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Marketing is evolving so rapidly that even Don Draper would have trouble keeping up with it. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but let’s face it, us mere mortals can’t compete with the advertising chops of the man at the helm of Sterling Cooper. Over the past decade, a whirlwind of tools, technologies, and platforms have infiltrated the digital marketing arena and has left brands overwhelmed. Businesses saw a rapid rise in the number of customer touch points and now have a direct link to their customers through the proliferation of smartphones. This meant that a company can directly communicate with the customers and customize brand-building efforts.

Content marketing is an integral part of a brand’s story. The main goal of content marketing is to engage with customers and gain visibility online. Brands accomplish this by creating search engine optimized content.

The Biggest SEO Copywriting Misconception

SEO copywriting is considered as the most misunderstood topic in the online world. This should come as a surprise to anyone who knows how widely practiced and how important copywriting is. Brands commonly make the mistake of being bogged down in keywords. This happens because they consider strategies from the perspective of search engine algorithms first and then decide what people need. This is a backward approach and hurts your brand’s standing.

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines state,

“Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.”

This clearly shows that you need to consider the user needs first and then try to incorporate your target keywords.

Crafting Great SEO Copy

SEO writing is a skill that requires a ton of practice and persistence. You’ll have to juggle multiple factors to figure out what your audience will find engaging and then go about creating the right piece of content. Which begs the question, how does one create riveting, engaging, and SEO-friendly content? The answer is a bit complicated so let’s break it down into concrete techniques and tips that you can readily apply.

Understand your content goals

Becoming a successful SEO writer doesn’t mean you have you mindlessly churn out content. Clearly defined goals will go a long way to help you create a stellar strategy as well as help refine your tactics. Content marketing works on a simple two-factor formula—appeal to your audience and solve a specific problem.

  1. Focus on the end user who will be consuming your content (clients, customers, prospects, etc.).
  2. Figure out what problems they have and focus each piece on addressing a specific problem.

Find the right keywords

This might seem like a no-brainer to you if you are even remotely familiar with content marketing, but the fact that it’s such a well-known thing just serves to illustrate the importance of keywords. To help you understand why keywords are the pillars of content, let’s get a rudimentary, non-techy understanding of search engines. Search engines crawl your website and try to make sense of your content.  They accomplish this by looking for textual markers that can be used to tag all the available information under a meaningful set of words. These words are later used to match user queries and displayed in the search results.

If you manage to find highly searched for words/phrases and integrate them into your content in a meaningful way, your website is ranked higher and you’ll get more visitors. Of course, you need to keep track of your website analytics to see if your strategy is working. Keep experimenting until you find a formula that works best for your particular case.

Put these keywords to use

So you’ve gone through tons of numbers, stats and finally have a list of great keywords. What now? You need to use them of course! But, simply peppering your content with target keywords doesn’t work. This calls for a more elegant solution. Place the words strategically in your content piece, in fact, craft an entire piece around a couple of related keywords to make it seem more relevant. Pick a primary keyword and use it in the page title, the introductory paragraph, and the conclusion. These will serve as mile markers for search engine crawlers. Make sure your article delivers on the promise made by that specific keyword.

Write detailed content

Constantly creating new and interesting content can get a bit frustrating sometimes. You run out of ideas, you run out of words, and then finally you find yourself in the depths of a procrastination spiral that involves exploring the Google Street View of Rome just because you can. Not a pretty state of affairs by any measure. In this mood, it’s easy to ignore the rules and just churn out a standard 100-200 word article. This won’t help your content marketing efforts, because this isn’t an ideal target. Try to aim for at least 300 or above for better results. Also, keep in mind that in-depth articles (1800+ words) rank better than short-form content.

Choose topics that are useful

If you want to attract readers and keep them coming back, you need to provide them with valuable content. The most valuable content from the reader’s perspective is something that informs, entertains, or educates. Give them something worth their attention and they will keep coming back. There are lots of ways to do this, impart tips, convey useful information, break down a problem, or offer advice. Just make sure you write about topics that are relevant to your target niche/business. A quick way to come up with a lengthy list of topics is to check your keywords.

Proof, structure, and edit your work

Let’s face it, editing is part of the writing process. Every great article you read online has gone through numerous edits and rewrites before taking on that final published form. As all writers know, it’s easy to get immersed in the flow of words which ultimately results in a few errors. Self-edit or get the help of a professional. If you’re self-editing it’s a good idea to take at least a 12-hour break from the piece and then start editing. This gives your brain enough of a time gap to check the work objectively. A standard word processor has integrated grammar and style checking tools, but it’s not wise to rely on one tool. Run your content through an online grammar checker using mediacom internet. You can try out applications such as Grammarly or Ginger to get things done in an accurate way.

As the saying goes, content is (and will remain) king. Other SEO tricks might work in the short-run, but engaging content will help you get better traction over time. So, level up your SEO writing skills and watch those ranking numbers go higher and higher.

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