Getting to know what SEO keywords are
More than sixty thousand searches go through Google every single day. I- and others- cannot stress enough the importance of SEO. Without it, you are basically invisible.
Google has an algorithm that it uses to rank pages and websites that are searched for. Updating your website to please this algorithm is this fabulous marketing practice that we call SEO!
Understanding the exact mechanics of the algorithm is for the aficionados (which is mainly trial and error as Google is not very forthcoming with the exact algorithm facets they focus on). But there are some general guiding principles that you can work with to ensure that you’re in the game. And I can promise that if you’re not even covering the basics, then you are not even in the game, let alone have a chance against your competitors.
Perhaps the easiest and quickest strategy is to have a look at your words. Do they match searchable content? Have you done your SEO keyword research to make sure you are optimising your website for keywords that actually gets searched for?
Are you making use of semantic and longtail keywords as well? Keyword search terms are becoming more complex. Recently at least half of search terms are four words or more, making longtail keywords become increasing important. That means it’s more important for me to optimise for a longtail keyword phrase such as ‘hiring a great copywriting service’ as opposed to ‘copywriter’.
It’s important to strategically base your content (written and images) around your primary keywords and other relevant key terms as much as possible without making the content sounding naff. But make sure you don’t overdo it with keyword stuffing or keyword cannibalization. Search engines will recognise this and will not rank your site. It’s quite the precarious balance!
Modern SEO best practices places more of an emphasis on quality of a website, rather than quantity of keywords. This means it’s more important to have relevant and useful content on your site rather than a lot of “spammy” content and sites linking to yours.
Keywords are a major ally in boosting your SEO. What words will people search with to find you in the chaos that is the internet? These are the words that you will use that sum up what your website is all about. It’s a good idea to create a list of these words with a reputable keyword planner. I love SEMrush, even though it's expensive it's definitely worth it for searching keywords, content and outreach ideas and seeing how you rank for certain words.
Once you have your keywords identified, you have a base from which you can work and build your static website writing around, plan your webpages, know what images you should upload and what your blogging topics will focus on.
Want someone to search keywords for you?
Three top keyword tips for blogging:
Keyword tip 1
Having a blog helps particularly if it is part of your website. Ranking is affected by how recent the content is and with a blog you are updating your content frequently.
Keyword tip 2
If you are a location based service, rather than just existing online, make sure you use your city and/or state as one of your most prominent keywords. This will help when people are searching. For example, someone may type “robes Hobart” to search for a robe in Hobart. If you sell robes and are located in Hobart or online, you should definitely utilise these keywords.
Keyword tip 3
Make sure when you upload your images, you are including keywords in their image names and titles as well as their “alt titles”. If you are using WordPress you’ll have both of these fields to fill in when you upload your images. The word must pertain to the image; otherwise you are in violation of Google’s policy. If you violate too many of Google’s rules you are at risk of being penalised by having poor rankings and nobody wants that!
This post contains affiliate links which I genuinely do recommend.
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You may also like... SEO content writing articles
Below is a boilerplate template you can use to map out your content article. Once you've written it, using this content article template, you can add all the SEO features and juice.
This has to be incredibly attention grabbing and hook the reader in. I recommend leaving this until the very last, after you have written your content article and can sum it up in a few words. Here's how to write a heading.
Not always necessary but often used if there is some additional information that doesn’t work within your really catchy heading.
Add your "lead sentence" and summarise the story or post (this is where you can use the six questions that you'll find in the Writing Great Content Articles course). If the reader cannot understand what the topic is about from the first sentence, then you need to tighten it. The key topic needs to be in this paragraph and it needs to continue the reader’s interest from the headline.
You might also like Three SEO Writing Secrets Revealed.
Include more details to flesh out the topic that you outlined in the first paragraph. Details that are relevant here might include statistics or secondary information that is not as vital as the first paragraph yet is still supportive of the overall message. This can have a lot of “why” focus, so emotive language or the reason why an event is being held or a new product or service is launched or why you are writing about a certain topic.
Quotes from someone relevant to the story and the more credible or senior the person is, the better. Each quote should make one point and a few sentences is more than enough. It should be memorable and punchy.
Any additional relevant information. This is a good place where you might like to reflect on past occurrences of your topic or you can talk more in depth about the organisation that you’re writing about.
Tie off your post with a sentence or two and connect back to the original topic. For example...
And there you go, that's your content article template in a nutshell.
If you want to deep dive into writing better, check out my Writing the Perfect Content Article course.
Here are some examples of my content articles that I have written for my copywriting clients:
Marketing strategy template
What are your top three strategic goals for your business in 2019? And what marketing activities will you undertake to achieve them?
Have no idea? I've created a marketing strategy template that will help you work out all this and more.
Get one sent straight to your inbox (for zero cost) by signing up to my enewsletter list
Without a marketing strategy, you are basically just spending a heap of money and time on marketing activities with no real direction. Because humans change their mind frequently, you could be enthusiastic about your digital marketing to achieve a goal without results and then change direction without warning the next week! With a marketing strategy, you're more likely to stay on course until you achieve that goal, whether it be to make more sales, improve your branding or reach more people.
Need marketing assistance? Or want to check out my other marketing templates?
Brand story writing tips
The best way to stand out and get attention in today’s media saturated world is by telling a compelling brand story. Brand stories create a consistent relatable story arc that shows what your brand has to offer by showing what you really care about and what you stand for as a company.
Without a brand story, the rest of your communications not only fall flat but will be inconsistent with each other and be devoid of emotion. I recommend really nailing your brand story before proceeding further with your other communications materials.
Big corporations like Coca-Cola and Apple have long realised the power of using their unique brand story to build connections with their audience. Below is all you need to know about writing a compelling brand story.
Brand storytelling tips
A compelling brand story should be able to generate consumer trust straight away and not just any story will do. Your brand story should have the right elements to stimulate emotion and connect with the reader. Here’s how you can do that:
Your story should show brand personality
A brand story is not an impersonal thing like a clickbait or a marketing tool, instead, it is a way of showing brand persona. A great brand story should be driven by your brand’s personality whilst clearly demonstrating who work for you. And don’t forget the people who have been instrumental in your business’s growth and success! Most big tech brands today share their personality by telling the stories behind their creation, think of Steve Jobs and Apple or Jeff Bezos and Amazon.
However, your brand story shouldn’t end up being an individual’s biography. Rather, it should tell the evolution of the brand, showing how it was inspired by an individual’s personality and it should definitely be a relatable journey (at least in the beginning). This way, it provides someone real that your customers can trust, since people are more likely to trust other people rather than an abstract concept or corporation.
Your story should connect with your customers
At its core, your brand story isn’t really about your company. Its goal is to establish a connection with your customers. Therefore, it should be able to tell your customers that you understand them and you’re on their side. It should also be able to make your brand relatable and distinguishable. For example, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company was able to raise millions of dollars by creating a brand story that connects people to its non toxic household goods products.
‘Research indicates that the human brain responds to the descriptive power of stories in deeply affecting ways, influencing both the sensory and motor cortex. To read a story is to feel an experience and to synchronise our minds with the subject of the story,’ Neil Patel states.
Your story should be simple
A simple brand story is better and easier to tell whereas an overly complex story can erode trust. Every good story has a beginning, a middle and an end and your brand story should follow this fundamental structure. No matter how bulky the description of your brand’s story it should conceptually follow the following process:
Your story should shape your existence
A compelling brand story should describe the whole reason for the existence of your company. Explaining why your brand exists builds trust and answers the question of why people should buy from you. Just like the way the TOMS shoe company shows that for every pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair to someone in need. This explains the reason why they exist, to improve the lives of those in need. It also helps to elicit empathy and altruism in whoever reads their brand story, which is a very powerful motivator within humans.
Remember this iconic television commercial from Chanel No. 5? It employs classic storytelling techniques and has a clearly identifiable brand story that provides the foundation for their infamous product.
Remember, by answering the question of why your brand exists with a story, you can build the trust of your customers. It’s also worth refining the tone of voice and getting the structure super clear and readable. Don’t just ramble on with whimsical overwritten blurbs just because they sound fun. It might pay to revisit the five building block questions of writing.
Overall, a terrific brand story is a powerful way of building a foundation of trust and establishing a business that people want to align themselves to and which breeds loyalty.
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Marketing book for success
The Thirty Days to Conscious Success book is a workbook for those of you who are serious about success in your business.
It’s more than a book; it’s a thirty day program to eke out creative ideas and flood your marketing plan with easy to implement activities that will heighten the reach of your business or services.
Packed with useful marketing information and thought generating activities, this guide will take your promotional efforts from dull to dazzling in only a month. The mindful exercises and in depth exploration will also prove to be inspirational and transformational journey.
Each activity is cleverly crafted to connect you with your inner self as well as truly have an impact on your business.
Written with creative, complementary and wellness businesses and services in mind, you will use this book as a personal course to creating and implementing a marketing plan.
Best of all, it’s a lot of fun.
You’re just thirty days away from enormous success.
How to write a great SEO article
Sure, you have to be creative when it comes to SEO article writing. But there are also also handy tricks and tips that you need to keep in mind when writing for SEO.
This SEO article will cover:
Put your readership (which is your target demographic) first. Write how they want to hear things and solve their problems. Straight up give them the information they need, that they are searching Google for and that will generally make their lives easier.
The guru of SEO, Neil Patel, says ‘Your content needs to accomplish two goals: first, appeal to the end-user (customers, clients, prospects, readers, etc.) and second, solve a particular problem.’
For example, you’ve most likely come to this content article because you’ve searched how to write a SEO article. And I’m spelling it out as best I can and lay out all the right information you need to write an epic post.
What I often do when writing an article or web copy that I want optimised, is to write it as natural and best fitting to the audience as possible. It’s only after I’ve written the article to the best of my ability do I insert keywords. I don’t include them arbitrarily but where they can sit naturally without damaging the flow of the writing. But don’t misunderstand me because with most content writing, the keyword will inform the topic that I write about, so it’s important to do your keyword research from the absolute beginning.
Title and headlines
You need to include your keyword in your page title and your heading, once only. These are two separate facets of your content writing. The page title forms one of your meta tags and your heading (or headline) is your <h1> or <h2> tags.
It’s often suggested to put your keyword towards the front of your headline but you still need it to be super catchy and natural sounding. How to write great headlines.
Use your SEO keywords in your body text. In the olden days of SEO (AKA ten years ago), keyword stuffing was a surefire way to make you rank better. These days you will stuff yourself up if you do so. Google will recognise when you are doing so and penalise you as such. Plus, your readers will just be left shaking their heads.
I can’t give you a magic number of times to use your keyword in one piece because I want you to focus on making the content article sounding natural and flowing. But if you’ve only included the keyword once in one thousand words and one semantic keyword, you might need to hire a SEO copywriter. Know any good ones? Kidding.
However, it’s purported that on page keyword usage is as important as 15.04 per cent of Google’s ranking algorithm. So that should give you an indication of the time and attention you should give just to your keywords alone.
It’s beneficial to include your keyword at the start of your article body. I aim for the first three words or the first sentence at best. Unless it sounds awkward and forced, then I forego it. Because great writing always comes first, right? ‘Quality has become the #1 ranking factor in Google, especially since the Google Panda and Penguin updates.’
Essentially, you need to write an entertaining and informative article. SEO writing is a little like juggling or doing a puzzle: each piece is as important as the other and they all need to fit together until it makes a whole picture.
In summary, here are the most important factors— or secrets— of SEO writing, particularly if you are new to it:
Copywriting squeeze pages
It is almost impossible to surf the net for more than a couple of minutes without encountering a number of squeeze pages. This is not surprising since email marketing is considered one of the most powerful marketing tools, with an average ROI of 3800%. There are several email marketing activities that are great at capturing email addresses and building your enews database but the one that has incredibly effective results is a squeeze page.
What is a squeeze page?
A squeeze page is a type of landing page that is designed for one specific purpose; to “squeeeeeze” an email address and a name out of you prospective clients that land on the page.
When looking to collect personal information from internet users who strive to remain anonymous at all costs, you have to employ a lot of guile. Squeeze pages are designed to lure website visitors to put in their personal details (an email address and name, and in some cases a phone number) in exchange for a reward such as more information, a discount, a tangible or digital asset or a free service.
To achieve this, there has to be a form of subtle pressure designed to compel website visitors to fill in their details. This is usually done using expert web copywriting, deliberate colour schemes and purposeful layouts to place your offer in the best possible light while asking for just a measly email address.
Five steps to writing a valuable squeeze page
1. Create an enticing offer that has some value
How often have you seen this phrase – 'To download XXXXX, simply enter your email here.' Your enticing offer can be anything: a free ebook, software, template, webinar, online course or design aid that is important enough for the visitor to want to give up their email. The important thing being is that it has some specific benefits, particularly to the reader.
Think along the lines of:
2. Let your customers do the talking
Customer reviews have influenced an extraordinary amount of buyer decisions, with some reports suggesting 93 per cent of people impacted by online reviews.
Allowing your customers to do the talking builds trust as this shows prospective customers what they will experience if they use your product or service. You might remember we’ve talked about this in terms of social proof. It’s also just common sense as a customer would rather trust another customer’s (who they see as unbiased) review than any marketing material you may have.
3. Spend time copywriting your page content
Copywriting is the act of writing content with the aim of advertising, marketing or increasing brand awareness. Copywriting is absolutely necessary because we are all lazy readers, especially when it comes to online content; your visitors are more likely to scan and skim through the page content. So great copywriting will help them do just that with a bold headline, compelling subheadings, captivating pictures and prominent CTA buttons.
4. Keep it simple
No, really! You have to keep things really simple to the point when it would even make sense to anyone and everyone. Simplicity sells and using clear concise statements will make your copywriting easy to understand and skim. Opt for simple short sentences using basic words to describe exactly what you want to say.
5. End things with a compelling CTA
Your call to action button will be the deciding factor on whether your squeeze page converts (turns someone into a reader to an actual sale) or not. One website saw a 321 per cent increase in opt ins when they provided visitors with a compelling reason to subscribe.
Visitors usually spend a short time deciding whether to opt in to your offer and a button that says ‘Yes, I want the free report,’ is more likely to convert than one that says ‘Download report.’ Adding the super, all time converting word free is also a good way to increase the chances of them clicking on your offer.
Here's exactly why you need a content writing strategy for your website
The purpose of a content strategy is to create thorough, enticing and meaningful content writing that draws in more website traffic and ultimately attracts the right kind of customer that sees you as the best choice when it comes to your industry.
Additionally, a content strategy will provide you with a sustainable way of creating and posting content without burning out.
‘Content strategy helps organizations provide the right content, to the right people, at the right times, for the right reasons,’ Content Marketing Institute.
Content writing and creation is still super important to your marketing and SERP results. ‘57% of marketers rated relevant content creation as being among their most effective SEO tactics.’ If you’re investing a lot of time into content creation, it absolutely pays to get it right from the start and have an overarching long term plan.
Here are five reasons why you need to invest in a content strategy.
You won’t have to spend ages wondering what topic to write about
How long does it take you to come up with the perfect blog post topic? Five minutes? An hour? Twenty days? It can be either of these and if your content plan requires you to put out a weekly post, that adds up to about fifty hours a year that you spend tossing up what to write about. That’s fifty hours of the year you could dedicate to client service, meeting new clients or giving keynote presentations or completing an extra project.
Content article topics will be crafted to speak to direct goals and audience
Don’t spend six months writing about irrelevant things that don’t do anything for your website traffic or boosting your SEO. Get it right from the start.
A content strategy will also help you avoid writing about the same category of topics over and over again, ensuring there is an even spread throughout the year, in alignment with your marketing objectives, world holidays and celebrations and any industry relevant events.
Plus, a content strategy will break it down and inform exactly what each post needs to entail, the title to use and any relevant key points to cover. Each post will be keyword matched, ensuring you’re putting your best SEO foot forward!
Your content articles will speak to each other
Content articles and blog posts will never be an afterthought and you can link each post to other relevant site content, build on from other topics and create a solid online asset for your business. Relevant categories (that again speak to your keywords) will be set up and ensure there is adequate content for each.
Consistency and reliability
Picture this: you have some spare time to work on marketing in February so you post a great blog post every week for four weeks. Then the leads start coming in, so you are swamped with client work and neglect the blog content for another six months. The leads and enquiries via your website start to go quieter so you hastily add other short and poorly written blog posts that aren’t really that relevant but you couldn’t come up with a right topic quickly.
Now picture this scenario:
Your content strategy tells you exactly what to write and when for the rest of the year, so you have dedicated half a day per week (or similar) to creating the right content and publishing a regular post. Your website always has an abundance of content that is regularly updated and the leads and enquiries are regularly coming in each week. Your SEO is not only steady but it is improving with the fresh, well thought out content.
And because the planning has been taken care of and you know what research has to be done and what resources are required, the blog posts are well written and helpful for your target audience.
Furthermore, you’ve had time to carefully plot out a marketing strategy to share the regular content which means it reaches more people and a wider audience. Before too long, you’ve developed a reputation for providing consistent and reliable information that attracts regular readers back to your site.
You’ll always be clear on your why
It’s not uncommon to get so wrapped up in your next bit of creative content that you completely dismiss why you are doing it. It’s only after you’ve posted a two thousand word article on the importance of the colour blue you realise that it has nothing to do with your business marketing objectives of getting more clients interested in taking out home loans.
You’ll waste valuable time and confuse your existing audience. A content plan will list your objectives and your “why” and help you always prioritise your clear message.
'The moment we stopped saying, “We’re pool builders,” and started saying, “We are the best teachers in the world about Fiberglass pools and we just happen to install them as well,”… that was one of the most prosperous days of our lives.' Case study.
Writing structure: five terms you need to know
Copywriting is a tricky artform which can really power up your marketing assets. If you're new to copywriting or even creative writing, there are some fundamentals that you need to learn before you embark on your content writing journey. Here are five fundamental elements of writing structure that you need to learn.
Read more about excellent writing structure here.
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Need a freelance copywriter? Hire me today.
One of the most make or break things about professional writing is the structure and it absolutely pays to get it right.
Structure is the order of ideas. More specifically, when it comes to professional communication and writing, it's about looking at the way your assets are structured. Learning the fundamentals of structure are incredibly important so that you can apply it to your own writing and achieve successful results.
Building block questions
In every piece of writing, you need to look at the basic storytelling building block questions that are to be answered in the research phase. These answers to these fundamental questions will form the basis of the information of your piece of writing.
In addition to these building block questions, it pays to be clear on the following aspects of structure:
Ten writing tips for structuring your work
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