Somewhere in a perfect world, each copywriter has his own editor, who patiently proofreads and polishes up his articles. Though, we are not in a perfect world and you, as a copywriter, have to craft your texts and do all the edits, proofread and corrections alone. This process is meticulous and tiresome, yet rewarding. A well-written text isn’t just a set of beautiful words; it is a program that has certain functions, so you should carefully design it from the outset. So how could you measure and evaluate the quality of a written material, if, in fact, you need just “a great article” rather than some kind of algorithms and SEO-data? How can you express “awesomeness” of content in figures and determine how it affects the reader?. You will find the answer below, as well as 5 tools to improve your content and save time on bringing them to perfection.
Tip #1: Plan Your KeywordsSEO copywriting is a bit of a dirty word, in 2016. People look for meaty, satisfying material that brings practical advice and hands-on takeaways. But the text on a page still requires to be optimized. And if you aim to extend your readership and thus become an influencer in your niche, you must be smart and strategic about writing for search engines as well. Yet, making your article relevant to search queries doesn’t mean stuffing it with keywords. When crafting content, pay attention to a natural pattern of phrases. For example, let’s consider a phrase “order an essay” as initial text with the keyword “essay”. Since the entire text consists of 3 words, the word “essay” constitutes 1/3 of the phrase and makes 33,3% KD of the text set. The result: Spam-ish!.
What amount of keywords is optimal for one article? While the majority of Google’s SEO think there’s no optimal KD percent, in average key phrases shouldn’t overweight more than 3-5% of the entire text. To make most out of your text and establish a solid SEO foundation, consider making following preparations. First of all, think about the topic of your article and the buzz around it across the web. How many searches on your main keyword are there? How relevant it is to your topic? Does your permalink contain your key phrase and will your header motivate people to click on it? Check the meta-description – is it clear enough to make people interested in the whole post?. If you are not the SEM analyst, use Semrush – a keyword research and planning tool that helps you target short-tail and long-tail keywords. Together with KD analysis report you will get other details like traffic stats, search engine report, AdSense CPC etc., that will be useful for your SEO campaign.
Tip #2: Remove FluffAbout 90% of information is lost before it reaches our brains. That percentage decreases as we read long, plain text on a web page. The situation worsens if the article is filled with unnecessary clichés, buzz words and made-up terms. You can check wateriness of your articles with Contentyoda service. This software will also provide you with stats on stop-words, rhythmic monotony and overall uniqueness of your text. Check out this example from UK’s Plain Language Campaign - this is the difference brevity makes.
Be concise and directly write to the point. If mobile users are important to you, be even briefer and specify your points even more. Start with the conclusion and break it down in the content’s body – people relate better to details if they are familiar with basics.
Tip #3: Keep It OriginalUnique content doesn’t only mean “an original word set” but also includes the originality of ideas. Rehashing old concepts and duplicating of other people’s content will lead to decreasing in ranking from search engines. Plagiarism issues crush your web exposure, let alone it's illicit everywhere. John Mueller, a Webmaster Trend Analyst of Google, said in his Hangouts video that they do not have special duplicate content penalties, but they do have some things around spam content that are penalty worthy. In other words, if your website mostly contains low-quality articles or entirely reused content – Google might not rank it again. In our era of reposts, back links and republished content it is crucial to understand that your page will more likely struggle certain friction in Google SERP’s.
The Internet offers many tools for plagiarism and text uniqueness checking, that range from the type of testing to pricing (check out this list for free services). Note that it is impossible to reach 100% of text uniqueness in some topics because of citations and stable phrase usage. In most cases, a result of 80-95% of uniqueness is acceptable.
Tip #4: Add Relevant DataNumbers, comparisons and examples are vital to helping your visitors get to the core of your content. Instead of “we completed numerous projects” give exact facts - “we accomplished 4627 tasks”. If your data is massive and complicated, use charts and infographics as the more valuable information you provide the better response you will get from your audience. Keep in mind that you must present your ideas clearly. You should lead your readers from one point to another, gradually moving from simple concepts to more complicated structures. Use mind mapping tools to organize and manage your data.
Tip #5: Proofreading And FormattingLong blocks of plain text can be intimidating as they look like a lot of “work”. And it becomes especially hard when your text is full of grammar and spelling mistakes. Add the fact that web visitors scarcely read the entire article and you’ll see how much room for improving is left.
The main guidelines to ensure readability of web content are:
- Use test tools such as Grammarly to proofread and edit grammar and spelling.
- Divide information into small bites and make your content easy to digest.
- Write for how users view the web page. Communicate important information on top of the page and provide readable layout.
- One of the best strategies to make your content more scannable is using clear headers and subheaders.
- Write mainly in active voice and aim for an 8th-grade reading level. This will allow you target broad consumer audience.