SEO copywriting is writing web content with the objective of attracting visitors to your site through search engines and then persuading them to become customers.
If you want to DOMINATE in the search engines as a web copy writer, you need to LOVE SEO. (if you’re not sure about what SEO is or how to optimise your site, I am also an SEO specialist. I wrote a useful wordpress seo tutorial that’s more than 10k words long, and counting!)
- Specify unique META CONTENT for each page = META TITLE and META DESCRIPTION
- Write about 1 main topic per page = MAIN KEYWORD
- Include links to 4 or 5 related topics in the content of the page = SECONDARY KEYWORDS
- Have enough CONTENT DEPTH = 300 to 400 words per page
- Build up enough CONTENT BREADTH = about 300 pages per website
- Blog daily about interesting, topical stories that will get people talking = FRESH CONTENT
- Promote your content on SOCIAL BOOKMARKING sites such as Digg, Reddit and Stumbleupon
- Cluster pages into related topics = LOGICAL CONTENT ARCHITECTURE
- Include related media on the page = IMAGES AND VIDEO
- Add related navigation (links to related pages on the site) to improve the overall QUALITY SCORE of the page
- Perseverance and hard work will pay off – this is the SECRET SAUCE
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – it’s a collection of ongoing actions you need to take in order to use the power of search to your advantage.
1. Initial Analysis
You really need a plan – just like Captain John “Hannibal” Smith from The A-Team, you have to love it when a plan comes together. This means outlining the objectives of the website: who are your potential customers and how do they normally use search engines to find information about the product or service you are offering. People generally do a bit of research before they buy anything online – whether it’s to confirm something they heard about from a friend or saw on TV, or to compare prices.
You need to figure out who your customers are and how they behave online.
2. Keyword research and analysis
When people search for something in a search engine, like Google, they type in a word or phrase they hope will tell the search engine what they are looking for. This is called a keyword (or keyphrase) in SEO terms.
Good search engines like Google will try and match the keyword that a person searched for with the most relevant pages about that topic. e.g. someone searching for cat litter will see a list of web pages that are as relevant to the topic of cat litter as possible, according to the rules (or algorithms) that the search engine uses when bringing back a set of search results.
Without heading down an overly technical discussion, what is important to remember is this:
Search engines must be convinced that your web page is relevant to the topic people are searching for. You can’t just drop Google an email saying that your webpage is all about gardening books – Google will evaluate your web page and determine the relevancy of your page to the topic. It measures your web page based on a number of relevancy factors – and these factors change from time to time which is why SEO is such an interesting thing to be involved in.
Getting back to keyword research: you need to create a list of keywords that you think people will use to find your site. Each page on your website should be optimized for a unique main keyword – the PRIMARY KEYWORD for that page. Deeper in the content of the page you would have 4 or 5 RELATED KEYWORDS that link to related pages.
Main/primary keyword: organic vegetable gardening
Related, secondary keywords: organic fertilizer, worm farms, mulching, organic pesticides
Do you get the picture?
3. Competitor analysis
This is obviously important – you want to check out what your competitors are up to so that you can counter-attack with an even better strategy. Or you can pat yourself on the back and laugh at their mistakes. Either way, competitor analysis from an SEO point of view means getting a view of the following:
- What kind of content are they adding to their sites?
- How often are they adding content to their sites?
- How are they doing in the search engines? Are they outranking you on the search keywords you are trying to rank for?
4. Sitemap and RSS feed inclusion
Let the search engines know when you update your site by submitting your sitemap (usually an XML version) and your RSS feed.
5. Search Engine and directory submission
Not really that important any more since Google is going to find you if you’ve got a quality site. Still, doesn’t hurt.
6. Social Bookmarking
The benefit of submitting your pages and posts to social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit and Stumbleupon (among many others) is that you get to promote your content to some of the most active communities online. This results in more visitors to your site and more awareness of your brand.
Embrace the power of social media – you want your GREAT CONTENT to be SHARED!
7. Blogs and Press Release Creation
The reason your website should have a blog is primarily so that you can quickly and easily let your readers know about the latest news/product/service/event. You also give people an opportunity to have their say when they comment on your blog posts. Blogs result in fresh meaningful content, which results in greater relevance and better rankings.
ePR (or Web PR) is the electronic version of the press release. There are many press release and news portals out there dying to get their hands on a juicy stories and spreading the word. If you have something to say, submit your story to an ePR portal or 10 and you’ll start getting more traffic to your site.
8. Link Popularity
It goes without saying that if your content is interesting/funny/controversial/inflamatory/newsworthy or instills some kind of interest or emotion, you will get people linking to your page. Links to your site is like voting YES to your site and this adds credibility and trust – which means you will start ranking better in the search engines.
Link bait is a term used to describe content that is so good it just attracts links like crazy.
9. SERP Report
SERP – which stands for Search Engine Results Page, not an abbreviation for SERPENT – is where people see the results of the searches they perform on search engines. The Google SERP has most relevant, trusted sites appearing first – the higher you rank in the SERP the more traffic you’ll get. Ranking well for your keywords is one of the ways you will know if your content is doing its job. Getting tons of customers is of course the ultimate purpose – but doing well in the SERPs is a great measure.
10. Social Signals
How often is your brand mentioned on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more? Are people sharing your content and linking to your site from social media channels? These are signs that your content is good. Well done!