SEO Copywriting: How to Write for Users and Search Engines

A screenshot of WordPress CMS for an article about SEO copywriting tips
  • James Notaris

    CPA, ESQ, Legal Editor

  • Steve Longo

    Digital Marketer

    In Brief:

  • Both SEO and effective copywriting are crucial for digital marketing success.

  • Blending both together can help brands increase their search visibility, boost their traffic, and generate and convert leads.

  • We explore SEO copywriting in detail below!

Both SEO and effective copywriting respectively play key roles in digital marketing, helping websites increase their visibility and create engaging, high-quality content that ranks highly in search engines like Google. But when combined together, SEO copywriting can really make your site a force to be reckoned with!

By blending SEO with content marketing best practices, brands that use SEO copywriting can not only rank higher in the SERPs, but also ensure that their content is engaging, informative, and a useful way to convert users. But how exactly do you go about this? 

With this guide, we examine what SEO copywriting is, why it’s needed, and some helpful tips and best practices. Let’s explore how to write effectively for both users and search engines! 

What is SEO Copywriting?

SEO copywriting is the practice of creating keyword-rich, SEO-friendly content that’s designed to rank highly in Google and other search engines as well as appeal to users. 

It seeks to strike a middle ground between pure SEO writing, which can make content sound robotic and unnatural by frequently repeating keywords and working them into the content in ways that seem off putting to the user, and copywriting, which aims to sound natural, interesting, and engaging to users but fails to incorporate keywords and SEO best practices that are crucial to ranking highly in SERPs. 

Why is SEO Copywriting Important? 

SEO copywriting is very important for brands nowadays, who have to master both creating content that engages and converts users but also increases their exposure in search engines. 

This is because of the changing nature of content marketing. These days, your brand simply cannot afford to ignore the importance of search, as it’s crucial for expanding your customer base and generating sales. At the same time, over-optimizing your content with a sole focus on search engine algorithms will make it seem unnatural and fail to effectively engage and interest readers, causing them to bounce quickly. Your site may even incur a Google penalty due to keyword stuffing. 

As a result, digital marketers need to create content that appeals equally to search engines and users alike to be most effective nowadays. That means incorporating relevant keywords and using SEO best practices in general while also aiming to keep the user in mind by making sure their content is natural, engaging, informative, and can satisfy the user’s search intent. 

An SEO copywriter writes an article on her laptop on a wooden desk.

SEO Copywriting Tips and Best Practices

Creating content that works well for both search engines and users alike may seem impossible at first, but incorporating best practices actually makes it much easier than you think. Here’s a few important tips to keep in mind!

Optimize for the Right Keywords

Effective SEO copywriting always starts with effective keyword research. Use tools like the Google Ads Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest to find relevant, high-volume keywords to build your content around. 

It’s a good idea to target multiple keywords for each piece of content, focusing on a primary keyword as well as secondary keyword and variations for them in order to optimize your content effectively. Targeting long-tail keywords, which typically see lower search volume but also less competition and a greater chance of conversion, is also a great idea to consider. Dropping your primary keyword within the first 100-150 words of your content is an effective way to give it an SEO boost too. 

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

All of that being said, avoid keyword stuffing at all costs! 

Stuffing your content with keywords will make it sound robotic and unnatural, turning users off and causing them to bounce. It may also even case your site to incur a Google penalty. Keep your keyword density to 1-3% of your content to avoid any Google penalties while also ensuring that your content stands a chance at ranking highly in Google for the keywords you’re targeting. 

Write Naturally

Keeping keywords in mind when crafting your content is important, but writing naturally even more so nowadays. 

By writing with the user in mind first and foremost while also incorporating relevant keywords and SEO best practices, you can rank highly in Google while also keeping the user engaged and interested as they read the content piece, increasing the likelihood that they’ll convery or return to your website to find more useful information. 

Make Your Content Easy to Read

While incorporating keywords into your content for SEO is important, making sure it reads well is often just as vital. 

Make your content easy to read by breaking it down into brief paragraphs, using subheaders to divide it into sections, and using bullet points and numbered lists. Doing so will make it easier for users to skim through and read quickly to find the answers they’re searching for, increasing the chances that they’ll return to your website to find additional information. 

Keep Your Audience in Mind

It’s also important to keep your target audience in mind when creating your content. 

Be sure to research your audience beforehand extensively and craft content with them in mind. For example, an entertainment website aimed at teenagers and young adults should have content written in a different voice compared with a medical website designed for senior citizens. Creating marketing personas can help humanize your audience and make it easier to identify with their backgrounds, opinions, and goals. 

Write Effective Meta Tags and URLs

Creating optimized meta tags and URLs is also key for attracting users to your content on search engines like Google. 

Always incorporate SEO best practices when crafting your meta tags. Title tags should include the primary and, if possible, secondary keywords as well as your brand name. It’s also a good idea to frame them as a question and use emotional “power words” if possible. Meta descriptions should also include keywords while serving as a descriptive, engaging call to action to prompt users to read your content. Likewise, your content piece’s URL should be both short and descriptive for best results. 

Craft Engaging Headlines

Headlines play a key role in traditional copywriting, being used to grab the attention of a reader early on and urge them to read the rest of the content. The same holds true for SEO copywriting. 

For SEO best practices, include your primary keyword early on in your H1 tag. Just as with writing title tags for search engines, try framing your header as a question using words that prompt an emotional response from your audience for the best results. 

Keep Search Intent in Mind 

Finally, keep in mind the search intent of users when creating your content. 

Take a close look at the top-ranking pages in Google for the keywords you plan to target. Are they informational guides, eCommerce pages, or navigational in nature? It’s important to understand this early on. Search intent is the “why” in how users search online. Make sure your content and its target keywords match what users are looking for to find success in the SERPs!

Master SEO Copywriting to Dominate the Search Results! 

In short, SEO copywriting is the best of both worlds. By writing content with SEO best practices in mind, you can rank higher in search engines without turning off the user by sounding robotic and unnatural. For all brands, it’s one of the keys to success in digital marketing nowadays!

 

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