SEO CopywritingWriting for robots
IntroWho exactly is the audience for SEO copywriting?Does that audience limit how we write?Brand keywordsHow do brand keywords fit in?The long and short of keyword researchHow do you find the keywords you need?How important/difficult are long tail keywords to find/use?
#SEO Copywriting 101
AUDIENCE AND LIMITATIONS#
Intro | SEO? Copywriting?#
SEO copywriting has to struggle with two audiences:
1) SEO is for robots, and copywriting is for humans
However, these robots are designed to impersonate humans, and theyre becoming better and better at this. So instead...
2) SEO copywriting is for robots trying to impersonate humans
Much better, though perhaps also a slightly scary statement about robots becoming Skynet.
#Intro | How clever are the robots?The robots/bots/spiders, that crawl the web come from all search engines. This means they vary in intelligence.
If a bot cant impersonate a human well enough, then it shouldnt be in our audience.
It also gives us a little bias in favour of the human aspect of our audience. A key rule of SEO copywriting is to write naturally.
Theres an argument for appealing to the lowest common denominator, but this counteracts our aim to write for humans.
If in doubt, even if you think a bot could never understand the nuance of your penmanship, write for the human. The robots can, and will, catch up.#
#The aim of the bot is to look at your site and determine its relevance in regard to a given keyword phrase.
This is done, in part, by the volume and frequency of related keywords in the pages copy.
There are other factors too, but were mainly concerned with relevance, and achieving high relevance for what our target audience is searching for through optimal use of on-page keywords.Intro | How does this affect SEO overall?
Combine that with the overall authority of a page and youll be well on your way to figuring out where a site will rank for a keyword phrase.
The exact algorithm that Google uses is a closely guarded secret, and its always changing in an attempt to be more sophisticated, accurate, and to prevent abuse by spammers.#
#Brand keywords | Home is where the heart isBrand is how a user remembers you over your competitors. So consistency is key.
Use the brand name in the title tag and meta description for the page (and throw in a description of what that means)
Then repeat that brand name, naturally, in the main copy, as soon as possible with a H1 tag, to give it the spotlight it deserves. Many companies forget to highlight their own name.
A human can likely see a brand name in a URL, or a logo, but a bot may struggle with this. Since the bot is scraping this info to inform what a search engine says about a company it makes sense to make the brand name as obvious as possible.
#THE LONG AND SHORT OF KEYWORD RESEARCH
#Type any non-brand term into Google, and a list of suggestions will appear next to the typed word(s). Well use [web design] as an example, with regards to Bozboz
[Web design] suggests [company], [software], [courses][Web design company] suggests [London], [UK], [Manchester]
Web design company in BrightonBrighton web design company
Research | Which keywords? - A quick Google
So here we can see that if were mentioning web design we should probably follow it up with company to keep our copy relevant, and not too broad. We can also add location references too, again to be less broad, and increase our relevance to those long tail keyword phrases.
Either of these would be great on the homepage, and both cover a number of short and long tail terms, from [web design] to [web design company] to [web design company brighton]. Plus terms like [company] will cover synonyms like [agency] too.
#We can level up our research with a tool designed solely for suggestions: ber Suggest.
Similar to a Google search, but with far more results
[web design] in ber Suggest produces 360 results. Select the best ones as you go, and save them to a shortlist.
Research | Which keywords? - Uber Suggest
#Then we pop that shortlist into Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which can expose rough search volumes and even bid estimates for keywords.
This gives us priorities for our keyword shortlist. Popular doesnt always mean highest bid to advertisers, which may also influence our SEO copywriting.Research | Which keywords? - Adwords Keyword Planner
This tool can also do a similar job to a basic Google search and ber Suggest, but it has other functions too.
The short tail term is the most popular, no surprises there. [company] beats both [agency] and [firm], and people arent looking for [hourly rate], but are for [pricing]. We also know that competition is high for all of them, and advertisers see more value in the [company] term than simply [web design] (even though it has more search volume).#
#Research | Long tail vs short tail
Lets break it down a bit further, so that it can applied more broadly than just our [web design] example.
[web design company in Brighton] follows this structure:
([ADJECTIVE]) + [CORE KEYWORD] + [SERVICE/PRODUCT TYPE] + ([LOCATION])(Order not essential)
Rock + music + festival + at Donington Park in the UKSpecialist + cheese + shop + in WiganPies + with personality + in Ankh-Morpork
#Research | Long tail vs short tailOr we can introduce a verb. Think of the product/service a site offers by the way in which you want users to interact with it.
[VERB] + ([ADJECTIVE]) + [PRODUCT/SERVICE] + ([LOCATION])(Order not essential)
Make + ceramic + skulls + in BrightonDrink + spiced + mead + near St Peters Church(These were made up on the spot with a single business in mind. Both of these hit the intended business in position 1. This just shows how good Google is getting at semantic search, and how free a copywriter is to write naturally.)
These phrases can be used on-page, as they are the phrases people search for, and so lead to natural language use.
Location or adjectives are the first elements to be dropped, or changed, as needed. Extra products/services can be added to form a list in the long tail term.
Mention the brand on the homepage, title tag, and H1
Use Google search for a quick list of suggested terms
Use Uber Suggest for a near exhaustive list of suggested terms
Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner for search volume and competition
Long tail terms are easy, and go hand-in-hand with natural, user-friendly language use
Most importantly, write naturallyRecap | Summary
#Thanks for reading!