Search engine optimization (or SEO), is a big part of the web today. This is because the internet is a really big place. I’m going to paint a picture for you, and you better have a warehouse to put it in.
There are roughly 1.25 Billion active websites on the internet right now. That equates to roughly 1 website for every 6 people on the planet. Now there are a lot of different topics for websites to be about, but even still, quality space on search engine rankings is at a premium. The first page of Google results, depending on your query, will show just 8-12 pages.
This means it’s important as ever to have excellent SEO if you ever want to sniff organic traffic. However, having cringe-worthy copy can turn off a visitor as you might sound a bit too forward, or it’s clearly visible that you’re cramming keywords into your copy. Nothing should make you cringe more than spending money on an SEO copywriter and getting back a few paragraphs that look like it was a few words plugged into an algorithm with total garbage between the keywords.
The Two Most Common SEO Copywriting Mistakes
There are two big errors that I see all the time when browsing the web. Avoid these two pitfalls, and you’ll be in great shape already
Don’t live or die by the inverse pyramid: The inverted pyramid method of copywriting uses the well-tested theory that the further you get down the page, the less the user reads. So the most viewed parts of the article overall will be crammed at the top of the page. Forming an upside down pyramid. Typically, the eye traffic lower portions of the page are centralized around bullets and small sub-heads.
While this means you can optimize your content to get the highest converting tidbits in front of more eyes, it doesn’t mean we should abandon the quality between the headlines. Users still skim through the information that isn’t a bulleted list, but if it reads poorly, you lose a bit of credibility.
Stop keyword cramming: Keyword cramming is a symptom of inexperience when it comes to SEO copywriting. It’s when you’ve picked your keyword for an article, and then make your goal to stuff that word into anywhere that it will fit. And maybe a few extra places it doesn’t belong. The most important areas to put your keywords are the page title, web address, and in a headline or two. Anywhere else that it happens to pop up is really just a bonus, so don’t stress it too much.
Tips for Better Web Copy
Now that we know what to avoid, let’s look at some things you can do to take your content to the next level.
How to use the inverted pyramid method to your advantage: Earlier I spoke about the potential pain points of writing around the inverted pyramid model. However, the science is there, and it works if you use it the right way.
Keep your high converting copy, like call to actions and key focal points close to headlines or bullets. Then, actually take the time to explain a dissect the points you highlighted. Readers who only wanted, or only had time for quick notes will act accordingly. Those who have the time to look for more information will already have it right in front of them thanks to you putting more effort into all of your copy.
Earn clicks with your target keyword: The last time you did a Google search, do you remember how you picked the result you clicked on? I’d be willing to bet you looked for the highlighted keywords in the meta descriptions and read it to see if it aligned with what you were searching for prior to even looking at the page title or website.
Amazingly, the human brain has trained itself that headlines have been invaded by clickbait and misleading information. Your brain skips this and goes right for the meat and potatoes, or as we like to call it, the meta description. Make sure that your meta description has the keyword you want to rank for within the first 100 characters. Also be sure to avoid keyword cramming. If the searcher’s brain can’t understand what the meta description is talking about, your odds of getting that click go way down.
Why you need to keep your copy compelling and interesting: In another article, I talked about how lowering your bounce rates can help your page rankings. Alternatively, the time spent on the page will also increase your page rankings on Google.
So if you can either keep someone engaged on an article for enough time before they bounce or ship them off to another article prior to them bouncing, your Google rank will increase.
Intermingle your keywords: If you don’t want your content to sound like it came out of a Fiverr deal, you need to intermingle your keywords. Cross-pollinate a little bit. There are a few key advantages to doing this
I even put a perfect example of it in the paragraph above. This article is specifically about SEO and ranking better on Google. You’ll notice that I’ve shifted the conversation to talk more about that, which is a great place to place backlinks. The reader is likely going to continue down the trail of breadcrumbs as the backlinks seem to include more information specifically about the subject.
Keep in mind that it’s very important to keep your subject matters when using this method very close together. Mixing in these extra keywords are a great way to get more traffic, especially if all of the content plays nicely together.
Here is the most important thing to remember when writing copy for the user. You only need to please the search engine enough to get your page clicked on. High-quality content will do the rest, as your visitors will be more likely to read more articles, read your content, and share it.