How to copywrite for users and search engines instantshift

While users should always be your primary audience, copy is still one of the most fundamental elements of search engine optimization, or SEO. That means that in addition to writing copy that makes sense to website visitors, you’ll need to write copy that makes your website easily intelligible to search engine crawlers like Googlebot. To see why, we need to better understand how search engines go about delivering search results to users.

Googlebot is Google’s web crawling bot, often called a crawler or “spider.” Every search engine has these spiders, and they spend their days endlessly meandering through the Internet, visiting web page after web page and indexing what they find their. When a spider visits a web page, it scans the data on that page – including things like metadata, images and image metadata, flash and other elements, hyperlinks, and finally, the copy on that page.


In effect, the spider takes a “picture” of that web page and adds it to the search engine’s repository. Spiders crawl through the internet constantly, visiting page after page to keep the repository as up-to-date as possible. Normally, spiders tend to hit a given web page every 6 weeks or so to check for updates.

When users use a search engine to “search the web,” the truth is that they aren’t searching the web itself: they’re searching that search engine’s repository of indexed web pages. And while search engines use a remarkably complex array assortment of factors to determine the relevancy of a website to a search term and thereby it’s position on the search engine results page (SERP), copy is still one of the most important and fundamental search factors. Without SEO-focused copy, your website will have a hard time ranking for relevant keywords, which will severely limit your traffic and the revenue of your company.

One of the simplest, most effective strategies for making sure your copy serves humans is to read it aloud to yourself. Speaking the words will help you better understand if they flow naturally and catch awkward-sounding patches of copy. Once you have the copy to a place where it feels natural, then go back and sprinkle in keywords where appropriate to improve SEO. Use Research-Based Keywords

In order to write copy geared towards search engine optimization, you’ll need to know what searches you’re optimizing for – and that means doing keyword research. The first step is to simply come up with a list of relevant keywords and keyword phrases off the top of your head. For this article, we might optimize for the following keywords:

This tells us that the keywords “seo copywriting definition,” “seo copywriting 2018,” and “seo copywriting basics” would all be worth including in our content. You can use the same exercise with any keyword as a simple, free way to generate more keywords to target. If you’re looking to go more in-depth in your keyword research, though, Google offers a dedicated Keyword Planner tool for this specific purpose, and there are plenty of alternatives from third parties across the Internet. Write Out Full-Form Questions

One effective SEO copywriting strategy that many people neglect is to include complete, quoted questions in your writing. For example, this post covers copywriting for SEO. People searching for content on this topic will likely ask questions like “How do you write for SEO?” To hit this search term, we could include a sentence like this in the text of the article:

For both users and SEO, how you structure your copy matters. Long blocks of text without line breaks or headers are hard on the eyes, and they make it harder for Googlebot to figure out what the page is about. Instead, use H2 and H3 headers to break up the copy and delineate different sections in the text, include bullet-point lists where appropriate, and keep paragraphs relatively short. You want your copy to be “scannable.”

In the end, you should repeat this same process for every type of user that will visit your site or read your copy. If your website serves seniors, you should write copy in a way that’s easy to read and understand and choose larger, cleaner fonts. If your website serves millennials, you might lean towards a more informal, colloquial tone and include pop culture references to keep things relatable. If your site serves both, you’ll need to find a happy medium that makes both parties happy.