With 4.4 million blog posts being published a day, it can be easy to believe that SEO copywriting is the churn and burn tactic SEO specialists use to manipulate search engines. But a good digital marketing strategy is supported by SEO copywriting that creates engaging content that answers a user’s question.
If you’re looking at writing SEO copy for your website, or reviewing the SEO content that’s been delivered by your SEO agency, then here are a few things you might not know that can help improve your SEO copy.
Keywords are best served with semantics
There is a joke about an SEO copywriter that walks into a bar, grill, pub, public house, Irish, bartender, drinks, beer, wine, liquor… which is an accurate example of what semantic keywords are. Unlike synonyms, which are also helpful when writing SEO copy to avoid keyword stuffing, semantic keywords are words that are closely related to the target keyword.
Semantic keywords help Google understand the context of your website copy, and how it relates to your industry or niche. When you’re writing, or reviewing, your SEO copy ensure that you write about your topic in a way that naturally includes related keywords.
Links in your copy that point to reference sources can help your SEO
It might feel counterintuitive to link from your website to another for SEO purposes. But adding a link that cites a source will show Google that you’ve done research about the statement you made.
Here are a few good practices to keep in mind when adding external pointing links to your website content:
Ensure that external links open in a new tab
You’ve been working hard to get your content to rank, and you’ve been spending money driving traffic to that specific blog post – why do you want to send them away and completely forget where they started?
When adding a link that opens in the same browser window, you’ve possibly lost that visitor forever (except if you’re retargeting them on Facebook or Google).
Don’t add external pointing links on your products or services pages.
In fact, avoid adding links altogether on these pages. On these pages, you want the visitor to complete a specific goal (submit a lead form, call your business, or make a purchase). Helping them down the rabbit hole of the internet is a bad idea.
Point to reputable sites that contain the information you are referring to
The external links primary goal is to show Google that you’ve done your research – if it is a less than reputable site, then Google will take what you’re saying with a pinch of salt. Additionally, if your website visitor clicks on the link and finds a website that is obviously less than trustworthy, you’ll lose trust with your reader.
Writing quality is essential for SEO Copy
The churn and burn mill of content for SEO purposes died with Google’s Panda update in February 2011. But Panda wasn’t the last of Google’s updates to ensure quality content ranks well. Google has been tweaking and advancing its algorithms to assert whether the content it finds on your site adheres to its Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) guidelines.
Some of the quality questions the algorithms ask are:
- Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?
- Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
- Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
- Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is the content free from spelling or stylistic issues?
- Was the content produced well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- Does the content have an excessive number of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
You can find the full list of quality questions Google asks by visiting Google Search Central.
Closing thoughts on SEO copywriting
If you want to play it safe with E-A-T, external links, and semantics ensure that you combine your expertise with the skills of a professional SEO copywriter. With their help, you’ll be able to share valuable information with potential customers in a way that is easily understood by both Google and the reader. The copywriter will also be able to review your work and ensure that the quality guidelines are met, removing spelling errors and minor grammatical errors that may have snuck in.