Several years ago when I first began offering SEO copywriting services, long form copy was a no-no. Anything over 500 words and clients freaked out. “It’s too long!” they say. “No one will read it!”
It reminded me a little of the scene in the movie Amadeus when the emperor, dismissive of Mozart’s composition, gestures with contempt and says, “Too many notes.”
The world of search engine optimization and SEO copywriting has changed greatly in the last few years, more so in the past year than in any other time. It used to be that writers kept copy short and infused keywords into the headlines and body copy following a precise, scientific formula. Today, writers and SEO experts know that follow a scientific formula for SEO content writing is deadly; writing for interest, engagement and entertainment is the way to capture the hearts and minds of both human site visitors and search engines.
Long or Short, It’s What You Say that Matters
Long copy or short copy, in today’s world of SEO writing, what you say matters more than how many words you use to express yourself. There’s no such thing as a precise SEO formula anymore.
Even though there’s no longer a specific word count to aim for, it’s still important to write your online copy for an onlin reading audience. That means you should:
- Use big, bold, attention-grabbing headlines.
- Leave white space between paragraphs.
- Break up long blocks of text with subheads for easier readability.
- Use bullet points for lists whenever possible (like this list) to make the key takeaways scannable.
- Hyperlink to deeper copy within your website.
- Hyperlink from anchor text keywords, not the ubiquitous “Click here” seen on older sites.
With an estimated 93% of marketers using some form of content marketing to capture attention and drive interest and awareness for their brands, it’s critical that business owners master some or all of these SEO writing skills. Even if you don’t intend to write everything yourself, knowing best practices can help you provide useful feedback to your professional web content writer as she drafts materials for you.
(C) 2014 by Jeanne Grunert, The Marketing Writer. Jeanne is the author of Pricing Your Services: 21 Tips for More Profit and offers creative content marketing and writing solutions for businesses, publishers and marketing agencies. Follow her on Twitter @jeannegrunert.