Copywriting is an integral part of Search Engine Optimization, and by planning carefully and strategically, you can leverage various copywriting tactics to improve the search rankings of your web page.
This process is referred to as SEO copywriting.
In this blog post, we are going to highlight a few copywriting tips on how to improve your content and make it more search engine-friendly.
1. Keyword optimization
One of the most fundamental ways is to strategically include important keyword phrases in your content. This includes adding the main, primary keyword phrase into the title of the webpage, the subheadings (H2, H3) of the webpage, as well as other strategic spots, e.g., the first 100 words of the page.
This keyword optimization process becomes a whole lot easier if you have a keyword list to refer to while you are writing the content. That keyword list should not only have the primary and secondary keywords that you need to target on a page along, but it should also have the monthly search volume for each keyword as well as the level of competition you may face for each keyword.
This data will help you make the right decisions: which keywords to use, which keywords to avoid, and which keywords to prioritize.
In addition to the primary keyword, it is also important to include semantically related keywords in your content, i.e., LSI keywords.
LSI keywords help Google understand the context of an article and rank for relevant search queries, resulting in better search visibility, improved rankings, and higher organic traffic.
2. The skyscraper technique
Search engine rankings depend on your page as well as the other pages in the Google search results.
For example, if your page is optimized well, but it's not as good as some other page that you are competing with, your page may not be able to outrank that other page in the Google search results. That’s because it is all relative to Google.
The skyscraper technique is an effective method of creating content that is better than competitors’ pages.
The term “skyscraper technique” was first coined by Brian Dean, and the philosophy is to shortlist high-ranking competitor content, identify its weaknesses, then create a much better piece of content that doesn’t share the same weaknesses.
You’re building a 100-story skyscraper to outdo a 20-story building.
Here is Brian Dean’s guide to creating skyscraper content if you want to learn more.
3. Writing for search intent
Writing for search intent is one of the best tips we can share with you if you're trying to optimize your search rankings and your content with SEO copywriting.
But what does writing for search intent mean?
Search intent referred to the user's intent behind searching for a query. It could be categorized into four broad categories: navigational, informational, transactional, and commercial.
For example, if someone is searching for a product to purchase, their search intent is more transactional. Serving informative content to them would not be as helpful. They’d rather prefer case studies, white papers, product comparisons, features comparison, and other similar types of bottom-of-the-funnel content.
On the other hand, if someone is searching only for information, their search intent is informational, and they’d prefer contents of that nature, e.g., blog posts, guides, and other top-of-the-funnel content pieces.
Your job, as a content writer, is to understand who your audience is, what they want, what their search intent is, and how you can serve that intent by providing them exactly what they are looking for.
This process includes targeting the right keywords — certain keywords have informational intent while others have transactional intent — choosing the right words, tone, and style, as well as structuring your content, among other things.
4. In-depth exploration of the topic
How well you write your content and how much in-depth you explore a topic can also have a direct impact on the search rankings of a page.
The idea should be to explore the topic you are writing about in as much detail as possible. This tip also goes well with the “skyscraper technique” we discussed earlier.
But the skyscraper technique is building upon the content that is already available on your competitor’s pages. This tip is more about exploring the topic in detail not necessarily for the sake of outdoing your competitors but to provide readers with a comprehensive set of information they need to truly understand the topic.
When you are creating the content, think from the perspective of your readers: what would they like to know, what else should they know to truly understand the topic, etc.
5. Write for passage ranking
In October 2020, Google revealed a new way it ranks certain passages on a web page. The algorithm update went live in February 2021.
The idea of passage ranking is that Google can rank a small passage or section of a long-form article for relevant search queries. This may or may not be in the form of site links.
And while Google confirmed that this is more of an internal update and content creators do not have to do anything special to accommodate for passage ranking, there are certain things that can improve search visibility.
First, improve the semantics of your content. The different sections or passages of the content should be thematically connected to each other as well as the main topic.
Second, make sure the structure of your content is perfect. Having subheadings and proper heading tags can make it easier for Google’s automated systems to find and understand the different passages in an article.
6. Accounting for featured snippets
Similar to passage ranking, you can also make your content more friendly for potential featured snippets.
It’s important to note that passage ranking and featured snippets are different. Featured snippets are more about concise, self-contained answers that do not necessarily require an in-depth explanation.
By creating more FAQs in your content, or just answering potential frequently asked questions in a concise manner, you can increase the probability of ranking snippets of your content in Google featured snippets.
Smart copywriters are leveraging this seemingly small tip to rank their pages for important queries and drive organic traffic.
7. Improved readability
This goes without saying that one of your big focuses should also be about improving the readability of your content.
While a lot depends on the design of your website, there are small copywriting tips that you can apply to improve content readability, which can have a direct effect on user experience and search rankings. For instance:
- Avoid technical jargons
- Use words that your readers are already familiar with
- Use shorter sentences
- Create shorter paragraphs
- Use bullet points and subheadings to keep things interesting
8. Contextually relevant internal links
Internal links play a vital role in improving the search rankings of web pages. SEO copywriters need to include contextually relevant internal links in their content, as much as possible.
Sometimes, you may have to steer the content to a slightly different direction in order to create an opportunity to add an internal link — but it’s worth it.
Good SEO copywriting can make all the difference when it comes to higher search engine rankings.
From basics (such as optimizing your web page for important keywords) to more advanced stuff (such as consciously creating opportunities for potential featured snippets), there is plenty that copywriters can do to improve the search rankings of a web page and make it more Google-friendly.
Let us know which SEO copywriting tips you use and which one is your favorite in the comment section below.