Search Engine Copywriting
A truly well written SEO copy not only serves to improve the rankings of keywords, it truly contributes to the online community by providing valuable tips. Gone are the days where you would simply throw in your keywords mixed in a potpourri of text garbage just to score. The advent of the Panda and the Penguin has all but made that strategy a thing of the past.
What To Look Out For?
Search engines want content that are unique, paying much of its focus on the home page rather than sub pages. These sub pages are also known as doorway pages and the contemporary search engine algorithm has placed very little weight on links to the website’s homepage. Instead each sub page is indexed and ranked by its own merit, and this still allows the reader to link back to the homepage nonetheless.
Make sure you invest some time to research the terms that will help your website rank in the niches you want, and to get traffic hits. Use research tools to understand the search volumes of various terms and phrases that contribute to what you want to achieve.
Avoid using combinations and also the temptation of repetitively stuffing your content with the same keywords. As a rule of thumb, words appearing more than 2% raises red flags with the search engines. Place keywords in the first paragraph and near the bottom of your page for best effect. Variations of your primary terms will be able to bring in traffic, even obscure ones – however you should avoid overdoing it because the new search engine algorithms can spot this a mile away.
Consider also using many long tailed phrases which are easier to rank. If you have a large collection of top ranked obscure phrases – you might do better than putting all your eggs in one basket and attempting to fight for a super competitive keyword and still ending up in page 2 or 3 which will not do you a whole lot of good.
How To Plan Your Copy
The length of your copy should not be an issue. What matters is that you have something valuable to say that will keep visitors engaged. Google now has an algorithm that is apparently able to weed out bad content. It is speculated that how it does this is to:
a. look for keyword stuffing – that means it can tell that you are surreptitiously putting in the same words but in different combinations;
b. weed out white text – which is text that is not viewable by readers but viewable to search engine bots;
c. identify space filling garbage – which is text you put around your desired keywords in a blatant attempt to score for the keywords in the guise of a normal structured article;
d. spot grammatical, syntax and spelling errors – armed with a huge database, spotting errors like these are very easy so if you had been purchasing articles from writers who are not native English speakers you are a sitting duck as just a few errors can way an enormous red flag at the search engine bull;
e. measure visitor interactions – by looking at the bounce rate and interactions of visitors for that page, it can be ascertained whether an article is particularly helpful or its so garbage that visitors recognize that and exit within a few short seconds;
f. gauge your page content layout – Google wants to put the best possible quality content on its first pages to help the community and not only that, dictates that the content is well laid out; so make sure you make your content readable by adding in chapters, sections, paragraphs, indices, bullet points, titles, sub-titles, punctuated by explanatory text, illustrations, media like videos and other interactive tools that improves the reader experience.
Other Points To Note
In a nutshell, if you are searching for information for something that will enlighten you, interest you or entertain you – would you rather go to a page that contains a well written article with illustrations and good layout that hits the spot immediately? So, take a look at your content and impassively gauge if you think its good enough to answer most of, if not all the questions somebody who is researching that topic might have.
It should also be noted that keywords placed in graphics and images does nothing for search engine optimization as search engines cannot read graphics or images. However you can get around the issue by naming your graphics or images with a suitable keyword. So instead of naming a photograph of that laptop you are selling as picture08947b.jpeg – its better to name it say HP-Probook-4520s.jpeg. That way it may be able to get ranked for Google images or other search engine image search, bring even more quality web traffic in.
Search engine spiders use title tags to understand what your website is about. You should have some keywords in there which forms a readable sentence, or a few short sentences preferably not exceeding 25-40 words. Avoid repeating the same keywords too many times and putting same words next to each other. Make sure its readable and compelling because, remember that its not only to make search engines happy, but your customers happy enough to click on your listing.
Do You DIY Or Outsource?
You can do your own search engine optimization and experiment as much as you can to get the best results, or you can hire an experienced professional to do the job for you if expense is not your biggest concern.
Looking for a decent copy writer or article writing services can be a very daunting process. Native English speakers charge an arm and a leg for decently written articles but very few are able to do a credible job because it is highly unlikely they are familiar with the field of your choice. Choose a non-native speaker to save a few bucks and you will end up with a load of badly written garbage that will not only turn off visitors to your website, but will earn you severe penalties from the search engines.
We recommend the best way to go about it is to visit websites like Freelancer.com, Elance.com and other contract work sites, then dangle some very small jobs and select a few. Many contractors showcase excellent portfolios but still struggle to deliver the goods. From here you may only get one or two exceptional ones. This is still not the end of your process because you still need to train and guide your writer to deliver the quality you want. The way to go about it is to search for expert articles – these are articles who are put together by genuine leaders in their field and provide these samples to your writers.