Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the techniques that can be used to improve the visibility of a website in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc).

One of these techniques is SEO copywriting, which focuses on the writing skills that can be used online to help improve the site’s search engine ranking and performance, without affecting the usability and aesthetics of the site itself.

If that sounds gobbledegook to you then no problem. In essence, if you want your website to be on the first page of Google when someone is searching for a company in your sector, then good SEO copywriting is a central part of making that happen.

Why do we need SEO copywriting?

Well there aren’t many websites out there that don’t have copy on them. Words are one of the main ways that search engines decide how relevant your website is to a search term. So it stands to reason that choosing the right words throughout your website to convey your products and services is vital. For example; if you search for ‘B2B PR agency’, Google will provide hundreds of pages of results relevant to that search. So how does one B2B PR agency get on the first page of search results and another only to the twentieth page? Well that’s largely down to the quality of their SEO copywriting.

The key to effective SEO is knowing what people looking for your products and services are typing into search engines. Known as keywords or keyword phrases, these form the foundation of your SEO efforts. But, SEO copywriting isn’t as easy as just cramming your website with lots of relevant keywords and phrases. Guerrilla tactics don’t work. Every search engine is wise to the many underhand techniques that people use to try and get their website noticed. Search engines continuously adapt and develop to ensure that users get a fair, balanced result from their searches, so the words you use throughout your website need to be planned and properly thought through.

SEO copywriting for business

So how do we get round this conundrum? Try and sell yourself too much on your website and Google blocks you, don’t sell yourself enough and your competitors beat you to that all important first page (how often do you click through to the second page of a search by the way?).

The key is to think about the people who you are trying to communicate with and then produce engaging, original content that appeals to them. Type ‘cheap flights’ into a search engine and you’ll be overwhelmed – how is someone going to pick from the thousands of companies who have integrated the term ‘cheap flights’ into their web copy? It’s impossible to differentiate yourself in such a crowded market.

So, differentiate yourself. As we said earlier, Aspectus PR wouldn’t just rely on people finding us with the term ‘B2B PR agency’, we differentiate our self by focusing the copy on our website to a narrower selection of search terms. By focusing the copy to relate specifically to those people who type in ‘B2B energy PR agency’ or ‘B2B finance PR agency Europe’, for example, we narrow the search and have more chance of standing out. The well known marketer Seth Godin talks about the importance of being remarkable in his book The Purple Cow – this is great advice for those looking to understand SEO copywriting: the key to success is to find a way to stand out.

Effective SEO copywriting

Making sure that the copy on your website is effective, readable, ethical (i.e. no Guerrilla tactics) and optimised is a real skill. Each page of your website is an opportunity to mould your web copy to attract specific search terms. But it is a true talent to reach that balance where the copy you have on your website engages the people you are trying to attract, answers their questions and excites them, but doesn’t read like a shopping list.

And don’t forget about the metadata (the HTML tags that identify the content of a web page for the search engines). Creating keyword-rich ‘title’ tags and ‘description’ meta-tags that are unique for each page of your website is an extremely important process which needs to be carried out when producing content for the web. Get the metadata right and your web pages will be appearing on the front page of search engines with high click-through rates; get them wrong and your website will be lost in the search engine sub pages.

Suffice to say, before you start on any SEO copywriting project, it’s good practice to create a plan and carry out some initial analysis. What are your competitors doing with their SEO? What keywords and phrases do you want to focus on? How do you want your metadata to read? And ultimately, what do you want your website to tell people? Think about it, it’s not such an easy question to answer. A strategic SEO copywriting plan, successfully carried out, will drive traffic to your site, as well as effectively drive your message.

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