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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for any business that wants to build an online presence and sell online.
When we write attractive SEO content, Google rewards us by placing web pages higher in search results, giving us more visibility. This can increase the number of visitors to your website, who can become customers.
But creating optimized copy is more than typing in keywords and hoping for the best. Incorporating SEO into your content is an art, and like any art, it takes practice and some creativity.
So here’s our guide to helping you sprinkle SEO into your copy so you can rank higher in searches.
Related: The 4 Pillars of SEO You Need to Know
1. Don’t overdo it with the keywords
You may have seen articles that repeat the same words over and over again. This mistake is known as “keyword stuffing” and is penalized by Google.
Your writing should make sense. If you keep repeating the same keywords over and over again, it will look unreadable and confusing, and the user experience will be terrible. When considering your keyword usage, keep Google and your audience in mind.
Google wants to see that you are:
Your audience wants to read content that matches their search intent and copy that makes sense. If you’re creating content that your audience doesn’t want to read, you won’t rank well in search.
So when it comes to using keywords, make sure you’re only using them where they make sense. Google is smarter than you think, and to rank well, you need to serve up content that uses your keywords in logical ways.
Related: Why Keywords Are Still Important in SEO (But They’re Not Everything)
2. Figure out what your audience wants to see
Before writing any copy, it’s important to determine your audience’s search intent.
In general, there are three main types of search intent:
So before you write your copy, figure out what your audience wants. Do they want to learn more about something? Are they trying to buy something? This will guide your copy and ensure that all of your writing is relevant to your audience.
To discover your audience’s search intent, use tools including:
Google prides itself on helping people find what they want, exactly when they want it. So focusing on search intent is key to your success when it comes to SEO.
To use search intent in your copy, you can:
Related: 7 Ways Small Businesses Can Use SEO to Boost Customer Service and Growth
3. Make sure your content is relevant
Search engines prioritize content that is highly relevant and informative. But sometimes, creating relevant content is easier said than done.
When creating content, it is important to:
Google also takes into account how long users spend on a web page. If people are leaving your page immediately, it means that your content is not relevant to them. So create content that meets your audience’s needs, whatever they may be, as this will ensure your content ranks well in search.
Here are some additional tips to show Google that your content is relevant:
Related: Easy Ways to Dramatically Improve Your SEO
4. Speak like your audience
Your audience will be looking for things in a very specific way, and it’s important to mimic that in your copy.
If your audience is searching for “best baby chairs”, use this phrase as a keyword. Mimicking popular search terms will optimize your copy, making it relevant to your audience’s search intent.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of headlines
We’ve mentioned headlines before, but they’re so important they deserve their own section.
Let’s be honest, when you’re searching for something on Google, you’re unlikely to click on a webpage with a boring title.
Headlines have the ability to grab your audience’s attention, so it’s important to make them count. It’s also an easy way to tell Google and your audience what your page is about.
Here are some easy ways to optimize your headlines:
When it comes to headlines, be careful with their length. Headlines longer than 60 characters are truncated by Google. So to avoid cutting off your headline, keep it specific.
Related: Learning Google SEO Can Help You Grow Your Business on a Budget
6. Optimize your metadata
Metadata tells Google what your web page is about, and although users don’t always see it, it can be very valuable.
It is important to put your main keywords in your meta tags, meta descriptions and meta titles as this will help Google read your content and define its relevance.
When it comes to metadata, put effort into titles and descriptions, as these not only make up the pieces of writing that appear in your search listings, but also tell Google what your content is about. Make sure your headlines and descriptions are as well thought out as your body copy, as this will help Google index your web pages higher in search results.
7. Write for humans
Above all else, keep the user in mind. When writing SEO copy it can be easy to get carried away by formulas, hacks and top tips, when in reality writing for humans is the best way forward.
Compelling, unique and informative writing will always beat content built just for search engines. The goal should not be to rank, but to provide the information a user is looking for.
Ultimately, Google wants to provide users with the best possible content for their search queries. If you can deliver this in a deeper, more unique and engaging way than your competitors, you’re sure to rank well.