SEO will help drive traffic to your website but engaging Search Engine Optimization copywriting will help to convert visitors into sales.
SEO Copywriting must strike a good balance between being Search Engine friendly and remaining engaging and compelling for the reader. There is little point in a Search Engine directing traffic to a web page which is uninteresting, keyword heavy or doesn’t answer the visitor’s needs, leading to high bounce rates.* Remember the end result of SEO is conversions not merely traffic churning up your bandwidth. Here are some basic SEO copywriting tips to optimize your website.
It is important to place your primary keyword in the title tag and as close to the start of the title as possible. This article focuses on ‘SEO Copywriting’ at the start of the title and is used to communicate EXACTLY what the web page is about to Search Engine spiders and visitors alike.
Word counts should be aimed at 10-12 words or 70 characters. This is the cut-off point in Google Search Engine results and also helps to keep your title tags concisely targeted towards the most important keywords.
A meta description tag is a guide for Search Engines to use as summary text (beneath the title) when a website is listed in the Search Engines results. It is important to use keywords within the description as these are bolded in the results. Search Engines may not always use the description you have written but by providing a description, this will encourage Search Engines to use it rather than grabbing text off your page.
More importantly, you must ensure that the meta description tag matches the content on the web page. If you promise in the description that the page will contain certain information, you need to deliver on that promise or your visitors are more likely to bounce off the page. Word counts should be aimed at 160 characters which is the cut-off for Google Search Engine results display.
Writing titles for the web differs from writing titles for newspapers and/or print magazines. Page titles for newspapers can be quirky, evasive or cryptic to catch a reader’s interest but titles for web pages must be intrinsic and state exactly what the page is going to be about.
The trick is to write powerful headings that will draw in readers but also improve your Search Engine ranking for your target keyword phrases. This should coincide with the keywords being used to search for your product or service in Search Engines.
keyword selection and density
There is a certain art to writing SEO copy that finds a balance between inserting keywords seamlessly and naturally within the text and keyword stuffing (using keywords too frequently or out of context). Your content needs to appeal to humans as well as Search Engine spiders.
You can also be penalized by Search Engines if they believe you are using keywords in your text out of context or unnaturally within the text to manipulate the Search Engines and boost your Search Engine ranking. Your website may be banned or your ranking may drop in Search Engines.
Internal linking and good use of anchor text is also important in SEO copywriting as internal links add to your link profile and add SEO value. Internal links should be used to cross-link related content within the website but don’t overuse internal links within the copy. The fewer links you have on a page, the more value each link has.
Make sure your anchor text contains keywords where possible. Instead of using ‘read more’ or ‘click here’, try and include your keyword phrase so this may change to ‘Download SEO copywriting tips’ document with ‘SEO copywriting tips’ being the hyperlink.
Usability specialist Jacob Nielson discovered that visitors to a website read text in an F-shaped reading pattern and scan the text. Thus, the format of SEO Copywriting on a page must have ease of scanability and should be structured in the following way:
- Level 2 headings (the second submenu under the first main heading) using keywords to break up the text;
- Short paragraphs (ideally one idea per paragraph);
- Include bullet points where possible to list items;
- Inverted pyramid style (from most important copy to least important copy);
unique and original content
Search Engines prefer websites that are updated regularly with unique and original content. Ways to create fresh, unique content on your website are:
- Creating new landing pages targeting keywords;
- Creating new blog entries for your company blog;
- Adding media releases to the website;
- Adding case studies or testimonials;
- Publishing a monthly newsletter.
Research shows however that the first link may have more relevance so place your most important keyword in your link as high as possible on the page.
A picture may speak louder than words but remember that a Search Engine cannot read images. Look at your image-to-text ratio and ensure that there is a balance of images and text on the page. Remember your page has to appeal to both Search Engine spiders and your visitors so it is important to also convey your message in images, photos and diagrams. You should also use ‘alt’ text and optimize relevant images for targeted keywords.
Contact us to help you with your SEO Copywriting. We can assist with finding the right Search Engine keywords but also advise about the correct placement and frequency of keywords within the body of the text and find a balance between Search Engine Optimization and engaging compelling copy.
Find out how we can help you create web pages that are not only Search Engine friendly but also retain customers, improve your conversion rates and maximize return on investment.
* The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enter a site (or a page) and then leave immediately.