Write SEO texts: 5 tips to be better and faster

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 In Content writing By Karen

Kristina has impressed me from day one when she first started writing and translating for Copypanthers. The first thing that struck me was that she asked all the right questions before starting on a project. She was determined to get everything right and I could see from her first texts that not only does she write perfectly in Danish, but that the research and the energy she puts into her texts always impresses. So I asked her if she could please share her secrets on how to write fast and efficiently when writing SEO texts. Thank you, Kristina, for sharing your tips and tricks with me and the rest of the freelancers, who work for Copypanthers!

Would you like to get a little better at writing texts for Copypanthers? Improve your pace and your income? Then please let me try and help you by sharing these easy-to-follow tips, which certainly helps me, when I want to really get my keyboard glowing with effectivity.

Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Experience and extra money

First, here’s a short introduction to me:

My name is Kristina, I am 37 years old and Danish.

I am a housewife with 4, soon to be 5 children, plus a stepdaughter, two stupid cats and a very big garden. My husband is British and has his own company in construction. Being both busy and chronically broke, Copypanthers has really saved my finances, plus it has given me a lot of experience as a writer, which will come in handy, if my life one day takes a turn toward having a steady job in my local community.

But if you, like me, thrive by working on your own schedule, where you want and as much as you want, then you know what I mean when I say, that the virtual workplace of Copypanthers can prove to be just as rewarding and interesting as a job IRL.

In the beginning, when first connecting with the Copypanthers team, most of us probably use a lot of time figuring out what on EARTH we have gotten in to. It all seems a bit too straight-forward, right? Put your name in the landing page, open Word, write, email, kaCHING? Really?

I certainly felt that. But very soon after that I realized, that I spend a huge amount of time on writing texts making my pay really low. That is of course very unsatisfying. But there are things you can do to change this and get paid what you deserve.

All sorts of work!

Over the past 6 months, I have written a lot of texts for different projects. Chocolate bar wrappers, toy descriptions, homepages for legal companies, couches, airlines, descriptions of medical diagnoses, hoodies, car dealers, eye drops – you name it. Copypanthers throws all sorts of work your way!

Though the subjects differ, most texts are of the standard SEO text variety. This is the kind of text, where you have one or two keywords (maybe more) that has to be repeated x number of times for a 500 word text. In the text, you have to include some history about the company or product, something about how really awesome it is, and some particularly great features, color options, different models, or the like. Use pillow links to make people jump from one post to another within the same domain. You can click to read more on them here.

You can also be asked to write a text of a more descriptive type, but most of the time you don’t get a lot of info to work with. You just have to invent that as you go along.

How to write fast

This means that you have a framework and a set of guidelines, but you have to do a little research, before or while you write in order to meet the requests. Still, the texts have to stay fluent and pleasant to write, informal, but full of relevant information, most of the time in an easy-going manner, that makes it likely that the customer would want to click along and buy the product. You also have to keep an eye out for using the keywords correctly, sticking to the right word count and meeting all the other demands for the framework of the text by following the guidelines that come with each project. This ensures that the proofreader can finish the job quickly (they get paid even less than you, remember that), and more importantly, that you won’t get the text back full of mistakes for you to correct. That is just such a bummer. I hate it, when that happens.

This is your responsibility as a writer for Copypanthers. And for a lot of us, it means that we risk spending more than an hour and a half writing a text that will result in something like the price of two Starbucks lattes. SOOOO not the point, right?

So change it, start writing great texts with few mistakes in a hurry. I hope you’ve got the itch to improve your writing – just give it a go, I promise you’ll get better with time.

Image courtesy of Marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Now for my tips:

1: Begin

When you’ve decided on a keyword, create a word document with the correct title according to the instructions on the landing page for the project. Then put in the meta-box, if required. But leave it empty for now.

Make sure to know where to email the text when you are finished with it (the PM for the first 3 texts – or maybe the project Dropbox, which the PM will have shared with you). You are now ready to start writing.

2: Research

Now its time to do some research. You’ll need an active browser.

The goal is to spend about 25% of your time researching, no more.

You can look for information on the website you are writing for. Other sources are press releases, magazines, blogs and whatever pops up when you Google “[product name] revenue 2014” or “[product name] turn over 2014” or “[product name] founder”.

Good things to know for the history part is: Founder, number of employees, international profile, development over the years, special things about the company or product, turnover the past year(s), awards won, future plans. Espresso Translations London will ensure a fluent, natural-sounding result if you need to have any of the data translated.

If you write about a product, find out what makes this product special compared to other similar products. Find some interesting information and include it in the text. Something that is really useful for the person who is going to read it.

When you find some useful information, copy it and paste it directly into your Word document. It looks a right mess, but not to worry. Soon, you will have about half a page of info.

3: Enjoy it – why not?

Then you start writing, adding the keywords as you go along. Write with spirit, pretend you are a really great salesperson standing before a crowd of eager potential costumers in a mall.

Don’t be afraid to be entertaining, use your own twists. What would it take to make you buy this thingy? Copypanthers calls it “Wow-factor”. Write it down! Then, as you write the first paragraph, where the history or the information about the product should go in most cases, use all the info you have on top of the document. It is however very important to RE-WRITE it all, NO copying is allowed. Use other words and phrases, but keep the info correct. Delete the original info on top as you use it in the text below.

4: Have fun, keep it light

When you write, try to have fun with it. Convince yourself that you are a really good writer and keep up that confidence as it adds lightness and personality to the text. There are enough brain-dead and boring SEO-texts out there. Write something different! But – if you are completely lost for words, I have had good help from checking out the competition. Check out other airlines, furniture manufacturers or stocking-sellers to get inspired by what they write. This is very useful if you have a keyword that’s hard to find info for. Just remember that you must never copy anything, but write everything with your own words.

5 : Stay with the framework

When you are done, check that you have included all keywords in the correct way, that you have stuck to the right word count, that your meta texts is correct (write it in the end, where you know about the product), do a spell check and read it through once. Save it to your Dropbox. Done.

These were pretty much my tips for today. I hope they will help you write SEO texts faster and better over the next couple of projects.

If you are not yet working for Copypanthers, you can sign up at the jobpool, and apply for jobs and see a list of all active projects. Someone will invite you to a webinar soon.

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