SEO copywriting is very important to attract users to your website. But what is SEO copy? and what should you focus on when writing? In this article we will explain what SEO copywriting is and how you should approach it.
SEO texts, what are they?
In short, an SEO text is a text that is optimised for search engines. An SEO text meets the requirements that Google and other search engines have when presenting search engine results for the users. The result page is also referred to as SERP.
At a glance that sounds pretty easy, right?
However, the problem is, that no one really knows for a fact what Googles requirements are when it comes to a text. Google has created some guidelines to follow, but they lack precise statements to show what’s really important. So all we know is that there are many different factors in play when it comes to ranking your text.
We do, however, know certain things that are the primary reasons for Google to pick your text over others. So even if you don’t tick all the SEO content boxes you can still be ticking the most important ones that will get your text higher up on Google.
SEO texts back in the early days
In the early days of SEO, writing SEO text was about stuffing a certain number of keywords as many times as possible in the text.
You still find this behaviour to this day. Where Titles and Content uses the same words over and over again. Frankly, it’s horrible to look at and it makes a terrible read for users.
Back then, you worked a lot on density when creating SEO texts. Density is another word for how many times a given word appears in a text. And a lot of good tools were developed that could help you keep track of the exact density.
When Google introduced penalties for keyword stuffing, everything changed! After that, SEO texts became more of an art form. But only because you could risk being penalized in your Google ranking if your text contained more than approx. 3% of keywords.
Over the years, however, the work on SEO texts has become somewhat more sophisticated – as the requirements of search engines has progressed.
Today, however Google focuses much more on user experience than anything else.
How to write good SEO texts today
Well, first and foremost, you must write to your audience first and not to search engines. Google is very clear about this in their guidelines. The fact is that if Google fails to present users with the most valuable content based on their search query, users will start searching in another way. It’s Googles way of retaining users.
In fact, they are so good at it, that we don’t even consider other search options. But they are only so good as the content they can present. So thatøs why Google loves quality content.
Keywords are still important
Keywords and key search phrases are still very important because they help search engines in knowing what your content is about. But you have to use them carefully. Use them wisely and spread them around so it seems natural for the audience when they read your text. You should of course include them in titles, meta data and in subheadings.
But it’s actually sometimes better to use synonyms of keywords or key search phrases. In that way your text will not feel choppy as you have more options to play with wordings.
Rule number #1 – Your text should be a comfortable read to your users.
At the same time, the text should provide answers to what the user was looking for when they entered their keyword or search phrase on Google. If it does, Google will evaluate your page in different ways:
- Text length
- The quality of the text
- User signals, time spent
We get these type of questions a lot. How long should my article or blog text be? Should my text be long or short?
Text length does have a big impact on how Google values your page. Longer texts seems to have a higher value than a shorter one. However, there is no specific rule to follow on how long or short you should write your texts.
But taking a look at your competition and how much they have written might give you some indication on how much you should write.
So if your competitor has an article of +1000 words targeting the same keywords and key search phrases as you are. Then you should try writing +2000 words and also include images, gifs, FAQ, etc.
But remember it’s the quality of the article as a whole that gives the indication to Google if your article is worth ranking higher, not just the length,
As a rule of thumb, you should always try to write at least 300 words. Otherwise, Google might end up devaluing your content as thin.
The quality of the text
As mentioned earlier, the quality as a whole is how Google values your page. A good quality written article ensures that there is a natural flow and that the user stays interested in the content.
If you keep repeating things and interrupts the natural reading flow the user will become uninterested and leave your page.
A well written article ensures that the user gets value for the click he or she made on Google. This means providing users with answers to the questions they were searching for on Google in the first place. A good way to ensure this, is to look at your article with a user’s eye and assess whether it provides what they are looking for.
User-signals, time spent
Google also looks more and more on user signals. So ranking of your article is based on other users’ behaviour when interacting with your content. In this case time spent gives Google an indication whether your content gives value to the users. If the users pretty much return to Google right away, it’s an indication to Google that the content didn’t provide much value.
And on the other hand, if the user returns from your website after a long period of time it’s an indication that the user was interested in the content.
Text length, the quality of the text and user-signals are all very important when it comes to SEO. Making good quality content will please your audience. If you provide answers to their questions they will keep being interested.
Keep reading > SEO content tips – how to author a good read