Words That Rank: The Freelance SEO Copywriter’s Guide to Crafting Content That Converts

SEO copywriting is a vital skill for any freelance SEO copywriter or website content writer. It involves creating content that not only appeals to readers but also satisfies search engine algorithms. With the right approach, your copy can achieve organic rankings, attract traffic, and convert readers into customers.

In this article, we will provide you with 18 essential SEO copy tips from top SEO specialists and copywriters. These tips will equip you with the knowledge and strategies to craft content that ranks well in search engines and effectively drives conversions.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand your audience by conducting thorough research on their demographics, interests, and pain points.
  • Focus on creating reader-focused content that is valuable, informative, and easy to read.
  • Write first and optimize later, prioritizing natural and engaging copy that provides a great user experience.
  • Conduct keyword research to identify targeted keywords and align your content with your audience’s search intent.
  • Structure your content based on different types of search intent and the stages of the customer journey.

Now, let’s dive into the details of each SEO copy tip to enhance your freelance writing skills and achieve better results in search engine optimization and content conversion.

Understand Your Audience

To craft effective SEO copy, you must first understand your audience and their needs. By gaining insight into their preferences, pain points, and interests, you can tailor your content to resonate with them and provide valuable solutions.

Start by conducting thorough research using tools such as Google Analytics, social media analytics, and surveys. These tools can help you gather data on your audience’s demographics, interests, and online behaviors. By understanding their demographics, such as age, gender, and location, you can create content that speaks directly to their specific needs.

Developing detailed buyer personas, representing your ideal customers, can provide even deeper insights. These personas encompass demographic information, as well as psychographic characteristics, motivations, and pain points. Creating such personas allows you to empathize with your audience, ensuring that your content is relevant and valuable.

Additionally, analyzing competitor audiences can reveal content gaps and opportunities. By understanding what your competitors are offering, you can provide unique value to your audience and differentiate yourself in the market.

Demographics Interests Online Behaviors
Age: 25-34 Technology Active social media users
Location: London Travel Regularly reads industry blogs
Gender: Male Fitness Engages with video content

Understanding your audience is the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. By creating content tailored to their needs and preferences, you can attract and engage your target audience, ultimately driving conversions and achieving your business goals.

Focus on the Reader Instead of Keyword Insertion

When it comes to SEO copywriting, the reader should always be your priority. Instead of obsessing over keyword insertion, focus on creating content that is informative, valuable, relevant, and easy to read. This reader-focused approach not only attracts and engages your target audience but also satisfies search engine algorithms.

Format your content in a reader-friendly manner, using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up the text. This enhances the readability and scanability of your copy, allowing readers to quickly find the information they need. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally into your content, ensuring they flow seamlessly and don’t disrupt the overall reading experience.

Alt tags, also known as alternative text, are essential for optimizing images on your website. Use descriptive alt tags that accurately describe the content and context of the image, while strategically incorporating keywords related to your copy. This helps SEO bots understand and index your visual content, improving your overall search engine rankings.

“Prioritize the reader over keyword insertion. Well-written, reader-focused content will satisfy both your audience and the search engines.” – Sarah Johnson, SEO Specialist

Reader-Focused Formatting

Effective formatting enhances the user experience and keeps readers engaged. Use bold or italic text to emphasize important keywords, phrases, or statements. Utilize headings and subheadings to divide your content into logical sections, allowing for easy navigation. This not only improves the readability of your copy but also helps search engines understand the structure and relevance of your content.

Informative and Valuable Content

Inform and educate your audience through informative content that addresses their pain points and provides practical solutions. Offer unique insights, expert advice, and actionable tips that bring value to your readers. By delivering high-quality content, you establish trust, credibility, and authority, which in turn improves your SEO rankings.

The Role of Alt Tags

Alt tags play a crucial role in SEO. These tags provide alternative text descriptions for images, allowing search engines to understand the content of your visuals. Incorporate relevant keywords into your alt tags to optimize your images for search engine visibility. Remember, alt tags not only help SEO bots but also assist visually impaired individuals who rely on screen readers to navigate the web.

Creating reader-focused content should be at the core of your SEO copywriting strategy. By putting the needs and interests of your audience first, you can deliver valuable content that satisfies both readers and search engines.

Write First, Optimize Later

When it comes to creating content that both humans and search engines love, the key is to write first and optimize later. By focusing on writing copy that feels natural, conversational, and engaging to the reader, you can capture their attention and keep them hooked.

“Your words have the power to connect, inspire, and convert. Don’t let the pressure of optimization hinder your creativity.”

After you have completed the initial draft, it’s time to optimize the content strategically with keywords and other SEO techniques. This step allows you to fine-tune your copy and make it more visible to search engines.

Keyword placement is crucial in copy optimization. Be judicious with the placement of your keywords, making sure they flow seamlessly within the text. It’s important to avoid overstuffing the content with keywords, as this can be seen as spammy and harm your rankings.

While optimizing your content, always prioritize the user experience. Create user-friendly content that aligns with their needs and provides value. Use headers, subheaders, and formatting elements to enhance readability and make your content easily scannable.

Remember, your ultimate goal is to engage and convert readers. By writing first and optimizing later, you can strike the perfect balance between human appeal and search engine optimization, resulting in content that ranks well and resonates with your audience.

copy optimization

Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research plays a pivotal role in your SEO copywriting strategy. By identifying targeted keywords that align with your audience’s search intent and goals, you can optimize your content for maximum visibility and engagement.

Start by brainstorming relevant topics related to your industry or niche. Consider the specific keywords and phrases your target audience is likely to use when searching for information or solutions online. This will help you create content that addresses their needs and attracts organic traffic.

Tools like Google Trends can provide valuable insights into popular discussions and trending topics. By staying up-to-date with current interests and demands, you can tailor your content to meet the evolving needs of your audience.

Additionally, analyzing your competitors’ content can offer valuable opportunities and identify gaps in the market. Look for keywords that your competitors are targeting and consider how you can differentiate yourself by providing unique value.

Remember to consider search intent when conducting keyword research. Understanding why users are searching for certain keywords will help you create content that delivers what they’re looking for, whether it’s informational, transactional, or navigational.

Keyword Research Checklist:

  • Brainstorm relevant topics and keywords
  • Use tools like Google Trends for popular discussions
  • Analyze competitor content for gaps and opportunities
  • Consider search intent and user goals

keyword research

Benefits of Keyword Research Actions
Improved organic visibility Optimize content with targeted keywords
Higher search engine rankings Create keyword-rich meta tags and headings
Increased website traffic Generate compelling content based on search intent
Enhanced user engagement Address user needs and provide valuable information

Craft Your Content Based on Search Intent

To effectively rank your content and provide value to your audience, it’s important to understand and align with their search intent. Search intent refers to the reason behind a user’s search query and the type of information they’re looking for. By crafting your content based on search intent, you can structure it in a way that meets the needs of your target audience.

There are three main types of search intent:

  1. Informational intent: When users are looking for specific information or answers to their questions.
  2. Transactional intent: When users are ready to make a purchase or take a specific action.
  3. Navigational intent: When users are searching for a specific website or resource.

To create content that aligns with search intent:

  • Conduct thorough keyword research to identify the search queries and phrases related to your topic.
  • For informational intent, provide comprehensive coverage of the topic and answer common questions.
  • For transactional intent, include clear calls to action and provide actionable information to guide users towards their desired actions.
  • For navigational intent, ensure your content is easily navigable and provides valuable resources or links to relevant websites.

Additionally, structure your content based on the different stages of the customer journey. This ensures a seamless user experience and increases the likelihood of conversion. Start with awareness-focused content that educates and informs your audience. Then, move on to consideration-focused content that highlights the benefits and features of your product or service. Finally, provide decision-focused content that encourages users to take action.

Remember, user-focused writing is key. Craft your content in a way that resonates with your audience, addresses their pain points, and presents actionable solutions. By understanding search intent, structuring your content effectively, and delivering valuable information, you can create copy that ranks well and achieves your conversion goals.

Optimize On-Page Elements

When it comes to improving your content’s visibility and rankings, on-page optimization plays a crucial role. By implementing various strategies and techniques, you can optimize different on-page elements to enhance your website’s performance in search engine results. Here’s how you can optimize these elements:

Headings and Subheadings

Using relevant headings and subheadings not only helps organize your content but also signals to search engines the structure and hierarchy of your page. Incorporate targeted keywords naturally within these headings to provide both search engines and readers with a clear understanding of your content’s main topics.


Ensure that your URLs are descriptive, concise, and keyword-rich. This helps search engines understand the content of your page and can potentially improve click-through rates from search engine result pages. Avoid using numbers or special characters in your URLs and use hyphens to separate words.

Internal Linking

Internal linking refers to the practice of linking relevant pages within your website. By creating a logical and interconnected web of internal links, you can help search engines discover and index your content more effectively. Internal linking also improves user experience by guiding visitors to related or valuable information, increasing their engagement and time spent on your website.

Call to Actions (CTAs)

Include prominent and persuasive CTAs throughout your content to guide readers towards desired actions. Whether it’s subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a resource, or making a purchase, effective CTAs can significantly improve conversion rates and drive desired user behavior.

Schema Markup

Consider using schema markup to provide search engines with additional context about your content. Schema markup allows you to label different elements on your page, such as products, reviews, events, and more, helping search engines understand and present your content in a more visually appealing and informative manner.

Sample Table:

On-Page Element Optimization Tips
Headings and Subheadings Incorporate targeted keywords naturally within headings and subheadings to improve content structure and SEO visibility.
URLs Create descriptive, concise, and keyword-rich URLs that provide a clear idea of your content’s topic.
Internal Linking Create a logical network of internal links to enhance site navigation, improve indexing, and increase user engagement.
Call to Actions (CTAs) Include persuasive CTAs to drive desired actions and improve conversion rates.
Schema Markup Implement schema markup to provide additional context and enhance content visibility in search results.

By optimizing these on-page elements, you can greatly improve your website’s SEO performance and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.

Use Stories and Visual Content

Stories have a powerful impact on engaging readers and increasing user engagement. Incorporating relatable stories, anecdotes, or real-life examples into your content can captivate your audience and make your message more memorable. Sharing personal experiences or success stories can create an emotional connection and resonate with your readers on a deeper level.

But storytelling doesn’t end with words alone. Visual content is another effective tool for enhancing user experience and increasing engagement. By using images, videos, infographics, and interactive elements, you can grab your audience’s attention and make your content more visually appealing and informative.

For example, you can use captivating images to illustrate your points and break up long blocks of text. Videos can provide step-by-step demonstrations or interviews that bring your content to life. Infographics can condense complex information into a visually appealing format, making it easier for readers to understand and retain. Interactive elements, such as quizzes or calculators, can actively involve users and encourage them to spend more time on your page.

Benefits of Visual Content: Ways to Use Visual Content:
  • Increases user engagement
  • Improves content readability
  • Enhances storytelling
  • Boosts information retention
  • Attracts attention in search results
  • Include relevant images in your blog posts
  • Create engaging videos for tutorials or testimonials
  • Design compelling infographics to present data or statistics
  • Add interactive elements like quizzes or calculators
  • Utilize visual content in social media posts

Moreover, visual content can also help you stand out in search engine results. By utilizing rich snippets and structured data, you can enhance your content’s visibility and capture attention with eye-catching elements like star ratings, product images, or recipe details. These rich snippets not only attract more clicks but also provide users with valuable information upfront, increasing the likelihood of user engagement and conversions.

So, whether it’s through captivating stories or engaging visual content, make sure to prioritize user engagement in your SEO copywriting. The power of storytelling and compelling visuals can elevate your content and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Create Better Resources than Competitors

When it comes to SEO copywriting, staying ahead of the competition is crucial. By conducting a thorough competitive analysis, you can understand what your competitors are doing well and identify content gaps that you can fill. This analysis will give you valuable insights into their strategies, keywords, and topics.

To create better resources than your competitors, focus on delivering comprehensive content that covers all aspects of a topic. Take a deep dive into the subject matter and provide in-depth information that your audience can’t find elsewhere. Go the extra mile by including case studies, research findings, and practical tips.

What sets your content apart should be its unique value. Think about what you can bring to the table that no one else is offering. Whether it’s a fresh perspective, a different approach, or exclusive insights, strive to offer something new and valuable to your audience.

Competitor Strengths Content Gaps
Website A High-quality visuals and design Insufficient coverage of advanced techniques
Website B Expert interviews and case studies Lack of practical implementation tips
Website C Engaging storytelling Limited information on industry trends

By addressing these content gaps and focusing on creating comprehensive content with a unique value, you can establish your brand authority in your niche. This will not only differentiate you from your competitors but also attract and retain your target audience.

Case Study: How XYZ Brand Surpassed Competitor Content

“We realized that our competitors were only scratching the surface of the topic. By conducting extensive research and incorporating expert insights, we were able to create a resource that provided comprehensive coverage and actionable advice. Our content quickly gained traction, and our brand authority soared.”
– John Smith, Content Marketing Manager at XYZ Brand

Evolve and Monitor Your Content

To ensure your content remains competitive and effective, it’s crucial to continuously optimize and evolve it based on performance data, user feedback, and SEO updates. By monitoring your content’s rankings, organic traffic, and conversions, you can gather valuable insights into its performance and identify areas for improvement.

Analyze the data you collect to understand how your content is resonating with your target audience. Look for patterns and trends that can inform your content optimization strategy. Identify keywords that are driving traffic and conversions, and optimize your content to further capitalize on these opportunities.

User feedback is another powerful tool for enhancing your content. Pay attention to comments, suggestions, and reviews from your audience. They can provide valuable insights into what is working and what needs improvement. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments and provide the best possible user experience.

Lastly, staying up to date with the latest SEO trends and algorithms is essential for ensuring your content remains relevant and competitive. SEO practices and algorithms are constantly evolving, so make it a priority to stay informed and adapt your content strategy accordingly. By keeping a finger on the pulse of the SEO landscape, you can stay one step ahead and maintain your content’s visibility and effectiveness.

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