Tag Archives: copywriting for SEO

10 SEO copywriting tips to use whenever you publish a blog post

10 SEO Copywriting Tips

10 SEO Copywriting Tips

A big reason why you publish blog posts every day is that you want to improve your search engine rankings. During the past 15 years since I have been providing professional content writing services, I have come across only 3-4 clients who wanted to publish blog posts for the purpose of broadcasting their messages. Otherwise, the primary purpose is always improving SEO. I’m not saying there is anything wrong in that.

SEO copywriting is an integral part of writing for the purpose of improving your search engine rankings. Copywriting doesn’t always mean writing for ads or promotional literature. You maintain a business blog because you want to increase your sales. You want to convince your ideas compellingly so that your readers believe you and then do business with you. Whenever your writing involves convincing people, it is more copywriting and less content writing.

SEO copywriting and SEO content writing are often interchanged but the sole difference is that when you use copywriting when writing, you also promote your business.

SEMRush published an infographic listing 10 SEO copywriting tips to follow whenever you write a blog post or web page. Here is the infographic:

SEMRush infographic on SEO copywriting

SEMRush infographic on SEO copywriting

As the name suggests, SEO copywriting is meant to improve your search engine rankings. Therefore, you need to take certain steps, you need to follow some procedures, to make sure that you are optimizing your copy for better search engine rankings. Here are a few things you can do

1. Find the right keywords

There are rumors that Google no longer needs keywords and you can use contextual language to convey to Google what keywords to optimize your content for. But the keywords still matter. You can use various online tools to find the keywords people are using to find your business. You can even use as simple a tool as Google. When you search for something on Google, Google also suggests other search terms. The search terms are being used by people.

2. Find out which questions people are

Questions and their answers are ranked better by Google. Questions are generally a treasure trove of keywords because they use exactly the language people use when they are searching for your business.

Therefore, there is a greater chance of ranking a web page with a question “How to find the best content writing services” higher than a web page having a simple title as “We provide the best content writing services”.

3. Keep search intent in mind

Figuring out search intent further helps you refine your keywords and reorient your language. What is the reason people are trying to find your particular web pages or blog posts? Are you satisfying that intent? Are they able to find what they’re looking for? The more emphatically yes the answer is, the better will be your search engine rankings.

4. What are your competitors writing?

If your competitors are enjoying better search engine rankings than you, they must be doing something right with their content. What type of content are they publishing? What keywords and search terms are they targeting? The infographic suggests research at least 10 competitors before you start writing content for your own website or blog.

5. Gather original data

Original data helps you write authoritative content. You draw your own conclusions. You make up your own mind. You display concrete results to your prospective customers and clients. You can conduct polls and surveys on your website for original content. You can also write case studies and white papers.

6. Optimize headlines and meta information

Headlines hook your audience. Your headline tells your readers what awaits them and why they should read your piece of content. In SEO copywriting writing headlines is one of the most important aspects of writing content. Meta tag information is the web page title and the description. This information appears in search results and have a great impact on your CTR.

7. When SEO copywriting, write easy-to-read text

Write smaller sentences. Write smaller paragraphs. Express a single idea in a single sentence. Don’t use complicated words. Remember that many people might be reading your web page or blog post on their mobile phone and on mobile screens it is difficult to read longer sentences.

8. Include relevant images

Images complement your copywriting. Images are not an integral part of copywriting because copywriting involves writing words, but when you are writing for the web you need to use images that keep your readers hooked. Images also present a welcome distraction.

9. Use appropriate CTA

Call-to-action is very important in SEO copywriting. You may not tell your readers directly to do this or do that, there must always be a hidden intention. What must your readers do after reading your web page or blog post? Should they subscribe to your newsletter? Should they download your e-book or white paper? People’s response to your call-to-action is an important KPI of your SEO copywriting.

10. Link to other blog posts and web pages from your current piece of writing

Interlinking solves multiple purposes. It makes it easier for search engine crawlers to crawl important parts of your website or blog. It also helps your readers find relevant information on your website or blog. It prevents you from writing duplicate content because if there are some concepts you have already written about, better link to them rather than writing about them repeatedly.

SEO copywriting is important at multiple levels. It allows you to write engaging content that prompts people to take an action while they are on your website or blog. It provides relevant information and at the same time encourages people to reach out to you for doing business. The SEO part is, writing your content in such a manner that it is interesting to read for humans and at the same time easier for search engine crawlers to crawl, index, make sense, and then rank for the appropriate keywords.

Is it fine to copy someone else’s content?

Is it fine to copy content for SEO?

Is it fine to copy content for SEO?

You need to know whether it is an ethical question, an SEO-related question or a practical one.

Recently I was brainstorming a client’s content strategy on a Zoom meeting and SEO guy had also joined. I know there are many reputed SEO companies that are doing great work, but I’m quite wary of SEO people who want to manipulate content to improve search engine rankings instead of following the quality and relevance of the content itself to automatically improve rankings.

During the conversation he very casually said that I should copy content from other websites and then shuffle it and change a few words here and there and it would be great for SEO. He said that it’s good to copy content from high-ranking websites because they have already improved their search engine rankings with that particular content format.

I was like, WTF? I mean, I didn’t verbally object because the client is quite enamored with the SEO guy, but inside my mind, I was already figuring how not to butt in and remain focused on the core topic – how to write valuable content that will organically improve the clients search engine rankings.

Let’s put aside the fact that Google may realize that you have copied the content from another website and therefore, you should be penalized, for a while.

Let’s focus on the ethical issue here. But before that, let’s also be realistic.

As a content writer, how do I define “copying content from another website or blog”? When does it become plagiarism?

Difference between plagiarism and ideation

I think we all know the meaning of plagiarism – picking content as it is and then using it as your own, verbatim mostly.

Even if you pick content and then change a few words here and there but more or less keep the entire thing intact without changing even the sentence structure, still it is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a very serious issue in academics, research papers, scientific journals, journalistic writing and books and novels. As a student you can be expelled from a course. As a scientist you can be debarred and humiliated. As a journalist you invite contamination and ridicule. As an author you can be sued, and you may have to pay damages.

As a content writer, although it may be difficult for the aggrieved party to take action against you, if someone is hellbent upon taking action, he or she can. For example, an aggrieved party can approach your web hosting company if your web hosting company has a policy against plagiarism and copyright violation. They can take down your website. If you’re in the same country legal action can also be initiated.

It’s mostly Google penalization that deters people from plagiarizing content. Google can blacklist your website if you are a repeat offender.

But what about rewriting something completely in your own style, in your own language? Many bloggers do that. I have written tips on content writing and hundreds of other websites and blogs have published tips on content writing. Similarly, websites telling you how to improve your search engine rankings are everywhere. They have the same information, it’s just that, they have rewritten the information with slight changes, and with their own take.

Just because Wikipedia has an article on what is blockchain doesn’t mean I cannot publish a blog post on the topic of what is blockchain. Similarly, just because Investopedia has explained what is bookkeeping, another website cannot explain it. This is not copying. This is not plagiarism. It is because you’re presenting the information in your own language, in your own writing, in your own style. It becomes plagiarism when you directly pick the Investopedia article and publish it under your own domain name as your own article.

What about creating a famous story? Many authors have done that. Mary Shelley’s stories have been rewritten. Greek mythologies have been rewritten. Ramayana and Mahabharata have been rewritten. Sherlock Holmes novels have been rewritten. The main stress is on originality vis-à-vis your style. You can tell the same story in a different matter.

Should you copy content from another website to improve your SEO?

Now that we know what plagiarism is and what is not plagiarism even when you are writing the same thing, let’s come to the ethical issue.

Frankly, to an average client it does not matter how, as a content writer, I write content that improves his or her search engine rankings. The client is not worried about legal issues or even with the prospect of someone accosting him or her and complaining about plagiarism. The client is majorly worried about the SEO implications – Google may penalize the website, or even blacklist it, which would be disastrous. As long as Google is fine, most of the clients are fine.

As a content writer, I’m not.

Almost every client hires me to write original content, even if Google is the only reason. Like pirated software, pretty much everyone is okay with picking content from other websites as long as it is safe to do so.

But I have been hired to write original content. If I’m not writing original content, am I not cheating my client?

You may say that the client is hiring me less for the originality of my content and more for my ability to create content that improves his or her search engine rankings, no matter what.

He or she is not bothered with originality. He or she is bothered with search engine rankings.

If I copy the content from somewhere else, if Google does not penalize the website and if Google improves the website’s search engine rankings, who the hell is the client to complain?

No matter how bad it sounds, I can understand this point of view. Nonetheless, I am a writer first, and then I am a content writer. As a writer, I take pride in my writing. If I copy content from another website, even if someone doesn’t detect that, I know that it reeks of my inability to write effectively. It shows that the other writer whose content I’m copying is better than me as a writer. He or she was able to write that beautiful piece of content that I’m shamelessly copying. He or she is a better writer. I’m just a pretender. I’m just an impostor.

No, I don’t expect clients to understand this.


The inalienable relationship between copywriting and SEO

Copywriting isn’t just about writing ads these days. When we are writing copy for websites and blogs, it goes beyond selling stuff, although, I must admit that selling stuff is one of the most important functions of copywriting.

As a copywriter writing for websites and blogs, you need to pay close attention to the SEO aspect of writing. Of late I have been repeatedly stressing that you shouldn’t allow your SEO to dominate your writing, but it doesn’t mean you completely ignore it. There is a complete branch called SEO copywriting.

Is there even a separate field called SEO copywriting? It depends. There are many writers on the web who call themselves SEO copywriters but mostly it’s about striking a balance between writing compelling copy and writing in a manner that improves the website’s search engine rankings.

On day-to-day basis, there are very few clients who understand the difference between a content writer and copywriter. When you are writing for a business website, for example for a homepage or for services page, you’re not writing content, you are writing copy, copy that is intended to “sell”. Clients want that from you. Whenever you are writing to sell and not just to inform and educate, you’re being a copywriter and not a content writer.

At the same time they also give you a list of keywords you need to optimize the content for. Therefore, you’re not merely selling through your writing, you are also incorporating keywords to improve search engine rankings. Whether it actually improves your rankings or not is another issue, but this is what you call SEO copywriting.

Why do I say there is an inalienable relationship between copywriting & SEO?
Because the line is blurred. The content writer is also a copywriter when writing for the main website and since as a content writer one of your primary jobs is to improve search engine rankings, even as a copywriter you are trying to achieve the same.

Of course, this is difficult to explain to the clients and personally I feel even if they can make a difference, they won’t accept it because a copywriter charges more than a content writer. A different topic for a different day.