SEO Copywriting Training

The great and wonderful internet is both a blessing and a curse! Adverts for SEO Copywriting Training is all over the web. Each site is vying for your hard-earned bucks. Which one should I choose?

There is a simple answer, and it is one that I stumbled upon purely by chance. That was two years ago. Today I am a lot wiser, and I get better with SEO time I write my next article. Listed below are the SEO steps that I take. It is what I have learnt, beginning with Getting Your Site Ready for Search Engines! This list is as much for me, as it is for you!

It’s All in The Headline

Headline writing is an art in itself! Every professional copywriting book on the shelves, all say pretty much the same when it comes to the headline – “It’s all in the headline!”

SEO Copywriting Training - Newspaper Headlines

They are right of course. The headline is the hook. It is merely there to catch your eye. There are hundreds of competing headlines. The art is to stand out in the crowd.

Have you ever been caught by a headline, only to find the story doesn’t match the headline, or the story contradicts the headline? Gotcha!

Regarding newspapers; The front page headlines are the most important. They not only lead you into the story, but they also exist on the front page to compete with other newspapers to get you to pick up this newspaper, over a competitor’s paper. Once you’ve bought it, you’ll read it anyway.

Search Engines Need an Introduction

Now that you have your attention-grabbing headline, you now need to introduce your content with an introductory paragraph or two. These paragraphs should lead the reader from your headline to the content or body of the article that you are writing.

Insert your keyword(s) naturally into either the first or second paragraph. My preference is the first paragraph. Search engines will sometimes use the first paragraph, as the meta description.

Title and Meta Description

The Title and Meta Description is what search engines use, to list your website along with the URL to your web-page.

Google Search - Affiliate Marketing for Baby Boomers - Displaying Title and Meta Description
The Title is taken from your heading, or your SEO Plugin if you have one installed and set.

GoogleBot gets the Meta Description from the meta tag named “description”. In my example above, the page description comes from my SEO plugin meta description, which has since been updated to match the first paragraph.

SEO Copywriting Training - Source code showing page title and meta description

For the moment, my search term “Affiliate Marketing for Baby Boomers” appears in the second paragraph. I am observing this, and I may experiment with putting this in the first paragraph.

SEO Copywriting Training - Web Page showing first two paragraphs.
Sign-up to my newsletter, I’ll keep you updated with how this progresses.

When the search engine cannot find the search term in your meta description, then the search engine will look elsewhere in your search term. If the search term exists in your first paragraph, then the likelihood is that the search engine will use that section of text.

Write For an 8th Grader

KIS – Keep it Simple – write so that an 8th grader can understand it. What does that mean? Outside the USA that means teenagers between 13 and 14! This age group equates to a Flesch Readability Score between 60 and 70. This article has a Flesch score of 77; making is “Fairly easy to read.”

Flesch Readability Scores

If you have confused or lost a young teenager, then you’ll probably lose GoogleBot! As SEO Content writers, that is the one thing you do not want to do.

Keep sentences short. Keep your paragraphs short. Two or three sentences are good. Four sentences are ok, but not too often.

However many sentences there are, keep the length of your paragraphs to around 50 words or less!

Your aim here is to maintain readability, especially on mobile devices.

Grammar and Spelling

Grammar is a tough nut to crack. No-one is perfect, but that said you must try your best to ensure that spelling is corrected and grammar is the best it can be. Nobody knows outside of Google what effect poor grammar and spelling has on your Page Authority (PA) but, several respected SEO specialists have run tests, and this has convinced them that spelling and grammar do matter.

So in the overall scheme of things, it may not be much, if you make enough SEO mistakes (even if they are small ones) cumulatively, it could be the difference to being on page one and being on page two of the search results. Take care!

Get yourself a proper grammar and spell checker.

I use Grammarly, which I have been using the “Premium” version since early 2018. It is something I use every day!

Speak to Your Reader Not Your Audience

You may be writing content for the world to read. But, only one person is reading your words. Write in the second person! What does this mean?

Talk to Me - Cup of Coffee

Make the reader feel that you are speaking directly to them, one on one! Write as if you are talking to one person. Using pronouns like “I” and “Me” would be the first person, speaking to the second person using pronouns like “You” and “Yours”.

Avoid the third person – “He”, “She” and “They” unless you are referring to a third individual, for example: “You can do this! Only the other day I spoke to Jason Smith, and he said…” is fine.

Speed is Everything – Allow For Skim Readers

It doesn’t matter if you’ve written 3,000 words. Most people will skim through your content, perhaps only pausing at what catches their eye.

So not only do I use my sub-headings to lead my readers through my content I will also highlight keywords in bold (But not too much. Use sparingly, to help the sub-headings). I do this to help my skim-readers, to read through my article in the quickest time possible and take in as much information as possible of what I am passing on to you.

The trick here is to highlight enough of the key points to support the sub-headings and still make sense, and not making the text too overpowering!

Images and Alt text

Don’t just leave your tome as one block of text. Your readers will not thank you. Let your visitors rest their eyes. You can break up your writing by inserting appropriate images.

My personal preference is to insert one image for every 500 words. But, this does vary.

Keep your image size to less than 200KB, half that if possible. Use JPG format for photos and PNG format for graphics.

Keep in mind, people with impaired vision. Add an Alt Text to all your images. I aim for 30% of the pictures to contain my focus word(s).

If you hover your mouse cursor over an image, the Alt Text should appear if it doesn’t then fix it!

SEO Copywriting Training - Images and Alt Text

Check your post on mobile devices. Keep your images (and videos) “below the fold” – this is a phrase bandied about often, but what does it mean? Well, ‘above the fold‘ means the first visible area displayed on your mobile device without the need for scrolling. Everything else is ‘below the fold’. If you achieve this your Google ranking for that post will improve! Google loves mobile devices and hates websites that do not! Think mobile first!

Linking to Build Authority

Add internal links (links that connect to another post or page in your website). GoogleBot sees these as evidence of the authority of your site, where posts within your website relate and support one another.

Add external links to authority websites – Wikipedia, Huffington Post, or an established academic site. The higher Domain Authority (DA), the better.

You will find a few authority links on the page, for example.

Everyone Loves a Video

If you can create your video, which can be in any form, Explainer Videos, Public Service Announcement, or Entertainment being the three you are most likely see in marketing content.

Of the three video types, Explainer Videos are the most popular.

Explainer Videos

Without a doubt, Explainer Videos is where the money is.

This type of video can in various forms. The most popular are (in no particular order):

  • Animation videos
  • Whiteboard videos
  • Screencast videos
  • Presenter/Webinar videos.

You can make your preference here. Some larger SEO agencies utilise all four types in one video! If you have the time and budget, you can too.

As I am aiming at the beginner or startup, I suggest you keep it simple! Do what makes you comfortable.

Here’s a link to a great video by Jay Neil SEO Checklist Cheatsheet

The alternative is to link or embed a video that is not yours into your post.

Linking to a video should not cause you any problems on the legal front, but if you are going to embed a video, especially, a YouTube video, then so long as that video displays a share button on YouTube, and an “embed code”, then it is a given that the owner of that video wants their video shared! After all, the YouTuber still gets the views, when you watch the video on a website that has embedded the video on their site, using the YouTube embed code.

If in doubt, send a brief email asking for their permission to embed their video on your website. It is unlikely to be refused.

Conclusion

There are No SEO shortcuts or Hacks! It isn’t one thing over another. What the search engines, especially Google are looking for is well written, well-structured, relevant content that best describes the search term. So, yes; it’s the headline, the introduction, the grammar and linking but above all else, it’s Relevant Content!

I learnt all this by going back to school. Everything you need to learn for proficiency in SEO is to sign up for the free account (no credit card required) at:

Learn More SEO at Wealthy Affiliate Today

Tagged with: , ,
10 comments on “SEO Copywriting Training
  1. Juliet says:

    Thanks Paul, your SEO steps are very explicitly explained. I used to be confused about what SEO really meant. Jaaxy is very helpful in getting the perfect keyword title. I knew about links but I did not know they were this important. I am so happy you mentioned to keep our writing simple. It makes our posts always a pleasure to read. 

    • Paul Evans says:

      Hi Juliet,

      SEO is straightforward when you follow the steps. All of the actions mentioned relate to the central theme of content relevant to the search term and easy to read. Everything else that may seem irrelevant or unnecessary is there to aid in the primary purpose of SEO.

      I am pleased my post helped you.

      Best wishes,
      Paul

  2. David Guffey says:

    I to am a baby boomer and love affiliate marketing. The step by step instructions on how to make your SEO work better is right on track. I have been using to many keywords in my posts. I have started authority linking in my posts. I have yet to put a video on my posts, but with what your post said I can see why it helps with ranking and also helps keep the attention of your reader. It took me a few minutes to understand writing for a eighth grader, but with the link you installed to the rating website, I understand it better now. I do have one question, on my affiliate marketing website, I am going write an article on something that I think will draw traffic, but doesn’t have anything to do with affiliate marketing. I am trying to figure out a way to link it. Do you ever write an article like I am talking about, something to get traffic, doesn’t have anything to do with what your website is trying to get across? Thanks for all the good tips on SEO. 

    • Paul Evans says:

      Hi, David,

      There is no harm in writing an article that is not related to affiliate marketing, but if the traffic arrives at your site and that traffic is not interested in business opportunities, then you have wasted a lot of effort. Google may also notice that what you are writing about is not related to that niche, and that may harm your website authority rating.

      It may work if you can write the article referring to how you resolved a similar issue by looking into affiliate marketing and your subsequent success.

      My personal opinion is that I wouldn’t do it. I’d stick to writing about affiliate marketing, and all the offshoot business issues that directly or indirectly affect affiliate marketing.

      I hope that helps, David?

      All the best,
      Paul.

  3. RoDarrick says:

    Thanks for sharing this explicitly informative post. Honestly, I never really knew that SEO could require so much efforts. My mindset was just that “write a random content and post”. Coming across this post has really opened my eyes to the mysteries behind SEO. Though I engage in freelance writing, copy writing seems like a new level of writing and I’m getting very interested in running my personal blog soon. Writing for an 8th grader to understand is a particular issue I will address and dedicate more time to perfect. Thanks

    • Paul Evans says:

      Hi RoDarrick,

      Thanks for your positive comments. I started from the same spot! It was only working through Wealthy Affiliate‘s training that I realised that there so much more to it. Fortunately, none of it is hard, and we could maintain the right level of SEO by merely working through the steps in my article.

      Best wishes,
      Paul.

  4. Christopher says:

    Hi Paul:

    First of all, the name of your website interested me because I’m a boomer!

    This information is so useful to me because I have been trying for a long time to get some sort of favorable ranking in Google. 

    I don’t think my headlines get enough attention so I’m really glad you mention this point. 

    I’m also glad you say “Write for an 8th grader.” I have yet to get above the low 70’s and sometimes my articles have health-related information. Thus, there are some pretty big and strange words.

    Great information on skim-reading!

    This is one of the most useful posts I’ve seen and I am bookmarking it. Thank you so much!

    • Paul Evans says:

      Hi Christopher,

      I am pleased you found my article useful. There are instances where technical words are unavoidable. A Flesch score between 60 and 70 is the goal. Try to avoid the fifties! 

      Many thanks,
      Paul.

  5. Phil says:

    Thanks Paul –

    What a great breakdown of what makes a good article.

    I learned a few things that I’d overlooked as I read this.

    I’m going to start highlighting key phrases to help skim readers (I’m a skim reader and found yours useful before I went back and read the article again thoroughly).

    The tip of using an image every 500 words is useful. I try to use images but I’ve never really considered a ratio of image to text so that’s useful.

    The style of your writing is very accessible and the point about aiming for a Flesch score of 70 is excellent. Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away and forget to keep it accessible for as many readers as possible.

    Thanks again!

    • Paul Evans says:

      Awesome, Phil.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my tips. I never tire of learning other people’s view on SEO. I find there’s always something new that I didn’t know. It’s all the fun of the fair!

      I’m pleased you found this piece useful.

      Cheers,
      Paul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*