Lesson 1: SEO Copywriting Explained
The first thing you should know is that “SEO” is the acronym for search engine optimization.
In simplest terms, SEO copywriting is web copy written using certain guidelines (web optimization rules) to drive traffic to a web presence. This can be a website, a blog, a social media site, etc.
About SEO Writing Guidelines
Mainly, SEO writing rules center around the use of keywords.
What Is a Keyword?
When you type words into a search engine to find something on the internet, the words you type in are called a keyword (one word) or a keyword phrase (two or more words with commas in between).
A search engine optimization writer will use keywords and/or keyword phrases to signal to search engines (SEs) know what a particular page on a website is all about. By knowing this, SEs can then return that page (high) in search results when web surfers search for information.
SEO Copywriting: An Example
say you were interested in starting a foreclosure cleanup business.
You may not know anything about it other than you read somewhere that
it was a great business to start, and you like the idea of starting a
business that is “evergreen.
After all, as long as houses are bought and sold, there will always be foreclosures. And even better, there are properties that need to be cleaned out, have their lawns mowed, have repairs done, etc. As a foreclosure cleanup business owner, your company can provide all of these services to local realtors.
You’re pumped, so you log onto your favorite search engine, (eg, Google, Yahoo! MSN, etc.) and type in the keywords "foreclosure cleaning business" or "foreclosure cleaning" or "foreclosure cleanup" or some other relevant keyword phrase.
How Businesses Get to the Top of Search Engine Results
When you type in these words and hit "ENTER", a bunch of sites pop up and you start to surf (ie, click on the results) and start investigating the sites to see if they have the information you need.
The sites that pop up are the results that search engines like Google think are the most relevant to the keyword phrase (aka search phrase) you typed in. Companies pay a lot of money to be among the first two or three pages in the results that search engines return.
This is a very simple explanation of what SEO writing is all about. There’s a lot that goes into writing copy that will rank well – ie, show up on the first few pages of Google – when a keyword phrase is typed in.
This knowledge is what separates professional SEO content writers from others – and why businesses pay good money for their services.
Note: SEO copywriters are interchangeably referred to as SEO writers, SEO article writers, SEO content writers, SEO content providers, online writers and web writers.
If the all this talk of keywords, search engines and search results has thrown you off, don’t despair. It does most people. By the end of the course though, you’ll be well versed in the lingo of SEO.
In fact, you’ll be an expert – knowing much more than most who surf the web do, including clients you’ll obtain as an SEO writer, which is one of the main reasons they’ll be hiring you.
Why All SEO Content MUST Abide by Google Rules
Throughout the class, when I refer to search engines, I use Google a lot. It’s because it’s by far the number one search engine – bringing more traffic to websites than all the other biggies combined (ie, Bing and Yahoo!). Proof?
many other search engines use Google’s guidelines to find and rank
right, search engines like
Bing and Yahoo! rely to a great degree on what Google’s says to rank sites.
Finally, the reason you need to be most concerned about Google when writing SEO content -- the company was literally founded by the guys who made search what it is today.
How/When Google Was Founded
Google was founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were PhD students at Stanford University. The foundation of what would go on to become the search giant was Page's doctoral thesis. It's actually a fascinating start-up story, which you can learn more about here.
So the guys who run the search giant literally were the ones who built it from the ground up, codifying search rules that are what the internet run on to this day. That's why all things "search" run through Google -- and it shows no signs of changing anytime soon.
This is why when people talk about search engine optimization, they are most concerned about one search engine – Google.
Understand now why nobody can avoid worrying about "The Big G" when it comes to SEO content?
Next Lesson: SEO Terminology
Before we dive into what search engines are and how they find and rank sites, in the next lesson we’ll get you familiar with some of the most commonly used terms in SEO. This way, you’ll better understand certain words and phrases when you come across them.