Are you looking to improve your rankings on Google in 2020?

With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to start making changes to your copy that can supercharge your traffic.

With Google’s ranking algorithms constantly changing, what worked this year might not be as effective in 2020. This goes for the latest web design trends as well as copywriting.

It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends so that when people go searching for your products and services, you’ll be the first business that appears.

SEO copywriting not only demands excellent and high-quality content, but must also be simple and clear. With more and more internet users becoming content scanners – particularly to the increase in the use of mobile content consumption – SEO copywriting is moving away from traditional keyword metrics.

Instead, you’ll need to identify user intent, create long-form content that solves a problem from all angles, uses long-tail and LSI keywords, and is set up to rank organically, in snippets and voice search results.

Follow these 5 SEO copywriting tips to make 2020 your best ranking year yet.

#1 – User intent is everything

The era of creating content to stuff full of keywords is long over.

It’s no longer an efficient use of your time to create content based around arbitrary keywords. In 2020, SEO will be about user intent.

This means you have to identify ‘why’ someone is using a certain keyword, not ‘what’ keyword they’re using.

Let’s say someone is searching for ‘lose weight’. 

Are they looking to lose weight at the gym? Or with supplements? Or are they looking for surgical options?

Your goal is to identify why they’re searching and create valuable content around these niche interests.

In this case, adding the keyword ‘lose weight’ over and over won’t help you to rank for any of the above searches. But by learning that people wanted to lose weight at the gym you could add sections on gym prices, simple home workouts, nutritional plans – all of which will tap into user intent and help your content rank.

Remember, SEO copywriting in 2020 is about offering what people are looking for at a deep and high-quality level. 

In other words, the main goal is offering value

This SEO copywriting method will you attract visitors to your page and convert them into customers. 

#2 – Create long-form content

When it comes to SEO, length is strength.

Did you know the average length of a post on the first page of Google is 1890 words?

Research has consistently shown that long content receives higher traffic compared to short ones. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, long content has better potential in solving a person’s question or problem. It’s natural to be able to provide more help in 1000 words compared to 100.

Secondly, short content doesn’t compel people to engage with it. People are more likely to share long, helpful content than short, thin content.

Google’s search results page (SERP) uses the same logic. Search engines like Google want to rank content that is high-quality and solves people’s problems. This will make sure people keep using Google, and that is Google’s goal. As a result, Google will prioritise content that ticks all these quality boxes.

This is a tactic used by carpet cleaner’s A Plus Carpet Cleaning who explain “our service pages used to be a ‘less is more’ structure. Since we overhauled the content and stretched each service page to 1,000 plus words, we’ve seen an increase in traffic.”

As a good rule of thumb, your content should:

  • Be detailed
  • Be up to date
  • Include expert commentary or opinions
  • Include recent statistics
  • Contain graphs and videos

Always ask yourself whether your content has looked to solve a problem from every possible angle. If it hasn’t, dive back in and keep improving it.

Looking for more SEO tips? Find out how to boost your local SEO results here.

long form content blog graphic

#3 – Use LSI keywords

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that keywords are a core aspect of SEO.

The keywords you use, and create content around, will help you rank for those same key words when people use them to search online.

But with Google’s algorithm getting more advanced, 2020 will signify a break from traditional keyword research and use. Instead, sprinkle LSI keywords through your content.

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing and these are a collection of words that complement the power of your primary keyword.

For example, if your keyword was ‘coffee making’ your LSI keywords might be terms like ‘coffee’, ‘grinding’, ‘cappuccino’, ‘coffee machine’ and ‘beans’.

LSI keywords help you because primary keywords have become so competitive. As a result they receive extremely high search volume. These keywords tend to have high competition, which makes them extremely challenging to compete and rank your website no-matter how well you target them. 

Therefore, if your website is like most others, then you need to include LSI keywords. These inclusions will help Google better understand what your content is about, and give you more chances of ranking in the SERPs.

Bonus Tip: You can find LSI keywords by entering your target keyword in Google’s search bar. Scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll see a list of ‘searches relating to’ your keyword – these are your LSI keywords.

LSI keyword examples

#4 – Optimise your headlines for a higher CTR

Headlines are the secret herbs and spices in the meal that is your content.

What does this mean? 

It means your content won’t be enough to get people to bite. You need a delicious, interesting and engaging headline to make sure people are hooked. A well thought out headline can actually impact tangible business outcomes like an increase in clicks, shares, and even sales. 

Myotherapy practitioners Northern Sports were able to increase CTR by optimising their page titles. They note “by adding numbers to do with pricing, healing times and lists we saw a sharp increase in CTR. It’s crazy how a small change can influence major business outcomes.”

How do you make your headline attractive to search engines and human visitors? 

  • Including a number in your headline: Headlines with a number receives more clicks from the search engine results page. The rate of engagement was higher on headlines that began with the numbers 7, 5, 15, and 10.
  • Use headlines with 12 to 18 words: Headlines which had more than 12 words (and not more than 18 words) received a higher click-through-rate. 
  • Experiment with headlines that are intriguing, or create a sense of curiosity: Phrases like ‘What You Need To Know about X’ ’7 Ways To Use X To Improve Your Life’ and ‘The Future Of X’ will make people curious to learn more. 

Looking for a quick and easy headline tool? CoSchedule’s headline analyser can help grade your headlines with practical tips  to upskill. And it’s free!

coschedule headline analyzer

#5 – Target Google’s ‘Featured Snippets’

You would have encountered Google’s featured snippets when searching for answers to questions that begin with ‘how’, ‘what’ or ‘when’; among other search terms.

Also known as position zero, this is highly valuable real estate as they catch the eye and can claim clicks that might otherwise have gone to your competition.

So, how do you get there?

The first step is to ensure that you are ranked on the first page of an organic search engine like google. Over 99% of featured snippets come from websites on the first page of Google, so getting on page #1 is your priority. And with 93% of all online experiences starting with a search engine, the more you’re seen on Google the better.

Next, choose a keyword that you are already ranking for (and that also trigger a feature snippet – of which 41% of questions do). This will be your target. 

Next you’ll want to create snippet bait. This should include a block of text with about 40 to 60 words, which specifically target what the featured snippet already says. The text is usually an answer to a question or factual information related to that specific keyword. Try and add value, statistics or content the current featured snippet is lacking – but don’t go over 60 words!

Skincare experts MT Medical have plans to target feature snippets, noting “for industries like ours, where people want recipes, tips or how-to guides, featured snippets can be very valuable. Getting that top spot can mean getting a valuable, commercially-driven click so it’s worth spending time targeting featured snippets.”

google feature snippet example

Looking to make 2020 your year? Chat to the expert team from Zaaax and find out how to create a website that gets traffic, clicks and sales.