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Even if you’ve only just started your journey into the world of SEO, you probably have an idea of the importance of content. Content is, after all, everything that exists on the web. Detailed blog posts, funny cat videos, and memeable images; it’s all content.

This means content needs to form a key pillar of your SEO strategy because SEO is far more than the technical side. Yes, the technical landscape of SEO is also very important. You want good page speed, UX design, and site layout, but this will count for nothing without good content.

And without a doubt, the largest volume of content on the internet is copy: the written word.

But what does this mean for SEO? How can writing copy improve the SEO of your site? Well, if you’re here, then you’ve probably guessed that there’s something out there called SEO copy.

There’s a lot that goes into writing SEO copy. So, to help you wrap your head around it and how you can use copy to improve your site’s ranking, we’re going to break SEO writing down to its core elements so you can get a thorough understanding of the relationship between copy and SEO.

Points we’ll touch on:

  • What is SEO content writing?
  • Why content is important for SEO
  • The basics of SEO content writing
  • What are keywords in SEO content writing?
  • How does site structure affect SEO content?
  • How to implement SEO content writing
  • Optimising your SEO copy

Without further ado, let’s get started on making your content as SEO-friendly as possible so you can start getting that organic traffic!

What is SEO content writing?

The first thing to note when looking at SEO writing is that it’s not the same as standard copywriting. While the basic skill set is the same, there’s a touch more nuance that’s required.

In a nutshell, SEO content writing is the art of writing for both people and search engines. That’s right, both of them. Written SEO is all about creating content that helps you to rank higher on Google.

This is mainly done by writing original content that is relevant, informative, and well-structured, as well as blending in a few SEO tricks. The content should concisely answer the reader’s query while providing enough information to properly understand the topic in question.

This is great because these areas are crucial when writing for people. So all you need to do to make your content readable by search engines is to add a few additional elements to the copy, as well as adapting its structure, to allow Google to read and index it properly.

Why content is important for SEO

If you have a basic understanding of SEO, you’ll know that how Google reads your website is a key factor in how well a page will be crawled, indexed, and ranked on the SERP. We don’t have time to cover that in detail here so be sure to read our article on how search engines work if you want to understand crawling and indexing more.

Simply put, you quite literally need content in order for any page to rank in a search engine. Without content, the search engine will simply deem a page as uninformative and therefore not worth indexing for users.

With the right informative content combined with some SEO know-how, you’ll be able to get your pages ranking on Google, meaning more organic traffic, and more sales if you run an eCommerce site. And you want that organic traffic as it shows how good the quality of your work is.

So, what are these SEO elements that go into writing SEO copy?

The basics of SEO content writing

Good SEO writing consists of the following three key areas:

  • Keyword strategy and implementation
  • Website structure
  • Written content

Let’s touch on the first two areas to begin with, as they need to be understood so they can be incorporated into the copy itself.

What are keywords in SEO content writing?

All written content strategies begin with two things. Ideas and keyword research. These two factors work hand-in-hand to create content that will rank well on Google. You need to know what people are searching for so you can target these words, but you also need new ideas for original content.

Before going any deeper, let’s touch on what keywords actually are. On a surface level, they’re specific words or phrases used by search engine users when making a query to find information, and Google uses these to help pages rank where the relevant info appears.

In essence, they help Google to identify what search terms are most used by users and provide them with content that matches these terms. This means you want to include these words and phrases when writing SEO copy so that your page ranks.

For example, if you had the keyword ‘what is SEO content writing?’, you would want to include this keyword a few times in your copy so that you ‘rank’ for this phrase in a search.

There’s plenty to learn about finding and collecting keywords so be sure to read our beginner’s guide to keyword research.

Using keywords in SEO writing

As a rule of thumb, you want your keywords to relate to the content on a page, otherwise, Google will notice that the words aren’t relevant and won’t put you in the results.

For something like a homepage, you want to include more generic terms that relate to the general theme of your site, product, etc… But for something like a blog, you can get really specific, presenting yourself as an authority on a particular topic and attracting Google’s attention.

Generally speaking, you’ll have a list of keywords relating to the copy in question, meaning all you have to do is seamlessly weave them into the copy and your page will start to rank. Done right, it will make clear the search terms used by your audience while also still reading like it was written by a person.

How does site structure affect SEO content?

Now, let’s touch on site structure. While not wholly related to writing SEO copy, good site structure is still necessary so Google, or any search engine for that matter, can crawl your site. Good content won’t do anything if Google can’t read the page.

When it comes to site layout and structure, it’s recommended that you opt for a pyramid shape. Start with the home page at the top, then categories, then subcategories, and so on and so forth.

Of course, if you already have a website built, or are more likely writing for one, then you have to get a little more creative. There are a few tricks you can use to help Google navigate a page, one of the most important being internal linking.

Internal linking

Internal linking is where you add a link to an important page you want to rank inside the copy on a page. Firstly, this makes it easier for content to be crawled as you’re providing the search engine with more links to follow, and if a page is linked to multiple times, it hints to Google how important it is for this content to be indexed.

This process is also known as linking from tail to head, and you should always be referring to pages you want to rank with links. However, these links need to make sense, and you should always try and link a page using anchor text, text that matches a page’s URL, in some capacity.

By linking to the pages you want Google to rank highest, you’ll create a bedrock for your ranking structure with authoritative pages that will rank because of the linking structure created.

Duplicate content

The second important SEO trick that relates to site structure is eliminating duplicate content. Put simply, if you have a lot of content on a site that is saying the same thing, Google is only going to index some or one of them.

Linking and keyword usage can help mitigate this if the content is different enough, but if you find you’ve lots of content that discusses the same topics, some of them need to go so old pages don’t compete with new ones when ranking.

But we don’t mean eliminating these pages entirely. Instead, you can do one of three things:

  • Update the copy to make it more varied and informative.
  • Merge some of the existing pages together to reduce the number of duplicates.
  • Redirect pages that are no longer useful to the most up-to-date version of the content, so users are always looking at the most recent information.

Redirecting is especially useful as you won’t lose the SERP authority built up by the page like you would if you removed it.

How to implement SEO content writing

While the previous two points we’ve covered are important, when it really comes down to it, the quality of your written content is what matters the most. Your copy needs to be attractive to read and make people want to stay on your website, while also appealing to Google.

But there’s more to it than that. You can’t simply write your copy with some keywords thrown in and expect it to start ranking immediately. It’s no good having an optimised piece if it reads badly.

You’ll need to consider ideas generation, keyword research, heading structure, readability, and final optimisation checks before your copy is ready to be published.

Ideas generation and keyword research

When it comes to SEO copy, you want to be creating original content. The last thing you want to do is plagiarise the work of others. Not only is this morally wrong and potentially illegal, but Google can also pick up on it and punish you by not indexing your page.

However, it’s important to note that, by original content, we don’t mean something completely brand new that no one has covered. Original content simply refers to content that is written differently from other content. So long as it’s written in your style with your take, Google will register it as original content.

But as important as original content is, it’ll count for nothing if people aren’t interested in reading it. So, before you start generating any original content, you need to start thought dumping and researching.

Take whatever it is your company does or that you want to write about and start writing down ideas for a topic or content. Once you’ve got a list, you can start researching related keywords to see how viable each topic is. Soon, you’ll have a varied list of keywords related to each topic and you can start writing.


With your keywords to hand, your next step should be researching your chosen topic in relation to the keywords you have. Unless you’re an expert on the topic in question, you’re going to need to research it so you can answer the reader’s queries and provide quality content.

Heading structure

Once you’ve thoroughly researched the topic, you then need to think about your heading structure. It’s not as simple as having a title and then vomiting your copy onto the page, you need to have some order.

For example, if you’re writing a blog post, you only want a single H1, and then as many H2s as you need to cover each section of your topic. You can then dot H3s throughout the page when you need to split up the topics beneath an H2.

Not only will this make your content much more scannable and readable, something we’ll touch on in a moment, but it gives you a chance to put your keywords front and centre for Google to look at. Questions and lengthy keywords are the perfect choice for putting in headers.

Writing and readability

At this point, you’re ready to get writing (took a while, didn’t it?) Now, we’re not going to sit here and tell you how to write. Everyone has their own methods and approach. But we are going to offer some helpful best practices.

First and foremost, your content must be scannable and readable. It’s a sad truth, but the reality is that most people scan a piece of written content first before deciding if they want to read it. So, if your content is just a massive wall of text, people are going to click away immediately.

This is what makes good headers important as they can quickly tell people if a piece of content has the information they’re looking for. But to make a page even more appealing, you should also break up paragraphs to provide plenty of white space.

If possible, keep your paragraphs to a maximum of 3-4 lines, look to add in bulleted lists where relevant, and generally, keep your content as succinct as possible so your readers can find the information they need.

You should also be considering the tone of voice you want to get across. Informative is fine, but you shouldn’t be writing as if you’re creating a university dissertation unless that’s the theme of the content.

Basically, put that thesaurus away and make it something the average person is capable of reading.

Keep your tone of voice related to any brand guidelines you have. And if you’re writing freelance for yourself, just inject your own flare into the copy so you can make it your own.

Optimising your SEO copy

With everything written and ready to be published, the last thing to discuss is to ensure your SEO copy is properly optimised.

First, while we’ve mentioned including keywords a lot in this article, you should not be trying to stuff in as many as possible. This is known as keyword stuffing and Google can see when you’re doing it. It won’t index the page if you do this, and it generally makes the content difficult to read.

Always put written quality ahead of optimisation so your content doesn’t read like trash. As we said right at the start, your keywords should be woven into your SEO copy, not the other way around.

When you’re thinking about where to put your keywords, limit yourself to using each one 2-3 times, depending on your copy’s length, to avoid overloading the content. And speaking of length.

Research has suggested that long-form content does really well on Google. Gone are the days of short 300-word pieces. Instead, you should aim for things like blog articles to be a minimum of 1,000 words.

Of course, this will differ if it’s a home page or a product page, which might be closer to 400 words, so use your intuition to estimate the number of keywords you should be using on a page.


If you’ve only ever written page copy before and left the actual uploading to someone else, you might be unfamiliar with what metadata is. Fortunately, it’s pretty simple. Metadata is the title and description for a page you see on Google when it’s displayed on the results page.

A good meta title and description will go a long way to helping rank your content higher. For a meta title, it should be no more than 60 characters and include the headline of the article, or at least the keywords used in it.

For a meta description, you have a lot more wiggle room. It’s recommended that you use a maximum of 160 characters for a meta description and focus on getting across what the content is about while adding a call to action at the end.

You should look to add this metadata somewhere in your copy, usually at the top of the document you’re using, so whoever is uploading it can find it and use it.

There are, of course, several other readability factors that can help improve a page’s SEO, but you can leave these in the hands of whoever is uploading the content.

And with that last paragraph, we’ve just about covered everything there is to know about SEO content writing, at least for a beginner. Of course, the only way to know if you’re doing any of this right is to practice, so get out there and start writing.

If you found this guide useful and want to learn even more about SEO, we’ve plenty of guides on the c3 blog that can help you, like our article on what is content writing, and is it right for you?

Naturally, if you want to know even more about c3, our work, and any potential roles we have, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!