Eleanor Jones is an Editorial Assistant at content agency Write My Site, which specialises in writing SEO-friendly blog and web content for clients across a range of industries.
In light of the infamous Google algorithm updates, ‘Panda’ and ‘Penguin’, it seems more complicated than ever to optimise your website and blog for search. Every business with an online presence wants to get to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), but there is no easy way to guarantee success.
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, recently reiterated that there’s no way you can cheat your way to the top of the SERPs. “The main thing is that people should avoid looking for shortcuts,” he commented. “In competitive market areas, there has always been a need to figure out how to differentiate yourself, and nothing has changed today.” Cutts’ advice to businesses is to “think about how [they] can create compelling content or a compelling experience for users.”
Here at Write My Site, we wholeheartedly agree with Cutts’ recommendations. One of the best ways to help your webpage move up the Google search page rankings is to focus on creating a genuinely useful user experience, with valuable and engaging content that is properly optimised for search. Here are our top tips to make that happen:
Choose and use your keywords carefully
Keywords are the words your customers are using when they use search engines to find the products and services you offer. With that in mind, you need to know what these words are, and make sure they are incorporated into your website and blog’s content. This is a major part of communicating to the search engines recognise that your content is relevant to the user’s requirements and should therefore be returned as a search result. Use Google’s free keyword tool to make a shortlist of your keywords and then include them in your home pages, product pages, blog articles and anything else that you write on your website – not forgetting your html title and description metatags.
Remember only to use keywords where they gel with the natural flow of the copy – it is pointless to stuff a page full of keywords, only to find that it no longer makes any sense.
Remember the value of a link
There are two kinds of links that are important in SEO copywriting. The first is the backlink, which is other websites linking to your content. These tell Google that people have ‘voted’ for your content. One of the most popular forms of ‘black hat SEO’ is to buy lots of bogus backlinks from spammy websites to give the impression that a site’s content is generating thousands of backlinks. Google is wise to such tricks and will look at the quality and relevance of the backlink rather than simply how many of them your site appears to have attracted. How can you generate high quality, genuine backlinks? Simple: write excellent content, share it on social media platforms and make it easy for your readers to share it too.
The second type of link to consider for SEO copywriting is the anchor text link, which is a link within your content that helps the user navigate to another part of your website: e.g. you may use an anchor text link on your home page when talking about a product you sell, to guide the user directly to that page. Your anchor text links tell the search engines which words and phrases are most relevant to your offering, and as such there are opportunities to make anchor text links from your keywords. As with backlinks, however, the search engines can tell the difference between an anchor text link that is genuinely helpful, and one that is just included for the sake of it.
Publish regular blog content
Another important thing to remember with SEO copywriting is that it is an on-going effort – you cannot simply write a batch of articles as a one-off and expect Google to keep prioritising them over fresh, innovative pieces in the same area or industry. One of the best ways to keep your SEO content fresh and up to date is bolt a company blog onto your website, and update it regularly with up to date, engaging articles that make sensitive and appropriate use of keywords and anchor text links.
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