The search is on

From feeding belching Pac-Man to removing your head from a panda’s bamboo shoot, the art of SEO copywriting is far from conventional – it’s creative.

With so many marketeers spouting about SEO, who could blame you for huffing, “Here we go, yet ANOTHER blog about SEO (stretch, sigh, roll eyes…)”.


Switch off the auto-scepticism.

Open your mind to a new slant on SEO copywriting from a Freelance Copywriter who’s used to writing SEO copy for humans (whilst pleasing a robot or two). So without further ado…

10 ways to feed humans AND robots with succulent SEO copy

1. Get keyed up

Before you start writing, source keywords. I find Google’s Keyword Tool handy. You can look-up terms relating to your product to see local and global search stats. Remember, more popular terms are harder to compete for organically (unless you can afford sponsored support), so choose wisely.

It’s better to target terms that genuinely relate to your content, because this will increase your chances of winning the SERP war. Why? Because users will find the content they’re searching for. Google monitors significant user behaviour such as the click-through and bounce rate of your content. If the bounce rate is high, this suggests users aren’t satisfied with the content, which will degrade your ranking. That’s why relevance is such a critical factor and why quality content continues to reign (spare me from repeating those royal three words).

2. Plan and deliver

Implementing a page-by-page keyword strategy increases your odds, not just because your content will be relevant to what searchers want (as you know, search engines LOVE this), but it throws the net wider in who it attracts.

For example, if you have a 10-page website with a bespoke keyword strategy for each page, you’ll increase your chances of success ten-fold. On the other hand, I needn’t warn you what will happen if you use the same keyword strategy for every page (hello Hannibal!).

Try not to cram a hundred keywords into one page. Instead, target around five keywords that are highly relevant to the content on that page (and of course, what your audience is searching for).

3. Use textual links {strongly resisting the urge to write ‘Texty baby’, grimace}

Sew your content’s narrative into your cross and deep-links. Using relevant textual links makes content easy to follow, and search engines will be satisfied if you enrich them with keywords.

Speaking of links, if it’s relevant and will enhance your user’s experience, reference others’ websites and spread the word about what you do to encourage inbound links.

4. Fuel meta power

Now and again I hear echoes of metadata not being as important anymore. Granted, metadata alone can’t answer your SEO prayers, but if your metadata is relevant to the content it’s supporting, this can only be advantageous for SEO.

Imagine search engine bots are ravenous Pac-Man, munching their way through websites to sate their monstrous appetite for sumptuous content. Your metadata is like the starter. If it’s a tasty enough appetiser for the main course, Mr code-raged Pac-Man will be satisfied and let out an almighty belch to show his gratitude (what a shame I can’t insert sound effects, but just imagine…).

5. Keep it snappy

The meta title and description allow little room for waffle, so be succinct. Make sure your title tag is no longer than 65 characters (including spaces) and limit your description to around 145 characters. If you exceed these limits, your lovely words will be abruptly cut short by pesky ellipsis.

6. And… ACTION

People often say that the meta description should read like a call-to-action, but what about the meta title? This is what users click, so why shouldn’t it read like a headline?

Your title should be an accurate description of the page’s content and be saturated with at least 2-3 keywords. The order of keywords affects click-through rates and your SEO score, so place the most important keywords at the start of the title.

The keyword density of the description isn’t as vital, but now your headline has grabbed attention, it’s crucial that your description builds on this to provoke a click.

7. Actually, make it lengthy (if you want)

Without meaning to contradict myself and confuse you, while it’s essential to ensure your metadata is snappy, your landing page copy needs to be substantial enough to be indexed by search engines.

From 50 words, to 500 words, there is no rule on how long your web page should be, but one thing’s for sure; if the content is valuable to readers, it’s golden to search bots. Remember – HUMANS FIRST, R2-D2 second.

Guess what? You are not a robot.

In terms of keyword saturation, gone are the days when you stuffed your front-end with keywords like the Christmas turkey (thank goodness I resisted the urge to mention ramming back-ends). These days, although a moderate saturation is important, the quality of the content is most significant.

That’s not to say you should disregard folding-in relevant keywords. Try the funnel effect: saturate your copy more densely with keywords from the top, lightening the load as the page unfolds.

And don’t forget to strategically saturate the page header and sub-headers with keywords.

8. I love pandas

Who doesn’t? Coincidentally, unless you’ve had your head buried up a panda’s bamboo shoot for the past year, you’ll know all about Google’s ongoing Panda updates to ever-improve the quality of results it offers searchers. Content really is King (oops, sorry, this time I forgot to spare you from royalty). And Prince Panda is next in-line to the throne.

9. The long and short of it

Using long-tail terms can be very effective in optimising your content for, say, local search. For instance, as a Freelance Copywriter based in Leeds, I might target the term Freelance SEO Copywriter in Leeds to capture Leeds-based users searching for freelance SEO copywriters in Leeds (I can hear you now frantically checking the page Source). Use your initiative and investigate what users are searching for in relation to your product. Your SEO strategy should be intuitive to their needs.

10. Keep it fresh

While it would be wonderful to rest in the knowledge that following these tips will guarantee you reign supreme in that holy organic top five, none of us can control or predict what Google’s next algorithm will be… All we do know is it would be shooting itself in the foot if it didn’t return the results its customers want, which provides a vital clue to effective SEO copywriting. Keep your content freshly relevant and unique. Don’t forget– pandas love to graze on new shoots, not pre-chewed scraps.


Take the same approach to SEO copywriting as you do with any form of commercial communication: understand your audience. Your content should be shaped around what your user wants. Search engines will in-turn reward you for this, and more importantly, your target audience will come to you.

And finally…

If you haven’t already seen the 4 Ps of SEO, it’s worth remembering* these if you ever feel glum about your SEO efforts. Be patient. And persevere.

*While we’re on the subject of remembrance, why not spare an extra minute to pay homage to the brave (which will at least keep you in karma’s good books for skiving).


About the Author: Sally Symondson

Sally Symondson

Running Salsify Creative, Sally grows local and global brands with meaningful words that relate. Customer or business – the roots are human, which is why Sally likes to keep it natural. You’ll find her muddy soled at the copywriting “allotment” with a cat in tow.

Join me on

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