How to optimize your editorial copy

No more free access to Google Adwords, that’s the news Google released mid-May. On the bright side, no more boring, ugly spreadsheets that were giving zero search volume for the best long-tail keywords anyway. On the other side, it was sometimes reassuring to have one more tool to confirm some hunches and feeling like our choices were being validated. But they are plenty of other useful tools out there.
In any case, this is another sign that the keyword-only approach is outdated. Using research and your best judgment is still the best way to go.

What is optimization?

Optimization is providing interesting, informative and easy-to-use content to your specific audience in order to answer their searches. Today, search engines are really smart, so forget about the keyword-only angle or any deceptive or magic-trick-like practices.

Today, search engines are more interested in:

  • per-page focus: pages rank individually (not the website as a whole), so each page should be about 1 key theme (one idea, one service or one topic).
  • aboutness: if you have one page about earrings, one page about bracelets, one page about necklaces, one page about tips to choose between gold and silver and a home page about jewelry, the search engines know what your website is about. No single “magic keyword” to put in every single paragraph and page.
  • voice search: be conversational, provide answers to real searches/questions to be found by the target audience. Your content should be the answer to their searches.
  • mobile-first: this is THE major SEO concern, especially for web designers, but we, editorial people, play a part in creating easy-to-read content.

In short, here is what you need to do to optimize your copy:

  1. Know your topic: do a thourough research by listing your strengths and comparing yourself with the competition.
  2. Look at what people search for on other free SEO tools.
  3. Select the best key ideas per page and write about the differentiating key strengths.

Ready? Set? Go!

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