Let’s start by answering the question at hand. Yes, SEO Copywriting is still important in 2018.
In fact, according to SEOmoz’s Biennial Search Ranking Factors of the Google Ranking Algorithm report, it is one of the 4 most important factors in determining rankings.
The truth is, there are a myriad of SEO factors that can influence google rankings. Many of these SEO ranking factors, such as Trust/Authority of the Host Domain, Link Popularity of the Specific Webpage and Anchor Text of External Links to the page, involve working with influencers, businesses, or popular bloggers in your space.
The SEOmoz chart reveals the most important SEO ranking factors:
23.87% - The trust/authority of the host domain is still the most important factor in deciding how your website ranks. The number of backlinks that you receive from high DA sources is going to have a significant impact on your search rankings.
22.33% - Link popularity to a specific page matters. For blogs, this means getting links to cornerstone or hero content that you believe is most important to readers. For ecommerce businesses, this means getting links to the homepage and the most important or popular product or category landing pages.
20.26% - Building backlinks without anchor text is a futile. The anchor text that is used in external links matters, this is Google's way of determining what other people think of your website.
15.04% - With 15.04%, On-Page Keyword Usage is the most important on-site factor that you can use to build the authority and trust of your website. This means that offsite factors aside, your on-page keyword usage is the most important factor in determining google rankings.
As a business owner, digital marketer, or blogger, chances are you’ve looked at a competitor’s webpage and wondered, ‘why is their page ranking higher than mine?’.
Don’t fret, you’re not alone in wondering how SEO Copywriting affects your rankings. As an experienced SEO copywriter, I can confirm that creating SEO content is one of the most misunderstood aspects of SEO.
For blogger's or content marketing professionals, one of the biggest challenges that you will face is writing content that appeals to people and ranks well on search engines like google.
One of the most common questions I’m asked is;
“How can I write SEO optimized content that people actually want to read?”
The first step to writing content that ranks well on Google is forgetting all about Google. Yes, you read that correctly, if you want to write content that ranks well, you need to forget about Google and start writing content that appeals to your target audience.
SEO copywriting involves writing high quality content that is easy to read and easy to understand. SEO copywriting factors such as long-tail keywords, key phrases, and keyword frequency are significantly less important than creating copy that is easy for people to understand.
Don't underestimate Google's ability to crawl for spam. Content marketers and SEO Copywriters who are using keyword stuffing techniques in an attempt to trick Google are being punished.
What is SEO?
Let’s start with the basics. Have you ever wondered how google decides what information is shown to you when you type a search query into the search bar?
The way those pages are shown to you are a result of search engine optimization (SEO). In simple terms, SEO is a way of structuring content for search engines so that they rank higher than other sites that target the same search terms.
The higher your page appears in search results (SERPs), the more clicks it will get and readers it will generate. Just like writing content that appears in traditional media mediums, SEO writing involves research.
The SEO research process is a little different to traditional writing research, in very simple terms, the below guide can be used to determine your workflow when writing SEO content.
SEO Copywriting Checklist
1. Choose a topic you want to cover that is relevant to your audience
2. Research keywords for this content using a dedicated SEO research tool such as SEM Rush, MOZ, or Google Keyword Planner.
3. Select the keyword that you want to target
4. Use the selected keyword to write content
Once you have used a keyword planning tool to write SEO optimised content, Google will decide how it displays your page in their search results based on two factors.
1. The relevance of your page. Google will analyse the content on your page to determine how relevant it is to the search term.
2. Authority. Webpage authority is one SEO factor that is difficult to influence immediately. Links pointing to your page (referred to as backlinks or external links) indicate how trustworthy the information on your page is.
How is SEO copywriting different to conventional copywriting?
In fact, read that sentence again and you will see that it embodies the essence of SEO copywriting, phrases that real people type into google when researching a topic.
Instead of saying, ‘what’s the difference between SEO writing and normal writing’, I’ve adapted the above sentence to include a key phrase that people are likely to search when researching SEO copywriting “difference between SEO copywriting and traditional copywriting”.
So, does that mean writing copy that repeats key phrases over and over again? In a word, No.
Google likes authoritative content that addresses the search term without being spammy. If you exceed a certain keyword density (the number of times you repeat a keyword), or keep writing alternate search terms, Google will flag your content as spam and you will be penalised.
SEO Copywriting and Search Rankings
SEO copywriting as the final frontier when it comes to building a successful website, blog, or business.
Think of SEO as a 110-metre hurdle race, SEO copywriting is the final hurdle that you need to overcome if you want to win the gold medal. The problem is, by the time you get to the final hurdle, you’re probably tired from all the hard work you’ve done to get to that point.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve created a beautiful, intuitive, and authoritative site, if you don’t have effective SEO copy to back it up, you’re never going to perform as well as you could.
Google needs to know that your page content matches what people are searching for, otherwise the benefit of the targeted traffic will be wasted. SEO copywriting tells Google which words are most relevant to what people are searching for.
Even if the Google search algorithm changes tomorrow, if you’ve created content that provides answers to the questions that people are asking, readers are going to love you. And, ironically enough, if you create content that people love, Google is going to love you too.
SEO for Enhanced Readability
When you think of SEO copywriting you probably think of keyword rich minutia that involves Davinci Code level detective skills to decipher.
If you’re in the business of writing copy for a web audience and your content is hard to read, then stop- immediately.
Keyword stuffing is not what people want and nor does Google. So, before you go fitting in every related phrase and long tail keyword that you can come up with, think about how this will affect the experience of the intended audience.
Effective SEO copywriting means creating content that is informative, logical, and free from unnecessary keywords. Before you start writing your next webpage, blog piece, or press release, consider whether this information is going to be helpful to the intended audience.