1) Research and placement of keywords – Ideally you would focus on one or two keyword phrases per page. To select the most effective keywords, jot down a few ideas then run them through a keyword suggestion tool to get further ideas and variations (Google’s free tool is a good choice).
Take into consideration that some keyword phrases don’t get much traffic historically so you may want to cross those off your list. Also think about using longer tail keywords (e.g. with geographic qualifiers such as ‘toronto shoe store’) to narrow the scope.
Once you’ve selected your main keywords, place them in the title, first paragraph, last paragraph and at least one other place if possible within the body of the text.
2) Anchor Text – Links between pages on your website assist the search engines to see all pages of your website. To improve your ranking for your keywords, make those words the link between pages.
Ideally, you would use these words as a link to your website when writing copy for other areas of the web such as social media entries, guest blog posts, press releases, or online articles.
3) Write compelling copy – You’ve undoubtedly seen web pages that were so terribly written and keyword-stuffed that they must’ve been created by a machine. Maybe so, or it could just as likely be that the page creator cared only about search engines and didn’t give a thought to who would read it.
Always write as though you are speaking to a person. First of all, because you are, but also because this is a more likely way to have your information shared. Be interesting. Tell your story. Convey your message. Read it out loud if you’re not sure. That’s a great way to recognize poor grammar or awkward phrasing.
If still unsure, ask someone else to read it and provide feedback. A second pair of eyes often catch small things we’ve overlooked.
4) Behind the scenes – Today’s websites are generally user-friendly with built-in SEO features. Part of the writer’s job is to make sure to fill in all sections on the back end of every page. These include title, meta description, keyword list, and tags. Programs and platforms vary, so there may be other areas needing attention such as ‘Robots’ in the Joomla platform. The point is, be prepared to go beyond the copy on the page to maximize your SEO effectiveness.
For help making your website copy search friendly, call Marnie Hughes at 905-702-4266.
Marnie Hughes is an SEO copywriter, author and online marketer. She works with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing and communications and expand their customer base.
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