Towards the end of last week, I was asked what’s involved in writing SEO copy. From my side of the fence, I know what’s involved, but I guess a lot of people still wonder what I do.
Which led me to question if you, as readers of Writing For SEO, have a clear view of the stages required to produce SEO copy.
I’ve covered most of what’s needed in a range of posts, but to save you working out how the process fits together, here’s what needs to be covered from beginning to end – although when working for a client parts of the process may be covered by other people or other parts of a larger project.
Stage 1: What do you want to achieve with your site?
Be clear about your business goals. Or just your goals. Perhaps your site is a personal blog or hobby site.
Write them down, so that they don’t slip from your attention as you move through the stages.
- Increase traffic by 50% with two months
- Double sales within a year
- Launch a new section of the website to sell a new range of products by May 25
- To provide support for your local Parent Teacher Association
Ask yourself the awkward questions about the purpose of your site.
Stage 2: What keywords do you want to target?
Ask yourself what key phrases you think people might use to reach your site.
Again, make a list – preferably in a text editor, so you can easily cut and paste into research tools, reports and proposals.
Stage 3: Research what people are actually searching on
I covered this previously on Writing For SEO. Briefly, you need to find some alternatives and check how many searches are being made on the key phrases.
Stage 4: Assess the competition for the key phrases
This is a tough one because there’s not really the ideal tool out there for this. So much so, that my colleague Paul Silver built one for us to use.
Stage 5: Select the key phrases you want to use
Group key phrases together into themes so that you can apply two or three of them to a post/page.
Stage 6: Write your content
- Write headlines and subheads using your chosen key phrases
- Use the key phrase naturally in your copy
- Write your title, keyword and description tag – it’s worth the effort to complete them, even though they’re not as important as they were ten or more years ago – while keeping within the recommended maximum number of characters
- Keep an eye on key phrase densities – maybe not going as far as to actually measuring them, but don’t go stuffing your copy to level of extreme discomfort with key phrases
Stage 7: Read/edit/polish
This is at least as important as writing the content. It’s where everything comes together and your content becomes ready for the world (or your client).
Take a look at this post on creating professional content.
Stage 8: Publish!
Publishing isn’t the end, though. Have a good look at your content live on the site, just in case there are formatting problems.
You may also find the odd typo that has found its way through.
That’s a brief overview of SEO copywriting. What do you think? Do you want to add anything? Or think I’m labouring the point?
Thanks to David Turnbull for making his image available.