As a content marketing copywriter, you may be asked to do a lot with just a little. Whether you are a member of a permanent writing staff or a freelancer working for clients through a content production site, you are expected to provide effective marketing copywriting. And the most effective copywriting is readable, findable, shareable, and linkable; all made possible by understanding and using SEO.
But here is something that many SEO gurus tend to leave until the end of the lesson (but is really the most important part of the job for a content marketing copywriter). It is a lesson from Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits:
Begin with the End in Mind - to write content a specific group of people wants to read, share, and link to while artfully including keywords for find-ability.
Now, to unveil six SEO secrets for the effective content marketing copywriter:
1. Hit the Target
Your target audience and tone informs both the beginning and the end of the reason for writing, well, pretty much anything, but especially marketing copy. In fact, HubSpot says content serves no purpose if this element of SEO is not met. What is the point of writing anything if it does not resonate with the people who most need to read it?
2. Use Keywords
Use the right keywords in the right place at the right time. Remember, a keyword is simply the term your audience will use to find your content. If you have defined your audience then you know how they think. And you don’t need to use a keyword very many times to make it effective otherwise it becomes “keyword stuffing,” something that violates the very essence of good content: readability.
If you feel more comfortable with a number, Neil Patel suggests a density range of 1-4%. For example: if the density is 2%, then the keyword should appear twice for every 100 words. Where to put it?
- H1 and title tags if you have access to the page’s HTML code.
- First paragraph.
- Alt tag for images.
- Anchor text.
- Evenly throughout the content.
3. Write for the Reader
First principles again: write for the reader, not the search engine. Follow your readers’ lead. They will let you know if the writing is too basic or too complicated. Watch your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Be conversational. Tell a great story that educates and is thought-provoking.
4. Be Relevant
Valuable content is relevant content. The audience wants and needs you to answer the questions they have. Give them answers through thought provoking material that resonates with them and promotes your company as a thought leader in your sphere. No fluff allowed.
5. Say “You”
What is one of the most persuasive (or at least attention-getting) words in the world? The word “YOU.” This simple word creates an immediacy and intimacy that draws the reader into the story you are telling because it is all about “him,” not the product or service. It lets the reader know this information will address concerns specific to him, not just anyone and everyone.
6. Attract Links
This may be the easiest part of SEO if the previous tactics have been used effectively. The fact is, search engines determine authority and, thus, rank by the links leading to a piece of content. Often this is called building links but you actually want to attract them. The content marketing writer who has targeted the right audience, used the right keywords, and created highly relevant material that pulls readers in will have no trouble getting inbound links from authoritative sites and influential people.
And there “you” have it. Not such a secret after all, just good writing. A good content marketing copywriter is… a writer. For an increasingly tough audience. What could be more satisfying?