For the purpose of this post, we’re going to assume you agree with the following:
- Search results matter to your business
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to your online success
Now, onto the art of SEO copywriting. Or as we like to think of it here at RWL Design – the foundation of a successful content marketing strategy. The following outlines the process our creative team uses to develop relevant blog posts and landing pages for our clients.
8 Steps of SEO Copywriting
1. Identify What Matters to Your Success
The first step to successful SEO copywriting isn’t actually writing. Writing’s not even the fourth step!
The first step to successful SEO copywriting is determining what you need to highlight or showcase and who needs to read your content. Most of the time it comes down to what products and/or services are key to your business growth – or building your brand as an authority. Either way, the goal of any content marketing campaign is to help you reach your target audience, showcase why your company is the best solution, and meet the business goals you’ve set.
Which means knowing what your goals are. This is why our creative team always begins by discussing your business, how it works, what is most profitable, and what needs to happen in order to make your campaign a success. We work together to evaluate what is most important to communicate and use this process to create key topics for your content calendar – knowing it’s not always set in stone.
In the case of blogging, you can think of these topics as your categories.
2. Define Your Benefits
Using this list, we define the benefits you provide and why your solutions matter. These could include:
Problems they solve
Happiness they offer
Fears they eliminate
Social status they provide
Experiences they give
Goals they help you attain
The benefits listed become the foundation for your content calendar. Each can easily be their own blog post. In addition, many of these benefits can be made into more than one blog post.
The key to repurposing an item on the list is to make sure the new post remains relevant to your audience and that it provides something new. This something new could include new information, a new perspective or a new feature.
3. Research Key Terms
Here’s where the real fun begins. Our creative team selects a benefit from the list to use as a topic for an individual post. Then we dive into keyword research. This includes, but is not limited to:
When searching on Google, a dropdown list of search suggestions is provided. The terms on this list indicate of the most popular search queries related to your own. In the screenshot below, you can see some of the other popular search terms which relate to ‘seo copywriting’. We record any relevant terms.
Keyword Planner is another free tool provided by Google. The fields should be filled in as follows:
Your product or service: the topic of your blog post
Your landing page: Your website’s URL
Your product category: what type of business you own
Once get ‘Get Ideas’ is clicked, Google shows a variety of potential keywords, the average number of searches that each keyword receives, and the competition of each keyword (plus how much it would cost if you ran a pay-per-click) campaign.
What you want to look for here are keywords that have a high number of average monthly searches (1K – 10K or higher) and a ‘Low’ level of competition.
MOZ Keyword Explorer
MOZ offers awesome keyword insights. Their Keyword Explorer tool helps you prioritize your keywords and identify additional keywords you may want to use. One of the biggest benefits of the MOZ Keyword Explorer is the potential to look at just the questions being queried.
SEMrush has a full suite of tools to gain insight into your digital presence and how you rank against competitors. They also have efficient ways to research how other companies are approaching your topics and offer strategies to pivot your content for long-term success.
Using our research, we prep your blog post for its first draft. We do so by identifying the primary keyword on which the post will be focused; the secondary keywords which we will try and incorporate; and a working title, which will act at the theme of the post.
Using the working title, we draft your piece. The title doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a working title and can be changed before the post is published. Our initial working title for this piece was ‘The Art of SEO Copywriting.’ As you can see, that isn’t the title here.
A few other key details about SEO copywriting:
Neither the primary keyword nor the secondary keywords should be used just for the sake of keywords. Each time they appear within the piece they should be both logical and grammatically correct. Stuffing keywords is a quick way to have your site penalized, significantly reducing your search result performance.
Like titles, first drafts don’t need to be perfect. They key is to get relevant thoughts and details down.
Nowhere does it say the opening line must be written first. When all else fails, start with an outline and write the easiest section first.
Try to think of the keywords as inspiration during the first draft, rather than items that must be incorporated. This helps the piece flow smoothly and logically. Plus, it cuts down on keyword stuffing.
Once the first draft is complete, it’s time to edit. This means evaluating the post for obvious items like spelling and punctuation errors. In addition to having more than one set of eyes look at each blog post, we also use Grammarly, a helpful online editing ap.
The editing process also includes
Making sure the piece is reader-friendly. On the web, this means short sentences and short paragraphs which can be easily skimmed.
Simplifying the text. By which we mean, your piece should be around a fifth-grade reading level. Avoid big words and industry jargon, when possible.
Structuring headers into an outline. When it comes to creating text that can easily be skimmed, headers are a writer’s best friend. Ideally, a user could ready just the headers and know what the piece is about. When it comes to actually publishing the post, these headers can be highlighted using web syntax (a system of coding your text). This allows search engines to also understand the content of your post.
Our creative team then reviews the list of keywords to identify any missed opportunities within the post. This may include ways to use a keyword or keywords. It might also include additional, relevant content which could be added.
We identify relevant links that should be added to the text. These links could point to internal pages (such as a relevant service page) or external pages (such as a tool referenced within the piece).
We evaluate the working title, checking first that it hasn’t already been used. If it has, it’s immediately tossed as an option. We consider how engaging it is. Does it make users want to click on it? Does it grab users’ attention?
Furthermore, we look at the URL slug, meta description, and meta title. All of these details play a substantial role in how your post is displayed to users and how likely they are to visit your site.
7. Publish and Share
With each blog post drafted, our creative team drafts a social media status for all of the platforms on which your business participates. Typically, this includes Facebook, Twitter, and Google Posts. However, it may also include LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
When we publish the post, we then share it on these channels to maximize its reach and begin attracting visitors.
As appropriate, we advertise and “boost” the social shares to help gain initial exposure and broadcast the article to reach target audiences.
8. Monitor and Optimize
Just because the post is published doesn’t mean our job is done. Our team continues to monitor posts after they are published, identifying opportunities to optimize the text, structure of the text, images within the text, and call-to-actions. We look how it is ranking, and what changes can be made to make it better.
Curious how SEO copywriting could play a role in helping your business achieve its goals? Let’s talk.
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