Why I’m launching my new course for SEO Copywriters-to-be
Long before I had even heard of copywriting and SEO I was a teacher.
I earned a living teaching English as a second language to students from all over the world and eventually I settled down in Spain (which was supposed to be a one year long hiatus before starting my MA…enter cute Spanish boy to turn those plans on their head 😅).
But I’d always been drawn to blogging.
I started my first local news blog back in 2014 (which I had to give up given that I’d eeemm…left the country?) then I started a new blog and podcast for learners of the English language.
Back then I had no effing clue about SEO or content marketing (especially back in 2014 when we just called it…blogging). That English language blog actually generated an OK amount of traffic and loyal podcast listeners (who still email me to this day!!!!!), especially given that I had no idea about what I was really doing.
I just wanted to produce helpful content on a topic that I love for an audience I knew well and respected. Somewhere along that journey I found Copyblogger, which was really the catalyst into content marketing and SEO for me.
It was also when I learnt that copywriting was a thing.
I’m sorry, I can get paid to write stuff like this for amazing brands and entrepreneurs?!?!
So I made the (extremely difficult) decision to pack in the English language business I was painstakingly building.
A business that I’d worked on all through my pregnancy (I even edited a podcast while having contractions) and was still writing blogs and sending out emails to my list while breastfeeding a tiny infant.
So it was tough to walk away, but I wanted to see if I could make this copywriting thing work and as I’d been such a passionate blogger I thought that writing them professionally would have been a great gig for me, and that’s what got me curious about SEO copywriting.
But The Hardest Thing about Learning sEO Copywriting was piecing together all the information
Once I’d done some digging I was completely put off the idea of SEO copywriting.
So I convinced myself of a few myths:
- SEO is too technical
- It imposes on my creativity
- I write for humans, man, not the robots ✌️
I’d learnt a lot from Copyblogger and other great sources, but I’ve literally lost count of how many resources I had to go through to piece together an actual process and framework that could help me with my copywriting projects.
Okay, link building – great! Do I need to do that? Is that expected of me? What’s within my capacity to build links for my clients?
Okay, keyword research – great! But how do I know what’s too competitive for my client to rank for? How do I interpret the search intent of the keyword? How do I track results so I know if it’s working or not?
And even the SEO copywriting sections on copywriting courses that I’d taken left me full of unanswered questions and had massive gaps in the content (or were pretty outdated and mediocre).
It felt like the more I tried to piece everything together the dumber I felt because I couldn’t somehow link it all together to make it relevant to my work.
I’m not saying that I didn’t have amazing mentors and take great courses on SEO, just that none of them focused deeply enough on all the aspects of SEO copywriting to make it complete and leave me feeling like I had actual workflows and processes to follow.
It was like doing a puzzle with all the bits of information I had rolling around in my brain.
SERP Slayer is Everything thing I’ve learnt about SEO that applies to SEO Copywriting
I’m not going to lie, it took me doing a few shitty jobs to actually work through my own systems, workflows and gaps in my knowledge to be able to feel confident about what I do today.
I legit still feel guilty about some projects because I know that if I had just consolidated my knowledge and had it systemized I would have done a far better job for those clients.
But, we can only move upwards.
Here’s all the steps to writing great SEO copy that I’ve learnt by brute force and getting kicked in the teeth.
Market Research > Keyword Research
I know, I know you’ve done Copyhackers courses too, right?
We all know the vital importance of VOC data and using it to inform our copy and marketing strategy.
But I’ll be honest with you, I never had a reliable way of keeping track of, or using, that data much less understanding how it could help me plan out a content marketing strategy.
So in SERP Slayer I don’t just give you ways to get VOC data, but I also go into detail about how it can be applied to your SEO strategy (something that I don’t really see being talked about in this space).
I also created a handy spreadsheet that simplifies how you keep track of it all (and can share with your clients to really impress them).
This is one of the concepts that I’ve seen to be completely lacking in other courses about SEO and SEO Copywriting so I wanted to make sure that’s that where we start. Without this step, we end up just taking orders from clients about what they want to rank for rather than what their market may be actually looking for.
You might have heard talk about search intent, but it didn’t really click for me until Brendan Hufford explained it so brilliantly as fitting into the buyer’s journey and it’s just stuck with me ever since.
The majority of other courses and resources talk about search intent as this static thing; transactional, commercial, informational and navigational.
But there’s so much more STORY to it and getting to the heart of that story, what someone is REALLY searching for, is really where copywriters shine.
So I wanted to help other copywriters understand the model of search intent as it relates to the customer’s journey, to understand what searcher’s need from an informational point of view before they are ready to do business with your client and to then apply that to our next topic…
Keyword Research without spending $100 a month
In the (many….many…) keyword research courses I did I always felt like it made sense and I got it, until I actually went to do keyword research.
All the courses focused on where to find keywords but not necessarily things like;
- How to tell if a keyword is too competitive for your client to rank for
- When a 0 search volume keyword is worth it and when it’s not
- How to map keywords to a buyer’s journey
- What types of keywords should be used for each webpage
And that’s mostly because none of the courses or resources on keyword research made any mention of market research and understanding the goddamn buyer’s journey on search.
Once you get that, the actual metrics and choosing appropriate keywords gets a lot easier.
There was also no system or step-by-step process that I felt was digestible and easy to follow, so I made my own one (and set time limits on how long each step should take so I didn’t end up down yet ANOTHER endless rabbithole).
Oh, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Recently I cancelled my SEMrush subscription. To be honest, as a single freelancer working on small business client projects it was an absurd expense on my part, but I felt like I needed it to be “legit”.
Here’s the honest truth: I PREFER Keywords Everywhere to SEMrush when it comes to keyword research.
Sure, SEMrush might be more sensitive in picking up keyword rankings for webpages and has handy features like keyword filtering and way better organization, but it’s usually not worth the expense for a solo copywriter.
So that’s why I wanted to bring not only data into my module on keyword research, but an affordable tool and a step-by-step process so other copywriters can stop the endless guesswork (and needless expenses).
Building SEO Content Briefs – why didn’t I learn this sooner?!
Major shout out to Chima Mmeje who brought this knowledge into my life.
When I’d read articles or anything else related to optimizing your articles for search, most of them only covered things like keyword density (how many times the keyword appears in the content) and very little went into detail on SEO content briefs.
Using a semantic tool like Frase can seriously reduce the time spent on your projects and help you optimize your copy beyond relatively shallow factors like keyword density and turning those little smiley faces green on Yoast.
It’s a much more relevant tool for copywriters to have over other SEO software like SEMrush (in my opinion), yet many copywriters have never been told how to use a writing assistant like Frase.
It’s not some heartless AI that is trying to replace you, I promise.
So I’m dedicating a module to showing you how I build out content briefs using Frase and how I optimize my copy using their writing assistant.
My 4 Pillar Content Marketing Strategy
If you write blog content for clients then I think it’s imperative to become a content marketing strategist.
When it comes to building any type of content marketing strategy or topic cluster I like to take a four-pillar approach to make sure we’re getting as much traffic as possible out of those articles (and that’s not always about SEO – 😲😲)
Here’s my four pillar approach to a solid SEO content marketing plan
- Link Building
- Articles that exist specifically to build links (because people searching for the terms are literally looking for something to link to)
- Generate social shares
- Often these articles have very little to do with SEO but are none the less important in driving traffic to your content
- Improve Ranking
- Matching content and keywords to the buyer’s journey to pull in the most relevant traffic possible
- Whoever said content doesn’t make sales can fight me. It’s really important to include bottom-of-funnel content as part of your strategy to help increase conversions for your clients
I have to admit, content marketing is probably my favourite topic around SEO copywriting because it offers us a huge chance to be creative and really stand out from the sea of beige, boring crap out there.
But I know that it can be difficult to apply concepts to real-life articles, that’s why I’ve also put together 50 Blog Post Ideas to inspire your creativity and reduce time spent on coming up with article ideas that fit into these pillars.
Minimum Viable Google Analytics for creatives who are kinda afraid of data and numbers
It’s incredible the insights you can gain from this FREE tool. Part of the reason why I cancelled my SEMrush subscription is because I really improved my skills in Google Analytics and once my client adds me to this I don’t really need another tool.
I’ve taken big Google Analytics courses and whittled down what we need as SEO copywriters to measure the success of certain campaigns, monitor backlinks, track conversions, track engagement and how our clients’ websites and content are performing on search.
One of the main reasons I included this in SERP Slayer is because I didn’t use to have a system for checking in on my client projects so I had no idea how they were performing. Or worse, when something we tried didn’t work I had no review process so the client was left with underperforming copy that still kinda haunts me to this day.
Not to mention that by tracking the results of your copy you are proving your ROI and more likely to get repeat work and put together a more impressive portfolio.
I promise you don’t need a degree in data science to be able to use GA!
But learning is doing – the rest is just information
This is probably my favourite expression and the teacher in me approves it.
My favourite thing about SERP Slayer isn’t the step-by-step systems or the fact that I believe it truly covers everything you need to be an epic SEO copywriter, but it’s the community element.
As a former teacher, I don’t like to just give information and bounce, because I know you need to put that information to use and start making your own judgement calls on a case-by-case basis.
That’s why as a student of SERP Slayer you’ll also get access to the God Save the SERP Community on Slack – the SEO Copywriter “sanity check” for when you’re grappling with a copy project and need advice.
Because if there is one thing I’ve learned over and over again since 2014 it’s that each case, each website and each audience has different needs and will require some tweaking to what you’ve learnt and having a community who can help you do just that is invaluable.
The real work starts once you begin that new website copywriting project or that new blogging gig, so I want to make sure you’re supported during that stage as well.
I don’t want this space to be just me answering questions. I am not some all-seeing, all-knowing guru.
In our community each and every member is there giving advice and offering their opinion because true learning happens when you can explain things to other people, when you can apply your knowledge to different contexts, and there is no greater way to do that than by open exchange with your peers.
To give you an idea, this week we were discussing the topic of the PASO formula and whether or not it’s ethical to deliberately agitate pain points when it comes to your sales copy.
We’ll also be having;
- Coworking sessions (aimed at getting your own shit done in particular)
- Feedback on your work such as keyword choices, copy written etc
- Occasional guest speakers and masterclasses (like Seth Goldstein’s great interview on local SEO!)
- Banter – loads of it
One of the reasons I rebranded to God Save the SERP was because I wanted to create a community, an actual community not just a place where people drop by when they have a question then bounce, and our Slack group really feels like an aligned step in the right direction.
Right now in its beta stage there are only 5 of us in total and it’s still more engaged than some groups I’m in that have 100 members!
Mostly cause copywriters are awesome and we all know it 😉
In a nutshell….
I’m creating this because it’s honestly the first time that I’ve created something that other people have openly asked me for. Other copywriters have reached out to me quite a few times asking me to create something like this because my other, free content has helped them so much.
I’m creating this because I spent the guts of 2.5 years piecing together all the information I need to write SEO copy and I want to have one central place where copywriters can get all the information they need to feel super confident about their work.
(Cause I’ve been on the other side of imposter syndrome too and it ain’t pretty…)
I’m creating this because comments like this genuinely make me tear up a little…
I’m creating this because the copywriting community has been there for me when I didn’t have a clue about what I was doing and was legit terrified. They’ve always supported me and this feels like just one way that I give back.
Join SERP Slayer
If you’re ready to confidently write web and blog content that’s backed by a robust SEO strategy then we’d love to have you onboard for SERP Slayer.
Get really, really, ridiculously good at SEO Copywriting
With SERP Slayer – the SEO copywriting course that will teach you everything you need to know about infusing SEO strategy into website and blog copywriting projects
Kerry Campion is an SEO copywriter for course and membership creators. Her gig is writing SEO copy that sounds nothing like SEO copy so her clients get the organic traffic they want, WITHOUT sacrificing their brand voice and badassery.