Not all that long ago, SEO copywriting was all about stuffing in as many keywords as possible. As long as your content included a healthy percentage of your targeted keywords, your website was sure to climb the rankings. It seems incredible that making the content readable, informative and interesting was of secondary concern, but that was definitely the case. These days, the opposite is true. It’s still important to optimize your content for your targeted keywords, but it’s even more crucial to make it useful to living, breathing people. Impressing the search engine bots will only get you so far.
Optimizing Content for Search Engines
It’s fairly easy to optimize content for search engines. As mentioned above, it’s largely about sprinkling specific keywords into it at the right densities. It also means tweaking meta tags and other parts of a site’s code so that the search engines know how to classify the site. For a long time, this was mostly what SEO was about. These things still matter. They still work too, but that’s only true if the content is appealing to human readers as well. If your entire SEO strategy consists of plugging in keywords and optimizing code, your efforts are going to fall flat.
Creating Content for People
People are more savvy than ever about online marketing. Most of them can spot content that’s been written strictly for the search engines from a mile away. There is an increasing demand for content that’s fresh, informative, compelling and well-written. It’s definitely out there, so you can’t get away with low-quality content anymore. If you want people to not only land on your site but stick around and come back, you need to deliver top-notch content. Otherwise, the people who do arrive on your site will feel duped, and your site will never achieve true success.
SEO Copywriting for Search Engines and People
SEO content that appeals to the major search engines and SEO content that appeal to people aren’t mutually exclusive. Plenty of sites manage to have both, and yours can too. There are several ways to go about achieving this, but the best one is to focus on creating excellent content first. Make sure it is relevant to your site. Scour it for misspellings and grammatical errors. As long as it dovetails with the theme of your website, it should be naturally search engine friendly.
The Characteristics of Excellent Content
One of the top characteristics of excellent content is that it’s just as appealing to human readers as it is to search engine bots. The best content is also:
- Timely – Search engines and human visitors alike love fresh content. It matters to the search engines because it shows that your site is active and relevant. It matters to people because no one wants to read outdated stuff.
- Relevant – If you post content on your site that’s at odds with its overarching theme, you’re going to confuse the search engines. Your site may even be penalized. People who land on your site will feel like they’ve been tricked and are unlikely to stay or come back later.
- Well-Written – This characteristic is important to people and search engines. People will have a better impression of your site when your content seems professional. Search engines will have an easier time applying their algorithms when your content is organized and nicely optimized. Therefore, it pays to devote plenty of time and money into creating top-notch content.
The bottom line here is that your SEO copywriting shouldn’t be geared strictly toward search engines or people. By giving a nod to both, it will get you where you need to be.