SEO copywriting is a rapidly emerging business development process that sales and marketing teams must master to stay competitive in today’s tech-driven market.
The Problem With SEO Copywriting
The biggest problem with SEO copywriting is that very few people understand the process behind it. This misunderstanding has led to an unnecessary and convoluted series of disparate and outdated best practices — many of which, if actively pursued, will damage your online marketing campaign and presence — ultimately resulting in penalties and website delisting by Google.
The process is very simple if you focus on three primary criteria.
- Establish your reader’s buyer persona – Know who is reading your content and why.
- Focus on answering a single question or solve a single problem for your readers.
- Write the way you know your customers read and process information, not the way you think Google does.
Essentially, you are trading on your knowledge to attract new readers.
In exchange, if your product (in this case, the information provided in your copy) is deemed of sufficient quality, and you have the proper mechanisms in place to capture relevant information, the prospect will give you their contact information, moving them down the funnel from prospect to lead.
It may seem counterproductive to ‘give away’ valuable information, but it’s the one true ‘secret’ to copywriting success in business marketing.
Our Copywriting Process
The process mandatorily begins by firmly establishing your campaign’s focus on your prospective customers’ needs.
From there the process is straightforward:
- Locate high-volume or trending search terms relevant to your industry with the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
- Get ideas for engaging long-tail titles and topics with the ContentIdeator.
- Write content in a format proven to produce repeatable results with the Idea Ninja.
- Find and add a free high-quality image for your blog. Our favorite is Pixabay. You can also check out our huge list of sites that provide free images for your blog.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
The keyword planner is not the only place to research trending keywords and competition, but it is by far the best tool available for our process.
It is a very robust tool meant for much more in-depth research into PPC campaigns — for our purposes, we will only be using the tool for primary topic research that will get us the most bang for our buck.
Below is the initial research we did for this article:
This is how the process works:
- We select a primary focus topic relevant to a particular service listed on our website. In this case, SEO.
- Next, we pick a second term related to the initial term to address a particular question or problem our prospective customers want information about. In this case, Copywriting.
- Enter the term under Your product or service.
- Select your geographical Targeting. In this case, we want to advertise our SEO services throughout the United States. If your service is available in a wider or more regional market, make sure to adjust the targeting accordingly. This approach will give you a more accurate idea as to the potential of any given content campaign.
- Click Get ideas.
- Sort the list by Avg. monthly searches from high to low. For this process to work, we want to select the Ad group directly related to our campaign topics with the highest number of monthly searches. In this case SEO, Learn How To Spell, and Copywriting.
- Depending on the Domain Authority of your site, you will probably want to stick to a Competition level of Low to Medium to improve the likelihood that your article ranks highly.
- Click the arrows under Add to plan to create a list of keyword groups.
- Click the download link and save the file as an Excel CSV. Additionally, Save to Google Drive for easy future reference.
- Click Download.
Below is an example of an exported CSV for the SEO keyword group.
- Open the CSV file in Excel.
- Expand the columns so the information is easier to read.
- Sort & Filter the Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only) by Largest to Smallest.
- You can see our primary focus term has a reasonably high search volume, but has a pretty strong Competition, 1 being the most difficult.
We offset the high competition of the primary focus term by lengthening the search phrase by adding Copywriting as a second focus phrase.
Now that we have our main and secondary focus terms, it is time to come up with several article ideas.
ContentIdeator is the perfect tool for quickly coming up with long-tail topic ideas.
- Enter the focus term we came up with during our keyword research.
- Click the Search Icon.
- Click the Arrows next to the Title that you would like to add to your Saved ideas.
- Once your list is complete, click the Copy button.
You can paste the copied titles to any text editor you prefer.
Our process calls for Evernote.
We keep a running list of topic titles in one ongoing note.
We also create individual notes for more complicated, long-form content research before starting the writing process.
Now that we have our focus term and a title idea, it’s time to begin the drafting process.
We use Idea Ninja in our process for two purposes.
- Writing in a modular fashion.
- Creating a quick draft in short form and then copying that over to Word or WordPress to expand into a longer form. (That is what we did with this article).
Keep in mind that Idea Ninja was created to help bloggers write better web content.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that every article should be formatted this way.
- Enter the keywords from the keyword research under Website Keywords and Article Keywords.
- Paste the title we created with ContentIdeator in the box next to Article Name.
- Use the Heading section to enter section titles that will become your articles H tags.
- Idea Ninja will let you know if you have typed too many words and keep track of the number of times a keyword is used in an article.
- When you’re done, click Preview.
- Copy the text and paste it into your preferred editor. Since there were so many links and images in this article, we used the WordPress editor instead of Word to format the body and text.
Now that you have your article written and saved to your site, it’s time to add an image.
Adding an image is not technically content writing. It is, however, a mandatory step in our process.
We primarily use Pixabay to download CC0 images.
Regardless of where you get your pictures, once you have added the image to your article, you need to do two things.
- Add the Title of your article to the Alternative Text section.
- Add the Title of your article to the Image Title Attribute section.
When you are done, click Update.
The markup should look something like this:
<img class="aligncenter wp-image-8467" title="4 Free Online Services For Quick And Dirty SEO Copywriting" src="http://www.secondstartechnologies.com/path.jpg" alt="4 Free Online Services For Quick And Dirty SEO Copywriting" width="600" height="466" />
Now you have the mandatory, optimized image to complete the content creation process.
If you’re like me, you probably don’t self-edit very well.
- Have at least one other person review your article and correct any spelling and punctuation mistakes.
- A lot of people like to use the Hemingway Editor to address more complicated grammar issues and complexity. I am still on the fence with the service, so we don’t typically employ it during our process.
- As relevant, link to authoritative external sites, as well as authoritative content on your site.
Old content marketing tactics just don’t work anymore, and with good reason.
SEO trends have shifted significantly over the last two years, and that trend is not going to stop.
It is increasingly evident that Google is favoring content written by professional writers and journalists.
Those experts have long since caught on to the trend, and the prices for their services are starting to reflect that reality.
If you’re going to take anything away from this article, learn from my mistakes – it is a vastly superior tactic to have a writing process in place that, when followed diligently, will produce consistent results.
If you would like help with your writing process, or would like one of our writers to create an article for you, contact us today.