SEO Copywriting is a skill that should be learnt by all webmasters with an interest in search engine optimisation. Copywriting for search engines should be written to make sense to the visitor, but a strong eye should be cast to how search engine spiders view the pages of a website. Although things like key word density are important in SEO copywriting, there is more at stake to get good results in search engines.
It is best to focus upon 3 – 4 key words per page, but also use variations of those words as well as supporting words to modify the phrase a little. Search engines are becoming more sophisticated and are becoming more adept at providing returns for related phrases as well as specific phrases.
Summary of where to include key phrases when writing copy for search engines
The most important part of the page, as this is what Google uses to define the content and meaning of the page. Also useful to help users identify what the page is about in search engines. HOWEVER, do not put key phrases in the title tag that are not used elsewhere on the page.
In Google, the meta description does not impact upon your search positions. However, it is very useful as the text snippet that accompanies the displayed title tag in the search results and as such should be used as the hook to encourage searchers to click on your result. It is an important tool in your SEO copywriting arsenal.
The HTML structure of the page helps the search engine spiders to understand the relative importance of different parts of your copy, so use it to your advantage. Use the standard H1, H2, H3 HTML structure for example to define the relative importance of your headings. In practice this means using your key phrases within the main and sub-headings on your page. Re-inforce the importance of those key phrases by using them in your headings.
Many SEO “specialists” will harp on about key word density, as though there is some magic formula as to how many times you need to repeat a phrase. Not enough and you won’t get well indexed, too many and you will be penalised. In practice this is rubbish. Ensure your copy reads well and naturally includes the relevant key phrases. To re-inforce the importance of the key phrases use them as early as is practicable in the first paragraph, and if you can repeat them naturally then do so. However it is also important to use the variants of the key phrase for page in context throughout the copy of the specific page. Use variants and associated phrases on the page rather than mindlessly repeating the phrase.
Hyperlinks are essential to good SEO. Of-site links are obviously very important, but do not overlook the importance of the in-page links. You should aim to link to each of your major pages using the principle link phrase from at least one of key page in the site. These links should be as natural as possible and within the flowing copy of a page.
Google and the other principle search engines are moving much more towards “semantic searching”. This means that context is just as important as specific key phrases. In essence what they are looking for is not just an optimised page, but a page that has context within the site it is sitting in. therefore it is useful to use the key phrases from specific pages throughout the site to reinforce the fact that the page is not in isolation. God places to put these key phrases are in navigation where possible and also in hyperlinks within the copy of other pages.
Remember, don’t just write for the search engines, however tempting it may be. If you go overboard then you can fall foul of the search engines and be penalised for spamming. In any case if it looks spammy then your visitors won’t like it and will be more inclined to go elsewhere. Ensure that it reads well, is talking about your subject and also includes the key phrases where it is appropriate to do so.
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