Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing
The rules of SEO copywriting pretty much follow the same basic rules for any English class you ever took. Double check for spelling and grammar errors; have a point and organize your thoughts so you actually arrive at it, flush out your ideas fully, don’t try to squeeze too many ideas into one sentence/paragraph—all those good notes your English teachers used to give you! But SEO copywriting isn’t exactly the same as writing a literary analysis on “The Adventures Tom Sawyer.”
Here are 4 SEO copywriting tips for site owners to remember
(in addition to everything their English teachers taught them):
1. Write for human readers first, THEN optimize for the search engines.
You’ve probably heard this SEO copywriting tip more times than you can count, but here it is one more time—write for humans first, search engines second! What good is having a piece of content rank really well in the search engines if it doesn’t appeal to your actual customers? The search engines aren’t about to pay for your products or services! Content that has been optimized to death isn’t going to provide much value to your readers, so even if it “looks good” to the search engines initially, Google and Bing are smart enough to catch on sooner or later that your perfect SEO copy isn’t all that great in the real world. Write for your audience first and worry about optimizing the content naturally when you give it a second look.
2. Add links when/where they are relevant.
For everything else that drives SEO, links are still a major player. One great piece of content could provide dozens, if not hundreds of links for your site because people want to share content that is relevant, informative, useful and well-written. Great content attracts links, but you shouldn’t be afraid to hedge your bets a little bit and add a link or two to your content when and where they are relevant. Link to other blog posts you’ve written, internal pages on your site, your company’s social profiles and more. Every time that piece of content is shared those pages get a small boost of link juice, which can help those individual pages do a little better in the search results. Plus, building links into your content can help drive traffic back to your site.
3. Remove “keyword density” from your vocabulary.
There is no right or wrong amount of times you should include a specific keyword in you content. SEO copywriting is not about how many times you can repeat one keyword in a single paragraph; you need to write for your audience and then make that great, informational content a little more SEO friendly. Keyword stuffing might have worked once upon a time but the search engines have gotten a lot smarter in recent years and this web spam tactic can actually land your website in hot water.
4. Quote and link to your sources.
If you quote another blog or article then you better be prepared to give that author due acknowledgement! One of the golden rules of writing, not just SEO copywriting, is that you don’t take credit for someone else’s ideas. Give credit where credit is due and link back to the original post that you’re building your own content/ideas off of. Even if you didn’t mean any harm by it, you don’t want to give anyone any reason to accuse you of plagiarism.
Linking to another author’s content can also help with your link building and content promotion. If you promote your blog post in a Tweet and mention that author’s handle, they’ll get a little message about it. That author might send you a thank you Tweet in reply, or even reTweet your content to their own social networks because the more times your content is shared the more valuable that link back to their site becomes. It’s a win-win for everyone! Your content gets more exposure and they get recognition for their expertise.