Dare to Write SEO Copy

What is SEO Copywriting?

SEO copywriting is a mix of keyword analysis, SEO, copy formatting and of course creativity.

“It’s the art of writing content that informs, influences and persuades people first and foremost, while exercising Google’S SEO best practices. [1]

When you write copy in the SEO domain, you have two masters: the human reader and the search engine.  The writing also needs to be promotable so that people like it enough to promote it on other sites. This can lead to you gaining backlinks.

The reader needs to be entertained, informed, and cajoled towards the writer’s goal. Their habit of just scanning the copy has to be arrested so they read and digest. This, then, is the goal of SEO copywriting.

An example of successful SEO copywriting

Moz lifted organic traffic by 32% with a few SEO copywriting changes. [2]

This example from Moz is the result of three minor SEO copywriting tweaks applied across their top ranking content.

Moz ran tests to determine what boosts organic traffic and found that the factors were:

  • Increasing the length of articles and adding subtitles (H2s, H3s) to better organise the content
  • Enhancing the title or H1 of the URLs
  • Inclusion of a relevant video.


Highrise, a CRM developer  tested rotating some headlines and subheads on the Highrise signup page to see if they have an effect on signups. Answer: They do, sometimes significantly.

The test

Here’s how the test works. Highrise, a CRM developer, used Google Website Optimizer to randomly rotate five different headline and subhead combinations on their signup page. [3]

The original: Worst performer

This is the headline they launched with. The headline asked people to “Start a Highrise Account.” Centered bold in the subhead was the text “30-day free trial”. The rest of the subhead highlighted that Highrise is a pay-as-you-go service and that there are no hidden fees.

The winner: 30% better conversion than the original

Title & description Meta Tags

A good title tag will:

  • Include your target keyword
  • Set an expectation
  • Entice users to click through from the SERP

Quick and dirty title tag checklist [4]

?Keyword placement: Place most important keywords towards the front of the title tag, with the least important  at the end.

  • Relevancy: It accurately describes the content (strong message match).
  • Avoid cannibalisation: Ensure title tags are unique to each page, and that only one page on the site is optimized for a given keyword.
  • No stuffing: Do not repeat the same word over and over.
  • Use power words: include sensationalism, power words and emotional triggers to stop readers in their tracks
  • Use action words: these terms help entice the user to take action (or click). Eg: Get, take, learn, go, download and boost.
  • Avoid stop words: these include terms like: a, and, but, or, so, the, was, with.
  • Highlight differentiators: tell people what makes your content unique. i.e. depth,, speed, freshness, actionable, brand.

Grab the user’s attention early

Here’s why this is so important from an SEO viewpoint: [5]

…the first 10 seconds of the page visit are critical for users’ decision to stay or leave. The probability of leaving is very high during these first few seconds because users are extremely skeptical, having suffered countless poorly designed web pages in the past.

So, if you can convince users to stay on your page for half a minute, there’s a fair chance that they’ll stay much longer — often 2 minutes or more, which is an eternity on the web.

[1] https://brandnewcopy.com/what-is-seo-copywriting/

[2] https://moz.com/blog/on-page-seo-changes-case-study

[3] https://signalvnoise.com/posts/1525-writing-decisions-headline-tests-on-the-highrise-signup-page

[4] https://www.robbierichards.com/seo/seo-copywriting/#title

[5] https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-users-stay-on-web-pages/

Trevor Reeves


Skyje is a Blog for Web Designers and Web Developers featuring Social Networking news and everything that Web 2.0. You can Subscribe to Skyje feed.

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