Thursday, October 30, 2014

Writing for SEO

Photo credit SEOPlanter, CC by 2.0
Writing for a website is different than writing for a hard copy marketing piece in many ways. A few of the things you have to consider are different types of calls to action, cross-linking, and keywords. And as any copywriter knows - there are three letters that loom large over any web copy: SEO.

Search Engine Optimization is the holy grail of web copy writing. In a nutshell, it means that you write your site so that search engines will pull it up in results as your prospects are searching for your business or service. How to do that is a bit of a moving target. Over time, search engines change their algorithms which in turn changes some of the copy writing rules for SEO. There are, however, three rules that stand the test of time.


Three copy rules for search engine optimization

1. Naturally work keywords into your copy.

Keywords are important. You should take some time to review your website analytics and do some searches yourself on terms related to your industry to develop a list of target keywords. You should not, however, worry about things like keyword density or keyword stuffing or meta keywords. What do you do with those keywords? You use them naturally throughout your content.

If you are writing about hardwood flooring. Then use terms that relate to hardwood flooring. Try to include the most important term in your headline(s). After you write a page, review it and look for places where you could change generic terms to more specific terms that relate to your product or service. The trick is to write thoughtful content - not content that inserts keywords a certain number of times or in a certain percentage of the page.


2. Add content that is specifically geared for SEO. 

Search engines love fresh content. But let's be honest, there are some sections of your website that don't need to be updated weekly or even monthly. How do you make sure you have regularly updated content? Develop a resource library. Add videos, blog articles and e-newsletters. Focus these resources on your keyword targets which should also relate to topics that are of interest to your audience. You're not only adding fresh content regularly, you're adding resources that help your audience. More content on your website also shows search engines that there is a wealth of information on your key topics to be found on your site.

Photo credit TimeTrax23, CC by  SA 2.0 


3. Write for your audience.

The most important rule comes last: Don't write for a search engine, write for your audience.

When in doubt about keywords and analytics and long tail keywords - step back and remember that you are serving a person. And that person needs to be able to understand your brand, your product, your service and how to contact you. If you focus on your business and how you meet the needs of your clients, a lot of this magical SEO will take care of itself.

There is certainly more to SEO copywriting than those three basic rules. Want to learn more about SEO strategy? Check out these articles:


Is SEO part of your strategy?

A good website development strategy includes technology, solid design and smart content. When was the last time you looked at your web strategy? Whether you're looking to update an existing site or start from scratch, we'd love to help. Contact us to get started.


Barb

About the author | Barb Ruess

Barb is a project manager and content editor at TBH Creative and has worked online since there was such a thing. She uses her skills to manage development projects, organize websites, and create and edit content. She likes to blog about content writing, search engine optimization, and offer tips for a successful website project.

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