Category Archives: SEO

How much time does SEO copywriting take before your rankings improve?

How much time does SEO copywriting take to improve search engine rankings

How much time does SEO copywriting take to improve search engine rankings

I was going through a Reddit thread about whether a person should invest in SEO if he is spending good money on advertising on Facebook and other social media networks.

People also talk about how much time it takes for search engine rankings to improve.

SEO copywriting is the backbone of search engine optimization.

SEO copywriting is the backbone of search engine rankings

SEO copywriting is the backbone of search engine rankings

Search engine optimization does not exist without optimized content because if there is no content, if there is no copy, what do you optimize?

Three main components of SEO – as I understand the field – are:

  • Writing and publishing optimized content.
  • Optimizing source code so that search engine crawlers can crawl and index content without hurdles.
  • Getting backlinks from authority websites, preferably with higher page rank.
  • Interlinking existing content.
  • Increasing the time people spend on the website.

Recently Google rolled out its “Helpful Content” algorithm update that penalizes websites that solely publish content meant to improve search engine rankings, without providing any value to human readers.

This is a good step on Google’s part because what is the purpose of publishing even optimized content if your content is not solve any purpose.

Therefore, SEO copywriting can help you only if it really helps your readers.

What is SEO copywriting?

The meaning of SEO copywriting

The meaning of SEO copywriting

I’m surprised that after all these years people still ask this question.

SEO copywriting in itself is nothing.

Every useful piece of copywriting is search engine optimized automatically.

As Google has suggested in its new algorithm guidelines, always write and publish human-friendly, human-first content.

And anyway, unless you are a high-authority website with hundreds of backlinks and a domain that is very old, even if you publish top-class content, it is difficult to get higher search engine rankings in just a couple of months.

So, if you hire me for my SEO copywriting services and then you expect that your rankings should improve within two months, you are daydreaming.

Even if I give you an example of my own website, although I’m writing this blog post on “SEO copywriting” there is a slim chance it will rank well because high authority websites such as Hubspot, Search Engine Journal, Backlinko, and Neil Patel (among many more) have already ranked well on the first and the second page.

Then why am I writing on this topic if I don’t hope to rank well for “SEO copywriting”?

It improves my content depth – and this is a reason why you should publish SEO content.

To gradually improve your content depth because as your content depth increases, so do your search engine rankings.

Now coming back to the question of “What is SEO copywriting?”

The simple explanation is that it is the art of writing informative content following the best SEO practices.

These practices include:

Crafting a headline that truly represents the body content.

Using the language used by the target audience.

Using short sentences to make it easier for humans to read and for search engine algorithms to process.

Strategically using keywords and search terms within the content so that they are an integral part of your narrative.

Satisfying the search intent – with what intent people are searching for your information?

How is SEO copywriting different from SEO content writing?

Difference between SEO copywriting and content writing

Difference between SEO copywriting and content writing

Content writing is mostly for blogs and other pieces of content that is meant to inform and educate.

You follow the same conventions when writing SEO content but a big difference is that in copywriting, you convince and convert people.

In copywriting, there is a CTA.

Content writing is used for blogging, case studies and other information articles.

Copywriting is used for the main website content, email marketing campaigns, landing pages and social media advertisements.

Hence, SEO copywriting means writing search engine friendly copy with the intention of making people perform the action represented by your CTA.

How long does SEO copywriting take before your search engine rankings improve?

Your search engine rankings don’t just depend on optimized content although, your content is the base of your entire SEO strategy.

SEO experts say that there are more than 200 factors that affect your search engine rankings, and your content or copy is just one of them.

Still, from the perspective of a content writer who has attained decent rankings for a few websites merely on the strength of SEO content, how long does it take?

I’m talking from the perspective of SEO copywriting and content writing.

I have experienced this with a couple of my own websites.

If you publish content – good SEO content – everyday, and preferably multiple times in a day, you can improve your rankings in 3-4 months.

It depends on the topics you choose.

It also depends on how well you can use your keywords and how competitive those keywords are.

You need to focus on longtail keywords because main and primary keywords are already covered by other websites.

For example, if I want to rank well for search terms like “content writing services” or “SEO copywriting services”, at least right now it is near to impossible.

Therefore, I try to focus on less competitive search terms.

For example, I rank well for “content writer for accounting businesses” or “content writer for coaching websites”.

In fact, even if you search for “SEO copywriter for accounting business” you will be able to find my website in top position.

Again, coming back to how much time it takes.

If you are aiming for rare keywords that very few people use, your website can start ranking well even within a couple of weeks if you manually submit your links to Google after publishing them.

But with fair amount of competition, give yourself 3-6 months.

3-6 months when you publish content everyday on your chosen keywords.

You will need to exercise patience.

Can you improve your rankings just on the strength of SEO copywriting without getting backlinks.

I have never actively sought backlinks.

My website has backlinks but that’s because many people have linked to my blog posts on their own.

Over the past 10 years, my website has accumulated some good backlinks.

Somewhere around in 2010 I actively wrote guest blog posts for some high traffic websites and from there I got a few backlinks.

After that, I never tried, and I solely focused on publishing content on my own website.

I use a mix of SEO copywriting and content writing to keep my content search engine friendly.

My rankings are not stellar but they are good enough to give me a steady flow of work.

I don’t remember how much time my content writing website took to create a search engine presence, but I have worked on two other websites.

For both of them, I was able to start getting search engine traffic within three months.

But I published lots of content, sometimes more than 5-6 posts per day, with 4 being minimum.

Those were highly focused blog posts and back in those days (5-10 years ago) Google was not very strict.

Since most of my blog posts linked to external content, they were just 300-400 words.

Despite that, I could get them rank on the first page.

Realistically, what suggestion would I give to someone starting from scratch?

How long does SEO copywriting take before the rankings improve?

Keep a budget for 4 months if you publish one web page or one blog post every day.

If you publish twice every day then 2-3 months.

It goes without saying that how well your SEO copywriting performs depends on the degree of competition you face, but then, whenever you are starting from scratch, it is always better to focus on less competitive search terms.

How to do SEO copywriting under the Google helpful content update guidelines?

SEO copywriting under the Google helpful content update guidelines

SEO copywriting under the Google helpful content update guidelines

The Google helpful content update is active by now.

It is propagating all over the Internet and it will take two weeks to know whether it has hit your website or blog or not.

Main topic and subtopics covered in this blog post:

Does the latest search algorithm update make SEO copywriting a bad word?

The guidelines of the new Google helpful content algorithm update specifically state that content written for search engine rankings will lose its search engine rankings.

Good quality, well-researched, and human-centric content will gain rankings.

What is SEO copywriting?

It means writing in such a manner that your content is optimized for your chosen keywords and it ranks higher on Google and other search engines.

Theoretically there is nothing wrong in trying to improve your search engine rankings if you’re looking for search engine traffic.

SEO copywriting in its true sense delivers value to humans first.

At the same time, copywriting is done in a search friendly manner.

The text is organized and formatted in such a manner that its easier to crawl and analyze it.

Yes, keywords are used strategically.

Variation of the keywords are also used.

But when I do SEO copywriting, my main purpose of using the keywords is using the language that is understood by the readers.

It is because they use the search queries in the same language they speak.

Does Google look down upon SEO copywriting?

Not exactly.

In fact, multiple times Google has made recommendations on how to write search engine friendly content – content that can be easily crawled, indexed and ranked.

Then what’s the problem?

The problem is that quite often web publishers forget that ultimately, it’s the human readers for whom content must be written and published.

They get obsessed with SEO copywriting – solely optimizing their content for search engine rankings while completely forgetting about delivering quality to human readers.

This approach is counter-productive at many levels.

Low quality content harms your interests.

Your bounce rate increases.

You don’t retain visitors.

People stop visiting your website or blog.

Your readers feel cheated and hence, they get disenchanted with your intentions.

They waste time because they come to your website or blog thinking that they have found the information they were looking for, but they don’t.

Low quality content also sullies Google’s reputation because people see that as Google’s inability to find quality content.

If a new search engine comes up with the ability to find better content, people will start using it.

Hence, Google is heavily coming down upon websites and blogs publishing low quality content.

The new helpful content algorithm update will be specially targeting websites that publish content just to improve search engine rankings.

Naturally, people who have been using SEO copywriting indiscriminately are feeling jittery.

How does Google define helpful content?

Although “helpful content” has a very literal meaning, Google advises you to ask yourself the following questions to determine whether your content is helpful to your human readers.

  • If people directly come to your website (not from Google search), will they find your content helpful and useful?
  • When you are writing about a product or a place to visit, have you personally experienced the product or visited the place to get first-hand experience?
  • After reading what you have published, are people satisfied or do they have to conduct further research?
  • Does your website or blog have a primary focus or a purpose to exist (for example, the purpose of this website is to give you information on content writing, copywriting, and content marketing).
  • Do you provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
  • When linking to other information sources, do you simply regurgitate existing information or add further value?

These may seem quite obvious questions but you will be surprised to know how many content publishers don’t pay attention to them.

Doing SEO copywriting under the new Google helpful content update guidelines

What all do you need to pay attention to when writing content according to the new guidelines?

Search engine optimization is always going to be one of your primary concerns.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing content for your own website, or for one of your clients.

Don’t write on random topics

The focus area of my blog is content writing, copywriting, sometimes SEO (because it is content related), and content marketing (which is a superset of content writing).

Although I write for websites and blogs, does it make sense to publish blogs on web design?

What about PHP programming?

JavaScript coding?

These topics may get me some traffic, but do they belong to the core focus of my website?

They don’t.

I will be writing and publishing them simply to generate search engine traffic.

I don’t have expertise in them.

I will be simply getting information from other websites and rewriting it, without adding further value.

Instead, stick to your core subject.

If you want to publish regularly, sure, sometimes it may be difficult to come up with new topics, but this is where your creativity will count.

Develop your own writing style

As a copywriter, Google or no Google, you should develop your own writing style to sound original.

Every experienced writer has their own style.

My clients often insist that I write in my style and therefore, sometimes it becomes difficult for me to collaborate with other content writers.

When you have your own manner of writing sentences and using words, even if you are getting information from other websites, you will be writing it in your own way, in your own style, and according to your own take.

Be original

This is one of the major guidelines of the latest Google helpful content algorithm update.

Don’t write and publish content that is already present – maybe in a much better form – on other websites and blogs.

Offer readers something that they cannot find elsewhere.

Develop an expertise.

As much as possible, use first-hand experience to describe products and places.

Everything that they share on this blog, I use it on everyday content writing and copywriting.

Even the blogging tips that I share, I use them on my own blog and also when I’m writing blog posts for my clients.

Don’t obsess over search engine optimization

Just because you’re doing SEO copywriting it doesn’t mean your primary concern should be getting your content to rank higher on Google.

SEO copywriting and content writing are more about using a format that is search engine friendly, and less about cramming your writing with keywords.

When writing, come to the main topic as fast as possible.

Therefore, when you talk about your main topic, if you have defined the topic according to your primary keywords, you will be naturally using your keywords.

Organize your content under various subheadings because larger font draws more attention.

In your subheadings, let your keywords appear naturally.

If they don’t appear, don’t force them.

Similarly, try to use your keywords and bulleted lists.

When I say you should use your keywords, it doesn’t mean splattering them randomly just so that they appear in your text.

Your keywords must always appear contextually.

They should be there because they should be there, not because of SEO.

Don’t unnecessarily stretch your web page or blog post

The Google update documentation advises that you should write highly focused web pages and blog posts.

There is conflicting data available on how long your blog posts (or web pages) must be to rank well.

Google in its new helpful content update guidelines says that it doesn’t matter how many words your blog post (or web page) has.

As long as your content is human-friendly, and relevant, nothing should stop it from ranking well.

Having said that, Hubspot found in a 2021 study that blog posts with 2100-2400 words perform much better than shorter blog posts.

What should you do?

As is the case with everything else, the length of your blog post should be need-based.

My average blog posts these days are 1100-1500 words.

Some blog posts rank well, some don’t.

I don’t bother much.

The messaging is more important to me.

I don’t like unnecessarily stretching my blog posts just so that they have more words.

If you needlessly include topics and subtopics, people lose interest.

They want to read what they were searching for.

They are not looking for 10 other facts.

Use your better judgement.

If you think certain topics are important to your readers, include them, otherwise don’t.

There are some topics that are necessary to make your blog post complete.

But if you feel that your blog post would be better without those subtopics, remove them.

Write in an accessible manner

Google prefers accessible content over inaccessible content.

Make sure your copy is easily readable.

Write simple sentences and paragraphs.

Don’t use over complicated words.

Make your writing scannable so that even someone who doesn’t want to read the whole thing, can make sense of it.

Screen readers should be able to read your text seamlessly.

Link to important topics if you have already written about them instead of rewriting them.

When doing SEO copywriting, think from the point of view of Google.

If your content doesn’t make sense, what is the point in getting it ranked higher?

Get a ton of traffic?

Make people click on advertisements?

Buy your affiliate products?

You know what?

People aren’t doing any of these because they are not even reading your content.

Anyway, 80 out of 100 people read your headline and don’t go beyond that.

So, it’s only the remaining 20 people who are going to care what you have written.

If they feel cheated, even they don’t convert.

From the perspective of Google, why should Google suffer if you don’t want to write quality content?

Why should people who use Google in good faith suffer because you just want them to come to your website without offering them helpful content?

With the help of artificial intelligence and natural language processing Google has enough computing power to know whether you are providing quality content or not.

Stick to the “helpful content” algorithm guidelines and you will be surprised to know how well your copywriting sounds.


Google has started rolling out the helpful content update

Google helpful content update rolls out

Google helpful content update rolls out

In a new announcement on August 25, Google says that the company has released the August 22 helpful content update.

The release may take around two weeks to take effect.

If you think your website or blog may be impacted by the new Google helpful content update, you will need to carefully observe if your traffic increases or decreases.

You can keep a tab on the above link to know when the update has been fully rolled out.

If by then there is no big difference in your traffic, you are fortunate, and it means that your website or blog hasn’t been impacted by this major update.

If you are hit by the update, Google says that it may take months to recover after making changes according to the update.

The update is meant to help people find “high quality content” through Google.

The algorithm will be specifically targeting websites where the content seems to have been written primarily for search engines, without providing much help to humans.

The new algorithm update, for the time being, will only affect English-language websites.

Such rollouts are not fool proof.

Even those websites may also be hit that have useful content on them, but the content has been written in such a manner that it draws traffic from search engines.

In that sense, everyone needs to keep his or her fingers crossed.

The algorithm will have a sitewide impact.

It means even if a few web pages and blog posts that seem spammy to Google are found, the rankings of even good web pages and blog posts will be negatively affected.

The types of content impacted by the algorithm may be

  • Shopping-Related Content
  • Tech related content
  • Educational material
  • Reviews websites
  • Arts and entertainment

These websites mostly have click bait content supposed to generate traffic.

What is the primary purpose of the Google helpful content algorithm update?

Google wants its users to be able to find high-quality content.

Many searchers are frustrated that through the search engine when they click certain links, they contain meaningless content, simply aggregated, or written, for higher search engine rankings.

These web pages and blog posts provide no value.

This is bad for Google.

People using the search engine won’t blame websites and blogs containing low quality content.

They will blame the search engine for not being able to find helpful content.

It is the job of the search engine algorithm to differentiate between low quality and high quality content.

Although Google tried to tackle low quality content through its Panda update, it has been more than a decade since it was rolled out.

Inferior quality content is still being published, crawled, ranked, and indexed higher.

Through the new update, Google wants to reward useful content that has been written for humans.

It wants to make it easier for search engine users to find useful content.

What to do if your website is hit by the Google helpful content update?

For this, you may like to read How does Google define “Helpful Content”?

The problem with this update is that

  • Even for a few pages, the impact will be sitewide.
  • Even if you remove the offending pages and blog posts, it may take several months for your website or blog to recover.

Will Google tell you because of which pages or blog posts your website is being penalised?

This information is not yet available.

What you can do is, you can quickly go through your website and blog and check pages and blog posts that you think are overdoing SEO.

If there are certain pages and blog posts that provide little or no value, you can remove them or you can mark them as “no-index”.

You can also rewrite them to make them more valuable.

You need not worry if you feel that you are already publishing content that helps people.

As I have written above, such algorithm updates are not foolproof and sometimes even those websites are hit that don’t deserve to be hit.


Google “Helpful Content”: what about SEO content writing?

SEO content writing after Google helpful content update

SEO content writing after Google helpful content update

Once Google’s new “Helpful Content” algorithm update kicks in, will you be focusing on SEO content writing?

Sure, you want your content to be helpful to your audience.

You want to keep your visitors engaged.

You want to inform them so that they can decide in favor of your product or service.

But many businesses work with content writers for SEO purposes.

There are many writers who provide SEO content writing services, including yours truly.

Many businesses and entrepreneurs hire me because they want me to write SEO content.

Google says merely writing for SEO is bad.

You should write human-first content.

Precisely this is the reason Google has named its latest algorithm as “Helpful Content” because it will be penalising websites that publish low quality content simply to improve search engine rankings.

On the other hand, it will be rewarding websites that publish quality content that really helps the readers.

What type of SEO content writing services do I provide?

Update or no update, my focus is always the reader.

I do write my content in such a manner that its easier for search engine crawlers to crawl it, analyze it, and then index it appropriately.

For example, I use the main keyword in the title because I know that for search engines titles are important.

I use the keywords in the first 100 words because again, keywords don’t just represent an SEO opportunity, they also represent the query people are using to find your content.

It means, using the language that people use when they talk about your product, service, or business.

Using your keywords is still important but use them as words that truly represent your central idea.

For example, for this blog post, I’m using the expression “SEO content writing”, but it doesn’t mean if I want to optimize my blog post for this expression, I use it repeatedly.

I make it appear naturally.

It appears where it should, otherwise it doesn’t.

Is SEO content writing still relevant after the “Helpful Content” update?

Don’t be afraid of writing SEO content after Google’s new update rolls out.

Writing content to improve your SEO doesn’t mean you cannot focus on your human readers.

Keep them your priority.

Write content for people.

Make it easier to scan.

Let your meta title, main headline, and subheadings, truly represent the central points of your web page, article, or the blog post.

Don’t try to cram everything in a single piece of content.

Write on focused topics.

For example, if you want to write a blog post on search intent, you should also write smaller blog posts for different types of search intents.

It is important to write compelling headlines to write effective content.

You can write a blog post just on how to write compelling headlines.

This way you will be able to increase the subject depth of your website or blog.

On Google people search for precise topics.

They ask specific questions.

Provide answers to those specific questions and don’t dillydally just to write bigger blog posts or web pages.

Even if you have been using some SEO tools to make your content search engine friendly, don’t worry, as long as it provides the information people are looking for.


How does Google define “Helpful Content”?

How does Google define helpful content

How does Google define helpful content

The news of Google rolling out the new “helpful content” algorithm update is all over the Internet.

I too covered the news a few days ago.

Although content has been at the center stage of every algorithm that Google has rolled out, it is for the first time that the term “helpful content” has been specifically highlighted.

According to Google, in a nutshell, “helpful content” means the content

  • Is created for a specific, targeted audience.
  • Delivers what the searcher is looking for.
  • Shows expertise.
  • Portrays trustworthiness and credibility.

In its blog post on the “helpful content” algorithm update Google has shared some information on what it considers helpful content.

Google suggests that you write and publish people-first content.

Don’t obsess over your search engine rankings.

Don’t write content to make search engine algorithms happy.

There are certain indicators that can tell the Google algorithm that you are writing content for the search engine and not for people.

Google asks you to make the following observations when writing and publishing content on your website or blog:

  • Do people who directly come to your website (not from Google) find your content helpful and useful?
  • Does your website content have a central theme around which you have published detailed content?
  • Do you write articles and blog posts with first-hand experience, and do you share in-depth knowledge of your field?
  • Do people find enough information such that they no longer have to search for the topic somewhere else?
  • Do people feel satisfied after reading what you have published?

What does Google want you to stop doing when publishing content?

  • Stop publishing different versions of the same topic hoping that one of the versions will rank well on Google.
  • Don’t scrape content from other websites just to fill your website or blog with content.
  • Don’t use topics just so that they rank well on Google.
  • Don’t use automated tools to write and publish content on your website and blog.
  • When creating content from other websites, don’t just merely summarise – add more value.
  • Don’t extend your article or blog post to a certain word count just so that it ranks well.
  • Don’t write about a niche topic unless you are an expert in it or you have in-depth knowledge about the topic.
  • Don’t answer questions for which you don’t have a definite answer such as a health-related question or the release of a movie.

Other “helpful content” recommendations by Google

  • Write blog posts and articles from different perspectives, such as, both pros and cons of using a product or a service.
  • When reviewing a product, go beyond what the provider or the manufacturer says, and share your own first-hand experience.
  • Describe in detail how a product performs in different areas – for example, how a mixer grinds different categories of vegetables.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of your readers – would you trust the information you are sharing on your website or blog?
  • Are you sourcing facts and statistics from authoritative websites and blogs?
  • Doublecheck your content for easily verified factual errors.
  • As much as possible, provide information that is original, research-based, and well analysed.
  • Cover exhaustive information about a topic.
  • Deliver in the body content what you have promised in the headline or the meta title.
  • Create content people would like to bookmark, or share, or recommend.
  • Link to useful information on your own website or other authoritative websites.

Google recommends focusing on search intent

People search with different needs.

In this document Google shares some major motivations with which people use the search engine.

  • I want to know: People are looking for information, knowledge, and news.
  • I want to go: People are mostly looking for local businesses where they can go and entertain themselves or have food.
  • I want to do: This is primarily how-to content when people want to solve a problem and are looking for a solution.
  • I want to buy: They are ready to buy, and you just need to keep them focused.

You may also like to read: Why search intent is most important when writing content for your website