Digital copywriters are writers, there is no doubt about that, but what differentiates them from authors, bloggers and journalists is that they write for the internet as well as for people. For digital copywriters who are just starting out, you may not be aware of how your style will have to change when writing to optimise content for search engines.
This is why you need to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). While you may not be an SEO copywriter, it is important that every copywriter understands SEO, as it can help to achieve the goal of the copy, especially if you are writing for blogs, ads or websites.
How does SEO work and what is Google LSI?
Simply put, Google, Yahoo, Bing and every other search engine available has a crawler that goes out and gathers information about all the content that can be found on the Internet. And these crawlers bring this information back to the search engine to store selected pieces in massive databases to reference at a later date.
When a person performs a search online, the search engines use this data to provide answers to these questions. The top results are the ones that are adopting the best SEO practices in the eyes of the search engine, and these results will be shown to you first. To a search engine, relevance means more than just finding a page with the right words. Today’s search engines use algorithms to calculate relevance and then rank the website based on popularity.
Many SEO experts use Google Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) as part of their strategy. Google LSI helps the search engine to understand your content and its context, allowing it to find synonyms to the keywords or terms it finds in your content. More accurate search results are then delivered. By focusing on LSI, copywriters can avoid keyword stuffing and can use other related keywords that are still relevant and that will still show up in Google search results.
Google rewards sites that include related keywords, making LSI practices highly beneficial to copywriters and SEO experts alike. You can find LSI keywords by performing a simple Google search, using the Keyword Planner tool or using a LSI keyword generator. The trick is to narrow down your best options that are related to your content directly and which carry a decent amount of search volume.
Why do copywriters need to understand SEO?
You need to keep visitors on your site
Writing great copy will attract visitors to your site, but the end goal is to keep them there. Outdated SEO tactics like keyword stuffing are often used by novice copywriters and this can make copy sound like gibberish.
Keeping visitors on the site means that you have to write both for people and for Google. The quality of your content is more important than the keyword, and there should be a natural flow to the sentence which contains the keyword, but this is not to say that you should completely ignore the keyword. Understanding how your content performs can be done by using an SEO plugin or third party software such as SearchMetrics or SEMRush.
Search Task Accomplishment is vital
Search Task Accomplishment is a new buzzword, and it means that you provide exactly what searchers are asking for. In simple terms, have you answered the search question with your content? Content has to solve problems in order to be highly ranked on any search engine.
Now, content is what search engines rank once they have “found” your site, but finding your site is up to SEO. Using keywords helps Google to find your content once someone has searched for it. Your keywords will be contextual and are sourced using keyword research tools, such as Search Console, Google Keyword Planner or KWFinder. Not using the right keywords and offering sub-par content will give you lower rankings on search engines.
Plagiarism is not tolerated
For almost every search engine, plagiarism online has serious consequences. Your content needs to be unique and completely, 100 percent, yours in order for any search engine to give it a ranking.
Search engines also do not take kindly to duplicated content, as it can be difficult for them to decide which content is more relevant to searches. Understanding SEO means that you understand that you need to create content that is authentic in order to achieve any campaign goals. Plagiarising content, even when using your own keywords, is bad practice and can negatively affect your rankings on any search engine.
SEO is becoming more important
Over the years, SEO has grown in importance and has become one of the major players in marketing money making. If companies want to use their websites to make money, they will need to achieve the highest visibility possible on search engines. This goal is only attainable if the person creating the copy on the website, blogs or social media posts understand that copywriting and SEO go hand-in-hand. It is not enough for one person or department to be able to understand how to use SEO, as any digital agency in Cape Town will tell you that it takes teamwork to make the dream work.
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