September 7, 2015
SEO copywriting. Does this conjure thoughts of a bespectacled man sitting in front of a typewriter, tapping away while smoking a pipe, his 1950’s hair slicked to the side and his face fixed in a concentrated grimace?
I’m sorry to say that’s a fantasy. It may have existed years ago, Mad Men style, but today’s (online based) copywriting looks a lot different than the old style. Let’s take a look at how much copywriting has evolved in the online world, with an SEO focus.
What is SEO Copywriting?
Modern SEO copywriting is the process of creating compelling content that people want to spread across the web by linking to or sharing it. Although it may seem simple, SEO copywriting is a complex business that allows brands to do everything from increasing their authority to attracting new customers.
In order to do this, today’s SEO copywriters wear a variety of hats – from writer to marketing expert – and employ a variety of talents to craft irresistible content.
The Five Pillars of Modern SEO Copywriting
In the world of SEO copywriting, content is the sustentative cake and everything else just serves to make it that much more edible and delicious. To put it another way: high-quality, unique, well-written content is a good SEO’s holy grail.
Intelligent, authoritative, well-crafted content appeals to search engines, earns a site higher SEO ranking and helps a page increase its domain authority.
To create great content, good SEO’s focus on tightly written, concise, clear, keyword-focused pieces that can help a brand expand its customer base, answer client questions and cater to consumer needs.
Modern day SEO’s are great at crafting tantalizing headlines and there’s good reason for this: headlines are the most important part of an article and great ones have the potential to pull readers in and keep them interested. Because of this, today’s SEO’s spend a great deal of their time writing irresistible headlines that people can’t help but click.
This involves ensuring that important keywords appear early in the title and that the headline of the article is readable to both people and search engines, which can help the page rank higher in search engine indexes and earn high-quality external links.
3. Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are one of those sneaky SEO tricks that many non-SEO’s have never heard of. Rest assured, though, that meta descriptions are not nearly as rabbit-out-of-a-hat as they may seem.
Part of an SEO’s broad job description is to craft great meta descriptions. The meta description’s purpose is to summarize the page’s content so that would-be readers can quickly decide which of the many search engine results will best suit their needs. Although meta descriptions don’t serve ranking purposes, they do serve potential readers and customers by offering a quick preview of coming attractions.
Links are the bread and butter of SEO and a great SEO copywriter knows how to use them well. The web thrives on connectivity and, in order to rank your site well, search engines need to know that you are well connected with other high-quality pages and a variety of authoritative content. When a search engine like Google sees links to reputable pages appearing within your content, it rewards the site by boosting SEO rankings and making the site more visible to potential readers.
A large part of good SEO copywriting is learning to link well, which means including high-quality links throughout the text, attaching them to relevant anchor text and providing natural links to interior pages of the home site or other related sites.
By doing this, a great SEO can boost the authority of web content and help it appear more readily in search engine results, thus begetting more high-quality external links and perpetuating the entire gleeful circle.
Keywords are a central piece of great SEO and they play an important role in ranking, optimizing and targeting content.
In order to craft high-quality pieces, SEO copywriters use keywords to build articles, blog posts, podcasts and social media posts. These keywords are naturally integrated throughout the text to make it more attractive and visible to search engines and to ensure that it shows up in relevant search engine queries.
Keywords can be spammy or natural and the way that they’re used can have a large impact on a site’s overall rank in the search engine results. Great SEO copywriters know how to use keywords to boost rankings without committing the dreaded SEO sin of keyword stuffing.
SEO Copywriting: a Modern Overlook
In today’s content-driven society, SEO copywriting is an important industry. It’s nearly impossible to sell a product, promote a service or hawk a good without boasting some well-written content and a platform from which to distribute it and SEO copywriters are the people behind that particular marketing curtain.
In addition to creating valuable content for readers, modern SEO copywriting also calls for marketing savvy, knowledge about who the customer is and what they want as well as a proficiency with a variety of social media platforms.
Modern SEO Copywriting takes a variety of forms and appears on a variety of platforms (everything from your Groupon description to the travel brochure you read on a hotel chain’s website was written by modern-day copywriters).
Regardless of where SEO copywriting may appear, though, one thing remains the same: in order to rank well and be effective, all great content needs to rely upon the five pillars of SEO copywriting: content, headlines, meta descriptions, links, and keywords.
When a copywriter’s metaphorical feet are solidly rooted in these things, great content ensues and brands benefit.
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.