SEO Copywriting: How to Write Content for People & Search Engines
Quality content will always remain “king” when it comes to promoting something on the web. It builds a site’s authority, attracts readers, and drives people to share it on their social media platforms.
But writing engaging content isn’t enough. You’ll also need to please search engines so that your piece will be ranked higher on the search engine result page (SERP), which will increase its visibility.
In today’s marketing standard, quality content and effective search engine optimization practices have become the iconic duo for promoting a brand and selling a product. In this article, we’ll talk about how to accomplish both. We’ll start with quality content first.
How to Write Quality Content
The one thing you need to remember when writing quality content is that you should always place value on top of everything else. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re into. As long as your content offers value – whether it’s providing riveting entertainment or useful information – people will always consume it.
Next to value are the following elements:
1. Know What Your Readers Want
Before you write your content, you first need to have a solid understanding of what your audiences want, what they’re looking for. Let’s take an obscure niche, like tree cutting services, as an example.
This one is pretty straightforward since if they’re looking for a tree cutting company, their needs will likely revolve around pruning, stump removal, disease-ridden trees, and so on. They also might want to be informed about the laws surrounding tree cutting and what sort of permits they need to get depending on the state they’re in.
Now, looking at those examples alone, you already have several topics that you can cover. You can opt to include all of them in a single post and break everything down into useful information, or you can dedicate separate articles for them, diving deeper for each topic and including other relevant details.
2. Write Catchy Headlines
Writing engaging content is going to be useless if you don’t come up with an intriguing headline. And no, I’m not talking about clickbait titles either.
Here are a few tips to remember when crafting an eye-catching headline:
- Word count – ideally, you want your headline to be around six to seven words to get your point across and for search engines to not cut them off. Most of the time, however, it’s difficult to write a headline this way as it’s too limiting. According to Outbrain, you can stretch that limit to 16 to 18 words, and you’ll still be fine.
- Use adjectives – adjectives that trigger emotion can increase your click-through rate, as it adds a level of intrigue into what your content contains. Words like secret, free, easy, and engaging are just some adjectives that top copywriters use.
- Tease – since you’ve already written an engaging content, tease in your headline what it’s about. Signal to your readers what sort of value they’re going to get if they read your article.
Aside from headlines, you should also use sub-headlines in your content to break apart walls of texts and keep your reader on track. Lastly, if you run out of ideas, you can use tools like Portent’s Content Idea Generator to create unique headlines for your piece. The tool is also useful if you’re running out of topics to write in your niche.
3. Tell a Story
Telling a short but compelling story that’s relevant to the topic you’re covering is a great way to keep your readers engaged. Returning to our tree service example, you can cite interesting cases about people that were fined after cutting down specimens in their property that were protected by the municipality.
The story will stand as a reminder of what happens to people who are recklessly cutting down trees without being aware of the law. And you can transition the flow by highlighting the need to hire arborists for tree removals as their knowledge about state regulation will make the process easier.
4. Use Visual Content
Visual content is one of the most important elements you can add to your piece as it provides several benefits. Infographics, for instance, are an incredible inclusion since they give the reader a break, provide digestible information, and signal to your reader that you’re an authority when it comes to your niche.
Writing for Search Engines
Everything that’s been discussed so far are also elements that are essential when writing for a search engine. After all, Google is always emphasizing the need for marketers to offer value to their readers.
That being said, other factors will help your piece rank higher in the SERP. Keywords, for example, remain one of the foundations that marketers use to elevate themselves up the search result page.
Knowing your audience will play a significant part in your keyword research is essential too. Ask yourself what sort of query your ideal customer will input in the search bar if they’re looking for your services.
Once you have a list of what sort of keyword you want to insert in your piece, you can use Moz’s keyword research tool to get more information about their monthly search data. The tool will also help you discover other keywords that may be related to the ones you already have.
You should also familiarize yourself with Google’s Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT). This update allows Google to understand a query better by identifying the intent behind the search through an examination of the inputted words in both directions, hence the name.
Using keywords and semantics relating to those keywords is one of the practices you should remember when writing for BERT. This will help you rank higher in SERP, especially if you’re gunning for local niches like Los Angeles SEO agency.
To sum it up, always put value above everything else, and the rest will progress accordingly. You should also keep your ears on the ground about the dynamic practice of SEO writing and Google’s algorithm to ensure that you’re keeping up with the industry’s standards.