Before Pandas and Penguins ruled the earth, an SEO copywriter could get away with stuffing keywords, being irrelevant to the user and writing short, choppy posts.

Marketers would pay writers for 300 word posts with 14 instances of a key phrase and then distribute said posts around the web to grow the link profile.

In the modern search engine era, these tactics have been overruled by relevancy; relevancy to the intended reader first and the robots second.

What I’ll outline is a framework to follow when writing for modern search engines, and by modern search engines I mean Google. This framework is based on recommendations from Google itself, personal experiences and trusted resources from the world of SEO.

SEO COPYWRITING FRAMEWORK

What’s the target key phrase?
Focus on one key phrase or idea per post. Muddying the waters with topics is better suited for longer form content or split into individual topics. Generate your list of key phrases by learning where your brand or product overlaps with your ideal candidate’s interests. This is where you might focus on your firms recruiting specialty and some of your unique knowledge in that space.

What’s the purpose?
Are you writing to provide tips on a navigating a job search or commentary about a recent trade event? Recruiting SEO copywriting starts with the candidate and their problems. You want to be relevant to them first, then relevant to the search engines. A double sided quill so-to-speak. You may not know everything about your candidate’s problems, but you do know a lot about what the job market is like, the best ways to get hired and hopefully enough about their current jobs to offer some advice.

Recruiting SEO copywriting starts with the candidate and their problems.

Use the key phrase in the meta title description
The first impression that a search engine and user has with your article is often the meta title and meta description. When you’re SEO copywriting, make sure you include your target topic or phrase. Users will see your title and description in search engine results pages and robots will find your target phrase when they crawl. Win-win.

One H1 (and use your key phrase)
The H1, or the most important heading, should be used once per page and include your target phrase. Your H1 gives Google an idea of what the content they’re about to crawl is all about and it gives your readers a visual hierarchy to follow as they skim your masterpiece. In this article, you’ll notice “Recruiting SEO Copywriting” is our H1 for example.

Balance your key phrase use throughout your work
A great article doesn’t frontload a specific topic or keyphrase, it uses it throughout to make cohesive and targeted content for your readers. Start with your meta title and description, then your H1 and then use your key phrase throughout your article where it makes sense, don’t force it. There is nothing worse than a über-spammy post with the keyword in every other sentence, remember you’re writing for users first, robots second. This means even if you recruit for IT guys in Nantucket, you probably shouldn’t put “Nantucket Development Jobs for Nantucket Developers…”

If your content is spammy, hard to read or leaves the reader with too many questions, then you may want to make some serious revisions.

Word count is important…but make sure it’s relevant
Relevant and focused articles are usually a bit longer in length. Why? Because a well thought out article has more to say and dives into a topic in-depth. Longer articles typically cover all the angles, while shorter ones just don’t have the time. Keep in mind, relevancy and helpfulness is key above all else, so if your content is 300 words, then it’s 300 words.

Credit your sources with outbound links
Recognizing your source material with links gives credit to the original author and gives your readers more context about your content. Think about it, wouldn’t you prefer credit for a well written article that someone references? For more about linking to your sources, checkout this SEO copywriting article by Hochman Consultants. For recruitment marketers, this is great news, it is your license to help your team network with industry experts.

Write for 8th graders

What do 8th graders know about SEO copywriting? Well, for one, most people can understand books and papers designed for their reading level. Secondly, 8th graders have shorter attention spans, so keep your content compelling and relevant is important. Ann Handley, renowned content creator at MarketingProfs uses her teenage daughter as a barometer for content. So, channel your inner teenager and start typing.

Be relevant
If you didn’t pick up on this throughout this article, then I’ll repeat “BE RELEVANT!”. If your content is spammy, hard to read or leaves the reader with too many questions, then you may want to make some serious revisions. Write relevant content for humans, then optimize for search.