While sometimes SEO can seem like a dark art, it’s not that hard to get the basics of SEO copywriting right and increase your search engine ranking. This guide to copywriting with SEO in mind should help you get started.

The key thing to remember when writing web copy is that it should be well-written, unique, and appropriate for the audience. Above all you must write for a human being and not a search engine.  There are, however, also ways of ensuring that your page is created with both visitors and search engines in mind.

If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using Yoast to help implement these. Other platforms like Wix and Squarespace have their own dedicated areas to add SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions. Not sure what those are? Read on!

General guide to SEO copywriting:

  • The page must contain content relevant to the SEO Page Title and should be well written and relevant to the user
  • Copy must be unique to that page
  • Keywords should be spread throughout the copy and not used unnecessarily.
  • The page should read well and not be jarring; avoid keyword spamming.

Specific points for web page copywriting:

  • SEO Title (The SEO Page title is different to the title of the page. The SEO title is what appears in the search results rather than on the page copy.):
    • Should be 9 words long (plus or minus 3 words)
    • Position the keywords close to the beginning
    • Don’t repeat words
    • Make sure every title is unique to each page
    • It should make sense
  • Meta Description (This is the description that appears in search results below the SEO page title)
    • Should be around 18 words long (plus or minus 6 words)
    • Keywords should be close to the beginning
    • Write in complete sentences
    • Don’t repeat a word more than twice
    • Be unique for each page
    • Make sense to a user

You can see in the John Lewis example that the page title for the home page has been well optimised and fits the search result.  The meta description, however, gets cut off and this example would have been better as two perfect sentences.

Image showing search results SEO Page Title and Meta Description

  • Focus Keywords / phrase
    • Only use the main keywords you are targeting
    • Place the longer terms at the beginning
    • For blog posts consider a long-tail keyword to help users find exactly what they are looking for.
  • Headings (H1, H2 etc.)
    • These should run in a sequence. Assuming H1 is your Page Title you would then
      use H2 as a sub-heading on that page, followed by H3 / H4. You should never have more than one H1 heading
    • These should contain keywords
    • Do not repeat entire phrases but repeating keywords is fine
    • These should read like a headline and be between 2 and 5 words
  • Body Text
    • Around 500 words is a good length for service and information-based sites
    • Keywords should be spread evenly throughout the page but not over-used
    • The copy should be well-written and make sense to a reader
    • Don’t be tempted to keyword spam!
    • Try and include both internal and external links

If you would like to learn more about how to use these steps to improve your search ranking or would prefer an SEO audit to determine exactly what would make the biggest difference to your own site, contact us or see the full range of services we offer.

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