SEO. It’s such a short term with such a vast definition. As a copywriter, I spend a lot of time educating business owners about on-page SEO factors. I also spend much time hearing people talk about this elusive-to-them concept.
“I’m hiring someone to do SEO.”
“My website’s SEO needs boosting.”
To the first statement, my response is, “What exactly are you hiring someone to do?”
Here’s a little truth bomb. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a constant shape-shifter made of elusive and mysterious substances. It’s a conversation with no end. A culmination of hundreds of factors. A game with no final level.
We’ll never say, “Cheers! Your SEO is done!” Never. Ever.
Let’s establish something so important—copywriting isn’t creative writing. People often pay the website designer and then say, “I’ll write my own copy, because I’m a good writer.”
But good writing alone isn’t copywriting.
Copywriting IS strategic writing that woos and wins. It’s mix-mastering words, organizing the flow of those words, composing CTA button text, strategizing how all the pages work together to encourage people to click through the site, and attending to on-page SEO factors like keywords, meta descriptions, and headers.
Your website’s words influence your SEO in another way, too! When you’re messaging is attractive to the right audiences, they’ll consume more of your content. Without good content, there’s nothing for people to stick around for or have need of your site in the first place.
Ongoing long-form content (a blog) offers people reasons to continue returning to your site, helps your audiences get to know your unique expertise, and also helps you build the depth of your site’s content. Google wants to serve up search results that are rich in value to users, and hiring a writer to deliver regular, long-form content that gives people tons of user-friendly knowledge (no cookie-cutter content), is a long-term marketing strategy worth the investment. You also want people to find you and stick on your website for some time. The longer they hang around your website in a session, the more Google will shower its ranking affections on you, too.
In all things in life, we should focus on actions that result in positive outcomes. But, before I give you the know-how to wield your SEO sword against the enemy of the algorithm, let’s demystify the algorithm.
Most people are familiar with the term algorithm as it relates to social media. Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and all the others have formulas that monitor our content to decide what’s worth pushing into user feeds.
Google has its own algorithm – and it’s a rather complex one. Google makes frequent and published changes, but last I checked, you have a job. You run a business, so you barely have time to brush your hair (I’m all for a messy bun!), much less to keep tabs on Google’s algorithm changes. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of what you need to know:
New content goes up every day, so Google must reshuffle the deck and select the right cards each day. You see now how this will never be a “one and done” or even “a hundred and done” task?
A quick definition before we move on: On-page SEO is tweaking a site’s content, internal links, and tags to improve the website’s rankings and organic traffic.
And, it’s not all about keywords. Not at all.
I think when we’re done with this list, you’ll be saying a big, “Ohhh!”
Apart from having a mobile-optimized site (puh-lease- Google and your readers care a lot about this) and remembering we are always writing for humans and not bots (the bots like what sounds human), here are my top 7 SEO On-page Factors you can learn about, and better yet, do something about!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you don’t have to tackle all of these tasks at once. And please understand this is not a comprehensive list of all the on-page SEO factors. There are great SEO experts that can get on the backend of your site and do many of these tasks and much more, but please ask someone like your website designer or a copywriter for their recommendations of who to consult.
But, I hope this article also accomplished another goal in addition to giving you some on-page SEO tips from a copywriter- not an SEO expert but someone who is SEO aware. Apart from the 7 tips, you might now see why being a good writer isn’t enough to write your own website or blog (blog articles become new website pages that must be written and structured well, too).
When employed or tweaked, none of these strategies will immediately open the floodgates of organic traffic. But over time, you’ll certainly reap the benefits as a small business, of these simple steps to optimize your website.
If you’ve been on the fence about hiring a copywriter for your small business’s website, I’d ask you to consider the value of one. ONE conversion from your website, the profit ONE will bring, and the referrals that ONE will make—put a dollar amount to only one conversion in those terms. You probably came up with thousands of dollars, so why would you risk your website’s words? Copywriting is an investment in your storefront that is open 24/7, so make your potential client’s experience and often the first impression of your business a memorable one.
Intelligently designed copy matters. When your potential client is ready to make a decision, don’t be the choice they pass over. Let your words show you as the best decision they can make!
About Geneva Maresma, Tampa-based copywriter and content writer
Geneva Maresma is a speech-language pathologist turned copywriter who loves words, wine, beaches, and cats- but not particularly in that order. As a writer with a behavioral health background, she loves helping businesses develop emotionally intelligent messaging that moves minds and invites audiences into brand stories.
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