Ever feel like you’re caught in a tug-of-war?
On one end, you’re trying to create content that resonates with readers and speaks their language. On the opposite end, you’re battling to satisfy the relentless demands of Google’s ever-evolving algorithms, all for the coveted top spot. It’s a juggling act that can leave you feeling lost in a sea of digital content.
The good news is that well-written SEO copy can save your content strategy. It can turn this balancing act into a coordinated dance that both charms your audience and satisfies search intent, ensuring you rank consistently.
In this article, you’ll learn new and proven strategies from the best SEO specialists and copywriters to create copy that’s not just a dry manual for Google but a captivating narrative for your readers.
18 SEO Copy Tips To Ensure Your Copy Ranks and Converts
1. Understand your audience
The basis of a good SEO strategy is understanding who your audience is and how you can serve them. Which pain points can you solve? Which goals can you help them achieve?
Founder of Enchanting Marketing, Henneke Duistermaat
Chima’s tip on understanding your audience
Some of the most significant challenges marketers face regarding audience insight include difficulty identifying the right audience and understanding customer behavior.
Knowing your target audience is crucial when crafting content. By identifying their pain points, you can create solutions that establish your authority and deepen your connection with them.
Use these strategies to gain audience insight:
- Conduct thorough research: Use tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and surveys to gather data on demographics, interests, and online behaviors. I’m a huge fan of community research, and I was recently introduced to Perplexity.ai as a great option for understanding the problems my target audience faces.
- Develop buyer personas: Create detailed profiles representing your ideal customers, including demographics, motivations, goals, and pain points. These personas serve as references when tailoring your messaging but should be constantly evolving with the needs of your target audience.
- Analyze competitor audiences: Study competitors targeting a similar audience. Identify content gaps and seize opportunities to provide unique value. Tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz are great options to consider.
2. Focus on the reader instead of keyword insertion
I don’t see SEO and conversions as mutually exclusive. Typically, when I write content, I think of the reader first. They are my priority.
I want to write content that they’ll find relevant to their needs and interest. Once I have a framework of key points, I incorporate keywords naturally to enhance the copy.
If I get it right, the copy becomes almost invisible, leaving readers to focus on meaning, not my word choices. The result is copy that ranks well and persuades readers to take action.
Freelance Copywriter, Susan Greene
SEO bots are smart enough to recognize content that is informative, valuable, relevant, and easy to read. The most important thing is to keep the reader in mind when writing.
Content with the right formatting, keywords, and alt tags won’t rank or convert if your audience doesn’t enjoy reading your content.
CEO of Oree Virtual, Samantha Pennington
Chima’s tip for optimizing content with entities
Rather than obsessing over keyword placement, prioritize the flow and coherence of your writing by optimizing for entities. This involves using specific terms, phrases, or synonyms that are associated with the main keyword. Entities give search engines a clear understanding of the context and relevance of your content.
To optimize entities in your copy, consider the following tips:
- Semantic keyword research: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify primary keywords, related terms, and entities. Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer can help you discover relevant keywords and entities associated with your topic. Clearscope is also a great resource for finding relevant entities around a given topic. More on keyword research in this article.
- Entity-based content structure: Ensure that you cover top entities comprehensively by having subheadings or paragraphs related to those entities. This helps search engines understand the depth of your content and increase its visibility in relevant search results.
- Contextual use of entities: Integrate entities naturally within your content, ensuring they align with the overall flow of your writing. Use variations, synonyms, or related terms to provide comprehensive coverage of the entity and its associated concepts as a way of ranking for related queries.
- Schema markup: Implement schema markup on your website to provide structured data that defines entities and their relationships within your content.
3. Write first, optimize later
My best tip for crafting copy that humans and Google love is to write first and optimize after.
If the copy doesn’t read like something I would say in front of another human, I pull back on the copy optimization and focus on conversion.
It’s better to use keywords strategically than dump them into your copy.
Copywriter and Copywriting Mentor, Belinda Weaver
Chima’s tip for writing content optimized for the user
When creating content for humans and search engines, it’s crucial to prioritize the human element. Writing content that feels natural and conversational is key to engaging your audience.
A few tips to humanize your content include:
- Speak to your audience: Use a friendly and approachable tone that reflects your brand’s personality. I’m a big fan of “writing as you speak, but remembering you’re online.” It allows me to picture the reader and position them in my mind when writing copy.
- Use stories and examples: Nothing connects faster or captures attention like an engaging story. Incorporate relatable stories, anecdotes, or real-life examples to illustrate your points. Stories have a powerful impact on human emotions and help readers connect with your content on a deeper level.
- Show empathy: Demonstrate empathy and understanding toward your audience’s challenges and pain points. Acknowledge their struggles and offer practical solutions. This shows that you genuinely care about their well-being and builds trust.
- Simplify complex concepts: Break down complex ideas or technical jargon into easily understandable language. Use clear explanations, analogies, or visual aids to simplify complex concepts. This helps your audience grasp the information effortlessly and enhances their overall reading experience.
- Include personal touches: Inject personal experiences or perspectives into your content to make it relatable and authentic. Sharing your own insights or stories can create a sense of connection and build credibility with your readers.
- Encourage interaction: Engage your readers by encouraging comments, questions, or feedback. Respond to their comments promptly and thoughtfully. This interactive approach fosters a sense of community and humanizes your content.
4. Conduct keyword research
Ignore the keyword naysayers. Think long and hard about your keywords. Find long-tail keywords that mean something to your target audience, and you have a chance to rank for them.
Then, go after that phrase in every way, including creating a piece of content worthy of ranking on the first page.
Content Marketing Expert, Barry Feldman
Chima’s tip on conducting keyword research
Keyword research should be the first step in your SEO copywriting checklist. Rather than writing content nobody reads, you’re crafting copy around a keyword your target audience is searching for.
You can’t beat the competition if you don’t know what they’re doing or gaps to exploit. Keyword research solves both problems for you.
Here are some tips to guide you when conducting keyword research:
- Understand goals: Determine the goals you want to achieve with your content, whether it’s driving traffic, generating leads, or increasing conversions. For example, if traffic is the goal, you’ll focus on top-of-the-funnel keywords that usually have a higher search volume.
- Identify relevant topics: Brainstorm topics and themes that align with your audience’s interests and are relevant to your business or industry. Consider using tools like Google Trends, industry forums, or social media platforms to identify popular discussions and trending topics.
- Utilize customer feedback and search queries: Tap into customer feedback, reviews, and testimonials to identify the language they use when discussing your products or services. Additionally, analyze the search queries and questions your target audience is likely to use. Tools like Google Search Console, AnswerThePublic, or social media listening can help you uncover valuable insights.
- Analyze competitor keywords: Study your competitors’ websites and content to identify the keywords they are targeting. Tools like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you uncover their top-ranking keywords. Identify gaps in their content and find opportunities to differentiate yourself.
- Consider user intent and search volume: Take into account the intent behind the keywords you choose. Are users looking for information, products, or specific solutions? Understanding user intent helps you create content that aligns with their needs. Additionally, consider the search volume of keywords. Focus on a mix of high-volume keywords to attract broader visibility and lower-volume, more specific keywords to target a niche audience.
Ultimately, every company is in business to make money and generate revenue.
If you’re ranking for terms that don’t lead to conversion, you’re missing out on sales. Target keywords people use when they’re ready to buy.
Freelance Writer and Storyteller Todd E. Jones
Chima’s tips on finding MOFU and BOFU keywords
I’m a big fan of educational content. Give and give until you’ve shared everything. But you have to find the balance. Prospects at the bottom of the funnel keep the lights on for your business. By targeting MOFU and BOFU keywords, you align your content with users who are more likely to convert, driving qualified leads and maximizing revenue potential.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Keywords
MOFU keywords target users who have moved past the initial research stage and are actively considering their options. These users are seeking more detailed information, comparisons, and evaluations. Use MOFU keywords to provide valuable insight, build trust with your potential customers, and guide them closer to a purchasing decision.
Examples of content formats for MOFU keywords include:
- Comparison guides: Create comprehensive guides that compare your products or services with competitors. For example, “Best Sales CRM Software: A Comparison Guide.”
- Product reviews: Craft in-depth reviews that highlight the features, benefits, and drawbacks of your offerings. For example, “Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review: Is It Worth the Hype?”
- Case Studies: Showcase success stories and real-life examples of how your product or service has helped customers. For example, “How Company XYZ Increased Conversions by 250% Using Our Marketing Software.”
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) Keywords
BOFU keywords target users who are ready to make a purchase or take a specific action. These keywords indicate high intent and often include terms like “buy,” “order,” or “sign up.” Optimizing your content for BOFU keywords helps capture ready-to-convert users and drive them toward the desired action.
Examples of content formats and BOFU keywords include:
Product demo videos: Create videos demonstrating your product’s features, functionality, and how it solves specific pain points. For example, “Notion Demo: See How It Simplifies Your Workflow.”
Free trials or offers: Provide enticing offers like free trials or seasonal discounts to encourage immediate action. For example, “Get Your 14-Day Free Trial of Our Project Management Software.”
Testimonials and customer success stories: Showcase testimonials and success stories from satisfied customers to build trust and inspire action. For example, “Customer A Achieved a 200% ROI Using Our Email Marketing Platform: Read Their Story.”
6. Create an SEO content outline
Content briefs provide clarity and direction by clearly defining the goals and target audience of your content. They provide a blueprint for writers, editors, and other stakeholders to follow, leading to a more streamlined content production process.
As a freelance SEO copywriter, I take research seriously. I spend hours analyzing what’s ranking, looking for subheadings that reoccur, searching for new trends on the topic, and insights that’ll make the copy better. An SEO content outline ensures that my copy flows logically.
Without structure, I’m rambling.
A few tips for creating a research-driven content brief:
- Conduct keyword research around the topic to identify relevant target keywords and incorporate them strategically into the content brief.
- Analyze the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your target keywords. Take note of SERP features such as video, modifiers, Google filter bubbles, related searches, content types, and featured snippets. This insight helps you understand the content formats that are currently ranking and provides guidance on structuring your content to align with user expectations.
- Consider E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) when creating the content brief. Ensure the content reflects the expertise and authority of your brand. Establish trust by citing reliable sources, including expert quotes, and providing accurate information.
- Analyze competitor content to identify content gaps and understand what works. The data empowers you to create unique and valuable content that stands out.
- Incorporate data and research findings into the content brief to support the credibility and authority of the content. Citing original research is a great way to earn the trust of users and search engines.
7. Optimize your content for secondary keyphrases
Secondary key phrases often go overlooked, but they can make or break your search rankings.
Unfortunately, not all SEO writers are trained to incorporate the right secondary key phrases, and they might only optimize for the main key phrase.
This leads to lost opportunities for long-tail variations of your key phrase since Google will position you for search queries even when the words are broken up or spread across your post.
To make sure your writers are using the right secondary keywords, use SEO copywriting tools like Frase.io, MarketMuse, or Clearscope. These content optimization tools generate a detailed SEO brief with the top words and subtopics to cover.
SaaS Copywriter and Content Strategist, Dayana Mayfield
Chima’s tip on optimizing for secondary keywords
Secondary keywords and phrases allow you to target long-tail search queries. By optimizing for these terms, you increase your chances of attracting targeted traffic to your content. It also helps ensure that your content remains contextually relevant to different search intents and user needs.
A few tips to optimize for secondary keywords and phrases include:
- Keyword research: Conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify relevant secondary keywords and phrases related to your main topic. Utilize keyword research tools and pay attention to long-tail variations that align with user intent.
- Strategic placement: Incorporate secondary keywords and phrases naturally throughout your content, ensuring they fit organically within the context. Aim to include them in headings, subheadings, meta tags, and throughout the body of your content. However, avoid keyword stuffing or sacrificing readability for the sake of optimization.
- Create targeted subheadings: Use subheadings strategically to include secondary keywords and phrases. This not only helps with SEO but also improves the content structure, making it easier for users to navigate and understand the context.
- Leverage SEO writing tools: Take advantage of SEO copywriting tools like Frase.io, MarketMuse, or Clearscope. These tools auto-generate detailed SEO briefs, suggesting top entities, subtopics, and secondary keywords to cover.
8. Target low-to-no-volume keywords
I advocate for creating tailored content regardless of search volume, especially for lead-based businesses. When you have a value proposition or feature that is helpful in a specific context, targeting those hyper-niches allows you to really speak to that need in a way that no one else does or can.
I recommend talking to customers, sales, and customer reps. Document common questions, concerns, issues, and biases that pop up.
Conduct keyword research to find search queries and terms around these questions. If it’s something that’s frequently asked, that’s a good sales angle to explore.
I also advocate creating content around these questions, whether they have search volume or not.
It would be a great resource for customer-facing teams to send to prospects when these questions arise.
For example, a client of mine is a software dev agency offering the ability to buy a sprint cycle with their team.
They are creating a piece of content on “how much software engineering costs” where they explain various flexible pricing models and position their brand as a great solution to buy from.
Tory Gray, SEO Consultant and Founder of the Gray Dot Company
Chima’s tip on choosing zero-volume keywords
By targeting zero-volume keywords that address specific customer needs, you can establish a niche presence, attract qualified traffic, and enhance your conversion potential.
Here are some tips for choosing the right zero-volume keywords:
9. Write like you’re having a conversation
Google continues to get better at understanding language and writing. That puts less of a burden on copywriters to write “SEO friendly” text.
Briefly review your primary keywords and related terms. Then write normally.
Optimizing for SEO may require you to sacrifice user experience. But what you supposedly gain in “optimization” you often lose with annoying or boring text.
If the content stagnates on Page 2 or is low on Page 1, it could be that you’re not answering user questions that other higher-ranking pieces of content have answered.
Fixing that gap will simultaneously close any keyword gaps without selling out your copywriting to SEO.
Derek Gleason, Content Lead at CXL Institute
Chima’s tip for writing conversational copy:
Conversational writing makes your content more relatable, engaging, and enjoyable for readers while still maintaining its SEO value. It helps you to connect with your audience by using language, tone, and storytelling techniques that mimic natural conversation.
A few tips to guide you when writing in a conversational tone:
- Know your audience: Understand your target audience’s language, preferences, and level of familiarity with the topic. Use language and tone that resonates with them and reflects their communication style. Avoid jargon or technical terms that may confuse or alienate readers. Conduct community research on Reddit and other online forums to learn how your audience talks.
- Use everyday language: Write in a conversational tone using simple, everyday language. Use words and phrases that your audience know. This makes your content more approachable and relatable.
- Be authentic and engaging: Write in a way that reflects your personality and brand voice. Inject your own unique style, anecdotes, or personal experiences to make the content more engaging and relatable. I try to include personal stories and experiences when writing or speaking at live events. It’s a great way to establish an immediate connection with your audience and keep them engaged.
- Ask questions and provide answers: Incorporate questions into your content to spark engagement and encourage readers to think and reflect. Then, provide clear and concise answers to these questions. This format mimics a natural conversation and keeps readers engaged.
- Use conversational phrases: Integrate conversational phrases such as “imagine if,” or “have you ever” to create a sense of familiarity and invite readers to participate mentally in the conversation. This also helps to break down complex concepts and make them more accessible.
- Include examples and stories: Support your points with real-life examples or relatable stories. Stories add depth and context to your content, making it more engaging and memorable for readers. More on storytelling shortly.
- Address user questions and concerns: Anticipate the questions and concerns your target audience may have and address them in your content. You position as a helpful resource and establish trust with your readers. However, this isn’t achievable without empathy. You need to understand your user’s pain points to anticipate questions they might have around certain concepts.
- Encourage interaction: Invite readers to share their thoughts, experiences, or opinions in the comments section or through social media. Respond to their comments and engage in discussions, fostering a sense of community and further building the conversational aspect of your content.
Read this article to get more tips on how to write in a conversational tone.
10. Adopt storytelling
Writing search-engine-optimized content is not enough. Your content should engage, leave an impression, and get the reader to take action.
But how do you achieve these goals when 1,000 different bloggers are saying the same thing?
With storytelling, you stand out from a sea of competitors. It’s your unique perspective that helps you visualize a problem your audience faces, and solve the problem while keeping the reader engaged.
A few storytelling tips to guide you:
- Identify your narrative: Determine the core narrative or theme that will drive your blog post. This provides a clear focus and direction for your storytelling.
- Create emotional connection: Appeal to the emotions of your readers by using vivid descriptions, relatable characters, and sensory details. It establishes a strong connection and engagement with your audience.
- Build tension and conflict: Every story needs a hero, conflict, and resolution. It creates suspense and keeps readers engaged as they anticipate the solution.
- Tie story to solution or insight: Weave your solutions, insights, or key messages seamlessly into the narrative. Show how your product or service addresses the problem or challenge presented in the story.
- Craft a memorable conclusion: End your blog post with a compelling conclusion that reinforces the key takeaways and leaves a lasting impression. It could be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, or a strong summary of the main points.
Read this article to get more tips on how to use storytelling for blogging
11. Link internally and externally
Here’s a question we never seem to agree on within the SEO community.
Do outbound links have a positive or negative impact on search engine optimization?
The short answer for me is yes.
Outbound links are great for SEO. I always link to authoritative sources when I write a blog post (not crowd-written content like Wikipedia).
Michiel Heijmans, the COO of Yoast SEO believes that every page should include an outbound link. It helps Google connect the dots on how websites relate to each other.
WebFX explains it better. Google wants to show the most relevant results for a search query. An external link increases the popularity of a post. Hence, the more links a post receives, the more popular it becomes.
Also, external links show relevance. The anchor text used in linking gives context to what the page is about.
The relatedness between your page content and the external web pages you link to helps search engines to better establish knowledge hubs around topics.
Still not convinced?
Reboot carried out a study to find out if outgoing links are a ranking factor and part of good SEO practice.
They created 10 websites and added 300-word articles about a new product (totally fake) that they wanted to promote. The keyword positions, text length, and structure were similar.
5 out of 10 websites included high authority outgoing links to Cambridge University, Genome Research Institute, and Oxford University.
The sites with outgoing links performed really well on Google SERP, ranking in the top 5 for most of the keywords.
Conversely, internal linking is great for increasing dwell time on the page and reducing the bounce rate on your site.
By linking relevant resources on your site, you’re keeping the reader engaged and providing comprehensive information that helps them better understand a topic.
Tips to guide you when building internal or external links:
- Strategic anchor text: Use descriptive and relevant anchor text when linking internally. The anchor text should provide context about the linked page’s content, helping both search engines and users understand the destination.
- Avoid excessive linking: While internal linking is important, avoid excessive linking within your content. Focus on quality rather than quantity and ensure that each internal link serves a purpose and adds value to the reader’s experience.
- Regularly review and update links: Periodically review your content and internal links to ensure they remain relevant and functional. Update or remove broken or outdated links to maintain a positive user experience and improve overall SEO.
- Link to authoritative sources: When linking externally, prioritize reputable and authoritative sources. Linking to trusted websites enhances the credibility of your content and signals to search engines that your content is well-researched and reliable.
- Relevance and context: Ensure that external links are contextually relevant to the topic of your content. Link to resources, studies, or articles that provide additional insights or support your claims, helping readers access more comprehensive information.
- Diverse linking: Include a mix of outbound links to various high-quality sources and avoid excessive reliance on a single domain. Diverse external linking demonstrates a well-rounded approach and enriches the user experience.
- Open links in new tabs: Consider opening external links in new tabs when appropriate. This allows users to explore the linked content without navigating away from your page and encourages them to return and continue reading your content.
- Monitor link relevancy: Regularly check the external links in your content to ensure they remain relevant, accurate, and valuable to readers. If linked pages become outdated or irrelevant, consider updating or replacing the links to maintain content integrity.
Use a relevant anchor text when linking internally or externally. Shoving a link anywhere on the page won’t drive organic traffic.
This is especially important if you’re recommending products or services within the copy as the reader will expect a link to a product page.
Your link should have some element of a CTA if you want to increase the click-through rate to your money pages.
Emily Rodgers, Digital Copywriter at Builtvisible
Use multiple types of CTAs to maximize conversion rate. A visual call out or button is always a good technique.
Couple it with in-line links to other pages on your site, and you’ll have CTAs that appeal to more than one type of reader.
Before you write any type of content, decide what you want it to achieve. Write your copy around this goal, rather than trying to shoehorn CTAs in after the fact.
Not every piece of SEO copy is about a revenue-oriented goal. In some cases, the goal could be to educate the reader about a specific topic or establishing yourself as a thought leader.
In such cases, your CTAs shouldn’t be all about Buy Now or Click Here. Instead, a good CTA might link to another piece of content on the same topic, the author’s social media pages, or a subscription to your email list.
Copywriter and Content Strategist, Liam Carnahan
Chima’s tip on writing CTA text for links
Anchor text crafted like a CTA not only boosts click-through rates by compelling readers to act but also improves user experience by explaining what to expect upon clicking.
A few tips for adding CTA to your links include:
- Provoke curiosity: Tease the reader with a taste of what they’ll get by clicking the link. For example: “Curious about advanced SEO techniques? Learn more in this comprehensive guide.”
- Solve a problem: Position your CTA as a solution. “Struggling with SEO? Our ultimate guide can help.”
- Keep it contextual: The CTA should flow naturally from the content of your article. If you’re writing about SEO mistakes, you could use: “Avoid common SEO mistakes with our free checklist.”
- Be direct: Sometimes, straightforward language works best. “Read our best-performing SEO strategies now.”
- Show progression: Connect your CTAs to form a journey. After an introductory article, you could say: “Mastered the basics? Move onto our advanced SEO guide.”
- Address objections: Preemptively tackle potential hesitation. “No jargon, just clear, actionable SEO advice. Get started here.”
13. Have a specific conversion goal for each piece of content
Have a specific conversion goal when writing copy. This goal doesn’t have to be financial such as leading to a product page.
A conversion goal could be signing up for a newsletter, reading another article, or sharing the post on social media.
It easier when you have a specific audience in mind. A persona helps you map out the piece, choose the right keywords, and find creative CTAs that fit your audience.
Social Media and Community Manager at SEMrush, Diana Richardson
Chima’s tip for setting content goals:
Setting goals prior to writing content is essential. It provides a clear direction by aligning content with expected results. Also, goal setting helps measure content effectiveness, enabling you to fine-tune strategies for better audience engagement and conversion.
A few tips for setting content goals include:
- Identify audience intent: Understand your reader’s stage in their customer journey and shape your conversion goal to address their current needs or interests.
- Align with business objectives: Ensure the conversion goal contributes to your larger business objectives. A cohesive strategy increases overall effectiveness.
- Set measurable targets: Establish quantifiable targets for your conversion goals. Regularly track, measure, and adjust your content based on these metrics.
- Craft clear CTAs: Guide your audience towards the conversion goal with specific and compelling CTAs. Make sure it’s tailored to the desired action.
- Consider engagement goals: Non-transactional goals like comments or social shares are valuable. They help build brand loyalty and increase audience engagement.
- Iterate and Improve: Conversion goals aren’t set in stone. Review them periodically based on content performance and evolving business needs.
14. Optimize your copy for user experience
One of my favorite SEO copywriting tips is making the copy skimmable and readable. SEO copywriters work so hard to get content to rank and drive more traffic.
Why lose potential customers because you can’t get past the look and feel of the content?
You want visitors to read every word you write, but sadly, that’s not always the reality. Use sub-headlines, bulleted lists, short paragraphs, and italics to break up your copy.
SEO Consultant and Founder at MediaSesh, Christina Brodzky
Chima’s tip for factoring UX into web copy
When I come across your blog post or any web page on your site, there are several things I expect to see:
- Pages that load quickly
- Fonts that don’t make me squint my eyes
- Paragraphs that aren’t lumped together like an academic report
- Simple words that don’t require a dictionary
User experience goes beyond written content to presentation. It’s how you structure the page to ensure that both mobile and desktop users enjoy a wonderful experience when browsing pages on your site. It also impacts engagement levels and plays a crucial role in determining conversion rates.
Here are six tips to enhance your web copy for a better user experience:
- Ensure readability: Use short sentences, simple language, and avoid jargon. Make your content accessible to a broad range of readers.
- Embrace white space: Don’t crowd your text. White space improves readability and reduces visual clutter, making your content easier to digest.
- Add visuals: Infographics, images, and videos can support your text and improve engagement. They help illustrate complex ideas in a digestible format.
- Structure with hierarchy: Use headers and subheaders to guide readers through your content. It enhances readability and improves SEO.
- Prioritize mobile-friendliness: More people browse on mobile than ever. Ensure your copy and layout are mobile-optimized to cater to this audience.
- Include interactive elements: Adding quizzes, polls, or comment sections can increase user interaction and engagement. It’s a great way to make your content more dynamic and encourage users to spend more time on your page.
15. Satisfy search intent
Your content must satisfy the keyword intent behind a search query. It could be informational, transactional, navigational, or commercial.
During your keyword research process, map the search intent to the purchase intent.
Most content marketers invest in either:
- Low volume, high keyword intent product-driven content or
- High volume, low keyword intent trend-related content that drives traffic.
When you bring search intent together with your goal for that piece of content, you’ve unlocked content marketing greatness.
Alina Benny, SEO and Content Lead at Nextiva
Chima’s tip on optimizing content for search intent
Optimizing for search intent is key to SEO success because it directly influences user satisfaction and your ability to rank on SERP for competitive keywords. Your content becomes more relevant, helping you show up higher in search results. This boosts user engagement and trust, making your brand a niche authority. Also, by giving users what they want, they’re less likely to leave your site quickly, reducing bounce rates.
Here are six tips to optimize content for search intent:
- Analyze top-ranking content on SERP: Look at the content that currently ranks for your target keywords. This can give you valuable insights into what Google deems relevant for those search terms.
- Identify keyword types: Classify your keywords based on the four types of search intent: informational, transactional, navigational, or commercial. This will guide your content creation strategy.
- Tailor your content: Align your content format with search intent. For example, use how-to guides for informational intent, product pages for transactional intent, etc.
- Ensure topic coverage: For informational intent, cover the topic comprehensively. Use subtopics and related keywords to satisfy the user’s desire for thorough knowledge.
- Optimize meta tags: Use your target keyword in the title tag and meta description. It helps search engines understand the context of your content.
- Create engaging CTAs: For transactional or commercial intent, make your CTAs compelling. They should motivate users to take the desired action.
16. Write a click-worthy headline
Researching and adding key phrases to your content is the easy part. Creating content that grabs the reader, doesn’t let go and makes the client money… that’s the true badge of an SEO writing master.
A great headline is the foundation of a highly converting copy. Study headline formulas and use them on your sales pages.
PAS, AIDA Headline-writing formulas. Learn them all. Try them and see what works for your target reader.
Heather Lloyd-Martin – SEO Copywriter and Consultant at SuccessWorks
Integrate keywords in headers but avoid keyword stuffing. You don’t want your primary keyword in every H2 and H3 header.
Rather, use your primary keyword once or twice in the body of copy. Include LSI and secondary keywords naturally in the rest of your headers.
Brooklin Nash, Head of Content at Wiza
Here are a few more tips on writing powerful headlines from the experienced Content Strategist and SEO Specialist, Debra Mastaler
Know Your Audience
As a content SEO, I work in verticals I’m unfamiliar with, so I have to become an expert pretty quickly.
Instead of spending hours in research mode, I turn to tools like Buzzsumo to analyze industry headlines. Once I know what people are responding to, I can create appealing headlines and content using topics the community loves.
I’m not a fan of formulaic writing but from my experience, the following four types of headlines “hook” people into reading and get more clicks:
- Headlines that make promises.
- Headlines that tug on the heart or anger strings.
- Headlines that make you go “huh?” or provoke curiosity.
- Headlines that provide an answer.
If you’re thinking, “great ideas for writing simple blog posts, but what about case studies or white papers?”
Take a look at the following titles, which would you rather read?
Five Ways to Use Best Practices When Managing Software Intellectual Property in an Open Source World.
5 Ways to Save Millions by Re-Using Existing Software.
The second title provokes curiosity and provides an answer. Whereas the first one just seems to be a jumble of terms. No surprise it didn’t get many clicks.
While keywords in your headlines are important, headlines stuffed with keywords usually sound awful and don’t get people to click.
Your headlines work to earn links and shares, so keep the keywords to a single phrase and use terms that appeal to your audience.
Here’s another example:
Stuck with High Credit Card Debt? We Work to Have You Debt Free in Three Months.
Try to keep your primary keyword at the beginning of the title if possible. Longer titles seem to get more engagement on social media, but I’ve found that shorter titles work better on news and magazine sites.
17. Find your x-factor
Once I know the keyphrase I’m targeting, the first step is to look at what is currently ranking on page 1 for that search query.
My goal here is to get a feel for what Google considers as the best content for that keyphrase. As I look through the top 5 or so posts, I ask myself:
“What is missing?
Can I add some original data or firsthand experience?
What will make it better?”
Can I make the post longer and more comprehensive?
Can I address key steps that other websites missed?
Can I provide a more practical, step-by-step guide?
I structure the post around these objectives, trying to envision how I would teach this topic if I was a teacher in a high school classroom.
If you can nail that and create a piece that keeps people reading, the rest is easy.
On-page SEO is just a simple checklist. In my experience, the real key to ranking is writing content that people stick around to read.
Copywriter and Content Strategist Jacob McMillen
18. Teach the reader something new
There are three essential elements to creating killer content.
It needs to be actionable, educational, and entertaining.
Any content can be one element. Hit two and you’re in a good spot. Sometimes you’ll even be strong enough to rank.
But when you hit all three in one post? THAT’S when copy magic happens.
Teach them, move them, and make ’em smile.
Justin Blackman, Voice Guide Expert and Founder of Pretty Fly Copywriting
Alright, let’s go back to the basics
What Is SEO Copywriting?
In a previous article, I defined SEO copywriting as:
The process of conducting keyword research to understand what your target audience wants as it relates to the product or service you’re offering. You use the target keywords to write engaging content that thoroughly satisfies the reader’s search intent.
So, SEO copywriting includes two factors. Keyword research to determine search intent, and engaging content that satisfies the user’s search intent.
Google bots understand the context in your copy. I’ve seen sites like Copyblogger, Search Engine Watch, and Jeff Bullas rank for a plethora of relevant keywords that weren’t mentioned in the copy?
As an SEO copywriting example, I’ll like to share data from a guest post that Henneke Duistermaat wrote on Neil Patel’s blog. It ranks for 641 keywords.
4 keywords in featured snippets
21 keywords in People Also Ask
9 Keywords in image pack
I’ve read this copy at least 10 times in the past year and I keep coming back because it’s so good. This is the perfect example of great content that is optimized for search while remaining engaging.
It’s been years since the article was published but I reckon it still drives a decent amount of traffic to Neil Patel’s site.
I don’t think Henneke or Neil went about adding each keyword in the copy. Or it wouldn’t read well. She wrote naturally, optimized for the primary and secondary keywords and Google bots did the rest.
Why Is SEO an Important Skill for a Content Writer?
No one knows more about the importance of SEO skills for content writers than Jamie Pitman, the Head of Content at BrightLocal. I reached out to him for some insight.
Here’s what he had to say:
1. Create a Compelling Argument Without Sacrificing Keywords
SEO is a core skill for every copywriter because it involves balancing the emotional needs of the reader with the more rational and ever-changing functions of search engines.
Writing for SEO is a great way to create a compelling argument without diluting the keywords.
The twin modes of emotional and informational ensure that you never have to forgo key messaging to over-serve a more emotional argument.
2. Appeal to a Wider Spectrum of Readers
Knowing how to write for both man and machine means that your copy will likely appeal to those with a more rational mindset and those who prefer a more entertaining proposition.
3. Help Google Understand Your Content
Another aspect of SEO that can contribute to your copy is structure. Search engines need to be able to understand what you’re writing about.
It helps them scan web pages for headings, step-by-steps, bullet points, FAQs and more, in order to pull out the key information for searchers.
Keeping this approach in mind as you write makes your copy easier for readers to digest.
Whether it’s the attentive reader who reads your copy word-for-word or inattentive readers who prefer to skim the text for the key information they need.
4. What Is Good for the Reader is Good for Search Engines
Ultimately, the goal of search engines is to define the best piece of content for the reader at any given time, based on their search intent and search location. Hence, SEO is the playbook for writing ‘good content.’
Write for Humans and Optimize for Search Engines
And there you have it, a roadmap to creating SEO copy that truly resonates with any audience. As you navigate your content journey, remember this: you’re writing for people, not just machines.
Don’t get lost in the labyrinth of keywords and semantic entities. Yes, they matter, but they’re not the whole story. The heart of your content should be packed with real, practical advice that your audience can connect with and implement on their own.
If you need help creating helpful content that ranks on Google and achieves your content marketing goals, I’d love to jump on a call with you. Schedule a free consultation now.