SEO Copywriting 101: How to Write for People and Algorithms

Copywriting has always been an important part of selling — but no longer are we writing it only for humans.

In our current day and age, copywriting needs to appeal both to search engines and humans. But how do you write something that sounds compelling and natural while still ranking in searches?

Luckily, with some practice and research, it can be done! Here are some tips to help with SEO copywriting that both humans and Google will enjoy.

Use Long Tail, Specific Keywords

The key to having a successful site that people (and search engines) visit and enjoy is to make it specific. This means using highly relevant, long tail keywords.

A long tail keyword is a phrase of four to eight words that is very specific to your particular niche. It is much easier to rank higher in searches using these specific phrases.

Consider the following example. Let’s say you run a blog that compares and reviews insurance companies. It might seem smart to use keywords like “insurance comparisons,” because it’s assumed that many people would search for that phrase.

However, the commonality of the term is its downfall. There will be a lot of results when that term is searched, making it that much harder for your blog or site to stand out in the crowd.

If you want to attract your target audience, you need to make your keywords niche specific. So, instead of “insurance comparisons,” choose keywords like “Liberty Mutual reviews,” or even better, “Liberty Mutual homeowner’s insurance reviews.”

Your site will rank higher when you use these specific keywords, and your target audience is more likely to click your link because they know exactly what they are looking for and they can see your site is offering it.

Hold the Stuffing

Keywords are still a vital part of writing search engine optimized copy; however, search engines are smarter than they used to be.

Stuffing your copy full of words or phrases that your target audience might search for is no longer best practice. One, search engine algorithms are able to recognize this as spam, and your site won’t rank well.

Two, and as important, people don’t want to read keyword stuffed copy. It’s transparent, it feels forced, and frankly, it’s boring. Humans have limited attention spans and an internet connection — they aren’t going to stay on your site if your content doesn’t hook them.

Be Smart with Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Your title tag is the blue result that shows up on a Google search engine result page (SERP). The meta description is the short description under the title tag that gives a quick overview of what the viewer will find on your landing page.

Google uses these to know where to rank your site, and people use these to determine whether your site is worth a click. Don’t neglect this real estate!

Your title tag should be about 60 characters long and needs to include your long tail keyword phrase.

The meta description should be around 300 characters. Make it compelling and relevant. Use variations of your long tail keyword phrases here, too!

Don’t Phone in the Headlines

A classic copywriting rule of thumb: never underestimate the importance of headlines. This is still as important in our age of technology.

Not only do search engines crawl headlines, but people read them first. If they are not compelling or relevant, it won’t matter how good the rest of the copy is. No one will keep reading long enough to find out.

Research keywords and phrases that resonate with your core audience, and use those in your headlines. This ensures that Google will rank your site appropriately, and your target market will click on your content.

Need More Help with SEO Copywriting?

This article is just the tiniest tip of the SEO copywriting iceberg. Luckily, our blog maintains other excellent resources that marketers, bloggers, and copywriters can benefit from.

Check out our section of SEO tips and content creation help today, and you’ll soon see your site on Google’s first page!