Writing great and highly compelling copy that’s properly optimized for search engines is the first step for any profitable online endeavor, but it requires specialized training and knowledge of search engine optimization.
Many writers are privileged to have the skills that allow them to write powerful copy that converts well and shows up on the first page of Google’s search results. But let me be very clear about one thing; SEO is not the be all and end all of content marketing. It’s just one aspect of creating lucrative content.
What really matters is the way copy is written; does it resonate with consumers? Will they be moved to take action?
Combine phenomenal copywriting skills with SEO, and your content marketing strategy will be on the road to gaining highly targeted readers that instantly become hot leads and customers.
But how do you come up with persuasive copy that’s also highly optimized for search?
First, the research
Use keyword research tools to help you find keywords that have 1) low competition, and 2) a good amount of search.
There are lots of free and paid keyword research tools available, but I recommend Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
Google’s very own keyword research tool helps you find keywords by competition level (low, medium, or high), search volume (local or global), and match type (exact, phrase, or broad match).
Start with the “scanners” in mind
The odds are relatively good that you’re simply scanning or skimming this very blog post. That’s actually how most people normally consume content online.
That’s why it’s important that when you write copy, first create an outline of what you plan to write. You’ll want to visualize what points you want to make, and how to break those points into smaller chunks so that readers can easily scan through it while still absorbing information.
The article’s most important points should be found in the headline, sub-headlines, bullet points, and in the first few lines of every paragraph.
The killer headline
So, you have a layout of how your copy will look; it’s now time to hook potential readers with a killer, magnetic headline.
Magnetic headlines should compel potential readers to want to read your article. Some elements of powerful and magnetic headlines include:
- A power word such as “Amazing”, “Revealed”, “Introducing”
- A number (Top 3, Top 10, Five Things You Need to Know, etc.)
- Statement of at least two bold claims (promise)
The keywords should be included within the headline in order to optimize for SEO, since the headline generally becomes the title tag of the page as well as the H1 tag. The H1 tag is still one of the most important elements in onsite SEO, and the title tag is the single most important factor.
The sub headline
The sub headline (which, for you SEO junkies, are usually surrounded in an H2 tag), usually comes after the main headline and before every major section of the copy. Each sub headline should contain LSI (related) keywords. For a list of LSI terms, use the Google Keyword Tool for keyword research and it’ll suggest a whole slew of related terms.
The sub headline should also summarize important points of the copy (remember the scanners?).
Highlight, bold, underline and italicize
When you highlight, bold, underline and italicize a key point, you put emphasis on the main points. That helps readers; especially the scanners. It also helps search engine robots determine relevance of your article for keywords.
Emphasizing the keywords by underlining or bolding them sends a signal to the robots on what the content is all about.
Driving the point home with bullets
The important sections of your copy could also be emphasized with bullet points. Cutting down your points into smaller chunks also makes your copy very easy to read and more engaging.
KISS – Keeping it short and sweet
The first couple sentences of every paragraph should be the most important. The following sentences should expand on those important points. In order to convey maximum information to your reader, keep your paragraphs short.
The call to action
In sales, the only way to make people want to buy your product is to “show them what you want, and help them get it.”
Your goal should be to stop when their interest level is white hot. Helping them get what they want is the ultimate purpose of the call to action. Let them know what to do next, where to buy your product or how to get in touch with you.
- Show them the Buy Now or Subscribe button
- Show them an email address or a phone number
- Make the call to action urgent so they take action now, as opposed to later
To optimize for SEO, be sure to include your keyword nicely within the last paragraph. Ideally, your keyword should be in the headline, first paragraph, body, and last paragraph.
SEO copywriting is an acquired skill, but it becomes second-nature once you understand what your customers want and know how to help them get it. I hope you find this article on SEO copywriting useful for your marketing strategies.
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