Alex Nicol, SEO Content Marketing Specialist, Article-Writing.co
Writing SEO copy is fundamental to any blog writing endeavour. Since the rise of semantic search and the Google Panda updates, many SEO experts are now convinced that ‘quality’ has all but replaced ‘backlinks’ as the #1 ranking factor in Google algorithms. So the benefits to writing excellent copy have increased – but has the quality of your copywriting improved along with it? Perhaps not.
It appears that people have the wrong idea of what SEO copy really is. They assume it means doing preliminary keyword research and incorporating these terms into your blog wherever possible – and that’s it. While keyword research is part of the process, SEO copy involves far more than that. It means accounting for a range of on-site and off-site features that, if ignored, doom your nicely written blog posts to the back pages of a SERP.
SEO Copy is a Cyclical Process
The writer producing content for a site should always have two focus goals in mind: engage with a target audience and solve some kind of issue, or problem. In order cover all the tasks involved in content production, the best way to integrate SEO best-practices is by imaging the entire blog writing process as a continuous cycle.
Elements of the cycle are:
There should always be keyword research done before an editorial calendar is filled out. Often times this relationship is reversed for clients, who may have tons of blog ideas but very small grasp of what keywords they can realistically try and rank for. It is much easier to take a list of strategic keywords and create blogs around them that solve a problem or issue for your customers.
In writing the blog, attention is given to the internal structure of the piece. Google bots love to see a clearly structured article that flows from title tags to H1 and H2 tags. Any extended text without a header, bullet points, or embedded image will also harm the readers experience – and remember that your content should be focused primarily on solving an issue and satisfying the searcher.
3. On-Site Optimization
On-site optimization means a whole host of different technical duties. Moz has published an excellent overview of the different on-site ranking factors. SEO copywriters should always refer back to this interactive chart to ensure that the title and H1 include the target keyword, a proper meta-description is given, and there are no issues with load time (which can be checked via Google PageSpeed insights.)
4. Link Building
Once the blog has been written and published, it’s time to go about sharing it with your network. As Redevolution highlights, the best way to get links back to your site is write amazing content and make your content easily shareable. And what kind of content is most likely to get backlinks? The kind that answers a question.
Neil Clancy, an organic search specialist at EatSleepSEO.com, expands on this ‘natural’ approach to getting backlinks.
“When thinking about link building, you shouldn’t 100% rely on outreach or directories. You want people to link to your content naturally. How do you do that? Make your content appear to be the source for answers.”
Neil runs a website that sells supplements online. In looking to increase the organic search ranking for the overall site, Neil created a directory within the site that comprised “all the factual and science-backed resources we can find about the supplements, and our content is properly sourced.”
The results are excellent. “Our site directly gets linked as a source all the time by people creating content about supplements, their benefits, their side effects, etc” says Neil.
We can learn two things from the success of Neil’s approach.
1. Your Site Should Have a Directory (Or a Piece of ‘Cornerstone Content’). If you write an authoritative piece of content large enough to define a specific niche, you are bound to get some natural back links.
2. Blog Writers Are Looking for Authoritative References. Not every citation people make can be to Wikipedia or scientific studies. No matter what industry you operate in, blog writers in your niche are always looking for new sites to reference that are more authoritative than a blog post, but more approachable than a scientific study.
As you can see, SEO copy involves far more than it might seem. When conceived in a cyclical way it becomes much more clear what exactly needs to be done, and when. At Article-Writing.co, we are always looking at ways to improve the organic search optimization of the content we produce. Contact us today for a consultation on our range of packages to see which one is most suited to your needs.
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