Writing SEO Copy 8 Steps To Success

Writing SEO Copy 8 Steps To Success

We all know that the​ lion’s share of​ web traffic comes through the​ search engines. We also know that keywords and links to​ your site are the​ two things that affect your ranking in​ the​ search engines. Your keywords tell the​ search engines what you​ do,​ and the​ inbound links tell them how important you​ are. This combination is​ what determines your relevance. And relevance is​ what the​ search engines are after.

There’s a​ lot of​ information around about how to​ incorporate keyword phrases into your HTML meta tags. But that’s only half the​ battle. you​ need to​ think of​ these tags as​ street-signs. That’s how the​ search engines view them. They look at​ your tags and then at​ your copy. if​ the​ keywords you​ use in​ your tags aren’t used in​ your copy,​ your site won’t be indexed for those keywords.

But the​ search engines don’t stop there. They also consider how often the​ keyword phrase is​ used on​ the​ page.

To put it​ simply,​ if​ you​ don’t pepper your site with your primary keywords,​ you​ won’t appear in​ the​ search results when a​ potential customer searches for those keywords.

But how do you​ write keyword-rich copy without compromising readability?

Readability is​ all-important to​ visitors. And after all,​ it’s the​ visitors that buy your product or​ service,​ not search engines.

By following these 8 simple guidelines,​ you’ll be able to​ overhaul the​ copy on​ your website ensuring it’s agreeable to​ both search engines and visitors.

1) Categorise your pages
Before writing,​ think about the​ structure of​ your site. if​ you​ haven’t built your site yet,​ try to​ create your pages around key offerings or​ benefits. For example,​ divide your Second Hand Computers site into separate pages for Macs,​ and PCs,​ and then segment again into Notebooks,​ Desktops,​ etc. This way,​ you’ll be able to​ incorporate very specific keyword phrases into your copy,​ thereby capturing a​ very targeted market. if​ you’re working on​ an​ existing site,​ print out each page and label it​ with its key point,​ offering,​ or​ benefit.

2) Find out what keywords your customers are searching for
Go to​ www.wordtracker.com and subscribe for a​ day (this will only cost you​ about AUD$10). Type in​ the​ key points,​ offerings,​ and benefits you​ identified for each page,​ and spend some time analysing what words customers use when they’re searching for these things. These are the​ words you’ll want to​ use to​ describe your product or​ service. (Make sure you​ read WordTracker’s explanation of​ their results.)

3) Use phrases,​ not single words
Although this advice isn’t specific to​ the​ web copy,​ it’s so important that it’s worth repeating here. Why? Well firstly,​ there’s too much competition for single keywords. if​ you’re in​ computer sales,​ don’t choose “computers” as​ your primary keyword. Go to​ Google and search for “computers” and you’ll see why… Secondly,​ research shows that customers are becoming more search-savvy – they’re searching for more and more specific strings. They’re learning that by being more specific,​ they find what they’re looking for much faster. Ask yourself what’s unique about your business? Perhaps you​ sell cheap second hand computers? Then why not use “cheap second hand computers” as​ your primary keyword phrase. This way,​ you’ll not only stand a​ chance in​ the​ rankings,​ you’ll also display in​ much more targeted searches. in​ other words,​ a​ higher percentage of​ your site’s visitors will be people after cheap second hand computers. (WordTracker’s results will help you​ choose the​ most appropriate phrases.)

4) Pick the​ important keyword phrases
Don’t include every keyword phrase on​ every page. Focus on​ one or​ two keyword phrases on​ each page. For your Macs page,​ focus on​ “cheap second hand macs”. For the​ PCs page,​ focus on​ “cheap second hand pcs”,​ etc.

5) Be specific
Don’t just say “our computers”. Wherever you​ would normally say “our computers”,​ ask yourself if​ you​ can get away with saying “our cheap second hand Macs” or​ “our cheap second hand PCs”. if​ this doesn’t affect your readability too badly,​ it’s worth doing. It’s a​ fine balance though. Remember,​ your site reflects the​ quality of​ your service. if​ your site is​ hard to​ read,​ people will infer a​ lot about your service…

6) Use keyword phrases in​ links
Although you​ shouldn’t focus on​ every keyword phrase on​ every page,​ it’s a​ good idea to​ link your pages together with text links. This way,​ when the​ search engines look at​ your site,​ they’ll see that the​ pages are related. Once again,​ the​ more text links the​ better,​ especially if​ the​ link text is​ a​ keyword phrase. So on​ your “Cheap Second Hand Macs” page,​ include a​ text link at​ the​ bottom to​ “Cheap Second Hand PCs”. if​ you​ can manage it​ without affecting readability,​ also include one within the​ copy of​ the​ page. For example,​ “As well as​ providing cheap second hand Macs,​ we sell high quality cheap second hand PCs”. TIP: if​ you​ don’t want your links to​ be underlined and blue,​ include the​ following in​ your CSS file:

Then format the​ HTML of​ each link as​ follows:

As well as​ providing cheap second hand Macs,​ we sell high quality cheap second hand pcs.

7) Use keyword phrases in​ headings
Just as​ customers rely on​ headings to​ scan your site,​ so to​ do search engines. This means headings play a​ big part in​ how the​ search engines will categorise your site. Try to​ include your primary keyword phrases in​ your headings. in​ fact,​ think about inserting extra headings just for this purpose. Generally this will also help the​ readability of​ the​ site because it​ will help customers scan read.

8) Test keyword phrase density
Once you’ve made a​ first pass at​ the​ copy,​ run it​ through a​ density checker to​ get some metrics. Visit http://www.gorank.com/analyze.php and type in​ the​ domain and keyword phrase you​ want to​ analyse. It’ll give you​ a​ percentage for all the​ important parts of​ your page,​ including copy,​ title,​ meta keywords,​ meta description,​ etc. the​ higher the​ density the​ better. Generally speaking,​ a​ density measurement of​ at​ least 3-5% is​ what you’re looking for. Any less,​ and you’ll probably need to​ take another pass.

Follow these guidelines,​ and you’ll be well on​ your way to​ effective SEO copy.

Just remember,​ don’t overdo it. It’s not easy to​ find the​ balance between copy written for search engines and copy written for customers. in​ many cases,​ this balance will be too difficult to​ achieve without professional help. Don’t worry,​ though. if​ you’ve already performed your keyword analysis,​ a​ professional website copywriter should be able to​ work your primary keyword phrases into your copy at​ no extra charge.

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