The world is flat. Everyone can write, everyone can make movies, and everyone can market goods and services, right? Definitely maybe. This post takes a look at “10 Tips for Effective #SEO Copywriting,” as advised by Matt Secrist on Tuesday in Search Engine Journal.
First, marketers need to understand that content marketing is the marriage of SEO and copywriting, says Secrist, VP of business development and co-founder of BKA Content, a content creation services company.
“Thanks to some much-needed maturity on the part of Google,” he opines, “the way to please a search engine is by giving people the information they need. Imagine that.”
Here’s how Secrist says content marketers can give consumers information they need to make purchases:
- Call to Action. Secrist lists this as No. 7, but many copywriters would argue that this needs to be top of mind while writing.
- Title Content Correctly. The one surprise here is Secrist says including a keyword is great, but not if it makes the title boring. “Think like your intended reader and write a title that would make YOU want to click,” he advises.
- Make Messages Matter. Marketers, this copy isn’t about you. It’s about your customers. “Tell them a story, inspire them, solve their problems, empathize with them, make them feel or want something — and do it with an active voice,” Secrist says.
- Leverage Formatting to Increase Consumption. White space, short paragraphs, bullets and subheads are your friends.
- Trade Keywords for Topics. Write for readability. “When you focus your efforts on writing what matters, your keywords will enter the arena naturally,” Secrist says. “And, in many cases, these will be long-tail keywords that provide really great information about your content.”
- Link With Intention. Some marketers abused backlinks so, like keyword-packing, they became bad for SEO. What’s good is to use one or two outbound links and only appropriate internal links in a piece, all anchored to text that explains where the links will take readers. “You want to enrich and supplement the user experience, not squash it,” he writes.
- Add Pictures. Photos attract the eye and can attract search engines. Original photos related to the headlines and containing the headlines themselves also aid SEO, according to Secrist. “Optimizing alt text, file size (for load times), captions and file names are all ways you can maximize search engine benefits,” he says.
- Make the Meta Mega. Meta text makes sense of catchy headlines for readers. “This 150-160 character snippet of text next to your SERP makes sense of keywords,” he says.
- Tag Titles. [Editorial note: Considering Google is moving toward readability, it’ll be interesting to see how long this tip remains effective.] “The traditional format of a title tag (according to Moz) is ‘Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Your Brand,’ ” he writes.
- Encourage Social Sharing. Google is paying attention to social cues. “Putting a social icon on your page is necessary, but adding a call to action with it (‘Join the discussion on Twitter’) is even better,” Secrist says.
Do marketers agree with these tips? What others would they add?
Please respond in the comments section below.