Copywriters are magical unicorns. Their ability to craft words into a story and connect with your niche is incredibly powerful. If you are reading this post, chances are that you are one of these magical beings. And for that we say, thank you for being here! We have the amazing opportunity to partner with copywriters all the time to craft the perfect brand message and collaborate on long-form content like blogging strategies. Through this partnership, we’ve come across a few learnings. The biggest one being that you can and should evolve to become an SEO copywriting expert.
Whether you are writing copy for a blog, a website or any other digital medium you should always be writing for both people and Google. In that order. People first, Google second. SEO might sound complicated, but we assure you that you can learn it. Yes, you really can! And start here if you need a quick refresher on SEO for beginners. For now, let’s start with why.
Why is it important to learn SEO as a copywriter?
A copywriter’s job is to inspire action. Buy a course. Book a discovery call. Sell a product. But how are you supposed to sell that product or service if no one can find said content online? Same goes with web design. You can have the prettiest website on the planet, but if it’s not optimized for search engines, no one will ever see it. Sure a few people may find you here and there, but your chances to grow exponentially and experience long-term growth are pretty slim without considering SEO strategies.
What is an SEO copywriter?
Nowadays an SEO copywriter is an actual role that people are searching for to supplement their business. Small business owners and entrepreneurs understand the importance of starting a blog and having a well-optimized website. Better yet, they are seeing the positive results of consistently supporting these SEO strategies.
So what’s the difference between copywriting and SEO copywriting? A copywriter understands your target audience and crafts words carefully to inspire, connect and drive action. An SEO copywriter is someone who understands Google when crafting these same words. They understand long-tail keywords and how to use them to rank higher on search engines and reach more of your niche.
Not all SEO copywriters are made equal though. Just because they specialize in Google doesn’t mean they will be one of those magical unicorns – like you! These unicorns that can tell a brand story for your audience that leaves them feeling speechless and connected with on another level. So it’s our goal to create a new version of SEO copywriting… someone who can do both. Guess what!? We believe that is YOU!
As you venture into this journey of becoming an SEO copywriting expert, here are just a few tips we’ve learned from various website audits and partnership opportunities. However, if there is only one thing you take away from this post, we hope that it’s the confidence that you can and should become an expert in this space! Let’s dive in.
The Top 5 SEO Copywriting Mistakes To Avoid Before Starting A Project
1. Not Doing Any Keyword Research
Before writing any copy for a client, you should always start with some simple keyword research. We like to start by asking one simple question on our discovery questionnaires: “If someone were to search for you, a service or product you offer on Google, what keywords do you imagine they would use outside of your brand name?” This question offers a starting point for your research. You can then use a keyword research tool to help you find similar keywords or longer tail keywords that you can naturally infuse throughout your copy.
Doing this research in advance is key. This way, the keywords are top of mind before you even dive into your SEO copywriting. You will naturally find ways to infuse these words into your writing vs. attempting to add them in at the end. P.s. never do this. This is called keyword stuffing and Google hates it! If you are struggling to find the right keywords, start here!
2. Forgetting To Do Competitive Research
Another SEO copywriting mistake that we come across when doing website audits is competitive research. Understanding who your clients competitors are, what keywords they rank for and how much traffic comes into their website is important. This knowledge can help you understand if the copywriting on the competitors website is actually working. A client might say they love it when in fact the copy includes no keywords and drives zero traffic.
Ubersuggest is our favorite SEO tool to dive into those competitive details. We recommend researching a minimum of three competitors before starting any work. Again, asking your clients to share who they believe their competitors are in a discovery questionnaire can be a good first step. But don’t let that deter you from including any more competitors you come across when doing your keyword research. Your clients might not even realize who their competitors are on Google and instead they may be solely focused on social media.
3. Writing playful, cute headlines with no keywords
If there is only one SEO copywriting rule you take from this blog post, please let it be this one! Playful headlines like “your go-to boss babe” might look cute on your website in a script font, but this does nothing for Google. Website headlines are an incredibly important part of your online content. On the back end of your website, your heading tags are prioritized for google with H1-H6 tags. Here is a quick breakout of each of these heading tags:
- H1 Heading: the largest and most important copy on your page. There should only be one H1 heading per page and these should always include SEO keywords.
- H2-H3 Heading: These are the next two most important heading tags for Google. There can be more than one of these found on each webpage and they should infuse keywords when it makes sense.
- H4-H6 Headings: These are used for variation and hierarchy across your website, and don’t need to be infused with keywords like your other headings. This is where you can be playful!
4. Overcomplicating your writing
Readability is an important SEO factor when it comes to ranking higher on Google. We aren’t saying you need to dumb down your writing, but we are saying that your content should be easy to read. After all, you want your audience to feel understood, not confused, right!? Here are some SEO copywriting tips to help you focus on readability:
- Break up your sentences and paragraphs.
- Avoid using lots of difficult words.
- Avoid using too many consecutive sentence starters in a row.
- Use subheadings to break up heavy paragraphs of text.
Yoast is an amazing tool you can use to analyze your copy through the Flesch Reading Ease Score. This works great when writing long form content like blog posts.
5. Ignoring Alt Tags, SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
Finally, our last SEO copywriting mistake is a big one. These hidden features can make a big difference in helping your content rank on Google. These three ranking factors are baked into your website provider. In most cases they are pretty easy to find as long as you know what you are looking for. Here’s a quick breakdown of each:
- Alt Tags: These are the words associated with each image on your webpage or blog post. These words tell Google what the image is all about.
- SEO Titles: This is the headline that appears on a search engine result page for Google. Yes, you can write two headlines! This one should be keyword-rich and drive action.
- Meta Descriptions: This is the description that accompanies the headlines to give a potential reader a bit more information about what to expect if they are to click through.
These three factors should always include keywords and drive action. They are just as important as any sales copy you’ll ever write. The purpose of this copy is to get the user to click through to your website.
These 5 SEO copywriting mistakes are ones we see often when doing SEO website audits for our clients. The great news is that they are easy to avoid with a little planning. The online world is constantly changing and we are creating more and more online content each day. So let’s make sure this content is optimized for search engines and helping our small business partners grow for years to come!
If you are looking for an SEO refresh, check out our SEO do-it-yourself course options. These are built for you! They are crafted to help you become an SEO expert for yourself and your clients. These courses will not only educate you on the common ranking factors, but they will also help you learn how to implement these strategies into your business and client deliverables.