by: Meredi Wagner-Hoehn
Search engine optimization (SEO) copywriting requires a specific skill set often learned and polished over time through hands-on experience. Incorporating the correct content into your website will boost your online optimization, bringing a higher volume of traffic to your site and hopefully increasing your business’ bottom line.
Let’s discuss 10 tips on how to write content for your website that search engines (and your audience!) will love:
1. Content is King
Yeah, it’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. Many people forget: search engines try to mimic people. People love well-written copy; search engines love well-written copy. The more useful and understandable the content is on your site, the more users link back to it and share it with their family, friends, coworkers, etc. Once Google or other search engines find these inbound links, your page’s ranking skyrockets, producing even more visitors. To create this scenario, use as many different but relevant words to the title as possible. If the content repeats the same keywords over and over, search engines deem the article shallow and somewhat worthless. On the other hand, if you use a wide vocabulary pertinent to the topic, search engines declare that article authoritative and highly useful.
2. Tag Your Title H1
By using the h1 tag for your title, Google and its counterparts decipher the title as valuable, as long as the same words are also present somewhere in the text of the article. The h1 tag gives you the ability to achieve a high level of focus on your elected keywords. Emphasizing this tip will improve your site’s search engine results very quickly, ensuring your company’s online success. Also use the h2 tag on subheadings and the h3 tag for sub-subheadings. This practice will result in search engines respecting and acknowledging your entry.
3. Bold, Italics and Underline
In order to have certain copy “jump off” the page, utilize these three methods to emphasize words. Bolding, italicizing and underlining specific copy causes search engines to assume keywords are being used. Just don’t get too carried away or these tools will have the reverse effect, irritating the search engines and weakening the article’s effect.
4. Keyword Density
In most cases, targeted keywords should appear at the beginning, in most paragraphs throughout and near the end of the article being developed. Be sure to not overuse or water down the content with keywords, as search engines will be on alert and label it as spam. A good rule of thumb is to utilize important words or phrases in 7% of the total copy written.
5. Links, Links and More Links
Providing internal hyperlinks within the article’s content will benefit the reader, exponentially increase the amount of time visitors spend on your website and place it in great standing with search engines. Interlink your pages with contextual links whose anchor text is relevant to the target page. There is no shame in using your site as a resource and/or advertisement.
6. And More Links
Linking to useful websites is crucial and very rewarding if done properly. Studies show that pages with outbound links have a higher Google ranking than pages with no outbound links. Thus, using external links within the write-up increases your site’s traffic. However, this option only benefits your site if the inserted links retain relevance to your page’s content.
7. Numbered and Bulleted Lists
Aesthetically pleasing to the eye, numbered or bulleted lists draw readers into the articles. Incorporating these simple formatting choices also helps break up your copy into manageable pieces, assists in the clean design of your page and makes it easier for the reader to navigate between reference points.
8. Shoot for a High Content-to-Code Ratio
The substance of your website should have a high content-to-code ratio, also known as signal-to-noise ratio. This important number is the amount of text relative to the amount of code found throughout a site’s pages. After a page is finalized, view the source code to see this ratio; there should be much more text than HTML code present. Search engines gush over sites with high content-to-code ratios, so double-check yours to ensure a positive result.
9. Edit Till Your Eyes Bleed
Well, not that far, but at least until they tear up. Re-read it on the screen. Re-read it on a physical sheet, with a red pen in hand. Re-read it out loud. Have a friend read it. Have a friend read it out loud to you. Use a dictionary. Use a thesaurus. Insert applicable content as it develops. It’ll only make the content better.
10. It’s All About the Reader
In short, write what the reader is searching for, not what you think they should be searching for. SEO copywriting steers every website, no matter the industry. People look to online content for explanation and guidance when exploring different search engines and websites. Making visitors feel welcome and at ease is paramount to copywriters, so help them feel that way. Be informative and accommodating as much as possible with your writing. If you accomplish this, your site will have traffic coming out of its tabs.