When it comes to optimizing your copy for SEO, it can seem daunting. But it doesn’t need to be — there are lots of things you can do to quickly and easily improve your copy’s SEO. Read on for four 4 simple but effective ways to optimize your copy for SEO.
By Kayleigh Alexandra
Use your keywords naturally and in moderation
You likely already know that keywords are what get your copy soaring in the SERPs. But it’s not enough to just throw them in a little here and there. Your keywords should be woven organically into your copy evenly.
The key here is to strive for a natural feel. Don’t write for search engines — write for your customer.
While you should include your keywords in your copy, don’t go overboard. Making your keyword every other word is going to negatively impact your SEO and it’ll be jarring for the reader.
It’s worth using variations on your keywords too. For instance, if you’re selling coffee beans, you might say “fresh coffee”, “Columbian coffee beans”, and so on. As well as helping you include keywords naturally in your copy, it also keeps it fresh for the reader too. Karooya’s free keyword variations tool is a useful app to use for this.
Write for the many, not for the few
If you love writing, you want to express that by showing off your creative flair — it’s only natural. But it’s important to tread the line between creative talent and inaccessibility. If your copy is too dense or high-brow, it will appeal to a select group of users, but not the many.
And this is something Google cares about. They’re all about the user, and if the user can’t understand copy, then it’ll impact your SEO. Consequently, your copy should be intuitive to the reader.
A good place to start is with the kind of words you use. Your vocabulary might be immense and varied, but using complicated or obscure words or phrases will repel your readers. Stick to basic words that everyone knows. You can still be creative as long as you make it accessible.
Ditto for your sentences. Long or complex sentences are difficult to understand, and will negatively impact your SEO. Aim for sentences of no more than 25 words.
Of course, what might be easily readable by you might not be so simple for others. Use a tool like Hemingway Editor to scan your copy first. The app highlights meandering sentences, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes, amongst other elements.
Search engines value accessibility and convenience to the customer above all else. As such, basic, readable copy will boost your ranking in the SERPs.
It’s okay to lean on tools
When it comes to optimizing your copy, it’s okay to seek a little extra help. I mentioned Hemingway Editor earlier, but there’s a whole host of other tools and apps available to make your copy optimization that bit easier.
Yoast SEO is the most popular of these. It’s a WordPress plugin that uses a traffic light system to help you spot problem areas in your copy you need to edit.
And writing SEO-friendly copy is about more than just keywords. Buzzsumo is a useful tool that lets you find relevant and useful content trending online. This, in turn, helps guide your strategy so you can create content that is guaranteed to get engagement.
And the ecommerce platform you use likely has a plethora of tools you can use too. Some include a number of built-in SEO features already and offer a range of SEO plugins too. Apps like ReloadSEO helps you identify top keywords, provides in-depth analysis of your store’s content so you can fine-tune it, and even helps with your AdWord campaigns too.
However, not all online store builders offer out-of-the-box copywriting SEO features. It’s worth comparing your chosen CMS before committing — optimized copy is a crucial feature for ecommerce SEO, and one worth considering when deciding on a platform.
Don’t forget to optimize your title tags and meta description
An important but often undervalued aspect of your copy is your title tag and meta description. These are your chance to communicate to search engines the value and relevance of your website.
It’s worth noting that meta descriptions do not technically have any direct impact on your SEO. However, a good description entices the user to click through to your website, and more clicks mean better SEO. Describe the benefits your web page provides to compel users to click.
For your title tag, you need to combine clickability with keyword targeting. Use variations of your target keywords to avoid overusing your keywords. And remember to keep them unique too — each one should accurately but concisely convey what your page is about.
Above all, your title tags should communicate value to the user. It is this that drives clicks and shows search engines that your website deserves its place on the SERPs.
Optimizing your content for SEO is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be grueling. There are plenty of simple things you can do to optimize your copy and boost your rankings. Follow the tips above and your web copy will soar well into 2019 and beyond.
Good SEO is about more than just optimized copy. Discover 5 SEO basics that every small business needs to know here.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. She’s passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.