In this fascinating interview with Bing’s Duane Forrester, he talks about much of the higher level activities that all SEO copywriters should be doing to ensure their content does well in search.

Part way through, he said something that made me stop, go back and read it again. It has to do with ‘dwell time’ as a ranking metric.

He gives some examples of how Bing rates the dwell time based on content, and then concludes his thoughts with this:

“In the long run, the brand names secure rankings through depth of content, trust in brand and user interaction (searchers clicking a SERP result and staying on their site because the site is trusted and answers the searchers question).”

What he’s talking about here is engagement – and his description sums up what engagement should really mean to your SEO copywriter.

Building interaction into SEO copy

You want your readers to take an interest in your content and stay on your site – that’s what engagement really is. And Duane Forrester tells you how – by answering the searcher’s question.

Answering their query (question) is at the heart of how search engines judge the quality of your SEO copywriter’s content. I like Duane’s explanation. He tells us that if the reader’s question is answered, they will behave in a certain way. Where a quick piece of information is sought (a temperature), the user’s dwell time is going to be short. Where a comparison or bit of research is needed to answer their question (product review), then they will stay longer on the page. The search engines know this and they track it. If the reader’s behaviour does not match the expectation, then your site will rank lower than another site which does match.

It’s simple.

Be helpful and be clear

Your SEO copywriter needs to know the goal. A page goal, in fact. After your reader has had his or her question answered, what do you want them to do next? Click the ‘back’ button? I think not!

Providing clear ‘next’ actions to either a conversion page or to further information is key to a good user experience. A better user experience, means more dwell time. And more dwell time (i.e. engagement) with your site means a better rank in the search engines.

If you have reviewed a product, show a clear call to action to go to the product page, or even to add it to a cart. Provide links to related posts, products and other areas that the reader may be interested in (related to the search). Add hyperlinks within the body of your copy to lead the reader onto more detailed information about those topics.

There are countless ways of creating more interaction points – and thus engagement. This is why you need to create solid SEO personas to inform and guide your content creation.

For an SEO copywriter to write content that gets better rankings, engagement is the key word to focus on.

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