A Primer on SEO Writing
SEO writing – otherwise known as SEO copywriting or content writing- is a form of writing on your website with two objectives:
- Helping your website to become more visible to major search engines. A highly visible website with effective content appears on the first few pages of results when someone searches for that topic.
- Enabling good communication with readers of the website
Two short pointers for SEO writing are:
- Listen up. Make it good writing: grammatical, using consistent style, interesting
- It has two masters. First is the search engine which is indexing the website. Second is the reader of the website.
A little more in-depth:
- Understand your target audience. Who is reading your site? What questions do they want resolved? What search terms would they type into the search bar? These are called the keywords.
- Investigate your Competitors. Find out your main competitors. What are they offering? What is their presentation style?
- Hook them from the first paragraph. Remember, statistics show that the average website reader stays for only 15 seconds. There are plenty more to read and it’s easy to click away. Be catchy, ask a question, be humourous.
- Enable your writing to be scanned. The layout is important. Most people skim read, so to ensure that the text is easily scannable you should include headers, lists, descriptive subheadings, and white space between paragraphs.
- Use the active voice. This means most of the time, not all the time. A passive sentence is “Your company’s strengths should be reflected by your logo.” The preferred active voice is “A logo should reflect your company’s strengths.” It’s clearer and more compelling.
- Encourage viewers to act. Remember, the purpose of your web copy is to encourage action. You may want visitors to make a purchase, subscribe to your blog, or phone you, etc. The “call to action” will appear in numerous places on the website.
- Use a heading hierarchy. Your headings need to denote the importance of the site’s parts. So, the page title is H1 while cascading sections are often H2 and H3 – used by the search engine. Use of font weight and size and of underlines will enable scanning by the reader.