Many professional writers cringe when they are contacted for a job involving search engine optimisation, or SEO. Over the years, SEO copywriting has gotten a bad rap because of black hat practices such as keyword stuffing, which makes copy heavy on keywords and light on style and readability. Some writers blame the popularity of keyword-enhanced writing for a decrease in the quality of writing on the internet. Although there could be many possible causes, the poorly constructed web copy full of repetition and nonsensical syntax typical of black hat SEO practices seems to be high on the list.
Thankfully, a new day has dawned in the land of SEO. Don’t get me wrong, keywords are still an integral part of search engine optimisation, but their usage has become an aspect of copywriting for SEO, as opposed to their being its main focus. Now, copy with substance has taken the place of empty, keyword-laden text that merely aims at getting visitors to webpages. Writers, readers, and webmasters alike can appreciate this sea change in SEO copywriting, and should all embrace it as a vast improvement over the old model.
Search Engine Placement and SEO
The fundamental objective of SEO copywriting is still attracting visitors to the webpage where that copy is located; however, the methods of doing so have changed greatly. Rather than structuring sentences around keywords or phrases, making copy redundant and virtually impossible to read, creative and engaging content is written with keywords inserted strategically and naturally, so they are not the first words that draw the reader’s attention. In this way, the subject matter shines through.
Writing compelling content that attracts attention and inspires readers enough to link back to that webpage is at the center of today’s SEO copywriting. Getting people to link back to your website is a sure way to drive more traffic to your page, and also positively affects your site’s search engine rankings.
The only thing that remains is to create persuasive content; how to do this is a question for the ages. There are many ways in which to engage readers, but here are some basics:
- Make the writing flawless. High-quality content is crucial to keeping readers around long enough to hear your message. Don’t scare your visitors away with bad grammar, poor spelling, or improper syntax; these all create an impression of amateurishness that is surely not what you want to communicate.
- Consider your audience. If you are trying to get the attention of teenagers, don’t write about retirement funds.
- Include content that is indispensable. If you include a killer tutorial or an exclusive description of an event that didn’t have open access, your visitors will want to share that information with their friends.
For more information about how to write great web content, all you have to do is look; there are many great resources to be found online. For example, Copyblogger.com has a great article about how to write high quality content.