9 SEO Copywriting Experts Share Their Top Tips
Want to peek inside the busy brain of an expert SEO copywriter?
Recently, I asked a number of well-known writers to share their favorite SEO writing tip. Many people generously responded with resources, articles and words of advice.
Make sure that you follow these writers on social media and read everything they write. The education you’ll gain will be well worth your time. Trust me.
(And big thanks to the nine copywriters who submitted their tips. You guys rock!)
Kate Toon, Kate Toon Copywriter
Don’t get hung up on exact match keywords: Mix it up a little with related search terms. I use tools like keyword.io and ubersuggest.org to help me find alternate keyword choices. Using synonyms not only pleases the Google god, but it makes your content richer, more engaging and more enjoyable to read.
Jessie Wojdylo, Wojdylo Social Media
Break up your content in subsections with headers. Use the html code to make the subsections drop downs from a table of contents at the top of the article such as this…
Stoney deGeyter, Pole Position Marketing
Make the content readable! Don’t force keywords that don’t work. Add images throughout. Use headings and sub-headings to break up content. Add bullet points where possible. Readable font size. Easy to understand concepts. Short paragraphs. Etc. Etc. Great content still fails if you don’t make it easy for people to read, skim and scan for key points.
Glenn Murray, Divine Write
Assuming someone else has done the keyword research, and the site structure has been informed by that research, my no.1 tip is to not think about SEO at all, until after the client has approved the copy. It’s the ‘copy’ part of ‘SEO copy’ that’s hard. Get that right, and the SEO pass is child’s play. Almost.
Eric Enge, Stone Temple Consulting
My favorite tip is to give your writers a suggested article title or article focus, and then let them write. Don’t burden them with keywords (beyond the title) to focus on. Just let them do their thing.If they know their field, they will naturally create semantically rich content. If you feel a need to tweak it once you have seen what they deliver, not problem! But, don’t let artificial constraints stand between them and creating great content.
Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger
I’m with +Eric Enge. I like to grab an idea, close my eyes, and storm the gates.
Larry Kim, MobileMonkey
Elisa Gabbert (WordStream’s content marketing manager) wrote “3 Super-Actionable Keyword Research Tips to Try Right Now” earlier this year.
Heather Mueller, Mueller Writing
Good question! My answer is probably the simplest: Write for readers FIRST, then see where keyphrases fit naturally. And remember the whole purpose of keyword research is to see what your actual readers are typing into Google to discover what you’re writing about. Otherwise, it’s too easy to get hung up on trying to force verbiage that won’t make sense to your target audience.
Michelle Lowery, Passion Fruit Creative Group
Keep the focus on the topic and the reader–not yourself. Your bio section is where you list your credentials. Don’t waste valuable post space trying to convince the reader you know what you’re talking about because you have this, that and the other experience. Don’t make it about you, a personal blog post being the exception. Giving the reader something of value means something they can use, that will benefit them–not your résumé, or your “humble brags” about your achievements.
What about you? What tip would you add to the list?
Thank you Heather for this article. My favorite tip was the Wordstream article by Elisa Gabbert. Can’t wait to try out her three easy to follow tips, especially the Google wild card tip. It makes me wondering what other things about Google searches I haven’t discovered yet.
It’s nice to see such a focus on the quality of the material before just jamming keywords. I’m glad Google is starting to penalize that style of forced content.
@Mark, yes, Google has focused more on quality content since the Panda update…which is a *wonderful* thing! So much better than the old days. :)
@Susan – thanks for the kudos! Have fun trying out Elisa’s tips! :)
Here are my two quick tips to add to your list.
If you’re writing all the pages for a typical 5–10 page website then don’t write a single word until you’ve decided exactly what information will go where.
That way, your client will have a much better structured site. Pages will be better targeted to searches without even having to think about SEO. And the website user experience will be so much better.
And great web writers don’t just pluck copy from thin air. So make sure you thoroughly research your client and their own customers’ needs first.
Always great work! Thank you for the inclusion and I think I may have gotten just as much out of this as you. Possibly more!
Thank YOU, @Jesse! :)
I like the fact that you mentioned “write for readers first…” because this is congruent with Google’s recent updates. We all know that when you are publish friendly content that Google likes, you have already won half the battle.
Thrilled to see Kate Toon as one of your contributors as I’m an active follower of her FB page and always find her blogs really useful.
There definitely seems to be a common theme running through all of these tips, which implies concurrence amongst leading players!
What a great post!
I like to interview clients, as well as read up on them. I find that a conversation can help uncover areas that the client thought was “unimportant.” It also helps take the client away from the overwritten, formal tone that many clients think they need to use for their websites.
Just checked out those keyword research tips recommended by Larry – love the sound of the wild card one (can’t wait to try it!).
Sweet! Enjoy! :)
I like what Eric Enge says and it is something that I have to think of. Well, he’s right and I realize that I am putting too much keyword pressure to my team. Indeed, letting them write freely would help. Thanks!
I have to agree that you sould firstly write a good copy and after that start optimizing it for SEO. It is much much easier!