If you’re running any kind of business, blog, or online store…
At some point, you’re going to have to write some stuff.
Maybe a blog post or two.
Or a website page.
Product descriptions, social media posts…
Somewhere, there’s going to be writing for you to do.
And in all of that, somewhere you’ll be writing for SEO.
One of the best things about the digital landscape these days is that you don’t need to be an excellent writer to be successful!
People with little to no writing experience are killing it online…
Which just proves that anyone can do it.
But just a bit of guidance can take your content from good… To excellent.
Copywriting might seem intimidating, but it’s not as hard as you think.
All you need to do is tick the right boxes.
And then you’ll be right on track to creating great content.
It’s a very learnable skill, which is a huge bonus.
Know the formula, stick to the plan, and you should see your content take off.
The success formula
Most people overcomplicate writing online.
The truth is, it’s not as hard as it seems!
But you do need to know how things work in order to do it right.
There are two elements to writing.
One, creating the actual content. The words on the page.
And two, getting it seen. There’s no point in writing it if nobody reads it!
In most cases, the ultimate point here is to drive traffic.
And the point of traffic is to get clicks and make sales.
So every bit of writing you do…
Is actually geared towards selling.
So the formula looks like this:
- Great content + views = success.
Provided you convert viewers into paying customers!
Let’s break that down a little.
What counts as great content?
First and foremost, great content is something people can relate to.
It should also tick a bunch of boxes:
✅ Sounds natural and human
✅ Solves a problem or answers a question
✅ Is easy to skim through (short attention spans!)
✅ Is relevant to your target audience
✅ Is SEO-friendly
When it comes to content, your aim should always be to provide exceptional value to your reader (who will most likely be your target audience).
How do you get views?
You can be creating the most info-packed content out there…
But if nobody’s seeing it, you obviously aren’t going to be making sales.
Being visible is the next most important thing.
And there are three things we focus on here:
SEO, backlinks, and social media.
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a web page or a product review.
These three are what get you seen.
We’ll delve into them further down!
A quick note on copywriting vs content writing
Before we get too far into it, I’d like to distinguish between copywriting and content writing.
Both are built on similar principles.
But they’re used for different purposes.
Content writing (sometimes also called blog writing) is written to educate, inform, and build trust with readers.
Copywriting is written for the express purpose of persuading someone to take a specific action.
That action could be buying.
It could be booking an appointment.
Or even just leaving their email address.
When it comes to writing, the difference is stark.
But the magic formula still stands!
Copywriting for SEO
So now you know that one of the things you should focus on if you want eyes on your copy (and hopefully clicks on your CTAs) is SEO.
Optimizing your content for search engines means that you’re much more likely to be found when people search for you…
That is, if you do it right!
Here’s my advice, based on almost 2 decades of experience.
Note that this is true for both copywriting and content writing!
Do effective keyword research
You can just pick a keyword and go for it.
But if you don't know whether or not that keyword is actually being searched for…
You could be shooting yourself in the foot!
Good keyword research is about finding the terms that people are actually looking for.
There are two important factors here:
Search volume and competition.
If your search volume is low, you won’t find success with the keyword.
Rather use a phrase that 10,000 people are searching for than one that only 200 people are searching for.
Then there’s competition.
When you’ve got competition, it’s a sign that there’s a lot of info out there with that particular keyword.
That means people are probably searching for it a lot.
But more competition means more difficulty ranking…
And getting your content seen.
The sweet spot is finding keywords with a high search volume and a lower competition score.
Then you know that people are looking…
But not too many people are providing the answers.
Which is your cue to create content on that topic, and with that keyword.
But you’ll only be successful if you actually do proper research.
Otherwise you’ll never even know if your chosen keyword is something people are interested in!
Mistake to avoid: Skipping this step or doing half a job. Use a tool like Wordtracker to figure out the best keywords you should be using.
Write like you speak
The biggest mistake I see people making when they try copywriting for SEO?
Writing like a robot.
SEO doesn’t need to be fancy or corporate.
The easiest way to create content that people relate to is to write like you speak.
Conversational content wins every time…
Unless your niche specifically calls for very technical copy.
But most don’t.
Humanising complicated topics helps.
Write like you’re having a conversation with a friend, or a chat at the water cooler with a colleague.
Not like you’re explaining it to a rocket scientist.
A key factor here is to write naturally… Without actually paying attention to your keywords at first.
If you’re writing a website page or something informative, be clear.
You can say:
“We create cost-effective solutions to help you drive organic traffic and increase your conversion rate by learning copywriting for SEO.”
But that doesn’t actually tell anyone what you do.
Instead be direct and include your keyword:
“We teach copywriting for SEO to help you be seen and make sales online.”
Mistake to avoid: Jargonising your copy! Copy that’s difficult to read will put off more people than it attracts.
Adding your keywords
Search engines like Google are increasingly all about meaning and intent. Say your topic is sports shoes. You can write sneakers, or trainers or tennis shoes, and Google will understand that these are all relevant to your main topic.
The important thing - and this is what Google rewards - is to write engaging and unique content aimed at people, your actual readers. Write fluidly around your subject. If you’re not using relevant keywords naturally then you’re probably writing the wrong copy.
Technically speaking, there are areas where you should definitely be using your keywords:
- Your meta description
- The article title
- The first 100 words of your intro
- A heading in your article
- Your title tag
- The last 100 words of the article
Mistake to avoid: Keyword stuffing. Don’t just stick keywords in where they don’t sound natural, or put so many in that it sounds awkward. Be thoughtful about it.
Don’t think your pictures have nothing to do with writing! Every picture should have something called “alternative text”—a short description of the picture relating to the topic of the post or page.
This text gets indexed by search engines, so it’s actually quite important for SEO! It needs to be concise but descriptive, and should include your keyword. Small step, but it can make a big difference when it comes to SEO.
Link to other blog posts on your own website.
Google likes this!
And it also means that you’ve got a higher chance of getting traffic to those posts when someone lands on the initial post.
If you come across a potential topic while you’re writing…
Take note and write an article about it later.
Don’t forget to go back and link to it when it’s published!
Creating linkable content
Once you get in the habit of writing for SEO, you should notice that you’re getting more traffic.
But it’s still important to be seen outside of that particular post.
There are three factors here too:
- Sharing your own content
- Getting others to share it
- Getting quality backlinks
Sharing your own content
Sharing content on social media is a must.
Not everyone is going to just organically find your posts…
And not everyone is going to go looking through your site for new stuff either.
It’s important to create attractive social media posts…
Not just to entice people to click, but also to share.
Craft an enticing title.
Make sure the picture matches the topic and catches eyes.
Another tip I’ve found useful is to find out the best time to post on social media based on your target market’s browsing habits and where they live.
This can get you more bang for your buck when you post!
Getting others to share your content
There’s two sides to this.
One, getting them to share a social media post, which we’ve spoken about above.
Second, you want to make it easy for them to share from the actual article.
Firstly, make sure your website is set up with social media share links on every article.
Secondly, install tools that can help them to share easily.
For example, Click to Tweet is a handy tool that highlights important quotes…
And allows readers to share them on their Twitter with just a click.
Make it incredibly easy and even fun for them to share…
And you should see an increase in traffic.
Getting quality backlinks
Backlinks are invaluable as they add to your credibility, making you more trustworthy.
But getting them can be tough!
One of the best ways is to create linkable content.
Linkable content is designed specifically to gain backlinks.
The good news is that linkable content comes in many forms.
- Some of the easiest to create (and the most successful) include:
- Visual designs to explain a topic
Add at least one of these to every article, optimize your alt text, and you have a chance of getting backlinks when other sites share your design.
They’re also very easy to share and quick to read!
Other bits of linkable content include:
- Listicle-style articles
- Press releases
- Definitive guides
- White papers
- Data and studies
- Online tools
Copywriting for SEO isn’t as hard as you may initially assume.
But it does require some work…
And knowing the boxes to tick.
I’ve had success for almost 20 years with these steps.
I know you can too!
Stay consistent, provide immense value, and you can’t go wrong.