How to Transform Blah into Bang with SEO Copy Editing

Welcome back! In today’s video post, Heather elaborates on SEO copy editing, specifically addressing how to edit your existing content with keyphrases to drive more search engine traffic to your website. As you may recall from last week’s discussion about SEO editing versus copywriting for SEO, keyphrase editing is a smart strategy for longer “information”-type pages that aren’t crucial to the sales process, such as articles, FAQ pages, old blog posts, and even press releases.

Here are the highlights:

Most of us encounter content that isn’t necessarily optimized for the search engines when it was originally written and uploaded. Our job is transform that content with keyphrase editing to make it more specific and relevant, both for the reader and for the search engines. How, you ask?

Look for “opportunity blurbs” within the copy. A classic example is the common blurb on products pages that simply states: “All products will be shipped within 24 hours.” This is a prime opportunity to insert the keyword “gift basket” so that the copy reads: “Your personalized gift basket will be shipped within 24 hours.” Viola – the content hasn’t changed, the message is the same, but you’ve leveraged the bland copy for both search engine and reader appeal by adding the keyword.

An important side note is to avoid stuffing the copy with keyphrases while editing, just as you would if you were writing the original page. Read it aloud, and if you’re hearing “gift basket…” multiple times, that means you’ll want to tone it down a bit.

Specific guidelines for SEO copy editing are:

• Concentrate on two or three keyphrases per page of copy – it helps you to better focus and hone the content
• Be sure to use your keywords in the headline
• Consider using subheadlines containing your keyword/s, if the content is long enough
• Use keywords in your hyperlinks – liven up that generic “learn more” link with a keyword that naturally fits
• Use keywords when linking to related products and services pages – a FAQ page may link out to a blog post that goes into more detail about a product or service



6 replies
  1. dcromwell says:

    Hey Heather,

    Love it, great topic. One topic that’s been on my mind when it comes to creating an internal link strategy among your site pages is – how much is too much?

    I’ve always stuck to just linking one instance of a targeted key phrase on a page but do you think linking every instance of that key phrase improves or takes away from the optimization? Would Google see it as you trying to push the envelope?

    I avoid it specifically because I personally don’t like seeing a lot of links within content but I figure if a keyword or phrase is only being used two or three times throughout the text on a specific page it may not create an issue.

    What do you think? Best to stick with just a single link?

    • Heather says:

      Hey Derek-

      This really depends on the page. You may need to repeat your call to action on a longer page – or once may be fine.

      There’s no rule about how many times to link a keyphrase – although you don’t want to link over and over and over again (which goes beyond the spam question into usability.) So no, don’t link every instance of a keyphrase. That’s like bolding every instance. Way overkill, and your readers won’t like it.

      One thing you can do is use Google Analytics to see if folks are clicking on the second/third instance of a link. Granted, it will be different for every client and every vertical, but at least you’ll be working with hard data…

      Thanks, Derek!

  2. Laura Crest says:

    Hi Pam! So glad you found this helpful. Heather excels in making the complicated easy to understand: she was and remains my “teacher” of choice! Appreciate your comment :)

  3. Nick Stamoulis says:

    Thanks for sharing. When it comes to optimizing your content- it’s important to write for you readers first. Then, incorporate some of the keywords. The opposite approach can easily backfire. It’s also important not to put too many keywords in there. It doesn’t provide a good experience from a readers point of view.

  4. Laura Crest says:

    Yes, Nick, you are absolutely correct about writing for the reader first. (Heather does emphatically state this throughout her SEO Copywriting “how to’s” and her SEO Copywriting Certification training). Above all, you write for the reader first, as it is after all the reader who converts, not the search engines! This is precisely why Heather is also careful to warn again keyword stuffing, advising copywriters to focus on two to three keywords or keyphrases per page for targeted messaging. Your comments are greatly appreciated, Nick! Thank you :)


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