Search engines are constantly changing their search algorithm. This is great news for casual and power searchers alike. However, this constant tweaking can become a headache for copywriters and marketers. So how do you keep up with the rules?
Thankfully, some things remain steadfast and dependable in the copywriting world. After all, the primary purpose of SEO is to direct users to interesting, trustworthy content – produce that, and you’ll be well on your way to having good SEO! But it’s essential to be aware of the basics of the latest trends.
Target a variety of keywords
Did you know your content could rank for several keywords? It makes sense – opening your content up to a wider variety of keywords exposes your content to more potential users and makes it more likely to be found. So, it’s good to target several keywords in articles.
Search for “SEO copywriting”, for example. Then, if you scroll down to the bottom, you’ll come across the “related searches” section. There, you may come across suggestions like “SEO writing tools” or “SEO website checklist”, for example (though you’ll get differences from time to time). Use these suggested searches as other keywords to rank!
Shorten your meta headlines
You’ve probably got your meta descriptions down pat like all SEO experts. You channel all your creativity and genius into those staunch 155 characters, making sure they look great and beg users to click into your articles in the search results. But what about the titles that appear above them? Sure, you have to fit some keywords into those, too. But it turns out that Google crops much of a meta headline out if it exceeds 60 characters!
So, what can you do about this? One option is to have two titles: a short one for the user to see and a longer question or sentence that uses your keyword. Take a look at this article’s title, for example.
Of course, your meta descriptions are still important, too. Though this is a great place to get that SEO in, remember that some users will still read your meta descriptions to gauge your content’s relevance to their query and may be put off by a truncated description.
Make the featured snippet!
Don’t you just love it when you ask Google a question and get your answer immediately, without clicking on a single result? If you’ve experienced this recently, you probably encountered the new “featured snippet”. Though Wikipedia usually steals this spot, it’ll really boost your page’s image if you manage to make it.
If you want to make it into the spotlight, try answering questions in your articles in one simple sentence. Then, of course, you can always move on to more details later – tempting readers to click into your post to read the rest!
Think like a searcher
Modern keyword research software is brilliant. With just a few clicks, you can find all the terms you need to shoot to the top of the search results. But there is another simple, free tool that anyone who writes content could benefit from understanding: the related searches.
This hidden gem is hidden at the bottom of the search results. Related searches yield a few keyword options when you search for a prospective title. These keywords are all the things people would search for. This makes the related searches section a valuable asset for speaking your language.
Make your point quickly
We get it: you’ve got a lot to say and only one article to say it all in. And writing lengthy paragraphs is a fundamental skill that you’ve likely honed over those long years of essay writing. But you also have to remember that the primary goal of content writing is to make relevant content. So though you might excel at creating flowing prose, keep in mind that search engines just want to see the stuff that appeals to the algorithms.
This doesn’t mean you have to stick staunchly to the keywords and internal links – though you may be writing for robots, these robots serve to anticipate how engaging your content will be for a human. But do make your point early in your article.
Match your keyword intent
When you write a blog post, you choose a title and stick to it to the best of your ability. You do extensive research, look for relevant titles, and provide your readers with information on that specific topic. This is what good keyword intent looks like.
There are three main types of keyword intent:
- Navigational intent: This is where a user wants to check out a particular web page or website. When you simply specifically search for Google, Facebook, or a favourite recipe or video.
- Informational intent: is when a user wants to learn more about a subject, item, or business. For example, they may search for “history of coffee” or “what is Mardi Gras”.
- Commercial intent: The keyword intent you may be most interested in – is when the user is interested in purchasing a specific service or product. “Buy illustration software”, for example, or “where to get boots”.
Of course, the principal purpose of a search engine is to give the user what they are searching for. So, search engines generally promote the marketers who best match their article’s keyword intent. For example, if you tried to target the “history of Mardi Gras” with a casual link to your wine delivery service’s pricing page, your article wouldn’t rank very well. This is because you’d have failed to match the keyword intent.