SEO Copywriting: Quick Guide & Best Practices

SEO copywriting is online writing created to be helpful to readers yet optimized to appear in search engine results. When done correctly, it uses carefully selected and relevant keywords to attract your website’s target audience and increase traffic (and profits!). 

Most small business owners have had someone (probably their web designer or a cold-call marketer) talk to them about SEO at some point. And there’s no shame if your response was akin to, “I don’t know totally what that is, and I don’t have time to care right now.” 

Fair enough. It can be especially hard to start an SEO conversation if you’ve just finished your website or are struggling to get traffic. But as much as building a website for your business is all but a necessity today — it’s not enough to launch it and let it be. 

Using SEO Copywriting to Grow Your Business

Forbes’ top website statistics of 2023 show that 71% of businesses have a website. This translates to a total of 1.13 billion websites worldwide. Yet, as online traffic has ballooned past available .com options to .net, .me, and .io., only 18% of websites are actively maintained. 

Companies looking to remain competitive must go beyond the basics of creating an online presence and instead be one of the relative few actively maintaining one. 

Why? It’s a lot easier to stand out in a crowd of 200 million than 1.13 billion. And it’s even easier with effective SEO copywriting.

What is SEO copywriting?

SEO copywriting — writing helpful content using specific words and phrases that make it easier for your target audience to find you

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO website content copywriters incorporate carefully researched keywords with the idea that doing so will help both people and search engines find your business. 

Writing for SEO is part of what a good design company does when they optimize your website. They consider keywords for each page, image, and more. But to be as effective as possible, SEO writing must be continually updated (generally through blogs) to improve your site’s ranking and increase traffic. 

To some, a “blog” is a longer, narrative-type post. Others consider the term blog a catchall that includes informational posts, how-to guides, event synopses, etc. For our purposes, a blog is anything you regularly post to your site that engages your audience and improves your chances of showing up when people search for your products or services. 

The benefit of SEO blog writing is that, with each post, your website reinforces certain main keywords and adds new ones. The more often SEO writers blog in a way relevant to both search algorithms and readers, the more chances you have to increase your site’s organic visitors. 

Optimizing Your Web Content with SEO Copywriting

More isn’t always better. When it comes to SEO writing, an optimized SEO formula is both an art and a science. 

For instance, the target keyword for the guide you’re reading is “SEO copywriting.”  

I could write: 

“If you want to optimize writing for SEO, you need to focus on keywords. Proper keyword selection for SEO copywriting is the first step. Once you have a good list of keywords, SEO copywriting becomes easier. And if you’re looking to take on SEO copywriting for yourself, here are a few quick tips:”

The other end of the spectrum would be:

“Website designers and content creators can get more traffic and boost profits by writing with a strategy. An online tool can help you select the right words to use with your audience. Once you find those words, focusing your content around relevant topics is easier. Check out these quick tips if you’re ready to get started.”

The first paragraph would be considered “over-optimized” (also known as keyword stuffing). The keyword (SEO copywriting) appears in each sentence, which is too much for both readers and algorithms. 

The second paragraph doesn’t use the keyword at all, and while it’s easier for readers to digest, a search engine likely won’t consider it as relevant as something that uses the keyword here and there.

A good mix might be:

“Website designers and content creators can get more traffic and boost profits by writing with a strategy. Proper keyword selection is the first step to creating effective SEO copywriting. Once you have a relevant selection of words, you can use them to help reach your target audience. Remember, however, that good SEO copywriting still focuses primarily on being helpful, not merely stuffing your writing with a repetitive list of words.” 

Keyword optimization includes which words SEO writers choose (more on that below), how well they use them (stay relevant!), how frequently they use them (remember Goldilocks?), and where they place them (headlines, images, and title tags, oh my!). 

It’s not quite that simple, though, since optimized content isn’t just copy. SEO comes into play with well-written title tags, robust meta descriptions, alt image text that increases accessibility and search engine indexing, and compelling (but short) URLs. More on all this another time.

Conducting Keyword Research

Keyword research is an integral part of writing SEO copy. Strategists use SEO copywriting tools to analyze words your target audience would likely use when searching for products or services similar to those your business offers. 

An SEO copywriter includes these words to connect with your audience and be seen by search engines as relevant. 

For many small businesses that don’t regularly update their site, most of the keywords they rank for will be branded. This means if you type your business name into a search engine, you’re likely to be the top result. 

If you search for what your business actually does, however, you may not show up at all. That’s because keywords are competitive, and commonly used words may already be strongly associated with other business sites. The people visiting sites based on non-branded keyword searches are considered organic traffic. 

Small businesses aiming to get organic traffic and show up in the SERPs often employ SEO copywriting services to get creative and focus on using long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific (think “targeted SEO copywriting” vs “SEO”) and generally have lower search volume but also lower competition. Selecting long-tail keywords is a great SEO strategy for small businesses. 

3 SEO Copywriting Best Practices

  1. Be consistent and persistent. 
  2. Solve your audience’s problems.
  3. Go after long-tail keywords.

Getting the word out about your business using SEO copywriting can be a great way to build your business, but remember, it’s not a one-and-done approach and it’s not lightning in a bottle. 

To build authority and gain traction over time, you’ll need to blog often and likely cover the same topic or various aspects of it several times over. Organic SEO is a long game, but it’s a low-cost, high-reward option for companies wanting to build long-term, trustworthy relationships with their customers. 

We’ll address AI another time, but for now, it appears that SEO-focused writing completed by robots may flood the market and ultimately become white noise. Thus, differentiated SEO content writing using E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) stands out. 

Remember, there’s an art to posting content that solves your audience’s problems while incorporating SEO, and it’s key to how an SEO content writer chooses keywords. Most small businesses benefit from going after long-tail keywords that are less competitive but still relevant to your audience’s needs, making them easier to rank for. 

Interested in learning more about Spigot’s SEO copywriting services? Let’s talk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ready for a refreshing experience on your next website design?