If you’re looking to build your website or blog traffic or audience, you need to start writing website copy with SEO in mind. And that means writing content which will engage your audience but is also optimised for search engines – not one or the other!
We get it – creating content which ranks well on Google but also persuades your audience seems pretty tricky. But the good news is that it’s totally doable with a few tips, tricks, and a little bit of learning.
Here’s our quick guide to writing SEO friendly copy which will help you to fly high in the SERPs:
What is SEO?
Think of it this way. When you type a question or query into a search engine and click enter, what happens? You get pages and pages of search results which are relevant to your search term. Which one do you click on? We can bet it’s the 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
According to research, 95% of people only look at the first page of search results. And half of the first page clicks go to the first three results!
But these pages don’t just end up here by accident – the pages ranking at the top of SERP’s are usually there as a result of search engine optimisation or SEO. So to put it simply, SEO is a way of optimising content for search engines, so that it ranks higher than other websites which target the same search terms.
SEO is a great thing to start learning if you run a business. Millions of people search for things every day. If you rank well, your website traffic could increase dramatically – which could then translate into leads of sales. Do you see what we’re getting at here?
Writing SEO Friendly Copy
There’s more to SEO than writing copy – link building and design amongst other things come into play too. But optimising your copy is a great place to start.
Define your keywords
What is your target audience searching for? Your SEO keywords are the key phrases or words which you’ll use in your website content so people can find your website via search.
Develop a list of words and phrases you think your audience would search for when looking for your product. Then, use keyword research tools like Google AdWords to help you pick which will work best. Consider how much competition you have for each keyword or phrase. More specific keywords often work better for small businesses, for example, targeting “luxury UK travel agency” rather than “travel agency”, has less competition and will bring in the right traffic rather than just any traffic.
Implement your keywords
Now it’s time to start optimising your website for search engines with your keywords and phrases – here’s where you should try to include them:
Page title. Your title describes the main topic of a specific page and shows up as the first line of a search result, letting Google and searchers know precisely what the page is about.
Page copy. Content is one of the top SEO ranking factors, so it’s crucial to get your keywords in here. However, if you use your keywords poorly, it could hurt your search engine ranking. Don’t stuff in your keywords – try to subtly include them in informative, original and engaging content which sounds natural. As a rough guide, for a 500-word page, you should be including a keyword in the first couple of sentences or introduction, a couple of times in the body, and again in your conclusion or CTA.
Meta tags and meta description. Including keywords in your meta description (the second part of the text on a search results entry) can help Google decide how relevant your content is to the people who are searching. A strong meta description will also encourage searchers to click through from a search result to your website.
Alt text. This describes the content of an image and provides another opportunity to include target keywords (providing it’s relevant). Try to add your keyword on at least one image alt text on a page.
Aim for longer content
Google thinks that lengthier copy conveys that a website has something more important to say, and makes the site seem more authoritative. Plus, very short text makes it difficult for Google to index and determine what a page is talking about. Try to include at least 250 words of original, relevant content on each page of your site and write regular blog posts of 500+ words.
Update your website regularly
Search engines love regularly updated websites! For great SEO results, aim to add new content (this could be new website pages or blog posts) gradually to improve your reputation as a trustworthy, up to date source of information.
Create unique copy
In your quest to produce SEO optimised, regular updated, exciting content, you might feel a little stuck for ideas. But you just can’t copy text from other websites – Google won’t be pleased! While it’s believed that Google doesn’t directly penalise duplicate content, it only rewards sites that add value – and copying content isn’t providing any value whatsoever.
Of course, you can use information from other websites to educate yourself when writing an article – but you need to completely reword it (don’t just add in or change a few words here and there!) and make it your own. You can also use others content as a source, but make sure to cite it if you’re copying it word-for-word and ask the owner for permission.
So, those were the basic rules for creating SEO friendly copy – start implementing them now and you’re sure to climb higher on the SERP’s! Don’t have time to create regular content or optimise your website pages? Get in touch with 3twelve, we can help you optimise your copy or design and implement a content strategy to improve your SEO ranking.