So I’ve always been pretty OK at writing. I did well in English at school, finished my secondary education with top marks, and successfully graduated from my BA Communications Degree. My first few jobs involved a great deal of content production for print mediums in various styles so I was always writing, writing, writing.

As time has passed, technologies have changed, and in my current role I’ve found myself writing more content for online spaces – websites, blogs, social media, enewsletters etc. Yeah, so what’s the difference to other writing styles? This is just the same style of writing, ending up in a different medium right? I soon discovered this was way wrong if I wanted to see my clients getting results for their websites.

That’s when I first heard about SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – and it was a real game changer for my writing style.

First I had to get my head around SEO –it’s the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s organic, or unpaid, search results. AND I also discovered that SEO copywriting is just one of the ways we can optimise websites.

BUT…how could I re-train my writing style to cater for these little bots that crawl the worldy widey web and decide what content ranks higher than others? Stress was setting in.

What is the SEO copywriting secret? Is there some magical mathematical equation worked out behind the scenes that factors in things like keywords and their density, headlines, article length, links…my head was spinning by this stage. Clearly, I would have to uncover the mysterious formulas and write to trick the bots into ranking my websites highly.

Well no, I now know SEO copywriting is nothing like this, and needn’t be such a stress at all.

In fact, with a little help from some excellent resources like Copyblogger, I’ve discovered it’s not about tricking search engines, it’s about being friendly to them. I now realise that the so called ‘magic formula’ these days is more about creating compelling content that is written naturally, and in turn, naturally attracts links.

Do your keyword research and learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO, but use them to learn more about your customers as a whole — what they’re interested in, and the terms they use to search for your services.Here’s some of the best tips I’ve learnt about SEO copywriting:

  • Dont ‘stuff’ keywords into your text. Instead use them naturally and strategically, intelligently and with usability in mind.
  • Use proper page titles that include your keywords and accurately describe the content that lives on that specific page.
  • Keep headlines succinct and be creative but still on topic.
  • Linking out to other pages is important – link to relevant content early in the body, link to relevant pages approximately every paragraph or two, link to relevant interior pages of your site or other sites, and link with naturally relevant anchor text – that is the clickable text of a hyperlink. Source: Copyblogger
  • Write naturally. Make your content primarily for humans, not search engines.
  • Make your content compelling and useful.
  • Write content that prompts people to share and link to it.
  • Anticipate the needs of your users – why do you have this website? What are you offering that they will be searching for? Always focus on what’s in it for the reader.
  • Use plain and simple English. Make it easy to read with short, sharp paragraphs. If your content is overly technical, translate it into simple terms that the majority of users can understand.
  • Stick to the topic – focus the content strictly on the subject matter of your keywords or keyword phrases.
  • Minimise errors and typos.
  • Frequently refresh your content to ensure it is current.
  • There really is no ideal set length when it comes to word count, so don’t strive for word count, instead strive for depth of content which helps with rankings.
  • Find a good editor! Don’t edit your own work, instead get a second set of eyes to review your content and cut out anything unnecessary to your overall goals.

So it seems modern SEO does not apply a magical or mysterious formula to your copy as such.  However, these are just some ways you can ensure your online copy can score some kudos with those pesky search engine bots crawling around everywhere.

Please contact us if you’re after good content that is SEO friendly, readable and relevant to your audience.

SEO image from Shutterstock

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