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Proper SEO copywriting is an art that plays a critical role in where your content ends up in search engine result pages. Being effective (ie, ranking well and driving website traffic) requires a delicate balancing act of creating insightful content that readers love while simultaneously appeasing search engines. In this article, I’ll discuss six ways to improve your SEO copywriting and get the traffic and conversion rate you’re looking for.
1. Choose the Right Title
The first thing that people will see in search engine results is the title of your article. That’s why crushing it with a great title is so important. It’s your opportunity to grab their attention and get them to click on the link. To begin, it’s usually best to go with a relatively long title that implements long-tail keywords. Unless you’re writing for a well-established website with a ridiculously high domain authority, you’ll be hard-pressed to get any content ranked for competitive, core keywords.
This is because most broad keywords are saturated with competition and are difficult to rank for, especially when a website is relatively new. While a long-tail keyword may receive less organic searches, it can still pay off when you dominate that keyword because its competition is much lower, and its conversion rate is usually going to be much higher (because it’s more targeted). Utilizing a free resource like Google’s Keyword Tool will help you find keywords that aren’t hyper-competitive and streamline the process of choosing a title.
Understanding that people love numbers can also be used to your advantage. People have a natural affinity for mathematics because it creates order in a chaotic world. By inserting a particular number into the title and organizing content accordingly, it should boost the clicks your content receives (notice this article features six tips).
2. Be Thorough
While it’s been debated whether or not the length of text affects the ranking of content, a study by SEOMoz provides tangible proof of a positive correlation between post length and links acquired. This makes sense because more content means the potential to attract the attention of more visitors who inevitably share content. Furthermore, longer content tends to build an emotional connection with the reader, which improves the likelihood they’ll share it with their social networks. By acquiring more links from relevant websites, it’s only a matter of time before your content climbs the SEO ranking ladder.
Besides this, longer, in-depth posts tend to provide readers with the information they’re looking for and that they can legitimately implement into their everyday lives. This is advantageous because a reasonable percentage of visitors are likely to explore additional content and/or return to your site. By getting this response, you’re better able to create long-term relationships and increase conversion rates. In some cases, this can even establish brand ambassadors who willingly put out a good word.
3. Make Content Easily Digestible
We live in a fast-paced world where information goes whizzing by at the speed of light. Consequently, it’s never been more important to make content easily skimmable so visitors can pick and choose what they want to read. There are three main ways to do this. First, text should be broken up into natural flowing paragraphs where ideas are logically separated. Otherwise, massive blocks of text without any spaces will quickly overwhelm readers and they may look elsewhere.
Second, it’s important to utilize headlines and sub-titles. In a world of skimmers, this copywriting technique helps readers quickly locate which sections of an article they are interested in. They can then read that content for the key takeaways and simply skip whatever they’re not interested in. This is also an effective way to organize content and break it up sequentially so that’s it’s easy to follow.
Finally, bulleted lists take it one step further and make information even more digestible. If you’re only listing two or three items, then separating them by commas in a regular sentence will suffice. However, when listing more than three items, a bulleted list helps readers get the gist with greater ease.
4. Incorporate Images
The aesthetic appeal of an article is almost as important as the content itself. Being the visual creatures we are, humans gravitate to images and enjoy well-placed pictures. Taking just a little extra time to find a couple of relevant images for a post should optimize the visitors’ experience by appealing to their visual nature. Pictures are also an effective way to break up long blocks of text while driving a point home.
By optimizing images for search engines, it can also give you an extra SEO boost as well. For example, inserting the keywords of an article into the file name is a good idea. Also, using alt text or tags will help search engine spiders crawl images with better efficiency. This will let search engines know what each image is all about, which should help with rankings. Basically, images accomplish multiple feats at one time with minimal effort.
5. Google Authorship
Google’s social media platform, Google+ has seen a spike in user volume and is quickly catching up to Facebook and Twitter. One of the key features of Google+ is their Authorship Program. Signing up is pretty straightforward and only requires a few steps.
- Creating an account on Google+
- Uploading a nice-looking headshot
- Adding the website or blog you write for
- Inserting a reciprocal link on the website or blog
Once everything is set up, the majority of posts you create will include your headshot along with the title and description of the site in Google search rankings. At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal. In reality, it’s quite advantageous because of the validity it brings to your writing. By having your picture pop up alongside each article, it triggers a reaction from many readers and catches their attention. When given the option of clicking on an article by a featured author rather than article without a picture, it’s only natural that the bulk of readers will choose the first option.
Since readers can click on your profile after reading an article, it’s an easy way to share additional information about yourself and can be the foundation of acquiring followers. In time, this can increase your influence where you become an expert in your niche. Once this kind of trust is built, it’s common to experience a larger volume of traffic and more conversions.
6. Social Media Buttons
With millions of people active on various social media platforms, it’s important to capitalize on this trend. One of the easiest ways to do so is to attach social media buttons to your posts. Doing so will allow readers to instantly share content on their profiles without any hassle. The best part is that installing social media buttons is incredibly easy.
If you use WordPress, you can simply search for plugins that have already been designed by programmers. These can be installed and activated in a matter of seconds and will display buttons to the social media sites of your choice. My personal favorite is Twitter Facebook Social Share.
Some will appear at the top or bottom of posts. Others feature a floating button on the sidebar. Some even allow customization so you can choose the specific logo and style you want. To maximize the impact, it’s usually best to stick with the more popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. However, some plugins will provide a drop down menu that feature dozens of sites.
By making it easy for readers to share content, it should increase the number of links you receive, along with additional exposure because each social share will appear in the feeds of readers.