When it comes to the content on your website, one of the biggest challenges you’re going to face is generating content that resonates with your audience and is optimised for search engines.

The number one content rule is that people come first, so your focus should be on appealing to your audience and demonstrating how you solve a particular problem for them. Regularly posting fresh content on your site is one of the easiest ways to introduce potential new customers to your brand.

Effective SEO copywriting is all about creating helpful, persuasive and constructive content that targets specific keywords and motivates other people to promote it on social media platforms. This increases the authority and relevance of your content, which automatically improves its ranking in Google for the selected keywords.

Here we’re sharing the 10 key steps that will help you to write awesome, optimised content that your audience will want to read and share.

1. Research, research, research. It all starts with keywords and in a recent blog we shared with you the importance of accurate keyword research. If you’re going to add content to your website, you definitely want to make sure that Google pays attention to it so make sure you start using the tips and tricks in that blog to find out what your target audience are actually searching for.

It’s also a good idea to maintain a keyword spreadsheet so you can keep track of how many times and where you’ve worked specific keywords into your content.

2. Put those keywords in the right places. The days of keyword stuffing are – thankfully – long gone. In fact if you shove your keywords willy-nilly throughout your copy, search engines are likely to penalise you rather than reward you.

For each page, you should always include your keyword in the title and in the first or second heading (not both). Add it somewhere in the first 300 or so words. After that, try using different variations of your keyword but always keep in mind that the copy needs to flow smoothly. If it’s a struggle to fit it in, leaving it out is always the best option.

3. Give your audience a reason to read what you have to say. There’s no point in just hammering out any old copy if no one is interested in it. Before you start, think about what value you’re offering to your audience and keep that in mind as you develop your copy.

4. Length is important. Search engines recognise that quick snippets probably aren’t adding much value, so they tend to give preference to longer blogs. We recommend no less that 600 words but if you can manage 1000 or more then go for it. Just remember to keep it interesting and relevant.

Note we’re not saying here that your general page content needs to that long – each page on your website should be succinct and easy to read so your audience can understand your key messages in a few seconds. But support those pages with regular blogs about stuff that your audience will want to learn about and you’re on your way towards improved search engine rankings.

5. No one has time to read everything you have to say. So make sure you get the message across quickly. Use headlines and images that give your audience a good snapshot of what your content is all about – if it resonates with them they’ll keep reading and stay on your page longer.

To make sure your intended audience keeps reading, use short paragraphs and short sentences. Ditch any unnecessary words and never include industry jargon. Write your content as if you’re having a conversation with someone – be down to earth and friendly.

6. Incorporate graphics. Whether it’s a picture of something you sell, a video about your business or an infographic covering your key points, graphics make your page much more visually interesting.

7. Don’t pinch anyone else’s content. Plagiarism is not cool and search engines will penalise you for it. Now we’re not saying don’t research your subject and borrow a few thoughts from others – just don’t copy everything word for word. Be original and add your own spin.

8. Use calls-to-action on your pages. The purpose of your website and all of its glorious content is to persuade your audience to do something. So don’t leave them hanging – you want to make it super-easy for them to get in touch, buy your product or download your stuff.

9. Always read what you’ve written. You may have been in a creative whirlwind when you wrote it but in the cold harsh light of day sometimes what you’ve written might need a little spit and polish to make it more readable. And don’t forget to use your spelling and grammar checker to pick up any of those irritating mistakes.

10. Promote your blogs on social media. Add a snappy introduction to your blog along with a relevant image and link back to your website. The more people who click back to your website, the more authority you’ll build with the search engines.

Content writing isn’t a skill that everyone has the time – or inclination – to do. But done well, it will earn you some serious search engine brownie points and move you up in search rankings. Here at Broadcast SEO we’re experts in SEO and digital marketing and we work with businesses all over Australia. If you need a hand, we’re here to help – just check out some of our work here or contact us for a chat.