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SEO Copywriting Secrets That Drive More Traffic To Your site


SEO Copywriting Secrets That Drive More Traffic To Your site

Postby admin » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:17 pm

Knowing SEO is great.

Knowing copywriting is great.

But when you can do BOTH?

That’s when you can slap a big ol’ “S” on your chest…

…because you’ll be unstoppable.

And today I have something that will make you feel like you have SEO superpowers:

16 insanely actionable SEO copywriting techniques that you can use right now.

1. Use Udemy to Make Your Content 2-3x More Compelling


Most people think SEO copywriting is all about putting words after words.

But in my experience, the STRUCTURE of your content is just as important as the writing itself.

And what better place to find proven content structures than Udemy?


(In case you’re not familiar with Udemy, it’s a MASSIVE directory of online courses)

Here’s how you can use Udemy to make your next piece of content 2-3x more compelling:

First, head over to Udemy and enter a keyword.

For example, let’s say you were writing a blog post about photography. You’d search for “photography”:

udemy search 1

Udemy will show you all of their popular photography courses:

udemy search results

Next, pick a course that with a lot of reviews.

Let’s go with the EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course for Beginners:

udemy course selection

Once you pick a course, take a look at how many people have already enrolled in it.

As you can see, nearly 6,000 people have enrolled in the EasyDSLR course:

udemy students

Do you see how huge this is?

You’re looking at content that 6,000 people have shelled out cold hard cash to get access to.

That means you don’t need to rely on your Spidey sense. You KNOW there’s going to be demand for your content.

Thousands of people have already voted…with their wallets.


Once you’ve found a popular course, scroll down to the “Curriculum” section.

That’s where you’ll find the proven structure you can use for your next post:

udemy curriculum

Obviously, you don’t want to rip off the instructor’s course.

But you can use bits and pieces of the curriculum for your outline:


Now that you have your outline, it’s almost time to put pen to paper.

Before you do, make sure to read the next technique on my list…

2. Add “Bucket Brigades” To Slash Bounce Rate and Boost Time On Page

When someone lands on your site from Google, two things can happen:

They either leave right away…

…or they stick around.

And when people stick on your page like superglue, Google thinks:

“This is a great page. Let’s give it a rankings boost.”

But when people leave your site like a sinking ship…

That’s when Google drops you like a stone.

google bounce rate

The bottom line?

If you want higher rankings, you NEED to keep people on your site.

How? Bucket Brigades.

Bucket Brigades are words and phrases that keep people on your page.

For example:

You may notice that I tend to use short sentences that end in a colon, like this:

bucket brigade

That’s a Bucket Brigade.

But what are Bucket Brigades, exactly?

Bucket Brigades are an old school copywriting tactic that were originally designed to keep people reading sales letters.

I’ve adapted Bucket Brigades for online content and the results are, well, crazy.

In fact, here’s Backlinko’s average time on page:

time on page

Yes, that’s 4 minutes.

A good chunk of that above-average Time on Page is due to the fact that I sprinkle Bucket Brigades into every post.

Now it’s time for me to show you how to use Bucket Brigades to boost your Time on Page:

First, find a place in your content where someone’s likely to hit their browser’s “back” button…

…and add a Bucket Brigade.

Start with your intro.

Here’s an example where I used two Bucket Brigades in my intro:

bucket brigade intro1

(By the way, the Time On Page for that post is over 7-minutes):

time on page 2

You also want to use Bucket Brigades in the middle of your content.

Here’s an example from one of my recent case studies:

bucket brigade example

Bottom line: whenever you have a section where someone may get bored and leave, add a Bucket Brigade.

You can make up your own Bucket Brigades, like I did in the example above (“The secret to publishing content that people want to share is this:”).

Or you can use these tried-and-true Bucket Brigade classics:

Here’s the deal:
What’s the bottom line?
You might be wondering:
This is crazy:
It gets better/worse:
But here’s the kicker:
Want to know the best part?
And — bada bing, bada boom — you’re set.

Once you’ve added a few Bucket Brigades, move onto technique #3…

3. Add These Words To Your Content (And Make Google Happy)

Today’s super-smart Google doesn’t care how many times you cram a keyword into your article.

Instead, it pays close attention to Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords.

(LSI keywords are a fancy way of saying: “synonyms and closely related words”)

And these LSI keywords help Google understand what your page is all about.

For example, let’s say you do a Google search for “cars”.

How does Google know whether you’re searching for:

Cars the vehicle
Cars the movie
The 1970s rock band (with awful hair)
The Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)
The answer? LSI keywords.

For example, when Google sees a page with LSI keywords like this…

LSI Keywords

…they know the page is about the cars you drive.

But when Google sees a page like this…

lsi keywords 2

…they know it’s about Cars the movie.

So how can you add more LSI keywords into your content?

I’ll explain with an example:

Let’s say your keyword was “laptop repair”.

First, search for that keyword in Google:

google search example

Then, scan the page for bold words and phrases that aren’t your target keyword.

Here are some examples from the first page for “laptop repair”:

lsi keyword example

See how Google bolds words like “notebook”, “computer repair”, and “fix”?

Google bolds those terms because it considers them VERY similar to the keyword you just searched for.

(In other words, LSI keywords)

Finally, sprinkle these bold terms into your content:

wordpress lsi keywords

Once you’re done, you’re ready for secret #4.

4. Rank #1 in Google With This SEO Copywriting Secret

Bold promise? Definitely.

But stay with me.

What’s the big secret I’m talking about?

Creating your own keywords.

I’ll explain.

If you search for your brand in Google, you probably rank #1.

backlinko search results

You may not have thought about it, but your brand is a keyword…

…a keyword that you automatically rank #1 for.

But why stop there?

You can generate boatloads of extra organic traffic when you also brand your techniques and strategies.

For example:

You’ve probably heard about The Skyscraper Technique, my 3-step strategy for getting more organic traffic to your site.

skyscraper technique blog post

Because I branded my strategy “The Skyscraper Technique”, I now have a pipeline of extra visitors coming to my site everyday.

In fact, according to Google Webmaster Tools, the keyword “Skyscraper Technique” gets 1,103 searches per month:

google webmaster tools search query

Because I rank #1, #2 AND #3 for that keyword, I get the lion’s share of those 1,103 clicks:

skyscraper technique google results

Bottom line?

Whenever you develop a unique strategy, tactic, or technique…

…make sure you slap a branded name on it.

When you do, you’ll get a bunch of extra organic search traffic.

5. Stalk Forums for The EXACT Words Your Readers Use

A while back I published a post called, “Why Google Hates Your Site (Hint: It Has Something to Do With TrustRank)“:

long tail keyword exampleWith this post I decided to go after a keyword that my competitors wouldn’t bother targeting…

…even though it gets a decent amount of searches.

What was the keyword?

“Google hates my site”

Believe it or not, I didn’t pull this keyword out of thin air.

I chose this keyword because I saw A LOT of people in SEO forums saying things like this:

long tail keyword forums

And if people post something in a forum, you can bet your butt that they also search for the same thing in Google.

So I decided to use a variation of that keyword in my post:

long tail keyword optimization

Today, besides ranking #2 for my target keyword (“TrustRank”)…

trustrank search results

…when someone searches for “Google hates my site”, I show up in the top spot:

google search results

How can you use this technique to get more traffic?

First, optimize your page just like you normally would (If you need a hand, check out these 14 advanced on-page SEO strategies).

But before you hit “publish”, scan forums for words and phrases people tend to use around your topic.

For example, let’s say your target keyword was “organic vegetable gardening”.

You’d search in Google with inurl:forum + “organic vegetable gardening”:

google search query

This will bring up a bunch forum threads around the topic of vegetable gardening:

google search results

Skim the first few threads that you find.

When you see a phrase that seems like a good fit…

forum post

…search for forum + “phrase” in Google:

google forum search

If a lot of results pop up (like with this example), add those words and phrases to your post.

wordpress post

And you’re good to go.

6. Here’s How to Get More Social Shares From Everything That You Publish

Here’s the deal:

Sure, social sharing buttons help you get more shares…

…but in most cases, they’re not enough.

Instead, I recommend tapping into a copywriter’s best friend:

A call to action.

Let me explain.

A few months back I published a post called “17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Will Generate More Subscribers Today“:

17 insanely actionable list building strategies

To maximize the amount of shares this post got, I included a “click to tweet” button underneath each item on the list:


To date, my post has over 2600 tweets…

tweet count

…and a good chunk of those 2600 tweets came from my “click to tweet” buttons:

twitter search results

Here’s how you can do the same thing:

First, find a super actionable tip or strategy from your post.

Next, head over to ClickToTweet.com. Click on “basic link”:

click to tweet

Turn your actionable tip into a tweet:

tweet example

Then, click on “Generate new link”.

click to tweet example

Grab the link…

twitter link

…and pop the link into your post.

You can use buttons like I did. But plain-text links also work great:

click to tweet link

Whether you use a button or a plain link, definitely add at least one “click to tweet” call to action in your next post.

7. Here’s How to Get More Search Engine Traffic…WITHOUT Higher Rankings

Here’s something we can both agree on:

The higher you rank, the more clicks you get, right?

Well…not really.

I’ll explain.

Right now Backlinko ranks #1 in Google for two different keywords: “how to do CPA marketing” and “how to find long tail keywords” :

two number one rankings

(Obviously I rank #1 for more than just those two keywords. These are just 2 examples :-) )

Both keywords are “how-to” keywords.

Both keywords have ads above the organic results.

Yet the click through rate for “how to do CPA marketing” is 49% higher than “how to find long tail keywords”:


Wait, what?!

Here’s the dead simple explanation:

My Google listing for “how to do CPA marketing” looks WAY better than “how to find long tail keywords”.

Just look at how clean and enticing this looks:

google listing

It’s got a clear title and compelling description copy.

On the other hand, my long tail keyword listing is a big mess.

google listing 2

The title tag is cut off and the description tag is a random snippet from the page. Not good.


I’ll have another powerful technique to boost your organic click through rate later in this post…

…but for now, follow these 2 simple steps:

First, make sure you write your own description tag for every important page on your site.

If you don’t, Google will sometimes write funky descriptions for you.

So pop open your SEO plugin of choice. Then, write a unique description tag for each important page on your site.

description tag

Next, tweak your title and description so that it emphasizes the here and now.

When someone does a Google search they want answers…FAST.

And when you show them that you’ll give them a quick win, you get more clicks.

For example, here’s the Google result for my list building post:

high CTR listing

See how my title and description emphasize fast results not once…but twice?

That’s exactly what you want to do.

Once you’ve finished that 2-step process, it’s time for SEO copywriting secret #8.

8. Hack Amazon to Get More Traffic to Ecommerce Product and Category Pages

With giants like Amazon littering the first page, it’s not easy running an ecommerce site today.

Despite that fact, I still see a lot of small ecommerce sites beat the odds.

Their secret?

They target long tail keywords that most of their competitors don’t know about.

Here’s how they do it (and how you can do the same thing):

First, search for a product that you sell on Amazon.

For example, let’s say you ran an ecommerce site that sold organic dog food.

You’d search for “organic dog food” in Amazon:

amazon search

But don’t hit enter!

If you wait a second, Amazon will show you long tail keywords related to that keyword (just like Google Suggest):

amazon suggest

Grab one of those keywords and pop it into Google.

google search keywords

Check to see if the first page for the long tail keyword is less competitive than the one you’re currently targeting.

Usually, it will be:


And because Amazon Suggest keywords are so laser-targeted, they tend to convert GREAT.

Finally, sprinkle those keywords into your product and category page copy (and in your title and description tags):

shopify seo example

As soon as you’ve added long tail copy to your product and category pages, move onto the next SEO copywriting secret on the list.

9. This Simple Strategy May Change The Way You Write Blog Posts

You probably already know that subheadings make your content MUCH easier to read.

For example, here are two screenshots from two different posts:

text readability

Which would you rather read?

Thought so.

But what you may not know is that the copy that you use in your subheaders is a BIG deal.

You see, most people use random subheaders like this:

subheadings example

Sure, that breaks up the content alright.

But random subheaders won’t make a visitor say “wow, there’s a ton of value here”.

Fortunately, there’s a quick fix for that:

Include benefits in your subheaders.

For example, in my post on building an email list, I include benefit-rich copy in most of my subheadings.

Instead of a bland subheading like “Focus On Your Thank You Page”, I put the BENEFIT front and center:

benefit subheading

See the difference?

Here’s the action step:

Include a benefit in AT LEAST 25% of the subheadings in your next post.

When you do — BAM! — you’ll instantly boost the perceived value of your content.

10. Gobble Up More Long Tail Traffic With “Title Tag Modifiers”

If you want more traffic from long tail keywords, the solution is simple:

Add “modifiers” to your title tag.

What are “modifiers”?

Modifiers are words that you add to your title tag…

…words that get your site in front of more long tail searchers.

Here’s little case study of this strategy in action:

A while back I published a guide called “Link Building: The Definitive Guide“.

link building guide backlinko

And the title tag I used was simply the name of the guide:

title tag example

At the time, I thought to myself:

“This title tag is short and sweet. It also includes my target keyword. This is a great title tag.”

But I was wrong.

I quickly realized that I could get MORE traffic to that page if I added a modifier.

So I added the keyword “SEO” to my title tag:

title tag wordpress 2

Thanks to that simple tweak, my page ranks for keywords that I wouldn’t have NEVER thought to optimize around…

…like “SEO link building” (480 searches/month):

seo link building

And “link building SEO” (90 searches/month):


According to GWT, those two keywords bring in 139 targeted visitors per month.

All from (literally) 28 seconds of work.

How can you do the same thing?

First, find a page on your site that has a short title tag (between 25-40 characters):

title tag wordpress

Add a word or two to your title tag that you think your audience might use when they search for your target keyword:

title tag with a modifier

If you’re not sure what modifier to include, pick one from this list:

“How to…”
You won’t be able to predict exactly what keywords these modifiers bring in…

…but you’ll get more search engine traffic than you would without them.

And that’s what really matters :-)

11. Skyrocket Time On Page With This Intro Formula

As you saw earlier, Backlinko rocks an above-average Avg. Time on Page:

time on page

I already told you that Bucket Brigades were a big part of the story.

And now I want to show you another technique that makes Google searchers stick to my site like superglue:

One of my battle-tested blog post introduction templates.

And today I’m going to share one of my favorites:

The APP Method.

Here’s what it looks like:

aap blog post introduction

As you can see in the graphic, “APP” stands for: Agree, Promise, and Preview.

Let’s break each element down:

First, we have Agree.

Start your introduction off with an idea or concept that a Google searcher will agree with.

This shows them that you understand their problem.

Here’s an example from my post on creating a Social Squeeze page.

blog post introduction

That’s something people searching for my target keyword (“squeeze page”) know to be true.

Now that you’ve got them nodding their head in agreement, it’s time for the Promise.

The Promise is where you give them a peek into a better world.

Here’s an example from my Social Squeeze Page Post:

blog post introduction

Finally, hit them with The Preview.

Don’t beat around the bush. Just tell them exactly what you have in store for them.

blog post introduction 2

Once you put the finishing touches on The Preview, you’re set.

You now have an intro that keeps Google readers on your site…

…and a page that Google will want to show to more people.

12. Add More LSI Keywords With “Searched Related To…”


Like I mentioned in item #3 from this list — the more LSI keywords you embed into your content — the better Google understands what your page is about.

Now I’ve got a mini case study that will show you how to reveal even more LSI keywords that you can use.

A while back I wanted to add a few LSI keywords to my post, “On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page“.

on page seo blog post

First, I searched for my target keyword (“on page SEO”) in Google:

google search 2

Next, I scrolled to the bottom of the first page. This is where Google shows you “searches related to…” keywords:

searches related to

These are PERFECT LSI keywords to include in your content.

I grabbed any LSI keywords that made sense and popped them into my content.

For example:

lsi keyword usage

And I was good to go.

This technique has a bonus benefit:

“Searches related to…” keywords help you rank for long tail keywords that may not show up in the Google Keyword Planner:

google search results 3

That means more traffic for you.

13. Borrow Headline Formulas From BuzzFeed and ViralNova

It’s funny:

A lot of SEO and content marketers hate on “clickbait” sites like BuzzFeed and ViralNova.

Me? I think they’re geniuses.

Their meteoric growth speaks for itself…

buzzfeed growth

Besides, it’s hard NOT to love headlines like these:

viralnova headlines

And they’ve proven that their headline formulas grab people by the eyeballs.

For example, item #9 from this post may have caught your eye:

subheading example

The idea for that subheader came from a post on BuzzFeed:

buzzfeed headline

And you can do the same thing.

Just check out some recent posts on BuzzFeed and ViralNova…

viralnova headlines

…and adapt them for your blog post titles and subheadings.

Obviously, some of their headlines are over the top.

So I’ve put together a few Buzzfeed-style headline templates that grab attention…without going overboard:

25 ___ That Will Change The Way You ___
I Tried ___. And Even I Was Surprised About What Happened Next
This ___ Makes ___ 10x Better
Here Are 11 ___ That ____. And They’re Backed By Science
Use These 20 Simple Hacks For More ____. #5 Is Awesome
When You Learn About ___ You’ll Never ____ Again

14. This Simple Strategy Stops “Serial Skimmers”

Everyone and their mom knows that subheadings make online content easier to read.

To illustrate how much subheadings help, here’s the example I showed earlier in this post:

text readability

If you’re human, you prefer the post on the left.


Subheadings are just ONE way to break up your content.

Magazines use dozens of different techniques to break up walls of text.

Here’s an example from an Inc. magazine I have lying around my apartment:

inc magazine

And when you use the 3 magazine-inspired techniques I’m about to show you, you’ll stop “serial skimmers” in their tracks.

Technique #1: Quote Boxes

Whenever you quote someone, put that quote in a box. Here’s an example from Backlinko:

callout quote example

Technique #2: Sidebar Callouts

This is another magazine staple.

Whenever you have content that complements your post, put it in a callout box.

I use these quite a bit at Backlinko.

callout box example

Technique #3: Section Banners

This technique a bit more involved…

…but it’ll make your content look über professional.

Just add a custom banner underneath each subheading, like this:

section subheaders

See how nice that looks?

You can get these custom banners made at a freelance site like Elance.

Or, if you’re in the mood for DIY, Canva works well too.

15. Embed Adwords Copy to Get More Clicks to Your Organic Results

Now it’s time to show you another proven strategy for attracting more clicks to your site.

Let me show you how it works with a real life example.

Here’s what the listing for one of my posts USED to look like:

google search result listing

Because I was in a rush to get this post out in time, I forgot to write my own title and description tag…

…so Google wrote it for me.

And as you can see, it ain’t pretty.

The title tag was cut off…

cut off title tag

…and the description tag made no sense:

bad description tag

Here’s what I did to turn things around:

I included words and phrases from Adwords ads into my title and description tag.

Think about it:

Adwords ads have one goal…to generate clicks.

And through thousands of split tests, the ads you see are (usually) proven click magnets.

For example:

I noticed that most of the Adwords ads for the keyword “list building” had the words “email list” or “email lists”.

So I made sure to pop the phase “email list” into my description tag:

good description tagA lot of the Adwords ads I saw also used words like “build” and “grow”:

So I added the word “build” to my description tag too:

description tag example

And just like that I had a search result that’s MUCH more likely to attract clicks.

16. Use This To Make Your Content More Compelling

You’ve probably heard of HARO, a service that connects journalists and sources.

HARO Homepage

When a journalist needs a source for a story, he or she sends out a query:

haro query example

If you reply to a query with top-notch info, you can land mentions from some pretty baller sites.

But that’s not what we’re going to use HARO for today.

Instead, we’re going to use HARO queries to make our copywriting more compelling…

…and attract more long tail traffic.

Here’s how:

First, sign up as a source (it’s free):

HARO signup formNext, choose the HARO lists that fit your business:

HARO list preferences

You’ll start to get HARO emails from reporters and bloggers looking for sources:

gmail emails

Give each email a once over. Keep an eye out for any topics that you tend to cover on your blog.

When you find one, pay attention to how the journalist phrases the topic.

For example, let’s say that you run a career blog.

And one day you come across this HARO query:

HARO query 2

9 times out of 10, the journalist chooses an angle like this because there’s growing interest in that topic.

In other words: people are searching for that topic in Google more and more.

So right off the bat you’ve got a great topic (“Cover Letter Best Practices”) handed to you on silver platter.

But don’t stop there.

Pay close attention to the words and phrases the journalist uses in the query:

HARO for copywriting

Make sure to include similar words and phrases in your content:

SEO copywriting blog post

And just like that you have a post built to gobble up more long tail traffic.
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