Web writing is a particular kind of beast unlike other types of copywriting – you didn’t learn how to write for the Web in school, and you won’t learn how to do it without some solid groundwork first.
It actually takes a lot of skill to write good Web copy: it needs to be clear, concise, engaging, persuasive, and informative all at the same time. It also needs to work within your website’s architecture so that visitors to your site don’t get lost and give up.
In other words, it ain’t exactly easy.
But for business owners, beginner copywriters, newbie bloggers, and even seasoned pros who want to start learning, brush up, or just get up to speed on the basic tenets of Web writing, we’ve put together a blog series to do just that. Our 4 part series covers all the topics related to writing great Web copy and engaging audiences on the Internet:
- 1. How Anyone Can Write SEO Copy
- 2. 5 Online Personalities You Have to Accommodate in Web Writing
- 3. 5 Web Writing Mistakes that can Kill Your Conversion Rates
- 4. 5 Copywriting Rules That Don’t Change … Even on the Web
We’ll visit each topic once a week – so check back often for the next installation. Without further ado, let’s get you up to speed on SEO content writing.
How Anyone Can Write SEO Copy
Here’s the truth that most SEO copywriters don’t want you to know: SEO copywriting is easy. Anyone can do it. A guy from Siberia who speaks Yakutian can do it. All you need to know is a few not-so-complicated ground rules, and you can write copy that make Google like you. Now, writing copy that makes potential clients like you…well that’s a lot harder, but we’ll get to that part in the next blog.
So, ready for the SEO copywriting formula? Here it is…
1. Do your keyword research first. How do you do that? You don’t need a big expensive program unless you’re going to do this stuff full time. All you need is to visit the Google keyword tool to do all your preliminary research.
Start by typing some variations of what you think people might search for in the box – the Google keyword tool will tell you if they really are searching for it. For instance, a preowned vehicle dealership might type in “preowned vehicles” only to find out that “used cars” is a much more popular search.
But SEO pros will also advise you that you shouldn’t always go with the most searched for stuff. More targeted keywords – for instance, “women’s alligator wallets” versus just “wallets” – can bring better, more viable visitors to your website that are looking for exactly what you’re offering.
2. Pick a few main keywords and then a lot of sub keywords from your research. Start writing copy around your main keywords. Use your main keywords and sub keywords throughout the site. It’s also a good idea to start creating pages around specific keywords. So, if you are a shop that sells floral baskets, do a page for rose floral baskets, a page for kid’s floral baskets, a page for tulip floral baskets, and so on and so forth. These pages are the pages that are likely to show up in search results for these specific terms.
3. Use variations of your keywords in your copy and position them correctly. Using different suffixes (-ing, -er, -s, etc.) helps you cover more keywords. For example, if your main keyword is “carpet steaming,” try using variations like “carpet steamers,” “steaming carpets,” and “steam-clean carpets.” Also, be sure that your keywords are sprinkled throughout each page AND in your first sentence, first paragraph, and in headers or bolded text if possible.
4. Use your keywords in links. First, make sure you’re doing in-site linking with your keywords. Basically, in-site linking will direct you from “Wii Repairs” on your home page to the “Wii Repairs” service page on your website. A blog can also be great for this too – link keyword references from your blog directly to your website (so a phrase like “repair your Wii” on your blog would link directly to your “Wii Repairs” service page).
Also be sure to do off-site linking by distributing your content, such as encouraging people to share your blog posts and post them on their blog. It’s a common practice to help boost your on-site SEO. One of the biggest marketing copy writing gurus out there, Bob Bly, sends out a newsletter and with every newsletter he asks people to share his stuff.
Here’s Bob’s spiel:
***Reprint my articles – free!***
Media, bloggers, marketers, editors, publishers, Web masters —
need powerful content on your Web site or blog? You can syndicate
or republish any of the articles you’ve read in Bob Bly Direct
Response Letter — for free! To view complete articles, visit our
newsletter archives at www.bly.com/archive. Republishing our
articles is quick and easy. All you have to do is include author
attribution (byline/name of author) and the following statement,
“This article appears courtesy of Bob Bly Direct Response Letter,”
and include a back-link to www.bly.com. That’s it!
5. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Write a lot of content. Often. The more the better. Search engines love content, especially frequently updated content. The best way to move up in search engine rankings is to constantly update your content with good, optimized content.
So that’s it, SEO copywriting really can be easy. But next week we get to the hard part: Selling your stuff on your website.
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