SEO COPYWRITING TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

By | October 13, 2019


I often get asked, “How does SEO tie into
the copy on your website?” Since both my clients and students tend to
work in businesses in highly competitive spaces, I’ve had to learn a system for drawing in
your clients with both copy that converts and ranks on Google. What a delicate dance. So I have dug a lot into SEO lately and learned so many ninja tricks along the way. I have been waiting to make this video until
I felt like it was something I really understood and it was getting results for both me and
my clients. And we’re there. So let’s talk about SEO. And I know I talk a lot about copywriting
on this channel. That is what many of you know me for. But I’ve had so many students say, “I know. I get that communicating my message with powerful
and compelling copy is important. But I also know that I need to be working
on the SEO of my website and working to rank for keywords that I want to rank for.” Keywords are those words that we all type
into Google when we’re searching for something. But what is the overlap of those two things,
and specifically how do I up the SEO on the non-blog pages of my website? I feel like anytime I’ve done research on
SEO, so much of it ties back to content marketing, which is paramount for ranking, but what about the rest of your website? What about those other pages? So I wanted to sit down and figure it out
what works, what doesn’t work, what is completely BS advice, and what is wisdom that truly works? And for about the first year or so that I
was in business, most of our inquiries came in through word of mouth and grassroots marketing,
which I still think is very important. But one thing that we’re seeing a lot now
when we ask potential clients how you heard about us is they’re saying, “Google.” And yes, that is due to a heck of a lot of
blogging and content creation, but it’s due to some other optimization hacks, and that’s
what I want to share in this video. So by the end of this video, you are going
to know 6 tips to tie into your website words, and many of them you are going to get
going on pretty immediately if you want to. You can even pause this video along the way,
go do that thing, and then come back and keep watching. And like I said, truthfully, when students
used to ask me about how this tied together, I didn’t know. I had to study it and find out, because the
way that I learned marketing copy back when I worked in corporate marketing and agencies,
it was always away from the team that handled SEO for the website for that big brand. So I didn’t really have to worry about knowing
how they merged together. But now I do. Google drives a ton of traffic for my business,
and let me know in the comments if you agree with this. I believe SEO goes hand in hand with niching,
and it’s going to become even more important for us to put this as a priority. But I believe as more and more small businesses
come on the scene, and more and more of us hyper-specialize and niche down in a certain
area, which we need to be doing, I think that SEO, and then of course niching, is going
to play a big part in the marketing in our businesses. It’s so important for your brand and business. Let me know below if you agree with that. And if you haven’t subscribed yet to this
channel or you’re new around here, then hit that subscribe button below. I release videos like this every single Tuesday. And give me a like below if you want to be
on page one of Google for that keyword that you want so badly to rank for. Come on. You know none of us are really looking at
page two or page three anyway, right? So hit that like button, and let’s dive in. Number 1, figuring out how to use your keyword
and on-page body copy. Okay, so you know you need to write that blog
post for the keyword you want to rank for. I work with a lot of creatives and a lot of
people in the wedding space, so this would be like that venue that that event you did
is about, and you want to include that as the keyword, because you want potential couples
researching that venue. You want to pop up in Google, right? But what about the other pages on your website? Well, in comparison to your blog, your website
pages, so home, about, contact, your services page, pages like that, they are lighter on
content, right? As they should be, because it’s less about
long-form content here and more about content that gets to the point and gets the reader
the message quickly, just like my Paris framework that I shared with you in last week’s video. But what page are you more likely to link
to in your business? Well, I’m guessing that you link to your homepage
or your about page more than you link to that blog post that you wrote, right? You probably have a few blogs that you link
to all the time to help your clients and customers understand something, but by and large, those
main website pages are going to have a lot more authority. That’s why it’s easier for these pages to
rank for more highly competitive keywords, or a long tail keyword phrases. So, and this is step one, you need to know
your hot keywords and then lace them in organically to your web pages, non-blog, on page body
copy as often as you can. We always ask our brand story clients what
keywords they’re trying to rank for, because when we’re writing their website pages, we
need to know these so we can, again, lace them in organically. Now let me pause and say phase one to this
would be actually figuring out what keywords you want to rank for. Now, Rising Tide Society created a great free
resource that talked a lot about this. I’ll link to it below. But if you get a little confused about doing
keyword research for your creative small business and want me to make a video on that, then
comment below, “Yes please,” and I will put that in the queue to create a video about. My two go to tools for keyword research tend
to be Moz and a plugin for Chrome, called Keywords Everywhere. So once you do have that word, you want to
naturally reference it a couple of times on that page. The second thing to do is to use that keyword
phrase that you’re trying to rank for, and the header copy of that web page. Now you should also only use this keyword
phrase one time as the header on each page. I’m going to start calling this H1, because
you may be familiar with this as you work in your website design, how you can highlight
pieces of copy and change them for H1, or H2, or body copy. So if you have multiple sections on this website
and you’re using that keyword, or have to use it again, drop to H2. You only want an H1 once. To me, this becomes a dance between design
and necessity, because while I want to rank … We’ll talk about user experience in a
moment, but user experience is so very important too. So you kind of want to see how they go in
tandem together. Okay, I’m going to show you this in Showit. Again, that’s the tool that we use. So this is a landing page for a service that
we provide like all the time. So let me show you first of all in Showit. I’m going to go under design settings. So this is where you go ahead and label and
name your types of copy. This is H1, this is H2 in Showit, this is
H3, and this is P, or paragraph copy. So in the code, if you actually looked at
the code, that’s what these would be labeled as. You can go as far down to H6, but Google is
typically going to crawl 1 and 2, a little bit of 3, so those are the ones that you’re
going to go ahead and name. So just wanted to let you know that in Showit,
that’s what each correlates to. Okay. Let’s close out of this, because what I want
to show you is a ninja trick, and this has been so helpful for me. So on this, I want to be ranking for launch
copy. So what I need to do then is go in and make
sure that these, all the other words, even if I’m using this H1 … I’m using quotation
marks with my hands here. You can’t see me. I need to make sure that in other instances,
it’s pulled down a level. So I went in here, and I need to make sure
that this is set to H1, and that’s going to be the one time on this page. So these, I’m going to … H2 is just fine. This is H3 actually. Yep, there it is. Okay. See where that was ever on this side? I’m going to keep coming down and just make
sure that like these are labeled … Nope, not H1. So that is H2. This, I need to pull off of. P is fine, because remember, I just want that
keyword, which is launch copy, to be mentioned one time with H1. So I’m going to keep going down and breaking
these. P’s fine. This is H3. I’m going to go ahead and bump that up. Okay. So I hope you can see that you can go in manually
and change these in Showit so the code is properly pulled into what it needs to be. I’m going to keep changing these. Clearly, I’ve got some work to do on this
page, but that’s something that I found recently that’s been super helpful. That brings me to my next point, which is
number 3. Now you want to use that copy in non-on-page
copy spots, specifically your title tag, your meta description, and then any alt text for
images on that page. Let me break each of these down. I like analogies, so I’m going to describe
this as a book. Let’s pretend that Google is a library. So the title tag tells Google what that page
is about and if it’s relevant for the keyword that someone has typed in. Think of it as the title of your book. So it’s the title of that page that appears
in Google, and it needs to be unique for every web page in your website. Just like the title of the book, we want it
to be a concise, accurate description, and you only want it to be between 50 and 60 characters. I use a website called wordcounter.net like
a bazillion times a week. It’s a great resource if you just need to
dump in some copy and measure how long it is. Plus, in search results, Google is going to
highlight the keyword phrase that someone has typed in if your web page title text also
communicates that keyword phrase, which increases your visibility and your click-through rate. An easy formula to keep in mind is that you
need to have primary keyword, secondary keyword, line, brand name. Just go through each of your website pages
and include that for every title text. So if I’m trying to rank for Atlanta Fine
Art Film Photographer, my title text may look like Atlanta Fine Art Film Photographer, line,
Hannah Forsberg. Your website or web page may be just what
they need, but if that title tag is not written in a way that quickly communicates to the
reader what they’re looking for, then your click-through rate’s going to be low. Do not waste that valuable SEO copy. Like renowned advertiser, David Ogilvy, said,
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you’ve written headline, you’ve spent
80 cents out of your dollar.” You’re probably spending a lot of time crafting
your blog titles, but don’t forget about your web page titles as well. The next part is your meta description, which
is like the back cover of the book. It tells what it’s about. So before you hit publish on a web page of
your website, you want to make sure that you’ve gone in and added meta description in a compelling
way, that includes copy that tells what that page is about, and why it needs to rank for
this keyword that you’re going after. This is so key. You know every time you Google something,
you’re looking at that two line little description to kind of tell you, should you click-through
on this or not? Now I use Showit for my website and many of
my clients do too, so let’s pop into there and I’ll show you where that meta description
copy goes. Showit, and this is how you update the meta
description on this page. So I’m going to come over here, go down to
where it says SEO settings, and open this up. Okay, this is old. This is when I still did calligraphy in my
business, and so I’ve got all of that referenced. So I’m going to pull it out, and I’m going
to say, “Learn to how to start … ” I’m going to say, ” … and grow your creative business
with … ” Okay, here’s where I’m going to pull this out, ” . … with copywriting templates.” I’m going to say, “Free,” so it’s going to
help me with SEO. ” … copywriting templates, copywriting resources, and more.” Let’s see how many keywords this is, so wordcounter.net. Pull this in. Pull that copy out. I can go a little bit more. There we go. That’s better. All right, and we’re going to paste that in. And that’s how you update the meta description. You also want to keep this down between 150
and 160 words. Again, use that wordcounter.net, website’s
free. It’s awesome to paste in your text and make
sure that it matches. You also don’t want to duplicate this meta
description copy for every single page, so make sure that you’re changing it up. So if you have a services page for both your
$1000 price point project or service and your $5000 price point or service, make sure that
you’ve made the meta descriptions for those two pages a little bit differently. Okay? Finally, to finish up this analogy, the alt
text. To me, this is like the inside dust jacket
of a book. It’s not the first thing that you look out,
but it definitely helps you figure out if this book is for you or not. This is something that I’ve learned as I’ve
worked with a lot of photographer clients and students, because you guys kill this. But the rest of us may not always be so keen
on it. An alt tag is essentially the name of an image. You want to use your keyword phrase, but you
don’t want to overdo it, which is a little bit of a delicate dance. Image search is a lot more used than I think
people think it is. So number one, name your images in a way that
describes what they are. Number two, use dashes between words instead
of underscores. Weird little quirk, but it matters. And number three, don’t use crazy characters
or non-alpha characters in this. You want it just words and those dashes. Okay? Number 4, use testimonials and display
reviews on your website, sprinkling them throughout your website. I’ve talked about this pretty much since I’ve
been in business, but quit putting all your testimonials on one page of your website. As long as you’re formatting them in an optimized
way, we’ll talk about that more in just a second, this does help in Google. Google’s algorithms read the presence of testimonials
as credibility. When Google sees that there are deep, meaningful
customer reviews or client testimonials, that’s a strong signal that tells it that this is
a credible and trustworthy website. You worked so hard for those anyway, so go
ahead and spread them out through your whole website: home, about, services, everywhere. Number five, the next thing is to use your
business address in on-page copy. Especially if you are a local or brick and
mortar business, this is important, but I’ve seen it really help us as an online business. It just makes you look more legit. So if you are a local brick and mortar based
business or an online business, go ahead and include in the footer copy on your website,
your address and a phone number. If you work from home like I do and don’t
really want to give out your address, then you can get a PO Box or a UPS Box for this. You should probably already have one for your
business setup anyway, especially if you’re using email marketing because you have to
have one to send out emails. Google Voice is a great tool to use if you
don’t want to hand out your cell phone number. Not just anyone can have an official looking
name and address in search results, so when you do have one, again, it makes you look
more legit and credible. Number seven, prioritize a responsive website
design. This means making sure that your website is
ready to go on the desktop and mobile. Look at this stat I found recently when digging
into my own business’s analytics. Nearly half of our traffic comes from mobile. Your site needs to look just as slick on phones
and tablets as it does on desktops, or maybe even better, because I feel like Google more
and more is favoring in their algorithm websites that have great mobile design. I literally have to make myself go in and
check our web pages on mobile, because I think I just … Because I work on laptops or desktops
so often, I forget that when people are on our website, they’re not sitting in front
of a computer. Your clients may not be doing that either. They’re probably on their phone, sitting,
scrolling, as they’re watching TV. But mobile is the future, and if we’re not
prioritizing this, we’re missing out on some serious SEO leverage. You also want to make sure the time your web
pages load is down as low as possible. This is going to help with your bounce rate,
because people do not wait for a website page to load before … if it doesn’t, they’re
out. The next thing is to tell them what you need to work
on when it comes to speeding up your page, is PageSpeed Insights. It’s a Google development tool. It’s pretty easy to find and go to. I’ll link it below. I’m going to enter … This is the sales page
for a program. It has over 800 students now. It’s grown a lot, so it is high time that
I figure out how to optimize this page, especially the images on it, because some of these images
are massive. They’re so big. And yep, that’s going to come up. So one thing that I really like is coming
under this opportunity section and seeing, yeah, I need to shrink and compress these
images. Different tools like BlogStomp, or there’s
lots of great tutorials out there on how to shrink your images. I think those of us who are not photographers
aren’t as familiar with those. But that’s one tool I like to kind of help
you give some context to things that you can actually practically do to speed up your website,
and you can also look on mobile and desktop. See? I knew it was going to be better on desktop,
but it’s mobile that we need to work on making it more optimized for. So that’s a fabulous tool. That brings me to the next tip. Your user experience needs to be great, and
the content easy to read. Details, and stories, and having clear content
on your web pages is paramount. I talk about this thing all the time. When it comes to telling stories, I’ll link
a blog below where I did, where I talked a lot about ways that you can tie in story to
your website and your business. But I want to be clear. This isn’t the biggest factor when it comes
to search engines looking at your website, but it’s really important once users get on
that page and are looking for whatever it is that they came there for. A few hot takes here, and my gosh, I feel
like I talk about these all the time, but you’re going to hear them again. Paragraphs need to be short. Forget those rules that you learned in high
school about paragraphs always needing to be four sentences or whatever. Break up your copy and make it easy to scan. Think two or three sentences. You use bullet points and bolding to break
up your text. And number three, nix the clutter. Get out of the way of your reader. If there’s so much bolding, and bullets, and
just so much copy chunks going on, multiple columns, on your website, and it’s not easy
for me to scan or quickly find what I’m looking for, that irritates me so much. Let me show you a couple of examples of this
done well. This page. Now this is a long-form sales page. I think it ended up clocking in around 5,000,
4,500-5,000 words. What I wanted you to see is a couple of ways
that we broke up the copy with larger texts, but also these smaller paragraphs. See how small they are? And then rotating back and forth between larger
copy, smaller copy, different ways to stylize it. So there’s lots of different ways to do this,
but I wanted to show you this example. Another example I wanted to show you is Kelly’s
website. Kelly is a baby sleep consultant. And yes, she is outside of the realm a little
bit of the clients that I typically serve, but she came to us right before, actually,
I delivered, and so it was like kismet. It was perfect to get to work on this because
I had all these questions, and it was fun to get to work on and write. So what I wanted to show you is how this copy
is broken up into little, even like one lines here and there. And then this copy pops. It’s in the middle, and it looks a little
different, so on and so forth. And the final tip, make sure you’re linking
to other pages on your website internally. You want to use those good anchor keywords
that you’ve already found, and hyperlink those words to other pages on your website. This is kind of a behind the scenes grunt
work thing, but it’s pretty easy to go into your website and do this right now. It may only take you a couple minutes. You want to spider web your pages together. So on your homepage, mention your services
page using that key word, and then hyperlink, underline, and link that to your services
page. On your services page, link your about page,
hyperlink that, so on and so forth. I have one more bonus tip, and it’s not related
so much to SEO that you’re writing in your website copy, but another thing that you can
do that will help out so much. You always want to get more and more backlinks
to your website, which you can do when another website with authority mentions yours: guest
posts, podcast interviews, vendor partnerships you’ve done, or styled shoots you’ve been
a part of. So pitch those opportunities. Make them happen. I like to challenge myself to pitch between
three and five opportunities a week. Pretty easy task I tackle on Mondays. And one little trick for this is that you
can have a template ready to go in your business. I did a video where I talked about how to
create one of these templates that you can use over and over again when you’re pitching
your business, and I will link to that video below. I hope this video was as fun for you, maybe,
as it was for this little nerd. I love talking about copy and marketing tricks
that you can do in your creative small business. Shout out to Becca who recently made me smile
with her comment. And comment below, what are your takeaways
or some things and questions that you may have from this video? And now that you know how to keep these SEO
tips in mind, how do you organize your boards when you are writing that web page? Well, watch the next video where I explain
my Paris framework, so you can organize your message. And as always, thank you so much for watching.

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