Please read the original post, published on iCrossing’s The Content Lab on January 10, 2013.
We all know that search engine optimization (SEO) hampers good writing, right? Wrong. Applying search can make your copy more relevant by helping you choose topics wisely and develop copy that resonates with your audience. What’s more, injecting search practices will ensure that your writing most effectively supports your brand.
SEO Informs What You Choose to Write
SEO can improve your effectiveness long before you actually write any copy by helping you choose topics that make your writing more relevant to your audience. Doing in-depth keyword research into your industry and brand provides a quality keyword universe that you can use to write creative, engaging copy.
If you begin the creative process by looking into search trends and performing in-depth keyword research, you may see certain opportunities for content creation. For example, if you’re business sells auto and home insurance, you will most likely want to create content around those specific products and what they offer. However, because of the economic climate over the last couple years, you may have seen an increase in demand for reduced insurance rates, or people looking to compare insurance quotes to find the best insurance coverage for the right price.
In fact, the following chart illustrates the relationship between search and the insurance industry. From 2009 to today, you can see that overall search volume for the phrases “compare insurance rates,” “best car insurance rates,” and “best auto insurance rates” has increased. Armed with this research, you can make your copy more relevant by creating engaging content around comparing and contrasting auto insurance rates and coverage, tips for car insurance shoppers, and finding the best auto insurance rates to fit searchers’ needs. And you can optimize each of these content topics for keywords to attract people searching for this specific content.
Additionally, when you integrate your SEO program with social media monitoring, you can see keyword trends as people are talking about them. This information can help you get a leg up on your competition because you know what’s about to be searched even before a consumer types his or her query into Google.
SEO Makes Your Copy More Relevant
You can also be a better writer by using SEO and search marketing research to write content that will resonate with your audience. Let’s look at the example of a furniture store brand to illustrate the point.
If you manage a website for a furniture store brand, naturally you’ll want to ensure all copywriting fits the feel of the brand itself. If the furniture you’re selling has sleek lines and bold colors, you’ll want to appeal to the urban population looking for modern furniture. Doing so means your copywriting should take on a style that speaks to the target audience as much as the furniture itself. However, using popular, targeted keyword phrases will help you content achieve greater search visibility as well. By doing a bit of keyword research, you’ll see that keyword phrases such as “modern furniture,” “urban furniture,” and “unique furniture” are popular terms. You may want to use those exact phrases in your writing when describing the furniture, but you can also use that keyword research as a springboard for your creative copywriting.
Moreover, if you’re the copywriter for the furniture store brand, you also might want to use the feelings conveyed by those terms in your copy, describing not only the furniture itself but also the way in which a home can be designed to showcase a modern flair. That way, the keyword phrases you have researched actually help build a modern portrayal of the brand, with or without using the exact keyword phrase “modern furniture.”
The Perfect Match
SEO and copywriting are the perfect match throughout the entire creative process. Whether SEO is used as an enhancement tool or a creation tool, it definitely helps improve the creative process – and drive greater search results for your brand at the same time.