable snippet is both an art and a science. This is where your research into commonly asked questions about your topic is helpful.  

Answer common questions directly, use bullet points, and make your content concise. Let’s take a look at this example when searching “how to create a QR code.” The featured snippet comes from HubSpot’s blog and gives six quick, easy steps that can be completed in minutes. 

Searching “How to create a QR code” in Google showcases a useful snippet from Hubspot’s blog.

Keep your writing to the point and easy to follow to boost your chances of becoming a featured snippet. 

Pro Tip: Wordtune’s Shorten feature can help you eliminate fluff. 

7. Optimizing headers and meta titles/descriptions

The proper use of headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.) helps break down your content into digestible sections. This makes it easier for readers to skim and find the information they need. 

Let’s break down header structures and how to use them:

H1: The title header

The H1 header is the main title of your content. It should be concise, descriptive, and contain your primary target keyword.

Example: If your article is about "Digital Marketing Tips," your H1 could be "Top Digital Marketing Tips for 2023."

H2: Subsection headers

H2 headers break down your content into major sections. Use them to introduce new topics or subtopics within your article.

Example: "Content creation strategies," "SEO best practices"

H3: Sub-subsection headers

H3 headers provide further structure within H2 sections. Use them to highlight specific points or details.

Example: "Using keywords effectively," "How to optimize meta tags"

H4 and beyond: rarely used

H4 and subsequent headers are rarely needed but can be used for even finer sub-divisions of content if necessary. Keep them descriptive and specific like the ones above. 

Here are some best practices for optimizing headers:

  • Keep them hierarchical: H2s follow H1s, H3s follow H2s, and so on
  • Include your target keywords naturally (but don't overdo it)
  • Ensure that headers accurately reflect the content they introduce
  • Use headers to improve content readability and structure
  • Make them engaging and enticing

Similarly, meta titles and descriptions provide an initial impression to users on the search results page. They should be enticing, concise, and relevant to the content.

Best practices for optimizing meta titles and descriptions:

  • A good meta description is 160 characters or less (check it here)
  • Contains the keyword and related terms e.g. “Camping,” “tents,” “trip”
  • Complements the title and tells the reader what they can expect to learn
  • Has a call to action, e.g “Discover,” “Find,” “Check,” etc
  • Uses active voice and is free from jargon and buzzwords

8. Including visuals for readability

Visual elements such as images, infographics, and videos break up text and make it more engaging. Don't forget to include alt text in your images to boost accessibility and SEO. 

Alt text helps search engines better understand the context of the image, which can help to improve your SEO. It also helps visually impaired readers understand your visuals, which can increase engagement.

Social media scheduler HeyOrca! adds a simple but enticing visual to their LinkedIn post.

In this LinkedIn post, HeyOrca! encourages you to sign up for their social media newsletter. The simple but effective visual is striking, using contrasting colors to draw you in.

9. Adding CTAs: Getting readers to take action

Every piece of content should have a purpose. Whether it's subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, or simply sharing the content, a well-placed call to action (CTA) can guide your readers toward the desired action. 

CTAs should be clear and compelling. 

Example:

Take control of your financial future today! Join our network of savvy investors and explore tailored investment strategies designed to secure your wealth. Start maximizing your financial potential – sign up now for a personalized financial assessment!

This CTA works because:

  • It communicates clear benefits ("Take control of your financial future," "explore tailored investment strategies") that resonate with the target audience, addressing their desire for financial security and growth.
  • The use of empowering language ("Join our network," "maximizing your financial potential") motivates readers and makes them feel like active participants in securing their financial well-being.
  • It outlines a specific action ("sign up for a personalized financial assessment") that users can take, providing a clear next step to engage with the service or product.
  • By using phrases like "today" and "start," the CTA creates a sense of urgency, prompting users to take action immediately rather than delaying their engagement.
  • It offers a personalized approach ("tailored investment strategies") that appeals to individuals seeking customized solutions, showing that the product or service is designed to meet their unique needs.
  • The CTA aligns with the likely intent of the audience — people interested in financial products or services are often seeking guidance or solutions for their financial goals.

Check out our guide on crafting effective CTAs to learn more. 

10. Stay ahead: Competitor analysis and keyword gaps

Monday.com addresses their competition with effective SEO copywriting. 

Your competitors can be a goldmine of insights. Analyzing their content can help you identify keyword gaps and SEO copywriting opportunities. Use tools like Semrush to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for. Then, create content around these keywords or explore gaps they haven't covered.

How to do a competitor analysis:

  1. Identify competitors: List your main competitors in your industry or niche.
  2. Analyze their content: Review their website content, blog posts, and landing pages for keywords and topics. Note down any themes they're targeting.
  3. Assess SEO strategies: Use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to analyze their backlinks, top-performing pages, and organic keywords.
  4. Evaluate engagement: Check their social media presence, audience engagement, and the type of content that receives the most interaction. Write down any themes, topics, or formats that work particularly well.
  5. Identify strengths and weaknesses: Determine what strategies are working for them and areas where they might be lacking. Use this to inform how you position your SEO copywriting.

How to do a keyword gap analysis:

  1. List target keywords: Identify your primary target keywords related to your niche.
  2. Use tools for comparison: Utilize tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Keyword Planner to compare your target keywords with those of your competitors.
  3. Analyze keyword overlaps: Identify keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t.
  4. Identify unique keywords: Look for keywords your competitors aren't targeting but are relevant to your audience and content.
  5. Prioritize and strategize: Highlight the keywords where your competitors are strong but you're not, and create a strategy to fill those gaps.

Conclusion

The art of SEO copywriting is the strategic marriage of creative storytelling with data-driven optimization. Crafting great SEO copy requires knowing your audience, optimizing your content with keywords, understanding search intent, and keeping your writing concise. Include visuals, structure your headings well, and create strong CTAs to convert organic traffic to sales. 

Experiment with different content marketing strategies, learn from your successes and failures, and adapt your approach by staying up to date with SEO changes. By following these 10 tips, you can create content that ranks well and that engages and inspires your audience. 

Ready to start? Get inspired with these 6 examples of exciting copywriting!

FAQs

What is SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting is the art of crafting compelling, user-focused content that strategically incorporates relevant keywords to enhance visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Why is SEO important?

SEO is important as it helps websites rank higher in search engine results — increasing visibility and attracting organic traffic — ultimately leading to more potential customers and sales. It also helps deliver content that matches users' search intent, improving user experience and engagement.