When clients or tradeshow attendees ask me questions like “Is this SEO copy” or “Can you write SEO copy”, I don’t get annoyed. I use this as an opportunity to help them improve the user experience of their websites.
My response is normally “If the page is solving the users problem without hiding the solution below the fold of the page, then it is SEO content.” If the person seems engaged I’ll follow up with “If you’d like we can look at some of the technical aspects that will help the page gain more visibility in the search engines.”
This normally opens the door to be invited into design and branding meetings, as well as the IT team workflows for QA checks. But that is for another post because this post is about what SEO copy is. So let’s start with the definitions we use in our agency, and then I’ll share examples.
SEO copy is content that provides a solution or answers a question and solves a problem. Most importantly, SEO copy lets the content consumer leave the page without having to visit another page or do more research. The content can be created in multiple formats including text, infographics, images, widgets, videos, sound clips, lead forms and products for sale.
SEO copy is not keyword heavy content with a million headers, written to reach a minimum word count, and is created to show up in a search engine for a specific keyword phrase. SEO copy does not need to include FAQs or other features just because you want to hit a word count, or the person might be interested in the the subtopic.
If these features are needed to answer the initial query, then add them. If they do not directly support the original topic, put them into a different post and use internal links so the person can click if they want to learn more.
SEO copy comes in multiple forms, it’s not just text and keywords. Many times it’s a combination of media types to provide the best solution possible. The most important thing to remember is to leave the user with a complete and easy-to-understand solution so they don’t have to search elsewhere.
Here are some of the formats and ways to present your content so it is “SEO friendly”.
Many people are use search engines to find ways to accomplish a task. The task could be anything from baking bread, or the types of schema that go into a webpage together. By providing these solutions in an easy-to-use format, you’ve created SEO copy.
Here’s our guide to what is “useful or helpful” if you’d like formatting ideas.
The same applies here. If someone wants to know why the sky is blue or the year a movie was released, you can share the answer first and then some additional details that are topically relevant.
You likely want to avoid talking about blue being your favorite color or that the movie inspired you as a child. That is important to you, but it is likely not important to the person searching who just wants the answer.
Pro-tip: If you include fun facts like the movie was released twice before in A and B years, but pulled back for 1, 2 and 3 reasons. Then AB re-released the film in XYZ, and this is why the answer above is considered the official release, you may be able to get backlinks if the fun facts are real and unique to your site.
Solving a Problem
People search for math equations, how many words can be created from another word, or wanted to know the conversion rate for money. Providing these answers in a quick-and-easy to use format is creating SEO copy because you are solving a problem someone is actively searching for.
Written words are the easiest way to define the topic of a page. You don’t have to code, create multi-media, etc… making it the easiest type of SEO content to create. But text isn’t always the best user experience, which is why you may want to combine text with other media to leave the content consumer with a complete answer.
Someone looking for a chart, table, graph, or what goes into which type of spice mix will benefit from infographics and printables. Having these available can create an amazing user experience, not to mention bring you a lot of social media traffic and backlinks if they’re good.
Pro-tip: Printables and infographics can help build brand loyalty and awareness if you post your logo and URL at the bottom.
Yes, images are part of SEO copy. If someone wants to know the color of an animals tongue, when a fruit is perfect to pick, or before and after results from a procedure; images add layers of trust that text alone cannot compete with. You’re showing the answer instead of just telling the person, and images can be indexed and finable in search results.
An underutilize type of SEO copy is the widget. Widgets can be calculators, travel booking engines, exchange rate finders, or anything else that allows the person to submit fields and get a customized or time sensitive answer to their specific needs. Widgets can also generate a ton of backlinks as people reference and embed good ones, or source them to their blog readers so they don’t have to build their own.
Pro-tip: Embeddable widgets are a grey area when it comes to SEO and link building. Proceed with caution.
Just like images, videos add proof that the answer is real and allow you to bond with the content consumer. If someone wants to learn how to do a hair style or to perform an exercise, you can walk them through step-by-step and share the products needed to complete the task. By featuring yourself the end user may feel a connection, and it could lead to a new fan, subscriber or customer.
People look for clips of celebrity voices, want to hear a movie quote and where it was from, or even animal noises. Because the search engine query is a sound clip, having these available will be a better user experience than just describing it with text.
Videos may not be the best solution because the sound byte would have to be found within the video, and if it is voice search and there is no option to click play. This isn’t always true, but it likely won’t hurt anything to include it.
Yes, lead forms are SEO content. If someone wants to know how to contact a real estate agent, get a quote for a service or tech solution, having calls to action and lead forms can be a better user experience compared to making someone call on the phone or click through a five page questionnaire.
Lead forms may not be a ranking signal or part of the algorithm, but it is part of the UX and adds value to the page, and for me this makes it SEO copy. Same with CTAs (calls to action.)
Products for sale
Products are also SEO copy. If someone needs an adaptor or protective gear for an electronic, the product is the solution. The same goes for a matching shirt for an occasion, or when someone wants to know what XY person wore on a specific tv episode.
SEO copy is not about stuffing keywords and adding a million extra paragraphs just because it mentions the product, topic or has the same type of consumer. It is providing a good user experience to a person searching so they have a complete answer and don’t need to do any more research.