3 Reasons Why SEO Copywriting is Harder Than You Think

Unfortunately for SEO copywriters, helping a client’s page achieve top rankings isn’t quite as simple as writing great content and then sitting back to watch the page climb the charts. On the contrary, SEO is a science and an art (and an ever-changing one at that).

SEO is a complicated concept that would be impossible for us to discuss fully in one article, but if you start slowly, you should be able to master the basics in no time at all. Below you will find some basic truths that can help you (and your clients) understand why SEO is not nearly as straightforward as you might think.

1. It’s not just about keywords.

We mentioned in a previous article that keyword stuffing is bad for SEO, but it bears repeating. Many people (including, perhaps, some of your less-informed clients) remember “the good old days” of SEO where improving a site’s rankings was supposedly as simple as repeating your target keywords enough times to convince the search engines of yesteryear that your page was relevant to the search terms. As a copywriter, it’s possible that some of your clients will pressure or even order you to use those outdated methods.

Nowadays, though, if you use such tactics, you’ll often find that your page has terrible rankings or has even been filtered out as spam. Keywords are still important, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to employ them. The right way involves finding a balance between a believable number of carefully chosen keywords and informative content. The wrong way is keyword stuffing.

2. Linking properly is more important than most people realize.

Linking, as the very basis for the web itself, is vitally important to improving a page’s rankings. Not only will linking to other people’s pages boost their rankings, but it will help to improve your own rankings as well. Links help to build your site’s legitimacy in the eyes of search engines, but it’s important to link correctly.

For example, the pages you’re linking to need to be relevant both in terms of content and in terms of the keywords you highlight for the hyperlink. Trying to drive traffic to a friend’s blog entry on cars, for example, by hyperlinking the words “apple pie recipe” will not only annoy your readers, but it could also cost you some legitimacy in terms of SEO.

Other tips for linking include the following:

  • Don’t do it too often. If you include too many links, your readers (and the search engines) will think you’re spamming them.
  • Don’t just link to another site’s homepage. Linking to interior pages (specific blog entries or product pages, for example) can help with SEO while directing readers to the specific article you may be discussing.
  • Vary your anchor text. Sometimes linking using rich keywords that directly correspond to the destination page (e.g. “Saratoga Race Track”) will work best; other times, a simple “Click here” will flow more naturally. Don’t always feel obligated to link using keywords as your anchor text.
  • Don’t go crazy with internal links. Yes, sometimes it can be helpful to link to some of your other posts, but it’s much more effective to link to both internal posts and external websites whenever relevant.

The number one rule of linking is that it should be helpful to your readers in some way. If your readers won’t benefit from a link, it’s probably not going to help strengthen your website.

3. It takes time, even for sites with great content.

One of the worst parts about trying to improve a site’s rankings is realizing just how much time it takes. Unfortunately, no matter how great the content is, it almost always takes time for a site to become strong.

If you’re a client looking for an SEO copywriter, it’s important to understand that any SEO copywriter who claims he can bring your site to Google’s front page in a short amount of time is probably not being truthful. Building a site’s search engine strength requires consistent hard work in conjunction with time.

This is because most of the things that search engines look for to determine a website’s strength and legitimacy take time to develop. Examples include:

  • Branding
  • Consistent and recent updates
  • Comments/ feedback on entries
  • Relevant topics
  • Links to and from other websites

For these reasons, most SEO-focused copywriters or SEO firms tend to work with clients on a long term contract basis, providing constant updates and a consistent stream of content.

It’s important to avoid the above pitfalls, but above all else, it’s more important to create a site with quality content. SEO tactics are valuable, but search engines are constantly evolving. They’re becoming smarter and are beginning to rank sites in such a manner that suggests what real people have always known: that best sites are those that provide value to their readers. Does your site’s content reflect that fact?

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