SEO Copywriting Tips – Getting The Sale

by tommcsherry · 33 comments

This is a guest post by Tom McSherry from

As bloggers and Internet marketers, we often have a tendency to focus on traffic. After all, if no one is visiting your website, you’re not going to make any money – it’s that simple. But don’t be one of those people who makes the mistake of spending all your time on traffic generation methods, without learning the tricks and techniques you’ll need to convert those visitors into customers once they arrive.

Whether you’re selling affiliate products, your own ebook or your services, you need to balance out search engine optimization against the need to actually convert people. If you understand both aspects – SEO, and copywriting – you can blend them together seamlessly.

You’ve no doubt heard boring advice like “Write for people first, search engines second,” a million times, so I’ll give you some less common tips.

Here are a few of my favorite copywriting techniques and how you can fuse them with SEO techniques.

Writing Captivating Headlines – With Keywords

In copywriting, one of your major goals is to write headlines that capture attention, draw the reader in a stir an emotional reaction. With SEO copywriting, you have an added challenge: you have to try to include your keyword phrases in your headlines.

Headlines are an important factor in on-page optimization, especially the first headline at the top of the page.

If you’re willing to be creative, you can turn this challenge into a blessing. If you’ve chosen your main keyword well, you can work it into your headline in a way that will immediately grab attention (because the searcher has come to your page after typing that term into the search engine, so their eyes will be drawn to it).

Don’t waste an opportunity to use a keyword in a headline, but never sacrifice the ‘smoothness’ of a headline to try to cram in keywords that don’t fit. Focus on the reader experience.

Use Short Sentences

Short sentences are ideal for online copy. You’re trying to express straightforward ideas in a simple style. But that doesn’t mean all your sentences should be short. You want to use a variety of sentence lengths to change-up the ‘rhythm’ of your copy.

Copy where every sentence is the same length will come across choppy and awkward. A good test is to read your copy out loud – you want your copywriting to read in a conversational way, so the best method to measure that is to actually read it out as if you were having a conversation.

If it doesn’t sound conversational, it’s probably because your sentence length and structure is awkward or you’re not choosing your words well.

Use Bullet Points

Bullet points are extremely handy for keeping your copy on-topic and simple. They let you split your copy up into neat little compartments – each compartment should contain one major benefit of whatever you’re trying to sell.

Remember: something your product has is a feature. Something your product does for the customer is a benefit. That’s an important difference.

Mix Up Your Word Choice with Synonyms

We all know repeating a key phrase too many times is considered ‘spam.’ But you can actually avoid going overboard on keyword density and enhance the optimization of your web page at the same time. All you have to do is use synonyms for your main keywords.

Not only does this help you avoid being flagged for spam, it will help your page get found for all sorts of different long tail keywords.

The golden rule of SEO copywriting is to always be testing. Keep experimenting with new techniques and test new copy against your ‘control’ copy. This is how you refine your copy and increase your conversion rate over time.

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About tommcsherry

Tom McSherry is a professional SEO copywriter. He helps web business owners generate more traffic and achieve better conversions through targeted, highly optimized website copy. You can follow him on Twitter for updates on more insider SEO copywriting tips.

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Sam February 10, 2013 at 3:09 am

Hi Tom, great write up. I find your first point the hardest! It’s always a balancing act to write an attention grabbing headline and include the keywords you are optimising for. I always try to never let SEO pressures force me into writing a non-logical or relevant headline just to score a couple of on-site brownie points.

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