SEO 101 for Web Copywriters

Aside from hearing the word yelled at you from the digital team, chances are you probably don’t spend much else of your time thinking about or studying the latest changes in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). Have no fear. Here are some basic best practices for writing copy for websites that Google will love. 

This chart shows the prioritization of key ranking components by surveyed SEO specialists in 2015. In the interest of time, we’ll discuss On-Page Keyword factors for SEO (15.04%).

This chart shows the prioritization of key ranking components by surveyed SEO specialists in 2015. In the interest of time, we’ll discuss On-Page Keyword factors for SEO (15.04%).

Leave the Stuffing for Thanksgiving

A few years ago, SEO best practices mandated that we use our focus keyword 10-15 times per article. You can imagine how strange that looked when you tried to work the same exact word or phrase in every other sentence. Google, the ever-evolving czar of search engine friendliness, has since become more advanced and sees through previous keyword stuffing strategies. In fact, SEO strategists recommend a keyword density of no more than 5% on any given page. Best practice in today’s SEO landscape is to focus on 2-6 unique keywords per web page, with enough total content to provide user-friendly context around those keywords or phrases.

 

Work Smart, Not Hard

So if throwing a list of keywords on a page no longer works, what do we do? Use focus keywords in a smarter way, of course. Use the primary keyword within the first 100-150 words of your copy. Then sprinkle synonyms or relevant variants (LSI keywords) throughout the rest of the copy to increase relevancy. Thorough SEO keyword research (typically done by your trusty Launch digital team) will give you many suggestions for keywords that you can seamlessly work into your copy. Since internal links are a key part of SEO strength, consider opportunities in your copy to link to other pages on the website. Ideally, the link text (a.k.a. anchor text) should also include keywords.

 

Long Live Long Copy

Google loves long-form copy. SEO experts recommend 1,000 words in order to provide a strong mix of focus keyword and LSI usage. In addition to providing lots of copy for the search engine bots to skim, good long-form SEO copy provides can value to the consumer and increases time spent on the website. Just to be sure to break up long paragraphs into shorter, readable sections with white space between. Consider adding lists, sub-head sections, or varying your sentence structure for a more appealing layout that avoids eyestrain. And it’s okay to have personality in your writing! This brings the brand to life and gives the reader a reason to engage.

 

See a Need, Fill a Need

Don’t get long-winded just for the sake of filling up space. Remember that what drives a person to a website is a need for information. Write copy in a way that answers typical questions and leaves readers with a clear call-to-action or avenues to refine or extend their search. Avoid a “dead-end” page that links nowhere and has no traceable action. Consider why they would navigate to this page, and what you’d expect them to do next. Then make sure your content addressed that need and left them with a clear, concise path to action. 

If you would like more information on SEO work for your business, please contact Launch Agency today to get started.

About the Author: AdeDoyin Adebiyi is a Digital Media Specialist at Launch Agency. Originally hailing from Mississippi, she moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University’s Temerlin Advertising Institute Masters in Advertising program. In addition to daydreaming about SEO and Email Marketing, AdeDoyin enjoys blogging, crafting and watching Golden Girls in her spare time.