SEO Copywriting

The Advanced Guide to SEO Copywriting

There are more than 8.9 billion Google searches a day. The business opportunity that organic search represents is astounding. Yet, for many businesses, achieving Google page one rankings is elusive.

How can you capitalize on the opportunity by gaining a large share of voice (SOV) in Google?

Although it’s not talked about nearly as much as keywords or backlinks, SEO copywriting is one of the MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS for higher rankings, and therefore greater organic traffic and qualified leads.

When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), copywriting can mean the difference between achieving a Google page one ranking or being hidden on page 10 of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Read on to learn about SEO copywriting. Uncover a highly effective step-by-step process for better organic search results. It’s a process that enabled Stratabeat to increase organic traffic by 7,235.7% for one of our clients, and to increase monthly organic traffic by 100,000 for another. And it’s a process that we are confident will help you, as well, to drastically improve your organic search performance.

What is SEO Copywriting?

SEO copywriting is the art and science of writing web content that is structured to rank high in the search engines. This means incorporating keywords, phrases, and other on-page SEO elements into your content.

High-quality SEO copywriting is the process of creating great web pages for not only search engines, but also for searchers.

How Does SEO Copywriting Impact Marketing Results?

Impact of SEO Copywriting

SEO copywriting has a major effect on marketing success. As Stratabeat is a B2B marketing agency, we’re going to focus on B2B SEO specifically in this guide. And the potential impact that SEO has on B2B marketing results is nothing short of transformative.

Specifically, optimized copy has a direct impact on:

  • Understanding how your audience thinks and articulates their challenges
  • Google Search rankings
  • Google share of voice
  • Organic traffic
  • Brand perception
  • Differentiation
  • Trust-building
  • Content marketing results
  • Conversions (MQLs)
  • Qualified leads (SQLs)
  • Sales
  • And more

SEO copy directly impacts your business results. The better the copy, the higher the Google ranking. The higher the ranking, the more traffic. The more traffic, the more conversions. The more conversions, the more leads. And so on…

The value of your website copy goes beyond SEO content. The most important thing is to write for people rather than search engines. Make sure your site visitors have a great experience. With a positive user experience (UX), you get more inquiries, more leads, and more sales.

With that said, you should do both – write exceptional content that your audience will love, while also optimizing strategically and intelligently for Google. That’s the formula for maximum marketing impact from your site content.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research

Keyword research is foundational to SEO copywriting. In order to write copy that ranks well, research the keywords that your target audience is searching for.

In addition, decipher why they are searching for the keywords. In other words, seek to understand the search intent behind the search terms. More than just the words they type, it’s about WHY they are searching and WHAT they are hoping to find. It’s about the context.

There are numerous tools you can use to perform keyword research, including:

When researching keywords, consider the following factors to determine the importance in targeting for your business:

  • Monthly search volume
  • Monthly global search volume if you sell in global markets
  • Ranking difficulty
  • Competitors rankings
  • Search intent
  • The related questions being asked online
  • Etc.

Related Keywords

Related Keywords

Once you have your list of primary target keywords, identify related keywords to give your content contextual validity.

Related keywords come in five main categories:

Similar Phrases

If you’re targeting the keyword “SEO copywriting,” similar phrases include:

  • Copywriting for SEO
  • SEO-friendly copywriting
  • Writing for SEO
  • Copywriting tips for SEO
  • Etc.

Google Autocomplete

These are the related phrases that automatically appear in the dropdown menu of the Google search box when you start typing.

Google Related Searches

These are the related phrases that Google lists at the bottom of the SERPs.

Keywords Ranking on Google Page One for the Same Top Web Page

Identify the top web page in Google for your primary keyword. Then, confirm other keywords for which that web page are ranking on Google page one (we use Ahrefs for this here at Stratabeat). Include those keywords as well in your content to help it rank higher in Google for numerous keywords.

The Keywords Often Found in Google Page One Listings

These are words and phrases that Google expects to see in your content piece based on their prevalence in the existing Google page one listings. Use a tool such as thruuu or Clearscope to uncover these commonly-found, related keywords.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are keywords with low search volumes. For example, longer, more specific keywords typically have lower search volumes. They are often easier to rank for because they have less competition.

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “SEO copywriting,” a long-tail keyword could be “Copywriting tips for ranking high in Google”. You can use these long-tail keywords throughout your content to help it rank higher in the search engines on a wider range of phrases.

The increasing prominence of voice search is another reason to include long-tail keywords in your content. When people use voice search, they tend to use conversational, long-tail keywords. For example, someone might say “What are some tips for SEO copywriting?” into their phone. If you have that phrase in your content, you’re more likely to rank for it.

Like related keywords, SEO tools like Ahrefs or Semrush will help you identify potential long-tail keywords to include in your content.

Questions Being Asked Online

Another way to come up with topics for your content is to look at the questions people are asking online. For example, say you’re searching for CRM software. SEO-based questions you might ask include:

  • What’s the leading CRM software in the market?
  • What are types of CRM tools?
  • What is the best CRM software?
  • What is the difference between ERP and CRM?

You can use these questions as topics for your content. Not only will this help you rank for your target keyword, but it will also help you rank in Google’s featured snippets.

A featured snippet is a block of text that appears at the top of the search results when someone searches for a specific term. It’s designed to give users quick, relevant information in response to their query. If you can rank for a featured snippet you’ll typically get a significant amount of search traffic.

Alternatively, you can use the questions asked online to reinforce and strengthen your content focused on primary keywords. For example, let’s say you’re writing a piece on “CRM software”. The headings in your content piece might include “What does CRM software do?” and “What are the three general business functions that CRM software serves?”

Useful tools that you can use to identify the questions being asked online include:

Topics Being Discussed in Your Industry

In addition to finding questions asked online by your target audience, you can also look at the topics being discussed in your industry as a whole.

Tools like BuzzSumo, Google Trends, and Exploding Topics help you to see the topics that are being talked about online in articles, blog posts, and other types of content. You can use this information to come up with ideas for your own content creation.

If you sell CRM software, you could write an article about the impact of AI on CRM software. Or, about the latest trends in CRM. Or, how to get more ROI out of your CRM implementation. Anything that will pique your audience’s interest and potentially lead to more traffic and conversions.


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Competitive Analysis

Performing a competitive analysis is a great way to see what topics your competitors are writing about.

Keyword research tools and content analysis platforms can help you see topics that your competitors are ranking for that your website is not.

You can then create similar but better, more thorough, more useful content and optimize it to rank higher than your competitors. Doing this allows you to “steal” some of their traffic.

In addition, you can also conduct a competitor gap analysis to identify topics that you can cover that your competitors have missed. This is an effective path towards domination in Google on specific topics.

Content Structure

Content Structure

Content structure is important for SEO copywriting. It’s one of the factors Google looks at when ranking any landing page in the search results.

On a macro level, a well-structured website helps Google to understand your business’ areas of expertise. Be sure to organize your content by topic category. When appropriate, build SEO topic clusters, so that related content is interlinked and easy to access.

On a micro level, each piece of content should be easy to read. To that end, break your content up into digestible passages with smaller paragraphs.

You can also use headings and subheadings to break up your content to make it easier to read. Google uses these headings and subheadings to understand the topic (and sub-topics) of your article. They can also help you rank for long-tail keywords.

In addition to making your content easier to read, a well-structured article will also keep people on your site longer. If people are engaged with your content they’re less likely to click back to the search results and find another article.

Identify Search Intent

Few things are more important than search intent when it comes to SEO copywriting. Search intent is the reason someone is searching for something on the internet. It addresses the “why?” behind the keywords.

There are four main categories of search intent:

  • Informational – The searcher is looking for information or answers to questions, etc.
  • Navigational – The individual is trying to get to a specific destination, such as LinkedIn or Boston.com, etc.
  • Commercial – The searcher is exploring options in support of a potential future purchase.
  • Transactional – The individual is looking to make a purchase right now.

People search for different things at different stages in their buyer’s journey. Cater your content to match their intent. For example, someone who searches for “buy CRM software online” is ready to make a purchase. Whereas someone who searches for “best CRM software” is still in the research phase and looking to compare options.

If you want to rank your content in Google, make sure your content matches the search intent of your audience. Otherwise, Google is likely not going to display your content high in the search results, as Google will deem it irrelevant to the query.

Conduct a SERP Analysis

After you’ve identified the keywords you want to rank for, it’s time to do a SERP analysis. This will help you understand the type of content that Google is looking to place on page one so that you can precision-engineer your content accordingly.

We feel the best SERP analysis tool on the market is thruuu. Use thruuu to save yourself hours of data collection for every keyword you are optimizing for.

Author’s Disclosure: We are a thruuu marketing partner. But our feelings towards the tool are precisely why we reached out and formed the marketing relationship. It truly is the best on the market. And we really do use it here for SEO initiatives for clients and for ourselves.

With a single click, thruuu reveals the following types of SERP data for any search in any location around the world:

  • Content structure for ranking content
  • Commonly-found keywords
  • Google related searches
  • Questions being asked online
  • Word count of the SERP listings
  • Titles of ranking content
  • Meta descriptions of ranking content
  • Number of videos in the SERP
  • Number of videos embedded in the SERP listings
  • And much more

Create a Content Brief

When looking at the SERP analysis data, pay attention to the title, meta description, URL, and outline/headings of each article. This will give you a good idea of what type of content Google is looking for.

You can then create a corresponding content brief aligned to your overall content strategy that outlines the basics of your content piece.

Your content brief should include:

  • Target keyword
  • Associated Google search volume
  • Ranking difficulty
  • Target audience
  • Search intent for the keyword
  • Type of content piece Google is ranking (how-to, listicle, guide, template, etc.)
  • PAA (People Also Ask) questions
  • A working title for your content piece
  • Suggested outline and headings
  • Any other relevant information that will assist your writer

Use this content brief as a guide when writing your article. It will help you stay on track, make sure your article is optimized for the target keyword, and structure your content most effectively.

Optimize Your Content With SEO Copywriting

SEO Copywriting

Once you create your content, optimize it for Google. This goes well beyond simple on-page SEO. Read on and get a 360-degree view how to write your content for maximum SEO impact.

Optimize Your URL

Your URL is one of the first things Google looks at when trying to understand your content. You want to make sure your URL is short, descriptive, and includes your target keyword.

For example, let’s say you’re writing an article about “SEO copywriting.” A good URL for this article might be:

www.example.com/seo-copywriting/

This URL is short, descriptive, and includes the target keyword.

Avoid using overly long URLs. Avoid dynamic URLs with numerous random characters. These types of URLs make it more difficult for Google to ascertain the focus of your web page. They also are difficult for people to remember and aren’t as likely to be clicked on in the search results. They can also hurt your click-through rate from the SERPs, which can impact your rankings.

Optimize Your Title Tag

Your title tag is what is displayed first in the search results. It’s also what people see when they bookmark your page or share it on social media.

You want to make sure your title tag is clear, descriptive, and includes your target keyword. You also want to make sure it’s under 55 or 60 characters so that it doesn’t get cut off in the search results. (You can alternatively keep it under 600 pixels in width.) Ideally, your target keyword should be placed as far left in the title tag as possible, but this isn’t a necessity.

Sell Your Content in Your Meta Description

The meta description is the short paragraph of text that appears under your title tag in the search results. It’s your chance to “sell” your content and convince people to click through to your web page.

The meta description is not a Google organic ranking factor, but it does help you increase your click-through rate from the Google SERP. It therefore should be treated as an indirect ranking factor.

Your meta description should be clear, concise, and include a call-to-action. You also want to make sure it matches the content on your page to ensure you’re attracting the right people to the page.

Include Your Keywords on the Page

Once you’ve optimized your URL, title tag, and meta description, it’s time to include your target keyword throughout the body of your article.

Your target keyword should appear in the following places:

  • URL
  • Title tag
  • Within the first 100 words
  • H1 heading
  • Additional headings and subheadings (H2, H3, etc.)
  • Throughout the body of the text
  • The last section of copy

Rather than focusing on keyword density, which is an outdated technique, use a tool like Clearscope, Surfer, or Frase.io to help you determine the most important keywords and approximately how often you should include them on the page.

Optimize Your H1 and Make It Compelling

Your H1 is the main heading of your web page. It’s the title of your content pieces. It’s one of the first things people will see when they land on your page, so you want to make sure it’s clear, concise, and includes your target keyword.

The H1 heading should give readers an overall sense of the content on the page and should set up the first paragraph so that it’s an intuitive experience for the reader.

The H1 should be so enticing that it compels the reader to keep reading and scrolling.

Optimize the Other Headings on the Page

After you’ve optimized your H1, it’s time to move on to the other headings on your page. These are typically known as H2s, H3s, and so on.

While you should not include your target keyword in every heading, you should try to sprinkle it throughout the content piece where it makes sense. This will help Google to understand what your content piece is about and will provide further evidence of the topical comprehensiveness of your content.

Use headings to break up larger sections into smaller, more easily consumable ones. The headings and subheadings should make your content easily skimmable and help viewers find what they want rather quickly.

Consider Adding a Table of Contents

If your content is relatively long, you might want to consider adding a table of contents.

A table of contents can help readers navigate your content piece and can also help Google understand the structure of your content more easily. It also allows users to simply click to whatever section they want to see, providing a better user experience.


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Make Your Copy Easy-to-Read

As noted, your copy should be easy-to-read and skim. This includes the use of headers but goes beyond that.

You want to use short sentences and paragraphs. Try to keep sentences within 20 words, when possible. Try to avoid large blocks of text as paragraphs, and instead break them up into multiple more digestible chunks of content.

You also want to use active voice rather than passive voice. Active voice is when the subject of the sentence is doing the action. Passive voice is when the subject of the sentence is having the action done to it. For example, “The dog chased the cat” is in active voice. “The cat was chased by the dog” is in passive voice. Active voice is typically more concise and easier to read, so it’s generally what you want to aim for.

Also use different types of formatting, such as bullet points, paragraph breaks, callouts, “blockquotes”, bold text, different colors, and white space to make your content as easy to read as possible.

Keep Content Sections Brief

Don’t include too much content in a single section. A good rule of thumb is to keep each section under 300 words, which is a “Readability” benchmark in the SEO tool Yoast. This isn’t a hard and fast rule but it gives you a general ballpark. Keep each section of your content short to make it easier-to-read and more engaging.

Readers often stall and abandon the page when faced with very long walls of text.

Add Contextually Relevant Internal Links

Internal linking is when you link to other pages on your site from within your content piece. This can help improve the user experience on your site and is also beneficial for SEO. When you link from pages with a higher URL rating to pages with a lower URL rating, it passes on a bit of the SEO equity from the stronger page to the weaker. It also signals to Google that the page is useful and important.

When adding internal links, make sure they’re directly relevant to the context of the paragraph they’re in. For example, if you’re writing about CRM software and mention marketing automation, you might want to link to a blog post about marketing automation. And make sure that your anchor text describes the destination page accurately (e.g., “marketing automation”).

Don’t overdo it with the internal links, though. A couple of relevant links per post should suffice.

Add Image Alt Text

Google can’t index images, so they rely on alt text to understand what an image is about. When adding images to your articles, be sure to include descriptive alt text that accurately reflects what’s in the image and/or contains the target keywords. This will help Google better understand your article and could also lead to more traffic from image search.

Advanced SEO Copywriting Tips

Advanced SEO Copywriting Tips

Once you’ve implemented the above SEO strategies, consider using some of the more advanced SEO tips below.

Generate the Right Google E-A-T Signals

The Google E-A-T algorithm is designed to surface high-quality content in the search results. It looks at three main factors:

  • Expertise: Is the author an expert on the subject matter?
  • Authoritativeness: Do the author and the website as a whole have a good reputation?
  • Trustworthiness: Can the reader trust what they’re reading? Is the information accurate and up-to-date?

Google E-A-T principles are outlined in Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines. It’s especially important for topics related to people’s health and finances. But it should also be considered for any topic you’re covering.

To improve your E-A-T scores, write about topics that the author is an expert in. The more knowledge and experience, the better.

Additionally, display the author’s credentials (or the editors, or both) on the page or on an author’s page.

You can also display trust signals for the company overall throughout your site. This might include a list of high-profile clients, success stories, client testimonials, press mentions, publications in which the organization has been published, trust logos, etc.

Create Content Based on Original Data

Content based on original research and data is a fantastic way to boost the authority and expertise of your website. If you can create original data sets or carry out research that hasn’t been done before, your site will become more authoritative in the eyes of Google.

It’s also a great lead generator. According to a study by BuzzSumo and Mantis Research, original research drives 55% more leads.

Not only that, but this type of content is also very shareable. People are always looking for new data sets and studies to reference in their own articles. If you can provide that, you’re likely to see a lot of traffic from links to your content by third-parties.

Finally, content based on original data is an outstanding way to generate passive backlinks (as part of your overall link building efforts). If you create a data set and analysis that are truly unique, others will want to link to it to give their readers the full picture. This can help improve your site’s backlink profile. In turn, this increases your chances of ranking higher in the search results.

Spice Up Your Content with Images, Video, Stats, and Stories

Boring content is going to get skipped over. If you want people to read your articles and share them with others, make them interesting and engaging. A great way to do this is to add images, screenshots, video, statistics, callouts, and stories to your content.

Images and video help break up the text and make your content more visually appealing. They also help to explain complex concepts and make your content more digestible.

Statistics help to back up your claims. Plus, they help drive more passive backlinks to your page.

Stories, meanwhile, make your content more relatable, engaging, and memorable. Cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner found that stories are 22X more memorable than facts.

Add a FAQ

Google sometimes rewards content pieces containing a FAQ by including it as a FAQ SERP feature for related queries. This helps you to gain more real estate in Google’s search results.

Depending how extensive your FAQ is, you may want to include FAQ schema on the page.

Including a FAQ section at the end of a piece of content is a great way to improve engagement and keep people reading until the very end. FAQs also tend to be very shareable. Readers often link to them when discussing a topic on social media or in another article.

To make your FAQs even more effective, try to include questions that are commonly searched for in Google. As mentioned, you can find the questions being asked online using tools such as thruuu, AlsoAsked, AnswerSocrates, and Answer the Public.

Additionally, try to make your questions as specific as possible. The more targeted they are, the more likely someone is to find your content when they’re looking for an answer to that particular question.

Top SEO Copywriting Tools

There are a number of SEO writing tools that make your content development job significantly easier. Here are some of the top copywriting tools that help to increase your effectiveness. We recommend testing them out for the development of your new content.

thruuu

thruuu SERP Analyzer + Content Brief Generator

thruuu is a great tool for analyzing the Google SERP results, determining the characteristics of the top-ranked content, and then creating optimized content. It’s a great way to ensure that your content has the right mix of keywords, questions being asked, readability, and content structure.

thruuu helps you to create a content brief quickly based on the SERP analysis of the target keyword. It’s a tool for reducing the content brief development time by 90% or more (Really!).

Author’s Disclosure: Stratabeat is a thruuu marketing partner. Even if we weren’t, though, we’d be telling you it’s one of the most useful SEO tools in our SEO tech stack.

Clearscope

Clearscope

Clearscope is similar to thruuu in that it analyzes the top-ranking content for a given keyword and then provides optimization suggestions. It shows you a detailed competitive breakdown. Clearscope also highlights the most important related keywords, the average number of times each keyword appears on top-ranking content, suggested word count, and more.

When you’re writing your content in Clearscope, the tool provides you with a useful optimization score.

MarketMuse

MarketMuse

MarketMuse is an ​​AI-powered content research, intelligence, and writing platform. MarketMuse uses AI to collect and analyze your content, prioritize your best opportunities, and suggest topic models. What makes MarketMuse unique is that it goes beyond a generic ranking difficulty score, factoring your specific website’s authority into the equation.

Like Clearscope, the tool displays an optimization score for each content piece.

Frase

Frase

Frase is an all-in-one SEO tool that uses AI to help you analyze the SERPs, create content briefs, and optimize your content. It also provides optimization scores and can help you ensure that your content is comprehensive and covers all the bases.

Additionally, Frase features an AI writer than can actually create paragraphs based on guidance you provide.

INK

INK

INK is a content planning suite that helps you generate ideas, optimize content, and track your progress. It’s great for ensuring that your content is keyword-optimized and also covers all the bases.

Like Frase, INK also gives you an AI writing tool that helps you to compose your thoughts faster. You simply need to provide it with the necessary guidance.

Grammarly

Grammarly

Grammarly is a great tool for catching errors in your writing. Simply install the Grammarly extension and it will scan your content for copywriting errors. It’s a great way to ensure that your content is error-free and polished.

Grammarly is not an SEO-specific tool. But it helps you to keep your writing clear and mistake-free. And the more that you can make it easy for Google to understand your content, the better for your SEO.

SEO Copywriting FAQ

What is SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting is the process of writing content for the web in a way that is optimized for search engines. This means incorporating keywords, phrases, and other on-page SEO elements into your content in a way that makes it more likely to rank high in Google’s search results pages.

Why is SEO copywriting important?

SEO copywriting is important because it helps you get more traffic to your website. By optimizing your content for search engines, you make it more likely that people will find your website when they search for keywords related to your solutions. Attract more qualified traffic to your site, and by extension, convert more leads for your business.

How do I implement SEO copywriting?

The best way to do SEO copywriting is simply to focus on creating great content while optimizing your content in line with search intent. Make sure to keep your target audience in mind when you’re writing, and provide them with as much value as possible. As part of the SEO copywriting process, optimize your URL, title tag, meta description, H1 and other headings, and body copy. Make your copy easy-to-read and implement internal linking.

What are some SEO copywriting tools?

Useful SEO copywriting tools include thruuu, Clearscope, MarketMuse, Frase, INK, and Grammarly.


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