But first, what is an SEO copywriter?
Copy is a word to describe text that writers produce to promote a product or service. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
In business, copywriters create texts for brochures, sales letters, business mailings, catalogs, and magazine or newspaper advertising.
The purpose of the copy is to inform or persuade people to take a particular action, such as buying a product or service.
What does an SEO copywriter do?
Today, copywriting has become a synonym for content writing or digital copywriting.
Due to the marketing power of the Internet and social media, writing compelling SEO copy is now an essential marketing tool.
For businesses large and small, getting the message out is always a priority.
Online content marketing, or corporate storytelling, is one of the most important marketing strategies almost all companies use today.
It is why a skilled SEO copywriter and good SEO content writing are in high demand.
Many of my readers are authors.
Perhaps without knowing it, you are already writing a lot of copy to promote your books.
You might call it writing blog posts, but it is primarily copywriting.
If you can write well, you can probably write persuasively and produce excellent articles.
Let’s look at the possibilities.
Copywriting needs SEO skills
To become a successful SEO copywriter nowadays, you have to know a little about how SEO works.
You don’t need to be an expert, but you need to know some of the basics.
Copywriters work to produce persuasive content, but it needs to meet two objectives.
One is to attract a reader’s interest and give them a good user experience.
The second is to get the attention of search engine algorithms. It sounds like a battle between humans and machines.
In a sense, it is. You need to write to satisfy both.
Creating reader interest usually involves informing, answering questions and needs, or appealing to a particular emotion.
A search engine doesn’t respond to any of these emotive points.
It wants the basic information so it can file things in the right place so readers can find it quickly.
SEO and on-page optimization help search engines do this.
Writing well for search engines like Google will be rewarded with a higher search results ranking and better conversion rates.
A top listing on Google will bring in more readers.
Writing well for readers will keep their attention for longer, which will also help improve SEO ranking.
These are the two ingredients of the secret sauce of excellent content writing. Pleased readers and happy algorithms.
Writing for readers is the highest priority
Years back, writing online articles, posts, and copy meant stuffing the text with keywords to get the attention of search engines.
If you needed to write about a better mousetrap, the phrase “better mousetrap” had to be mentioned 10 to 20 times in the text.
It made for awful reading.
Thankfully, search engines now penalize this practice of keyword stuffing and instead want articles that are long-form, semantically diverse, and above all else, reader-friendly and highly informative.
In other words, search engines now want you to write for your reader first and their algorithms second.
How can you do this when you have to write an article for a client around the keywords, a better mousetrap?
Write the story first
Imagine that your brief as an SEO copywriter is to write for a company that wants to market a new and better mousetrap.
You would start by writing a story based on these two keywords.
There are hundreds of ideas you could use. Perhaps a tale about an old cat or stolen cheese.
You could tell a story about how your father used to set traps for mice in the kitchen and how much your mother dreaded opening cupboards.
You could ask questions that a reader might have. Do you have mice in your garage? Is your cat too lazy to chase mice?
You will inevitably use words associated with a mousetrap in writing a story.
In SEO speak, these words are semantic or related in meaning to your article’s subject.
Words such as mouse problem, pest control, rodents, spreading diseases, contaminated food, rats, and mice, trap, and bait are all terms that are related to the keyword.
You can research semantic words, but a good writer with a thesaurus will include these words naturally.
Ready for reading
Once you finish writing the story, you need to format the text for online reading.
Reading on the web is different because people want information fast. They want easy reading too.
The main factors for good online copy are short sentences, no chunky paragraphs, and clear headers to guide a reader.
The text needs to be broken into small bite-sized chunks, especially for small-screen reading on phones.
Bullet points and numbered lists are also advantageous.
The essential ingredient for good writing is perfect grammar.
There are a lot of premium and free grammar apps to choose from now to help find any errors.
So far, any writer can usually write a great story and then format the text.
Now it’s time to SEO the story
Title and URL
Every online content article or landing page needs a title. It is called the Title tag or H1 tag.
You need to use your primary keywords in this tag.
For example, Do you need a better mousetrap? My father always wanted a better mousetrap. Is a better mousetrap possible?
The title very often becomes the article’s URL or web address.
You can always see a page URL in the address bar of your browser for any web pages you view on the Internet. It looks like this.
Occasionally, the URL may need editing if it is too long, but this is usually the job of a webmaster.
You should use the keyword once but no more than two or three times within the content or body text.
It should be rich in semantic words, though. During editing, look for more related terms that can be added, and remove any overused or duplicated words.
Paragraph headings need to be added to break up the text. They also have high SEO value, so they should use the H2 and H3 tags.
Using bold, italic, and underlined text for emphasis is also noticed by search engines, so they should be used. But in moderation.
Images help tell a story and also break up text into readable chunks.
A good rule of thumb is to have the main image at the beginning of the article and then one or two more within the piece to break up the text.
While the title of the article will be visible on a website, the SEO title is what you see when you do a Google search. It is also often used in social shares.
It can be the same. But you can have slightly different SEO and main titles to increase searchability and improve search engine rankings.
It means that you would use two of the example titles I noted above, and importantly, both must include the article keywords.
SEO or Meta Description
Like the SEO title, the SEO description is not visible in the article.
It is the small text snippet you only see on search listings and is usually around 150 characters long.
It is a vital piece of information for search engines, so it needs to be extremely well-written.
It should describe what the article is about and include the keywords once.
For Serious SEO Help
Content or copywriters who make a living from writing articles almost always use a professional SEO suite.
The best ones come with so many valuable tools. Not only can you do keyword research, but you can also find plenty of semantic keywords.
You can also track the performance of your articles on your sites as well as guest articles on other sites.
There are tools to help create content and research high-ranking articles to gain insights into what readers like.
My favorite tool is the keyword tracker. After writing a new article, I can check how quickly it ranks on Google.
It also allows me to run an SEO check on my already published articles to help improve the ranking potential and organic traffic.
Optimizing content after it has been published is always a good idea.
Is becoming an SEO copywriter for you?
It is not difficult to write great content and then craft it to suit readers and algorithms.
It takes a little practice, but it is undoubtedly a skill any writer can learn.
There are a lot of ways to make content writing a part-time or full-time job.
There are many sites that advertise freelance copywriter jobs. You can also search for companies that are looking for writers by using the search term, write for us.
Some content writers earn an income from affiliate marketing by including paid links in their articles but offer the article for free to high-ranking websites.
Then there are those who write content for their own blog but use articles to promote businesses or paid and affiliate links.
For authors, publishing content or guest blogging can help book sales. Most articles allow for a byline and bio that contain links to your site.
These are highly valuable and will work for you for a very long time to promote you and your books.
Online content writing is a diverse industry. But one that is ideally suited to writers who want to work from home and be self-employed.
Is an SEO copywriter a job that would suit you?
Related reading: How A Copywriter Would Plan, Prepare And Write A Book Description