Common Sense SEO rules
We all agree that higher search engine rankings is a great way to boost the returns on your marketing spends (Marketing Sherpa ranks SEO as the #1 marketing tactic in its latest report on web marketing tactics’ ranking). However in the race to grab higher SEO rankings we should not overlook the fact that web visitors have different habits, make common errors and like to read web pages that have a ‘naturally friendly’ content.
Smart web writers write web content first, then re-write it again by adding keywords / phrases that are relevant to the theme of the webpage. This method works better as you have chosen keywords / phrases that are relevant to your content, instead of trying to write content to fit your keywords / phrases which looks ‘forced’ and un-attractive.
Web page content should ideally be fluent & clear; not complex. Search Engines today use weighted criteria to evaluate websites, and using excessive keywords could result in lower weighting for each keyword. To grab attention of more readers, do include as many keywords/phrases plural versions and variations as its possible (website, websites and web site, web sites). Don’t forget to list the common misspellings (e.g. ‘sanwich’ in addition to ‘sandwich’).
Always avoid using the same keyword redundantly in your list, separating similar keywords by interspersing dissimilar words so as not to appear as keyword spamming to search engines.
As a general rule, avoid repeating the same word more than three times in the keywords list. Remember to separate keywords / phrases with commas or spaces and not both e.g. keyword,keyword phrase,keyword or keyword keyword phrase for better results.
Most search engine spiders use the first sentence of web page content as the site’s description. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to be ‘keyword rich’ in the first 250 words of your web copy without seeming to be boring/un-natural.
More SEO Copywriting Tips
Avoid SEO suicide by adhering to these time tested ‘writing for SEO’ tips:
- Always select keywords that complement your unique selling proposition and use keywords to name your webpage accordingly.
- Utilise keyword in headline tags to increase webpage rankings and you could use keywords before the headline e.g. Green Cars: We have the most affordable and powerful green / hybrid cars.
- Use the words that users usually type in search engines e.g. type ‘lol cats’ in Google’s free Keyword Tool and it will show you synonyms for lol cats, like cat pictures, funny pics cats, L.O.L, funny pictures cats and LOL kittens.
- Use those categories that are good keywords like hacks, gadgets, how-to weblog, blog as this promotes usability and SEO as well. This is because Google gives weight on keywords used in categories, sidebars, navigation menus apart from those used in the entire web-page content.
- To attract reader attention to a particular section you could use ‘bolding and italicising’. In this, use your best judgement so as not to over-emphasise sections that may not be that important.
- As you want readers to click on links that increase sales / desired activity conversions lead them to those sections by using conversational/persuasive sentences.
- Never alter the content that you send to googlebot as this is un-ethical and could lead to your site getting banned.