SEO Copywriting Tips: 5 ranking factors to cover
Incorporating SEO optimization to your articles will raise your wages.
You may have seen this meme at SEO Signals Lab Group:
This article will make this goal way more achievable for you.
Let's start with the basics. You probably have heard about hundreds of ranking factors that Google takes into account while calculating results.
For you, as a copywriter who wants to add a special SEO touch to the content, it is more than enough to understand the principles of search engine optimization.
80/20 rule can be applied here as well, I won't overwhelm you, I promise!
1. User intent
Behavior on the page is an indirect but essential ranking factor. You have to make sure that the content you produce meets the user intent instead of a high bounce rate. If your competitors write about most natural tie wrapping methods - don't try to satisfy them with 99 ways of tie wrapping from the 19th-century blog post.
Why should you follow your competitors on this? The answer is pretty simple. Google has many users who generate behavioral signals. If a top optimized page does not meet user intent - it drops in search engine rankings.
The conclusion is that people read the top-ranking pages because they are mostly meeting search intention since they remain on the first page of Google.
The second user-related factor is readability. If you don't share information in an easy to read and understand form - you won't satisfy the target audience.
What's the point of having a helpful definition when the user can't find it? Showing off in meta description may be a good practice, but make sure that you have to make this information prominent.
Be sure that you won't welcome the reader with a wall of text. Avoid too long sentences, and use paragraphs to separate sections and make sure that headlines give helpful insight into the content below. Many people skim the article just by reading headings. Don't let them leave!
Only a combination of the right user intent and readable form will make your users stay on the page, sending highly positive behavioral signals.
Okay, but what should I do to rank high and get some traffic to let Google search evaluate my readability and user satisfaction?
It all starts with the article's length. The number of words often correlates with the position in SERP, but what's the ideal size concerning an SEO friendly piece of content?
In general, there is no such thing. Longer forms tend to rank higher, but it is just statistics that don't apply to every single keyword.
User intent determines the length, and it varies between niches and even similar keywords. It sounds scary, but in fact, there is a simple solution for determining the right length. Just analyze your competitors, here is an example:
Short forms only on top 10 ranking pages? Make your content outstanding and provide something special, but don't try to write an essay. Lengthy articles will do the job when the long-form is deserved by the users.
So here come behavioral signals again - if 7 out of top 10 ranking pages are long forms - go for it since users prefer this approach to answer for the searched query.
Concluding the length in two bullet points:
- there is no golden rule for the ideal word count,
- analyze your competitors to find out how long the article should be.
4. Content Gap
Content Gap represents which terms your article is missing. This is one of the most fundamental ranking factors related to semantic analysis. You may ask how I can tell what is missing? You have two choices: study the topic and guess which segments of the article should be expanded or analyze top-ranking pages content to find out missing words and phrases!
I personally prefer the second option. Google algorithm figured out whats the best answer for a given question already. There is no point in reinventing the wheel while your goal is writing SEO copy that matches the search engine requirements.
How to determine the content gap and fix it? Scan top-ranking pages for your keyword and look for common topics. List them and try to cover with your article. The more common words and phrases you use, the smaller the content gap will be. This is how quality content is created!
5. Keyword density
It is beneficial for the SEO guy if a writer understands what keyword density is and how to use it.
Now it is the first time when I have to introduce some math. Keyword density determines how frequently a term is used. You can start by analyzing essential frequencies: target keyword and query words.
This is just the entry-level, which can be not enough for more competitive keywords.
Let's dig a bit deeper into this topic.
Exact keyword density is just not enough to optimize content and raise organic traffic. Google is much smarter than it was a few years ago. Correct semantics means that you covered important topical segments and used relevant terms within the article.
There are plenty of ways to determine those like natural language processing (NLP), latent semantic index (LSI), or TF-IDF algorithm. All of the above are trying to recreate the algorithm. Instead of using those mentioned above, I'd like to introduce Prominent words and phrases. It is Surfer's unique algorithm of reverse-engineering the search results.
Correct semantic optimization means not only the use of the keywords but their frequency as well. You can obtain and calculate that on your own with spreadsheets.
Does it sound like the massive amount of manual work that you can't afford doing research for the regular SEO copywriting? It does.
This approach to optimization is extremally effective but time-consuming. What if I tell you that there is a way to automate it with Surfer?
Take ACTION now and find out how to use Surfer's Content Editor for SEO copywriting without additional research and calculations. Overtaking other SEO copywriters was never that easy.
Get data-driven insights on length, structure, density, and terms to use. Smoothen your process and write compelling blog posts that search engines and readers will love and share in social media.