10 SEO Copywriting Tips for Small Businesses
Solid SEO copywriting is the backbone of every business’s content marketing strategy. With the rising popularity of video content, there is a temptation to move away from written content and into video content, to concentrate on one media is a mistake and is likely to hurt a company’s brand more than help it.
All types of content are important and need to be used in harmony as part of a cohesive marketing strategy, but written content is still king and is likely to continue to be an important factor in any brand’s online success for many years to come.
Below are 10 copywriting tips that small businesses should put into practice when creating content for their blogs.
1. Use Keyword Research to Guide the Content of Your Marketing Efforts
Keywords are the phrases that people type into Google and other search engines when they are trying to find something on the Internet. A keyword can contain one or more words, and they are the core component of nearly every SEO strategy. When the keyword being searched for is located one or more times on a web page, there’s a better chance that the page containing the keyword will rank higher in the search results.
There are a number of keyword tools that can be used to search for industry-specific keywords, including Google’s Keyword Planner, which users can set up and use for free whether or not they actually buy ads from the AdWords program.
2. Target One Primary Keyword with Every Piece of Content
After selecting a number of keywords to target, it is best to create a content plan in which every one of those keywords is specifically targeted by a blog post. Since many of the keyword phrases only slightly vary from one another, care should be taken to ensure that unique blog posts are created and that excessive content overlap is avoided.
In the past, it was common for marketers to create very similar articles containing the same information but whose only major difference was the keyword being targeted by each article. But using this tactic today can possibly lead to duplicate content penalties and should be avoided. Every blog post should be unique and should target its own separate keyword.
3. Use LSI Keywords to Control Keyword Density
Keyword density refers to the number of times that a specific keyword occurs within a blog post, and this density can affect how a blog post ranks in the search results. Using a keyword more than once can help boost rankings, but using it too many times can lead to a penalty. Generally, shorter keywords consisting of only one or two words may be used a few times without penalty, but longer keywords should not be repeated too often.
If an article sounds unnatural when it is read aloud, then variations of its primary keyword should be used instead. Varying the use of keywords in this way is known as latent semantic indexing (LSI), and it is another way to help content rank better.
4. Create SEO Headlines that Beg to Be Clicked
Article headlines – or blog post titles – are often chosen with very little thought. Certainly, the primary keyword should be included in the title, but the title needs to consist of more than just the keyword in most cases.
It is very important to create headlines that persuade the reader to click through and read the article from the search engines. Ranking high in the search results is useless if the searchers never click on the headline and go to the intended site – and this happens very often. So content marketers should spend time crafting compelling headlines for their posts if they want them to actually be read.
5. Include Long-Form, In-Depth Blog Content
In the not-too-distant past, short articles consisting of only 250-500 words were the norm, and a blog could rank very well with the content of this kind. But today, search engines are starting to favour longer, more in-depth content that digs deeply into the topic and provides a wealth of relevant information to the reader. Blog articles in the 2,000-3,000 word range are not uncommon these days, they tend to perform very well and are more likely to be shared than much shorter content.
A company blog’s audience can still benefit from shorter content, but longer articles should also be included to provide greater value to readers and to gain a boost from search engines.
6. Use Formatting Tricks to Break Up the Content
Readers don’t want to sift through a wall of text and are more likely to click away when encountering one. To prevent this, content should be formatted using the following methods when needed:
- Short paragraphs
- Bullet points
- Numbered lists
- Bold and italics
These elements make it easier for readers to scan the content without losing interest. Keeping readers on the page longer can help boost search rankings, so any technique that can grab readers’ attention and keep them around a bit longer should be used when appropriate.
7. Link Out to Authoritative Sources
It’s understandable that many marketers are hesitant to link out to other sites for fear of losing visitors without making a sale, but linking out to authoritative sources is a ranking factor considered by search engines. Blogs that include links to popular, authoritative websites can gain an SEO boost by doing so, and readers can also gain some value by being pointed toward relevant content that helps them find the information they are seeking.
8. Create a Call-To-Action that Converts
A high level of web traffic is a key contributor to the success of a business, but traffic that never converts to leads and sales is a real problem. One factor behind this is a weak call-to-action (CTA). It’s generally a good idea to include at least one CTA on every landing page of a website, but every CTA should be tested to find the variables that convert to sales most easily.
Should the CTA be presented in the form of a button or a text link? If a button – what colour will get clicked more often?
If a phrase – how should it be worded to convert better?
These are the kinds of questions that marketers must ask, and these variables need to be tested thoroughly because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every business in every industry.
9. Write Guest Posts for Other Blogs
Backlinks are another important factor that affects a website’s SEO. The more guest posts and backlinks pointing back to a company’s website, the more traffic that site is likely to get – whether as referral traffic from the host’s site or as search traffic from search engines. Search engines see backlinks as a vote of confidence in the quality of a website, so gaining relevant links from authoritative sites is an excellent strategy.
Guest posting is a tried-and-true method for expanding a business’ audience and building its brand. But guest posts need to be well-written and should be placed on relevant, authoritative websites if they are useful. Landing a guest post on an obscure blog that nobody ever reads is not going to help anyone’s search ranking. If you’re looking for some tips on copywriting check out our article on raising your content marketing game
10. Share Blog Posts on Social Media
Maintaining an active presence on social media is also an important part of content marketing. Writing the blog’s content is important, but that content also needs to be seen and shared, and social media is a great way for businesses to make that happen. Microcontent may also be created just for those platforms too, whether as mini-blog posts, memes, images or videos. All of these have their place on various platforms. You also need to be amplifying your content via advertising.