Although copywriting and SEO are two fairly different fields, in today’s digital marketing world they are very much dependent on each other.
When you know SEO, you create better chances for your websites to rank in Google’s top pages. When you know about copywriting, you can create better content. But when you can do both of them, that’s when you really hit your stride.
In this post, you will learn how to combine SEO and copywriting to significantly boost your website’s engagement rate as well as its search engine ranking.
So, let’s get started.
David Ogilvy said:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
Although he said it mainly for direct-mail orders, the rule has become all the more important for website content, blog posts, and website copies.
It is now absolutely essential that you optimize the headlines of your website content. Otherwise, you might never be able to achieve higher search engine rankings.
And how do you optimize the headlines and make them better?
The simplest answer would be to follow the brands and websites that are already doing it well and try to emulate them as much as you can.
Let’s have a look at LifeHack. They have some of the best headlines.
Have you noticed the structure of their headlines? Each has a specific number in it. That’s because they understand the psychology of numbers and the impact they have on readers.
Recently, ConversionXL did a research on headline preferences. They concluded that most users prefer headlines with numbers in them.
Interestingly, headlines with questions were the least preferred by internet users. But it doesn’t mean that you can have questions in headlines. It is just that you should prefer numbers more often.
Once you have the perfect headline for your content, it creates a ripple effect that eventually boost your SEO. It usually has the following benefits:
A good headline means more clicks in the search engine results pages. The increased CTR sends a signal to Google that prompts it to promote your web page higher in the rankings.
Contents with better headlines are more likely to go viral. More social media shares also have an indirect impact on the search engine rankings.
The inclusion of the right keywords in the headline makes sure that the search engines know what your content is about.
Copywriting doesn’t have anything to do with the English literature. You are free to break a few grammatical rules to make your content look more appealing and engaging.
One of the best SEO copywriting tips is to use stop words and short sentences to make your content more interesting.
Here is an example for you.
You would know that a one-word sentence isn’t considered a good practice in English language. However, it has many benefits where SEO copywriting is concerned.
It is a proven technique to keep your readers engaged throughout the text. Brian Dean uses it on his blog Backlinko. With these stop-words and shorter sentences, he makes his content so interesting and engaging that his website visitors spend an average of 4 minutes on his blog posts.
Here is a list of a few such words and short sentences that you can sprinkle throughout your blog posts to make it more engaging and interesting.
But here is the problem
Want to know the solution?
This is what I did
Here is the bottom line
Here’s the deal
But here is the best part
By using this wonderful little technique, you will be able to make your content more interesting, increase its engagement rate, and also increase the overall average time readers spend on your blog posts. All these factors indirectly increase your search engine rankings.
LSI keywords are synonyms of your main keyword that helps Google understand what your content is all about.
You may be optimizing for the keyword “Apple”, but how will search engines understand whether your content is about “Apple - the fruit” or Apple Inc. - the founder of iPhones and iPads?
It’s a copywriting tactic to make your content look natural and free of over-optimization of keywords. Using LSI keywords is probably the best solution to that problem. Otherwise, search engines such as Google will penalize your website for over-optimization and high keyword density. You don’t want that.
I have already written a very comprehensive post on using LSI keywords. Here is the link for you.
How do you judge the profitability of a keyword?
I guess you’d look at the suggested bids in the Google Keyword Planner Tool. That often works, but here I’m going to tell you another wonderful secret tactic to find profitable keywords.
Visit a website such as Udemy. In case you’re not familiar with it, it is a massive online directory of different courses. It does not matter what your field or niche is, chances are that you will find plenty of wonderful courses for each of them.
So, how can you use Udemy to create better content with profitable keywords in them?
Go to Udemy, insert your main keyword/topic, and find some of the best courses in that category.
When selecting a course, make sure that it has numerous positive reviews. Furthermore, the total number of students who have enrolled in those courses is the most important metric for us.
For example, here is a photography course “EasyDSLR Digital Photography”.
As you can see, nearly 6000 students have enrolled in this course. In other words, approximately 6,000 people have invested their hard-earned money to access the contents of this course.
This shows the profitability of a keyword as well as that overall niche.
Now, once you have found such a course, scroll down to its “Curriculum” segment and there you will find all its contents.
You shouldn’t copy the contents as they are — that would be unethical. However, there is no harm in using those topics as an inspiration and come up with new headlines based on the main topics of that course.
For instance, a chapter titled “Shutter Speed” can become in a “The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Shutter Speed”. Similarly, a chapter about “Exposure” can be turned into “20 Amazing Tips for Long Exposure Photography (With Examples)”
As many people have spent cold hard cash to learn about those topics, you can rest assured that these keywords are actually profitable. With this technique, you completely take away the guess work. You know that people would search for these keywords and even pay for when it comes to that.
Furthermore, as you are using a very different technique with a very different approach, you will be working on topics that are not usually covered on the web. In this way, if you think about it, you will have lesser competition to face and fewer other web pages to compete with in the search engines.
While many webmasters believe that copywriting can’t affect SEO, it does. If you use the right copywriting techniques, you can have a very noticeable and positive impact on a website’s search engine ranking.
Ideally, your goal should be to create content that is interesting, engaging, and informative. You will have to use various copywriting techniques — for example, shorter sentences and stop words — to ensure that the content remains interesting for the readers.
Furthermore, you will also have to optimize the headlines with the right, profitable keywords to improve search engine rankings.