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SEO Copywriting: a beginner’s guide with 12 tips

Give your website a traffic boost with captivating SEO texts!

There are about 200 million active websites globally, and 175 new ones are created every minute. In other words, competition to reach the top of Google’s search results is fierce. SEO copywriting is therefore indispensable if you want visitors to your website or customers in your online shop

This article is a beginner’s guide for those who are just getting started with SEO copywriting. Even if you’ve worked with SEO copywriting before, we still guarantee you’ll find a couple of our tips useful. Let’s get started! 

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What is SEO copywriting?

The purpose of SEO copywriting is to write texts that will help you achieve a good ranking in search engines. The text should also be informative, valuable to the reader, and as reader-friendly as possible.  

SEO texts should include relevant keywords naturally woven into them. The most important goal of SEO copywriting is to find an optimal balance that ensures you capture the reader’s interest while achieving a good ranking in search results. 

Traditional copywriting vs. SEO copywriting

Compared to traditional copywriting, which focuses on writing persuasive and sales-oriented texts, SEO copywriting has an extra strategic layer. All the rules that apply to traditional copywriting also apply when writing an SEO text. 

The main purpose is still to capture the reader’s interest and encourage action, but the planning and writing of the text also require considering search engines like Google. 

Even though you need to integrate keywords into your text and compose it according to your SEO strategy, your readers shouldn’t notice it. They should simply enjoy reading a good text that tells them something new. 

A good SEO text: 3 important building blocks

Before we dive into our list of 12 tips, we need to cover the basics. There are three building blocks you should always have in place when working with SEO texts and search engine optimisation in general. 

Keyword research

Keyword research involves finding and selecting the keywords and search phrases your potential visitors type into Google’s (and other search engines, such as Bing) search field when they search for something online. By using these keywords in your texts, you can tailor the content to your target audience, answer their questions, and increase your chances of achieving a top ranking in the search results. 

You can read more about keyword research in our article What are keywords?. The article also contains a very good video guide made by our colleague – we highly recommend it! 

Helpful content

In its early days, search engine optimisation was mainly about stuffing your website with popular keywords. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Instead, search engine algorithms are now programmed to consider a wide range of other factors when they crawl websites and assign rankings in search results. Helpful content is one of the factors that Google prioritises the most. 

Inserting a lot of keywords into a text (keyword stuffing) doesn’t a good SEO text make. If you master the art of writing a text that is interesting, informative, AND contains a light sprinkling of relevant keywords, you have a much better chance of being welcomed to the top of the search results. 

What is helpful content?

In short, it is content that answers questions, doesn’t repeat what a million other existing texts say, is interesting, and most importantly, it’s content that is worth spending time on. 

On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimising individual pages on a website to increase the chances that they attract traffic and achieve a good ranking in the search results.

On-page SEO should be part of your overall SEO strategy, but you should always keep it in mind when writing SEO texts, as it is relevant in many contexts.

Examples of on-page SEO that matters in SEO copywriting:

  • Headings: When writing text for an entire landing page or a longer blog post, the text should be divided using headlines and subtitles. In SEO, these are called headings, where H1 is the main heading and H2, H3, and H4 are subheadings. We will return to headings in our list of tips below.
  • Meta descriptions: If you have created a good homepage, an about us page, a landing page, or written a blog post, you should also ensure that your page has a meta description. This is a text that briefly tells the reader and search engines what the text or page is about.  

    It is the text that appears under the page title in search results, which is why it’s so important. You can read more about meta descriptions in our article Metadata for SEO.  
  • Alt text: An alt text is a text that describes an image or video on your website. The text enables users with visual impairments to use a screen reader to interpret the image or video. The text also makes it easier for search engines to analyse what your visual content conveys.

SEO copywriting – 12 Tips

Here are the 12 tips we promised you. They are based on best practices in search engine optimisation and copywriting, and of course, on our own experience with SEO copywriting. 

1. Find relevant keywords for your text

SEO copywriting always begins with keyword analysis. Here you need to find the most important keyword for your text. You do this using SEO tools – we will return to them later in the article. 

If you are writing a blog post about long-haired cat breeds, long-haired cat breeds will be your primary keyword (main keyword), while related searches such as names of specific long-haired cat breeds (Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, etc.) are secondary keywords.

If you are writing an English text, the search volume should be between 100 and 1000. It’s usually best to stick to keywords that don’t have an enormous search volume as that often means it’s too competitive to reliably achieve a good ranking in the search results. 

If you had planned to use the word “cat” as your primary keyword, you can probably imagine how much other content you would be competing with. The search volume for the internet’s most popular furball is a whopping 225.000 in the UK alone. This means that there are, on average, 225,000 monthly searches for “cat” in the UK.

Keywords that are this popular have a very high difficulty level because there are so many contenders. A good rule of thumb is to get more specific and find a niche that narrows the topic. This will give you a primary keyword where the competition is not as tough. 

2. Answer questions

People ask a lot of questions online. You can use this to your advantage. Both readers and search engines love it when written content provides clear and precise answers to questions.  

Most SEO tools show you an overview of “frequently asked questions” when you enter your keyword or search phrase. You can often also find the questions directly in Google’s search results under “People also ask.” 

You can use the questions as headings or subheadings in your SEO text. Of course, you write your clear and precise answer, including the primary or secondary keyword, right under the question.  

If you write a really good answer, you have the chance of getting your content displayed in Google’s featured snippets – it’s like winning the SEO copywriting World Cup because your content will be the first thing the user sees at the top of the results page. 

3. Consider search intent

Search intent is the purpose a person has when searching for something online. It is important to distinguish between different intentions when doing SEO copywriting, as it can determine whether your content is shown to the users actually interested in it. 

In search engine optimisation, we typically work with the following four search intents:  

Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or a particular page on a website. 
Informational: The user needs information about a topic or a product. 
Commercial: The person searching is interested in buying a product or service but wants to explore the options and compare different possibilities first.
Transactional: This is simply a person looking to buy something.
In our article on ecommerce SEO, you can see concrete examples of searches with different search intents.

4. Write shorter sentences

Everyone is very busy, especially when they’re scrolling online. People quickly scroll on if the content doesn’t capture their interest within a few seconds. Once a reader starts reading your text, it doesn’t take much for them to lose interest. 

Think of your written content as tasty snacks in small bites. Short sentences make the text manageable. They make the reader feel like the text isn’t that long, even if it actually is.  

5. Engaging headlines (Headings)

Headlines, also called headings in SEO, play an even more crucial role when doing SEO copywriting than they do in traditional copywriting. This is because your headings send clear signals to the search engine about what your text or website is about. 

The most important heading in your SEO text is H1, the main heading, such as “The UK’s most popular long-haired cat breeds”. Subsequently, you should divide your SEO text into sections with corresponding subheadings, H2, H3, and H4. 

In the blog post about long-haired cat breeds, the first three sections could be divided as follows: 

H1 – The UK’s most popular long-haired cat breeds

👉🏼 Your fantastic introduction

H2 – Maine Coon

👉🏼 Your informative text

H3 – How big does a Maine Coon get?

👉🏼 Your clear and precise answer to the question. 

6. Write persuasive CTAs 

One of the main goals of copywriting and SEO texts is to achieve more conversions. Once you have created a solid foundation to attract more organic traffic, you must ensure that all your new visitors do what you want them to do. 

This is where CTAs come into play. Here we can return to search intent from tip #3. With a clear and precise CTA, you maximise the chances that your visitors click through your site and understand how to get your product or where they can read more of your informative blog posts. 

You can create CTA buttons or clickable links and banners with CTAs. Remember, many won’t read the entire text, so it’s smart to keep a CTA at the top of the page and several distributed throughout the page. 

If many visitors click on your CTAs, it increases your chances of achieving conversions and signals to Google that your content is valuable to users. Thus, your CTAs can also affect your search result rankings. 

7. Write relevant anchor texts

Anchor texts are the text snippets you create to link to other related content on your website. Internal links increase the chances that your visitors explore more than just the page they first landed on. Additionally, internal links signal to search engines how your pages are connected and strengthen your authority on the topic you have written about.

Let’s take a quick example. Suppose your blog post about long-haired cat breeds includes a section where you briefly mention cat food for Maine Coons. In your online shop, you have a selection of cat food that is particularly suitable for Maine Coons.  

Here you have a perfect opportunity to insert an internal link to the cat food in your online shop: 

By choosing cat food developed specifically for Maine Coons, you can ensure that your cat gets all the essential nutrients they need – and sheds less! 

The text in bold is the anchor text. It tells both the reader and the search engine what is behind the link, and that is exactly what a good anchor text should do. If you want to delve deeper into the topic, we recommend our article “Write better anchor texts”. 

8. Get Inspired by your competitors’ SEO texts

You should already be taking a look at your competitors’ content when you’re doing your keyword analysis. Is one of your competitors already at the top of the search results? Take a tour of their website, grab your notebook, and answer the following questions: 

  • What type of written content do they have?  
  • How is the content structured? 
  • What keywords do they use? 
  • How do they use the keywords?

When you have an idea of how your competitors work with SEO texts, it will be much easier for you to compete with them and achieve even better results with your texts. 

9. Avoid borrowing too much from others 

Above, we mentioned that competitor analysis is an important part of SEO copywriting. There is plenty of inspiration to be found among competitors. After all, you are competitors because you offer similar products or services. 

There is nothing wrong with getting inspired and borrowing ideas from competitors. However, it is crucial that you don’t borrow too much and never copy directly from your competitors’ content. If you do, you risk being penalised by Google in the form of a poorer ranking in the search results. 

Writing content that is a direct copy of other content will be registered as duplicate content. This type of content can harm your SEO strategy. 

Are you unsure if you might have borrowed a little too much from another text? You can use a tool that quickly detects plagiarism in texts, such as this free Plagiarism Checker from Grammarly. 

10. Break up the text with visual elements

It can be difficult to get visitors to read a wall of text. Images, illustrations, video content, and other graphic elements can make a huge difference. Place the images between the sections of your text and use illustrations that clarify what you are conveying in the text. 

The graphic elements create breathing space in the text and make it more likely that the reader will read your entire text. You can use stock photos, pictures you have taken yourself, or illustrations made in Canva or other tools. 

If you create your website with Website Builder from one.com, you get access to a large library of stock photos that you can freely use on your site. 

11. Use copywriting formulas

Classic copywriting formulas such as the AIDA formula and the PAS formula, are used extensively in both SEO copywriting and traditional copywriting.  

Writing models are like recipes for writing a text that gets the reader to do what you want them to do, such as buying something. 

We can recommend our article on the 5 top copywriting formulas to see examples of how you can use formulas when writing your SEO texts. 

12. Create a table of contents

By adding a table of contents at the top of your text, you let your readers know exactly what they can expect to find on your page or in your text. 

If you’re reading this article on a computer, you can see our clickable table of contents on the right side of the screen. If you are on your mobile, the table of contents is at the top, just below the h1. 
A good table of contents helps you meet your visitors’ search intent, which earns you points with Google. At the same time, you increase the chances that the reader will want to read your text if you have written good headings that clearly convey what the text is about.

Bonus tip!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and get more tips on SEO, marketing, Google Analytics, and much more. 

SEO tools

SEO tools are indispensable when you are doing keyword analysis for your SEO copywriting. Among the most popular paid tools are Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz. Ahrefs also has a free keyword analysis tool.  

Free tools usually show more limited information about keywords. Paid tools are often worth the money, especially if your goal is to achieve more conversions. 

If you host your WordPress site with one.com, you also have the option to add the free or paid Pro version of the SEO tool RankMath, which helps you optimise your entire WordPress site for search engines. 

Text and grammar tools

There are a wide range of tools that will help improve the quality your SEO texts and make the writing process faster and smoother. Let’s look at some of them.  

AI writing tools

AI writing tools can assist you with several parts of the writing process when doing SEO copywriting. You can use them for brainstorming, writing drafts, headlines, and writing complete texts that you can then edit and fine-tune to fit your brand and target audience. 

If you create a website with Website Builder from one.com, you get full access to our AI writing assistant. It can help you write website texts for your entire website. You just need to enter a few short sentences and keywords, and the writing assistant will generate a finished text in seconds. 

Proofreading tools

Texts without spelling and grammar errors have a better chance of achieving a higher ranking in search results. Using proofreading tools, such as Grammarly, Hemingway, and the built-in tools in Microsoft Word and Google Docs, can improve the quality of your texts because they catch many of the mistakes you might not notice yourself. 

Grammarly and Hemingway can currently only be used for your English texts, but the tools in both Microsoft 365 and Google Docs can proofread texts in a wide range of languages.  

Write your way to a top ranking in search results

Competition for traffic, users, and customers is fierce. You need to include SEO copywriting in your overall marketing strategy, regardless of what type of website or business you have. 

Traditional copywriting and SEO copywriting go hand in hand. The goal to be achieved is the same, namely, to get the reader to react or do something. Your texts should communicate, inform, provide value, tell stories, and be worth spending time on. 

Writing great SEO texts is, in other words, about writing good texts. The only difference between traditional copywriting and SEO copywriting is that in SEO copywriting, there is an added strategic layer where you also need to think about keywords and search intents. 

We hope our 12 tips have given you a good starting point when you dive into writing your own SEO texts. Good luck!