SEO copywriting significantly helps in creating valuable content to improve a website’s search engine rankings. It makes a brand searchable, trustworthy, and very credible. In turn, it can help make a traffic-generating and profitable blog, create engaging marketing resources, and improve brand awareness.
Another benefit of search engine optimization copywriting is that it can provide useful and informative content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience, and you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Furthermore, it helps to increase website conversions by providing easy-to-understand and clear language. As a result, it allows users to take action more easily, like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
If you’re unsure about how to do SEO copywriting and properly integrate it with branded content, this blog is perfect for you. By the end of it, you will understand the different elements of SEO copywriting your branded content should have to rank in search engines and get clicked on by users generated from organic traffic.
So if you’re ready, let’s start writing.
How To Create Branded Content That Ranks
Traditional marketers seldom put in the time, skill, and knowledge required to craft high-quality and engaging content, unlike online marketers. That’s good news for you if you’re willing to create branded content the right way, because it means more chances of dominating the online marketing sphere.
Here are five strategies commonly used by an SEO content writer to craft engaging and high-performing SEO content. Each one focuses on the three main steps of the content creation process:
- Plan: Conduct audience and keyword research.
- Create: Craft value-packed content that readers find helpful.
- Optimize: Fine-tune your content using SEO best practices and copywriting tools.
1. Get To Know Your Target Audience
Keep your audience in mind. Knowing your audience is the first step to any kind of SEO content marketing, business plan, and excellent customer acquisition strategies.
Take the example of a successful branded content campaign–Dove’s popular Real Beauty Campaign. It revealed surprising statistics that less than 4% of women in the world consider themselves “beautiful”.
The brand’s SEO copywriter managed to use negative data to its advantage and turned that narrative into a positive one. Dove set out to create a campaign that would make a difference with their target market–countless women’s lives across the globe.
This marketing campaign became successful and led to an impressive $4 billion sales over three years. There are two things that this excellent example teaches us.
First, getting to know your audience can bring you great marketing content ideas. Second, you can use this strategy for your own business.
It all begins with simply getting to know your target audience so you can create branded content that resonates, is relevant, and will be easily engaged with.
But how do you do that? For starters, you can identify your target audience by:
- Demographic research: Look at statistics such as age, gender, income, education level, and occupation to understand the demographics of your ideal customer.
- Psychographic research: Understand the lifestyle, values, interests, and opinions of your ideal customer to gain insight into their motivations and behaviour.
- Buyer personas: Create a detailed representation of your ideal customer based on your research.
- Analytics: Use tools such as Google Analytics to track the behaviour of visitors to your website and identify patterns in terms of demographics, interests, and purchase history.
- Surveys and interviews: Conduct customer surveys or interviews to gather feedback on your products or services and identify the needs and pain points of your target audience.
- Competitor research: Look at the target audience of your competitors to understand who they are trying to reach, pinpoint a competitor keyword, and identify any gaps in the market.
It’s important to note that your target audience may change over time as your business and the market evolve. So it’s essential to review and update your target audience research periodically.
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your branding, marketing, language, and product development efforts to meet their specific needs and preferences.
As you’ve just read, the information you collect makes it easy to create content that answers your audience’s questions and is aligned with their needs. This will help you in creating value-packed content.
2. Perform Proper Keyword Research For User Intent
Keyword research for search intent is a ranking factor that involves understanding the words and phrases people use to find products or information related to your business and then using that information to create content that matches those search queries. Here are a few steps you can take to conduct keyword research for search intent:
- Start with a list of seed keywords: These are the exact keywords or phrases you think people might use to find your products or services.
- Use keyword research tools: Tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush can help you find related keywords and see how many people are searching for them each month (search volume).
- Analyze the search intent behind your keywords: Look at the different types of content that appear in the search results for each keyword usage. Are they informational, transactional, or navigational? This can help you understand the intent behind the search and create content that matches it.
- Group similar keywords together: Organize your keywords into groups based on their keyword intent and theme. This will help you create more targeted and effective content.
- Optimize your content for specific keywords: Once you’ve identified the keywords that you want to target, make sure to include them in your content in a way that is natural and readable for humans, but also search engine friendly.
- Monitor your keyword performance: Continuously monitor your keyword performance. After some time, update your content accordingly and make necessary changes to the targeted keywords if it’s not giving the desired result.
By following these steps, you can create content that matches the search engine algorithms and improve your chances of ranking well in search engine results.
But there’s one crucial thing to note…
You must always use the voice of the customer (or VoC). VoC is a term used to describe user experience or customer feedback.
It focuses on your customer’s experiences with your company, their product-related needs, likes and dislikes, misconceptions, etc. If you’re active online, you can find most of these on your social media platforms.
Involving VoC in your keyword research will help ensure that you incorporate the right keywords in your content strategy development and storytelling. It will also help you know what issues and challenges to tackle in your content.
3. Write Useful And Intent-Based Content
Your next step is to tie the first two steps together. Determine your audience’s needs, pain points, interests, search behaviour, and find the proper keywords for it. With that, you can create useful and intent-based content.
Writing useful and intent-based content is a copywriting technique that involves understanding the needs and wants of your target audience and creating content that addresses those needs and helps them achieve their goals. Here are a few steps you can take to write useful and intent-based content:
- Understand your target audience: Identify your target audience by researching their demographics, interests, and pain points. The more you understand your target audience, the better you will be able to create content that addresses their needs.
- Identify the user intent: Understand the user intent behind the search and create content that matches it. This could be informational, transactional, or navigational content.
- Research your topic: Research your topic thoroughly to ensure that your content is accurate, informative, and up-to-date.
- Use a compelling headline: Use a headline that accurately reflects the content of your article and is compelling enough to make people want to read more.
- Use images and videos: Include images and videos in your content to break up text and make it more visually appealing. This can help to increase engagement and make your content more shareable.
- Optimize for SEO: Optimize your content for search engines by including relevant keywords and meta tags, and also follow the best practices for on-page SEO.
- Use a clear and easy-to-read format: Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and other formatting options to make your content easy to read and scan.
- Write in an active voice: Write in an active voice. This will make the content more natural, easy to read, and get you more chances for an organic ranking.
- End with a call-to-action: Include call-to-action buttons (CTA) at the end of your content that encourage readers to take the next step, whether it’s to purchase a product, sign up for a service, or learn more about a topic.
By following these steps, you can create useful, intent-based content that addresses the needs of your target audience and helps them achieve their primary goal.
4. Format For Maximum Readability And Engagement
Searchers do more scanning than reading. The last thing people want when they land on your website or blog is to be confronted with a giant wall of text. This ruins an easily scannable and navigational experience.
Try reading this content (Blog Post A):
You probably didn’t even read halfway through this paddle board piece because of the article structure it has. It needs a bit more work to get readers engaged. Otherwise, they will go to another website and read up on the same topic. This style is bad for your SEO strategy as well.
So what’s a simple solution for this? You need to make it easy for customers to get the information they need from your website by making your content scannable.
Take note that human attention span is steadily decreasing over the past few decades and is currently at an all-time low. This means you have to work harder than ever before to capture and keep your readers’ attention.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through pattern interruption.
Pattern interruption is where you use different formatting techniques to keep readers hooked on your content by making it flow in an easy-to-digest way. Here’s a perfect example from this Words With Friends Cheat content made by Unscramblex (Blog Post B).
Here’s how to achieve maximum readability:
- Leave lots of white spaces (also called negative space) on your pages.
- Use short sentences and even shorter paragraphs like what you can find in this hotel review content. Marketers leverage this in their ads to increase their conversion rate.
- Use bold/italics/capitalization to highlight important information and direct the reader’s attention.
- Use lists and bullets to enhance content scannability.
- Use bucket brigades (aka signal phrases) such as “Here’s the thing”, “Want to know the best part?”, “Get this”, “Pretty sweet, right?”, or “It gets better” to make your content flow.
You can also utilize sticky plugins for the table of contents to keep track of reading progress, like what you can find on the left side of this career mapping content, to make it more scannable.
Ultimately, this serves as a signal to Google that your content is relevant, and the search engine will reward you with higher rankings for your branded content.
5. Optimize Your Content (For Google And Your Audience)
For compelling content, especially with comprehensive guides, you need to create user-friendly content that attracts readers and earns Google’s trust.
If you follow the content formatting strategies outlined above, you will create high-quality, useful, and engaging content for your audience, giving good metrics to outrank your competitors.
Expert Advice From A Content Creator
Leverage social media automation tools to gather more insight on how to format engaging content your audience will love.
People prefer optimized content, which is an important factor to Google because the search giant aims to provide search engine results with the best and most relevant content to their users’ queries.
The bottom line is if you want your website content to rank high on search engine rankings, it should satisfy the following criteria:
- It must provide clear next steps.
- It should improve the depth of coverage.
- Your content should strengthen topical relevance.
- The content also needs to ensure alignment with user search intent.
But how exactly do you achieve all that? Here are ways to optimize your content for Google:
Tactic 1: Write Informational Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are short text snippets you can add to web pages and blog posts. It’s a crucial on-page SEO addition. The text shows up on search results pages and provides both readers and search engines with an idea of what the content is about.
If you want users to click on your content (which would ultimately lead to higher rankings), then you need to write informational meta descriptions that follow these points:
- They are unique for each page.
- They include the target/primary keywords.
- They are the right character count (135-160 characters).
- They include a call to action to compel users to click through.
Below is an example of a detailed meta description for an article that helps readers choose a website builder for their small business.
(screenshot made from a Google search)
Tactic 2: Write Headlines That Stand Out
Headlines aid in creating effective copies that have high click-through rates. If no one clicks on your titles to read your content, then search engines have no reason to rank it high. That’s why you need to create headlines that stand out and compel users to click through to the article.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
3.1 Use Numbers
It’s been shown that numbers, particularly prime numbers (e.g. 5, 7, 9, etc.), can help your headline stand out in search results and be more likely to be clicked on.
3.2 Leverage Emotion
The decisions people make are almost always driven by emotion. That’s why it’s crucial to use emotions as part of your strategy for creating branded content.
Your audience research will tell you exactly what they care about. You can then use that information to make your headline more compelling by being specific and speaking to what your readers care about.
3.3 Use Power Words
Substitute power words for ordinary words in your writing to create a deeper connection with your readers and trigger some sort of action.
For instance, if you want to convey authenticity, you might use the words “data-driven”, “science-backed”, or “foolproof”. To convey encouragement, you might use words like “miraculous”, “life-changing”, etc.
3.4 Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Don’t confuse it with product pages like this kids’ mask online store that needs to use the same search term over and over again. The same keywords can be used for repetitive products because they also act as product descriptions. But for most types of content other than this, you have to be careful with keyword stuffing.
Knowing the right combination of keywords in your content isn’t enough to get you to the top of the rankings. You also need to know where and how to use these keywords in your content.
An on-point example is this MBA training platform content. It would be unwise to have the target keyword “MBA training” appear too often. Instead, they used secondary keywords, synonyms, and long-tail keywords to vary things slightly, like what you can see in the highlighted text below:
Fortunately, tools like Yoast SEO can help you determine the right keyword density for your articles to avoid the Google penalties that come from overusing keywords.
Tactic 3: Build Links
Link building helps search engines to find new web pages and relevant websites about a topic. Backlinks and internal links are particularly important for SEO and help your branded content perform even better.
Backlinks serve as a “vote of confidence” from one website to another. At the same time, internal links allow you to redirect readers to your other content.
When search engines see many sites linking to your content, they will infer that it’s relevant, useful, and packed full of value and surface it high on the SERPs.
And don’t forget to use lots of appealing visuals, including images, screenshots, infographics, videos, and memes, when crafting branded content. Remember, the more unique your content is, the better your chances of ranking higher.
When choosing images, keep in mind that they shouldn’t just be decorative but informative. It’s best if you can stick to infographics, screenshots, or diagrams. This is especially crucial for a highly technical piece of content like this streaming data pipeline content. Without the diagrams and infographics, it’ll be harder to grasp key concepts.
Tactic 4: Use SEO Copywriting Tools
(screenshot made after pasting content in our Clearscope account)
Nowadays, there are tons of marketing automation tools to make things easier for you as a marketer. But only some tools can enhance your content marketing results the way SEO copywriting tools can.
SEO tools like Yoast SEO, Clearscope, Ahrefs, Semrush, and Surfer SEO can help you create quality content that is more relevant, actionable, and better aligned than a non-optimized copy. You can also utilize WordPress and Shopify extensions to make the work easier.
They make it easier for you to produce content that users love and Google ranks (instead of the usual fluffy, valueless content often seen online).
This will net you tons of benefits, namely:
- Get more return visitors.
- Drive more search traffic to your site.
- Improve average dwell time on your site.
- Increase readability and engagement and, therefore, lower bounce rate.
- Boost conversion rate optimization on your lead-generation landing pages.
All this translates to more leads, conversions, sales, and revenue.
Getting the right balance between satisfying search engines and providing value to your target audience is always a dance on the wire rope. But with the right tactics and strategies, the journey of ranking your branded content while providing value to your audience will be much easier.
Start by knowing your target audience and combine those insights with proper keyword research. It will get you a solid foundation for your campaigns and other strategies. The data you get will significantly aid you in making valuable content.
Which of these SEO copywriting strategies do you intend to implement first? If you need a helping hand with your internet marketing journey, book a 20-minute strategy call today! We can’t wait to help transform the way you leverage digital marketing. Call 866-208-3095 or contact us here.