A newbie’s mini guide to SEO dos and don’ts
Written by Carolyn McMurray, SOCIATE’s Junior Copywriter & Blogstar
Outdated, black hat SEO copy still runs riot in the content world.
And many businesses continue to make the same mistakes.
These mistakes are all rooted in the same old conspiracy – that we should be writing for search engines.
If you want to rank well, you’ll have to weave in some “robot talk” to get search engines going.
But there’s a fine line between just enough and complete overkill.
Writing copy that ranks well and engages is a delicate balancing act.
Tip too much to one side and you risk:
– Losing readers and potential customers
– Losing visibility and traction to your site
So, what’s the solution? Let’s start with what you shouldn’t be doing.
The whole purpose of your content is to engage your readers, not push them away.
Aggressively stuffing in the same keywords takes the flow away from your copy. Because sometimes a word just doesn’t sound natural – especially if it’s been used 20 times! Your best bet is to create engaging, informative copy that you would want to read, and tailor your keyword strategy around that. Creating variations and long-tail keywords based on your target terms can also help you avoid repeating yourself.
Extending your word count is also an easy way of fitting in more keywords naturally.
Dogs? Weren’t we just talking about SEO and copy?
How is that even remotely related to the purpose of this article?
It isn’t. It’s complete nonsense.
But it’s something businesses do all the time in a bid to get more traffic to other areas of their site.
It all comes down to your anchor text. Some people think that they’ll rank higher if they use as much anchor text as possible, even if it’s completely unrelated to their content. If you’re writing about cakes and suddenly stuff in anchor text like “best fertiliser for roses”, users are going to be thrown off balance. They’re highly unlikely to click on the link because they’re here for cakes, not gardening. They might even leave your site.
It’s simple. Make your anchor text relevant to what you’re writing about.
What to do more of…
Make it human
Create content that gets your readers thinking, liking, and sharing.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon keywords and anchor text, it just means you need to make your copy engaging. Write about topics that are relevant to your niche, include some humour, sprinkle in a few pop culture references, make use of storytelling. Think about what makes you tick as a reader.
Keyword research is a great way of making sure you use keywords that are related to your topic/niche, and can help you avoid using the same ones over and over again. It can also help you kick out any keywords that would otherwise look ridiculous in your copy.
An easy method to follow is:
– Make a list of keywords related to your topic/niche
– Go through that list and analyse which keywords get the most traffic
You can do this by installing a keyword research tool like Semrush
– Try to create variations with the remaining keywords
– Put a limit on the number of keywords you use in your copy
Moderation is the key to creating copy that ranks well and engages.
Craft killer headlines
It’s easy to get caught up in your body copy and spend all your time making it sparkle but headlines are key to grabbing your readers’ attention. So, set aside some time for crafting up potential headlines.
Analyse what kind of headlines get the biggest CTR (click-through rate) and make use of fonts and capital letters. If something is REALLY important, use caps. If you’re trying to sell yourself as an expert in whatever topic, make it clear in the headline. Establish your authority and skill in the subject. Headlines are also a good place to chuck in a keyword or too, just make sure it correlates with what users are searching for.
Still trying to navigate the world of SEO writing? Leave it in the hands of SOCIATE and explore our strategic copywriting and content writing services. Ready to up your content game? Get in touch at [email protected]