In defiance of almost all copywriting advice, I’m going to kick off with a cliché – here goes;


The single most important thing about writing copy for the web is that you should always, always put your actual human audience first and foremost, writing useful, interesting stuff that people want to read.


You can apply all the on-page SEO techniques you want but, if your content’s shocking, there’s no tweak that will drag it up the rankings.

So having said that, why do you need to know about SEO Copywriting?

We all know that online, our words are everything. They’re what entice people in and they’re a large part of what keeps them hanging around. They’re what will make them want to come back – and what encourages them to get others to come and hang around too.

But before they can do any of that, your words need to show up. 

And that’s where SEO Copywriting comes in. And it’s why, if you’ve got a business that has any presence online or on social media, you do need it in your life.

SEO Copywriting gets your Content to the Party

Google’s mission statement is:

“To organise the World’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

A Search Engine’s whole existence is based on its ability to serve up the most relevant result for the search term typed in. Every algorithm change just makes that process more sophisticated – so now, we can use whole target phrases as opposed to individual keywords for example, because now they can understand the intent of a search.

SEO Copywriting is how we give Search Engines the right cues so they can find, understand and organise your content – so they’re able to produce it at the right time.

We’ve already talked about how good web copywriting is just good copywriting. The only difference is that web copywriting builds in those cues – a few tweaks in SEO’s favour. 

Those tweaks should be indistinguishable to a reader, but they help Search Engines and social media algorithms to easily decipher your copy. 

By writing with SEO in mind, you’re just helping your hard work get found and organised. You’re making sure it’s at the party.

And it’s a win win situation for you. By optimising your content for SEO, it’s going to show up for more relevant searches. That means that the traffic you get is therefore pre-qualified, and more valuable to you.

So how can you put it into place on your site? 

Here are 4 steps you can take to optimise your content.

1. Don’t skimp on the keyword research

(Is it OK to quote myself? I’m gonna do it…)

“There’s no doubt; slogging away for hours over a blog only to watch it sink without a trace is pretty soul destroying.”

From “3 Simple Steps to boost your blog’s Google Rank” by me ? for Social Bee NI

It takes precious time to write something – or at least it should if you want it to be any good. And when you press publish, you do so in the hope that someone, somewhere, will appreciate the effort.

So it’s worth taking a little bit of that time to do some keyword research upfront and give your content a chance of floating near the top of that vast sea of online information.


Look for the following:

  • Look at search volume/ searcher intent to pick the best phrase choice. Sometimes it’s worth using a less popular, more specific term – it could give you a better chance to rank. 
  • Use variants on your target search term – including the high volume keywords – throughout your headings and body copy. They’ll help you change things up, and also provide more opportunities for your content to show up in the SERP.
  • Google your phrases yourself and look at what comes up – where are the gaps? How can you improve? Where will your piece fit?

Useful resources

  • Here’s a great blog from Alexa on planning SEO Content
  • Stuck for ideas? Check out the brilliant (and free) Just type in your keyword and it aggregates real search data to suggest insightful content ideas that are based on the intent of actual searches
  • Moz also have a handy (and free) keyword research tool

2. Keep your Focus with a Content Plan

Once you’ve got your main keyword phrase and variations, use them to do a plan of your content that will keep you on track while you write.

One easy trick? Type them into the page header, so you’ve got a constant reminder right in front of you while you write. 

As someone prone to going off on a tangent, this approach also helps me avoid an attack of the waffles and get through my writing more quickly. The extra time is well worth your while, I promise.

3. Apply the Technical Stuff (aka “My On Page SEO Checklist”)

So you’ve got your basic blog or page down. Now we need to get busy with the technical stuff.

Here’s my on-page SEO checklist that I use for every piece of client or LVGV content I write.

You should use your target keyphrases and/ or variants in the following:

  • Your Title Tag (see my tips on crafting a great Title Tag here)
  • The meta description
  • The URL
  • Your H1 (top tip – change it up and increase your ranking potential by using one of your key phrase variants in your H1 instead of duplicating your Title Tag)
  • As many H2 subheaders as you reasonably can without ruining your copy
  • The body copy – Search Engines will take information from the whole page, not just the tags
  • Image file names – here’s an easy one that people often miss. Before you upload your images, optimise the file names to include relevant keywords or phrases
  • Image alt-text
  • Anchor text links to other pages on your site, especially your Pillar page for that topic (if relevant) and your homepage (this is usually already there by default – it’s the clickable logo you see at the top of the page)

Click here to grab this OnPage SEO Checklist in handy PDF form – it’s free!

4. Hitting publish isn’t the end…

Don’t just publish and forget it – keep a beady eye on your metrics after your content goes live because, if you’re not placing as you’d hoped, there are plenty of SEO tweaks you can do to help your content rank better.

To narrow down the issue, you can look at the following:

Your Click Through Rate

If this is low, look at optimising your Title Tag and meta description. And work on them one by one because, like any testing, you’ll only be able to pinpoint the issue if you change only one variable at a time.

Your Bounce rate

If people are bouncing quickly off your site, it could be that they don’t think your content is relevant to their search term once they start reading.

You could look at your intro. Does it match well with and deliver on the title tag and meta description they clicked on? Is it compelling?

Is your title tag and H1 header as good as it could be?

As Buffer say:

“Amazing content behind a weak headline probably won’t get seen.”

Again, this is one element that is really worth the extra time. 

Another key tip is to make your key content scannable by including it in subheaders and lists where appropriate. I’m sure we’ve all heard the one about how little time people actually spend reading your content (55% of people read for 15 seconds or less, say Buffer. Sob). 

You can’t change how people behave – all you can do is make sure they can quickly pick out the value. 


This really depends on what action you want them to take, but to give you an idea:

  • For a blog post, you could start with time on page. You could also look at exit pages – have people arrived and exited from the one blog post, or have they moved to another first?
  • For pillar content, look at time on site and number of pages viewed – after all, with pillar content you’re hoping to get people clicking and moving through your site.
  • If you’re after conversions, have you made it obvious what action you want someone to take once they read your post?  

If engagement is low, then it’s worth taking a look at the copy itself. Is it compelling? Is it clear? 


If people love your content, Google will love your content. 

But there’s no harm in having a few tricks up your sleeve that will help people find and fall for your content in the first place. 

Hopefully there’s a nifty little arsenal here for you to employ for your next piece of digital copy. 

Happy writing!

Used some of these tips? Want me to go into something in more detail?

Want me to worry about your online content so you don’t have to?

Whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you – just drop me a line at

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