Sep 8, 2021
With everything piling online thesedays, if there’s one skill you need to grasp (or outsource to an experienced SEO copywriter), it’s how to increase your chances of being found online. Increasing the flow of organic traffic to your online real estate has never been more critical. Assuming you already have an online presence, there are many different ways of helping prospective customers find you. Here are a few basic principles:
1. Understand your target audience
Make sure you have a clear idea of who you're talking to and what they’re looking for (i.e. know their search intent). For example, my audience is small to medium-sized business owners, who have a commercial writing problem that needs solving. They need specialist help with marketing and written communications, but generally don’t want to pay out big ticket advertising or digital marketing fees. An appraisal of my audience type and intent is a good place to start with my keyword research.
2. Identify the right keywords
This amounts to identifying which words your audience will likely use to seek out what they are looking for. Start with commonsense terminology and then use tools like the Google Keyword Planner (or a subscription SEO platform) to find related and more diverse search terms.
It’s helpful to identify niche aspects of your offering that might be found using less popular search terms. Seek out long tail keywords, which are generally made up of three to five words and are less competitive, more specific and reflect how people make queries.
In my case, because of my substantial background in blue-chip London advertising, I could think about including the term “experienced advertising copywriter” which not so many of my competitors could truthfully claim.
3. Use keywords in the right way
You must find a balance between writing in a way that naturally includes target keywords for human readers, satisfying search engine algorithms, and utilising data-driven tools to inform content structure. Algorithms now favour content that best satisfies the searcher’s intent - content that is genuinely to the point from the audience perspective. To align with algorithmic expectations, engage human readers and to garner click-through from the search engine rankings pages (SERPs) is to walk a fine line, but this is an inexact science, so don’t be daunted by all the tick boxes.
4. Write from an informed perspective (or hire someone who can)
Google’s algorithm is getting better at determining what's useful and what's superfluous to the searcher’s need, so content creators are now forced to be on the ball in relation to subject matter. Limited knowledge of a subject area can be a stumbling block for some website owners seeking to up-rank in the SERPs.
For example, in my case, I may attempt to write a piece about increasing organic traffic, but if my potential audience is unfamiliar with the topic, they’re unlikely to know and use terms like “content audit” or “page optimisation”. But these terms could be powerful ways to enrich the content to match search intent. Content creators who write from experience will be better able to integrate natural, contextual key words and phrases.
5. Review, edit, and optimise
It’s a good idea to review your content at least once a year. This, in itself, will help your rankings. In this fast-moving, competitive environment, content can become quickly outdated. Users may change the way they search and opportunities for additional optimisation inevitably arise.
Using a combination of common sense, audience research and data-based analytic tools should help you create a sound basis for content optimisation that will improve your search engine rankings, increase incoming traffic and provide those who find you with exactly what they’re looking for.
Think of your site as evolving, rather than static, and make sure you devote regular time to crafting and shaping content. If you don't have the time to do this, consider outsourcing to a senior copywriter. Call me today for a quote on a basic content audit. It won't break the bank and, if you choose, you can make the changes yourself, with a solid roadmap to follow.
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