Whether you’re in the digital marketing realm, run your own business, or just love online content, you’ve likely heard a little bit about SEO in recent years. SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is a strategy that leverages content and back-end functionality, among other tactics, to improve site rankings on various search engines.
Written content, such as blogs, longforms, and product descriptions are among the most important foundations of SEO strategy. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at SEO copywriting and offer up some tips to help you see progress in your content rankings.
1. Check out your competition
If you’re new to SEO or copywriting, a great place to start collecting ideas is with your competitor’s websites. Let’s use the example of plumbing to show you what we mean. When a user searches for “best plumbers in San Diego,” you and other plumbers are competing for that top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) because you offer the same service and likely have very similar websites. With good SEO practice, such as creating informative and relevant content, you may be able to outrank your competitors at the top of the SERP.
Think about it this way: there’s a reason, even if it’s not always clear, why search engines rank the way they do. So, if another plumbing company is consistently at the top of the page, figuring out what they’re doing right is a good first step.
Here are a few things to take note of as you conduct your content research:
- Service descriptions
- Blog content — what kinds of topics are they covering?
- Local keywords
- General keywords — what are the common industry keywords they use? For example:
- Plumbing services
- Best plumber in San Diego
- Customer service
- Water heaters, gas lines, hydro-jetting, etc.
- Site navigation — how easy is it to get where you want to go?
2. Build out a content calendar
After you’ve had a chance to look over your competition and gather some important insight, it’s time to start thinking about your own content strategy. Building a content calendar is a good way to stay organized and keep track of all of the great ideas you have.
First, you’ll want to build out a list of content ideas. You can use your competitors as inspiration but remember, you’ll want to make your content unique and even better quality than what they’re currently offering. Here are some helpful tips to get the ball rolling on content ideation:
- Take a look at your FAQs: Your frequently asked questions are a great foundation for building up your content strategy because your customers are already curious about these topics. Plus, topics related to your industry, products, and services can likely be discussed using your target keywords. You can collect FAQs from your sales and customer service teams, online reviews, and social media channels. The blog below does a great job of answering FAQ and industry questions.
Example from MySmartMove
- Use free tools: As you may have heard, “content is KING!” which means there are tons of free resources out there to help you learn how to create better converting, more informative content! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Answer the Public
- Keywords Everywhere
3. Assess and incorporate keywords
When creating SEO content, you want every page of your website to focus on a single keyword. You can use semantic variations of that keyword, like “plumbing company San Diego” and “San Diego plumber,” but you don’t want the SERP to get confused with what your page is about by using too many keywords.
Once you’ve selected your target keyword, you’ll want to use it throughout your copy, but not too many times where it would start to look unnatural. In essence, you want your page to be the authority on whatever it is you’re talking about. So, take some time to think about what subtopics you might want to address. Use Google’s People Also Ask section to see what other relevant content you may include in your post.
4. Level up user experience
Yes, your primary reason for creating SEO content is to improve your site’s rankings but that doesn’t mean you should create subpar stuff. User experience actually plays a big role in SEO strategy—think about it this way—if a user likes how your content is presented, they’ll stay on your page for longer than if it wasn’t visually appealing or informative. The longer their session time, the more authority “votes” your site gets.
So, how do you go about improving user experience? Here are a few suggestions:
- Complement your copy with visual content like infographics, images, and videos.
- Make your copy easy to read by leaning on listicles, bullet points, and headers.
- Use jump links at the beginning of your post to make it easy for readers to navigate throughout the page.
5. Monitor your results, tailor your strategy as needed
Creating great content is the name of the game, but getting results is really what you’re after, which makes this next section extra important. There are a few ways you can look at your metrics and, ideally, achieve results.
Let’s take a look at some of the metrics to consider as you assess your content strategy:
- Session times
- Conversion rate
- Sales generated
- Search page results
As you watch these key points change, rethink your strategy to help you yield the best results. Just make sure to track your changes and pay attention to the dates when you adjusted your tactic and document what the outcome was.
SEO content is an exciting and innovative field, but it can be intimidating at the start. Whether you’re looking to get into the SEO consulting world or want to try your hand at SEO for your small business, use this guide as an introductory resource.
When it comes to creating content for SEO purposes, remember to take pride in your quality, be informative and tactical, and monitor your progress as you go along.
Don’t forget to share your experience and tips by opening up a dialogue in the comment section below. Best of luck!
Sophie Sirois is a writer based in sunny San Diego, CA, currently writing content for 365businesstips.com. With her Bachelor’s of Art in Strategic Communication behind her, Sophie began working in the content marketing sphere and has been crafting unique, informative, and click-worthy content ever since. Sophie enjoys covering a variety of topics, including tech, finance, business, marketing, wellness, and culture.