A lot of times, when you’re first starting out as a copywriter, you’ll be handed a piece of copy and expected to “make it pretty”. While it’s important to have a basic understanding of grammar, syntax, and spelling, knowing how to “make it pretty” means understanding the purpose of the piece and engaging with the intended audience.
But what happens when you don’t have a clear understanding of the end product or purpose of the piece? What if you’re given a rough draft and told to “make it pretty” without any explanation of what the final goal is? How can you represent the needs of a client if you don’t know what their needs are? How can you write something that will engage your target audience if you don’t know anything about them?
To effectively write copy for SEO, you must understand the ins and outs of SEO and how search engines work.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing websites so that they display in the best possible light in search results for relevant keywords/phrases. When somebody searches for a particular item or service, SEO will play a major role in the results that show up on the search engine’s (usually Google’s) website.
The better your SEO, the more relevant content (e.g., products, services, or information) you’ll appear for specific keywords or phrases. When someone clicks on your content, they’ll be directed to a different site, but they’ll still see your content because it was optimized for a keyphrase/keyword.
Keywords & Phrases
In SEO, keywords and phrases are used to determine the order of the results that appear on a search engine’s website. When somebody starts to type in a query, the search engine will look at all the text on the site and order the results based on how well the words match what the user is typing in. For example, if a user types in “SEO tutorial for beginners”, your content will appear in the results because it has those exact words in it.
To determine the right keywords and phrases to use, you first need to determine the most important phrases that your target audience is using. To do this, you can either conduct a quick search for your top competitors or ask existing customers for guidance. Once you have a list of keywords and phrases, you can use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEO Book to find the popularity of each phrase.
Why Are Keywords Important?
In the example above, the keywords are “SEO tutorial for beginners” and “SEO for beginners”. While the first result is for a blog post about SEO, the second result is for a video tutorial about SEO. Even though both results lead to the same webpage, Google determines that the video is more relevant because it includes more keywords.
In the same way, a video platform like YouTube determines that content that includes more keywords is more relevant than similar content that doesn’t. This is why video tutorials are often a better choice than straight copy because they allow you to include more keywords while still maintaining a clear and concise message.
What About Phrases?
Keywords are used to find content on a website, while phrases are used to find content on social media platforms. For example, if you run a fashion blog and want to write about the latest trends, you’ll use the keywords “fashion trends” to find blog posts, and you’ll use the phrases “this season’s trends” or “next season’s trends” to find status updates on social media platforms.
To determine the right phrases to use, conduct a quick search for your top competitors and see what words and phrases they are using. Using the keyword research tools mentioned above will also help you find the right phrases to use.
How Do I Get Started With SEO?
Once you have a basic understanding of what SEO is and why it’s important, you can start to determine how to get started with SEO for your blog or website. First, create a solid SEO strategy for your blog or website. This should include things like a clear description of your blog or website, a list of the keywords and phrases that you’ll use to optimize content, and how you’ll measure your success. Once you have a rough draft of your strategy, put it to the test by using the tools mentioned above to see how well your plan is working.