Spending hours developing content that doesn’t improve your website’s rankings feels like a waste of time. Understanding copywriting tactics is key to developing winning content that improves SEO for your school website.
We’ve written about writing for SEO and copywriting before. In short, SEO copywriting is writing that encourages a site visitor to take action, purchase an item, sign up for something, subscribe to content, etc. It’s a “creative science,” based on plugging high ranking keywords into content. A strong copywriter will know what the audiences want to hear, and will understand SEO and Google’s Ranking Algorithm (what Google looks for in content to rank higher in searches). Great copywriting increases engagements, clicks, and conversions, and decreases bounce rates. It can take your online marketing to the next level!
Analyze top-ranking content for SEO for your school website
The best way to understand what it takes to rank in search queries is to study what results show up on page one of the search results. Review a few pieces of that top-ranking content and incorporate similar practices into your own work. Take note of SEO elements incorporated on each page. What is the meta description and page title? How often is the target keyword sprinkled throughout the content? What is the length of the content and what parts of the article are the most enticing to click?
Your goal should not be to develop exact copies of what your competitors have created but to understand and incorporate new tricks of the trade into your own content to rank higher in Google searches. It is great insight into what authority, content, and page experience signals the Google algorithm prioritizes in rankings.
Avoid vague, general keywords
The very basis of SEO writing is using strong keywords that will boost your search rankings. Keyword research is the foundation to a strong copywriting strategy— without it, you will be missing the opportunity to rank for terms people actually use in searches, and which adhere to Google’s algorithm. Start with the basics— do you know which keywords and phrases currently help your website rank well? Which keywords need some tweaking?
Keywords that need adjusting are often words and phrases that are general, broad, and are used more widely by competitors. If your website has lower authority and little readership (often true with newer websites!), you may not rank well with a more general keyword, no matter how high-quality your content is.
One way to decide which keywords to use is to analyze their difficulty scores. Keyword Difficulty (KD) is an SEO metric that allows you to understand how hard it is for a particular keyword to rank in Google searches, on a scale of 1-100. We like to use Ubersuggest or KW Finder to find the KD for keywords.
Below, you can see the keyword phrase “private school” has a KD of 88%, meaning it is very difficult to rank on Google with this phrase. We recommend you tailor your keywords to fit your content specifically.
Below, you can find the KD for “best private schools in Charlotte NC,” which is 49%. Though still competitive for rankings, it is much lower than the general “private school.”
Write for Search Intent
Search Intent, or Keyword Intent, means “the reason people search for the keyword you’re thinking about targeting.” If your content does not match the reason your audiences are searching in the first place, your website will be lost in the crowd.
There are three types of intent:
- Navigational: Searcher intends to visit a specific webpage. Example: searching “United Way non-profit”
- Informational: Searcher intends to learn about a service, industry, or product
- Commercial: Searcher wants to purchase a product or service.
You need to include keywords that match your site visitors’ intent. If you target the keyword phrase “best private school Charlotte NC” in the content on your school’s “Meet our Staff” page, you’re unlikely to rank. Why? Because your keywords were not placed for search intent.
Focus on quality, not quantity— avoid keyword stuffing
Keyword stuffing, or excessively plugging your keyword phrase in hopes to improve rankings, actually hurts more than it helps SEO for a school website.
The main focus of your copywriting should be using quality keywords that are not overly competitive in search rankings, and enhance your unique content. The focus should not be using keywords in excess. According to WordStream, Google will prioritize content that uses unique keywords no more than once or twice per 200 words of copy.
For example, check out these two short paragraphs written with the keyword phrase “small private school.”
“Our small private school, located in the heart of North Carolina, is the best small private school for your child. Whether your family desires in-person or hybrid instruction, we promise your child is at the best small private school for a unique, comprehensive small private school experience.”
Not only does this paragraph not improve rankings, but it depletes user experience as well. No one wants to read content that is clearly written to target the keyword— it seems unnatural and clunky.
“Our small private school, located in the heart of North Carolina, is the best choice for your child. Whether your family desires in-person or hybrid instruction, we promise your child is at the best private school for a unique, comprehensive experience.”
In this paragraph, the full keyword phrase is only mentioned once, which will bode better for both user experience and search rankings. Though it may be tempting, do not cram your keywords!
Don’t hide your keywords in fluff
The keyword you choose to incorporate in your content should be mentioned within the first paragraph of your content. Though lengthier introductions may be great for avid readers, it isn’t relevant for the average site visitor.
Within the first 50 words of your copy, try to plug your keyword once or twice to optimize SEO for your school website. The main goal of your content is to be relevant to your reader, so do not bog down your content with heavy introductions and fluffy language!
Is your website ready to be optimized for SEO, but you don’t know where to start? Contact us TODAY for a FREE 15-minute consultation, and we’ll steer you and your team in the right direction. Contact us today to achieve the website of your dreams!