Let’s start by dispelling a myth: A good SEO copywriter does way more than just filling your content with target keywords.
Or at least, they should do way more.
For one, they should help you assess the search opportunity. Then, understand the search results better. They should also suggest interlinking opportunities, and do so much more to help your content rank better.
But finding such an SEO copywriter is hard, isn’t it?
Based on the above, you must assume that the ideal SEO copywriter should have, at least:
- Some hands-on SEO experience,
- Knowledge of all strategies that boost search visibility, and
- Skills to analyze the data to write copy meeting the Google’s ranking criteria.
To make the task easier, I decided to outline how a copywriter should help position your pages in SERPS.
So, keep on reading to:
- Understand who is an SEO copywriter and what they do, specifically,
- What difference hiring the right SEO copywriter will make for your business,
- What makes a good SEO copy, and finally,
- How an SEO copywriter should be helping your business to rank better.
Who is an SEO Copywriter?
An SEO copywriter is a business writer combining writing skills with in-depth SEO knowledge. They use both to achieve two critical objectives with their copy or content. First, to engage the target audience and convince them to take the desired action. Second, ensure that their copy reaches the top of the search results.
As a result, their copy includes the elements any other business copywriter would include. From an engaging headline, captivating opening lines, to explaining benefits and features.
But SEO copywriters also make it relevant to keywords their target audience would use. They ensure that a blog post, landing page copy or other content they write fits the SEO campaign.
Why Even Bother Hiring an SEO Copywriter?
Or else, what’s the difference using the right SEO copywriter could make for your business?
Google made it clear:
The two ranking signals it cares about the most are content and links.
Of course, countless other factors play a part helping web pages to rank. But, in a nutshell, the secret to SEO success are two things:
- Having well-optimized pages, and
- Ensuring many websites link to them
Plenty of SEO-related research confirms the above.
Brian Dean’s analysis discovered that technical factors aside, rankings depend on content and links.
Moz’s 2018 SEO Checklist puts content at the center of the process of ranking a page as well. I would argue that at least two other factors on the list relate to SEO copywriting as well. They are keyword research and SERP research.
Finally, this research also shows how two of the top three ranking factors relate to content:
In short, a solid copy will make all the difference to your SEO strategy.
But the data reveals one more, critical factor. Unfortunately, it’s also one few content marketers consider.
And so, to write a solid SEO-driven content, you must do more than fill it with relevant phrases.
Today, SEO copywriting requires more than just optimizing a page for the target keyword.
In fact, to rank well, SEO content must also:
#1. Engage the target audience
You see, to rank it, Google assesses not only the content on a page. It considers the user experience (UX) too.
The above means that, the longer people stay on the page, the more valuable Google thinks it is. And as a result, it’s more likely to promote it in the search results.
When assessing a page’s quality, the search engine is likely to consider such factors as:
- Bounce rate.
- The time they spent on a page and/or the entire site.
- Or how many pages they’ve visited during a session.
A recent ranking factors study by SEMrush included 4 UX-related factors that affect rankings.
#2. Deliver on the search engine’s expectations for that keyword
This point is critical. Believe me.
You see, Google assesses the search intent behind the keyword too. As a result, it might prefer to feature the information it assumes its users seek for.
Knowing this helps you deliver the exact content the search engine wants to include in SERPs.
In fact, Google’s representatives stated already that:
“[…] searching users are often the best judges of relevance. So that if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant. Or at least more relevant than the presented alternatives.”
#3. Seem popular
Google measures popularity by the number of backlinks pointing to a page. The search engine considers any such link as a vote of confidence in the content. And as a result, regards pages with more high-quality backlinks as better.
I admit that this might seem unfair. Then again, such an approach opens up many opportunities to push content in rankings too.
(Note, some SEOs believe that social shares confirm popularity too. Not enough case studies confirmed it, though. And for that reason, I’m not discussing the issue in this guide.)
What’s important, your SEO copywriter must understand the above. Also, they must be able to use various techniques to create content that delivers on those requirements.
How an SEO Copywriter Should Be Helping Rank Your Content Better
#1. Help with the Keyword Research and Evaluating the Search Opportunity
Fact: Not every business owner or marketer understands SEO.
For example, most clients I talk to have little search engine optimization knowledge.
As a result, they turn to me to help them identify the most viable search phrases. They need help with assessing the opportunity to rank too. And many also seek advice on engaging the target audience in the search.
So, the copywriter you hire should help you:
- Analyze your SEO data.
- Identify potential short and long tail keywords.
- Assess the market and the competition in the search results. And with all this information,
- Advise on the best approach to write content to rank and engage your readers.
#2. Conduct the Competitive Analysis in SERPS
A good copywriter should also analyze the top-ranking content for the target keyword.
In doing so, they could identify wins and potential threats for your campaign.
- They should evaluate other ranking domains to spot any opportunities to beat them. Research what makes their content so popular in search.
- Analyze the intent behind the keyword to understand what the searchers are looking for.
- Identify specific words and phrases that help define the topic of the page better.
- Assess their content’s quality.
- Evaluate how well those companies have optimized those pages. In particular, research their title tags, keyword density, additional phrases they use, and much more.
And then, use all this insight to maximize the content’s SEO potential.
In short, before writing even a single word, they should have researched what got those pages to the top of the SERPs.
#3. Optimize the Content for the Featured Snippet
Featured snippets often appear at the top of the search results. They aim to answer the question you type into Google. Here’s one example.
Note how the featured snippet appears above any other search results, including any ads. For that reason, many SEOs refer to it as ranking position zero. And it offers an incredible opportunity to boost your search visibility. Everyone is bound to see it, after all.
And here’s the most important information you must know. It’s your content that warrants inclusion in the featured snippet.
The above suggests that whoever writes your copy, must know how to optimize it for the snippet too.
A good SEO copywriter would have a good understanding of how to write for the featured snippet. In particular, they should know:
- How to identify keywords with the potential to trigger a featured snippet.
- Find out what questions to target to appear there.
- Be able to analyze the currently ranking featured snippet. And in doing so, identify how to write a better one.
- Determine how to structure the relevant copy.
- And finally, know how to track whether your pages appear in the featured snippet.
#4. Align the Content with What Google Ranks for the Keyword
Factors like content’s length or readability play a critical part in search engine rankings.
So, does the actual information you include on a page.
Let me explain it with a quick example. Consider the phrase “marketing dashboard.”
A quick search volume research confirms the keyword opportunity.
For any company offering marketing dashboard software, the phrase would seem ideal to promote the product.
Further analysis of the search engine results reveals something strange.
Look at the screenshot below. All pages in SERPs offer information and advice. None, however, promotes a product. And that’s in spite of many of those sites being actual marketing analytics products.
Instead, you find product pages, blog posts, and so on.
The above suggests that Google prefers to rank informational content for that phrase.
And so, any website targeting it with a product landing page, for example, might find it difficult to rank.
A good SEO-focused copywriter will be able to assess the SERPs, draw necessary conclusions, and advise you what content to write.
#5. Identify Relevant Semantic Phrases
Think about it. Google has an incredible task on their hands.
First, the search engine must find your content. Backlinks and correct interlinking can help with that.
But then, it also must understand what your page is about. And use that information to match it with relevant search phrases.
That’s where semantic keywords come into play.
These phrases relate to the topic of the page and help define it further.
Take the term “Apple” for example. Based on this term alone, the search engine cannot discern whether your page is about:
- A fruit,
- The computer company,
- The famous record label started by the Beatles,
- Or perhaps the music group’s London boutique.
But finding terms like “iPad” or even computer on the page, would reveal the topic, right?
I know I’ve simplified the above a little. But it does reveal the essence of semantic keywords.
And it is the SEO copywriter’s job to ensure your content includes not only some semantic keyword phrases. They must incorporate the ones Google expects to see there!
How should they know what phrases to use? By analyzing the top-ranking content again. Here’s an example showing recommended semantic keywords for the term “marketing dashboard.”
Note that the list includes many seemingly unrelated phrases like business goals, online marketing, real-time or bounce rate.
But it’s by including them in the content; a copywriter can ensure Google will understand the topic better.
And only with all the information above, they can create content that will ensure good rankings and high organic traffic.