Writing is hard.
It doesn’t matter if you do it professionally or you have somehow become the main writer in the office without knowing how you got there.
Some people make it look easy, and you’re baffled as to how they do that, but then you discover the existence of writing tools, designed by and for writers just like you.
From checking your grammar and honing your content strategy to making the blank page less terrifying, the seven writing tools in this post will make your life easier.
But first, what is SEO copywriting?
SEO copywriting is a specialized form of online writing that helps content rank higher in search results, drives qualified traffic to your website, and usually contains phrases or themes that a target reader types into a search box to find an answer.
Back in the beginning of SEO, copywriting involved a strategy called “keyword stuffing,” which involved including a variety of similar keywords in your copy. There was once a time when you could keyword stuff your way to the top of the search engine result pages.
And for a while, that strategy worked! Google was still figuring out how best to answer search queries, but their algorithms have become much smarter now. Keyword stuffing is not a strategy worth using anymore and will only do more harm than good for your organic search traffic.
SEO copywriting has evolved into the practice of writing content that is useful, unique, and did I mention useful? It takes real effort now to write great content because good just might not be good enough. You can’t just write 300-word blog posts once a month and call it a day.
You need to be a writer, strategist, and researcher all in one fast-typing package. Don’t write content just because you think it will rank well. Write content that potential customers and industry peers will want to read and share because it was useful.
Your audience must come before the search engine. Trying to write for search engines misses the mark of what content should be and that will be reflected in your rankings or traffic. If you put users first and write good content, then you’ll be rewarded by the search engines.
“Good” is one of those words your English teacher wanted you to stop using because, ironically, it wasn’t good enough. But in this case, “good” is just the entry into the game. Good is good enough, but to truly do well your content needs to be great.
Web users are getting savvier and savvier – especially as younger generations age along with the internet so the old ways of writing won’t cut it. The internet is their home, and if you aren’t offering the good stuff, they’re going to stop inviting you over.
Writing Tools That Will Make SEO Copywriting Easier
It doesn’t have just to be you and a blank word document. There are tons of tools online that will help you with research and honing everything you write.
Ernest Hemingway is best known for the quote “write drunk, edit sober” – I don’t know if he actually said that, but it is often attributed to him, and it fits his drunken sea captain with a typewriter vibe – and for his short style of writing (that I clearly don’t adhere to).
The Hemingway Editor will help you write more like dear old Ernest by highlighting sentences that are hard to read (usually long ones) and keeping track of how many adverbs you use.
See? I told you it’d be mad at me. I choose to ignore it.
If, like me, you tend to be wordy, but you actually want to change it, give the Hemingway App a try.
Made for copywriters by copywriters, Airstory makes a blank page seem interactive. There’s a Chrome extension that lets you mine your research for notes and drop it directly into a project. You can toggle between your outline and your draft with a simple button.
Are you tired of saving new drafts and labeling them version 1, version 2, version 76? Airstory saves each version, and you can slide this alien man back and forth to see what you wrote before:
Weird? Yes. Helpful? Yes.
I’m a recent Airstory convert, so I’m still figuring out the best way to use it for collaborating with my team. But it’s definitely worth a try because it’s free.
Not free to try. Just free!
Even if you consider grammar and spelling one of your strong suits, you should still add Grammarly to your toolbox. There is a pro version, which is excellent, but the free version is a valuable tool.
There will be days where you forget that Oxford comma or how to spell “specifically,” and you need something stronger than Microsoft Word’s spellcheck to help you. I use the paid version of Grammarly, and it has saved my butt on multiple occasions. It always makes me feel more secure sending content to clients, because if the grammar robot approves of it, then everything is fine.
You can add it to Microsoft Word and your browser, so you always have it on your six.
Grammarly also has space for you to write content if you would prefer to use their blank page.
Your headline is your first impression.
The goal of the headline is to get people to read the first sentence. Then your challenge is to get them to read the second sentence and so on, but that first step is the hardest part.
Knowing how to write headlines is a critical skill every copywriter needs to know.
Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer will determine the “emotional marketing value” of your headline. The higher the score, the better the headline.
For example, the first iteration of this blog post’s headline did not score very well at all:
My next attempt was much better:
I particularly like this tool, because it runs under the assumption that my writing sucks and it will help me, well, unsuck it. Keeps me humble.
If you work in a corporate environment where everyone uses jargon – for example, “come to Jesus,” Unsuck It can be a fun tool.
It might not always make your writing better, but it’s a fun coping mechanism when you have to deal with corporate bosses. Throw your cliches in there and see what comes out.
If you use a phrase a lot in your writing, it can help unstick it from your brain and give you a better way to phrase it.
Ahrefs and SEMrush
If you want to be an SEO copywriter, then you need to learn how to strategize. Sometimes this can be the hardest part, which is why you need tools that can help you.
Among other things, Ahrefs and SEMrush can help you with your keyword research and find gaps in your content. It puts the “SEO” into “SEO copywriting.”
Going into all of the tools Ahrefs and SEMrush provides is a whole other blog post, but they can help you create content you know people will want to read.
Incorporating tools into your writing process might sound intimidating and like a lot of work, but these tools are designed to make your life easier.
Just think of it this way:
Writing doesn’t have to be hard. The tools are there to speed up the process, make it more strategic, and to make maybe even it more enjoyable.
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