What’s better - writing purely for SEO or writing whatever you like for humans? Well, neither really. It’s all about balance. One of the biggest challenges with SEO copywriting is finding the balance between optimising for search engines while writing for and appealing to humans. It’s not a good idea to solely focus on writing for search engines in the hopes of ranking higher if no one is actually going to read the content or find it readable. Here’s our guide on how to write for humans.
When a user searches online using specific keywords or phrases, they always have a purpose for that search. This is often referred to as either ‘search intent’ or ‘user intent’, and it is always the ‘why’ behind the query. It could be that they have a question that needs answering, or they are looking to buy something specific. Whatever their reasons, it’s important for us to understand what is motivating the user to search for that phrase. You can do this by analysing the queries and keywords they might be searching.
The most common types of ‘search intent’ are:
A user is looking for certain information not necessarily from a specific site. They generally want answers to their question or they want to learn how to do something. Keyword modifiers for this type of search intent include ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘guide’, ‘tutorial’ and ‘tips’.
To target this type of query, try writing FAQ and tips & tricks content, creating how-to videos or written guides and designing infographics.
A query with the intent of finding a specific website or company. For instance, a user might write ‘Lance Montana’ rather than ‘digital agency in Brisbane’.
A navigational query generally has a very clear intent (to go to a specific website), so if you’re not that site, then you won’t be relevant to their needs.
A user has the intent to complete a transaction such as purchasing something. These queries could include a generic term (i.e. vegetarian cookbooks), or it could be quite specific (i.e. iPhone XS). It might also include terms such as ‘buy’, ‘order’, ‘discount’ and ‘price’.
Keep Following Essential On-Page SEO Steps
Now that you have an idea what your reader wants to know and you’ve gathered your keywords, it’s important to make sure you are still following the essential SEO copywriting optimisation steps. Make sure to include your target keyword/keyphrase in:
- The title
- The meta description
- The URL
- At least one subheading
- The body of your copy (1% keyword density)
- Image file names and alt image tags
Speak Your Audience’s Language
With SEO copywriting, you should aim to write in a way that your audience understands. You are more likely to attract new customers and more website visitors if your copy is easy to read and shows personality and a unique brand voice. Focus less on how Google will interpret your copy and more on how your readers will feel when they read your article. Here are some tips for keeping the language simple:
- Add short, punchy sentences that are easy to understand
- Avoid overusing technological and jargon-filled content (unless that’s the language of your audience). Keep it simple and try to speak the way your audience does.
- Say your copy out aloud - does it read / flow well?
Your Headline Matters
Good SEO copywriting should always include a headline that is attention-grabbing. The title of your blog post should always include your keyword, but if the overall headline does not entice someone to click on the link, chances are your title won’t prompt people to read your content.
Here are a few tips for writing good blog post headlines:
- Incorporate specific numbers, for example, “Our 5 Top Tips… “ or “3 Reasons Why…”. Blog titles with numbers, particularly odd numbers, intrigue readers. If you mention only 5 tips, they will want to know what they are.
- Use powerful words and phrases like “best”, “need to know” and “X ways to” to entice your readers. You can also use emotional words and phrases like “breakthrough”.
- Be specific in order to appeal to specific search queries and audiences. “5 top tips for creating a cheeseboard that looks as good as it tastes” is a little more specific than “5 top tips for creating the perfect cheeseboard” - perfect for who?
So Does Your Introduction…
A compelling introduction is also the key to SEO copywriting for humans. To make your readers want more, you need to grab their attention from the very beginning. Start your article with a compelling question, a story or a statistic. Ultimately, the longer you can keep your readers on a page and engaged, the higher your average time on site results will be and the better your SEO ranking.
Need Some Help With SEO Copywriting For Your Business?
That’s where we come in! Whether it’s website copy, articles or social media copy, our team of copywriters can bring your content up to scratch. To find out what SEO copywriting package is best for your business needs, please get in touch!