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Writing SEO Copy 8 Steps to Success



We all know that the lions share of web traffic comes through the search engines. We also know that keywords and links to your site are the two things that affect your ranking in the search engines. Your keywords tell the search engines what you do, and the inbound links tell them how important you are. This combination is what determines your relevance. And relevance is what the search engines are after.

Theres a lot of information around about how to incorporate keyword phrases into your HTML meta tags. But thats only half the battle. You need to think of these tags as street-signs. Thats how the search engines view them. They look at your tags and then at your copy. If the keywords you use in your tags arent used in your copy, your site wont be indexed for those keywords.

But the search engines dont stop there. They also consider how often the keyword phrase is used on the page.

To put it simply, if you dont pepper your site with your primary keywords, you wont appear in the search results when a potential customer searches for those keywords.

But how do you write keyword-rich copy without compromising readability?

Readability is all-important to visitors. And after all, its the visitors that buy your product or service, not search engines.

By following these 8 simple guidelines, youll be able to overhaul the copy on your website ensuring its agreeable to both search engines and visitors.

1) Categorise your pages

Before writing, think about the structure of your site. If you havent built your site yet, try to create your pages around key offerings or benefits. For example, divide your Second Hand Computers site into separate pages for Macs, and PCs, and then segment again into Notebooks, Desktops, etc. This way, youll be able to incorporate very specific keyword phrases into your copy, thereby capturing a very targeted market. If youre working on an existing site, print out each page and label it with its key point, offering, or benefit.

2) Find out what keywords your customers are searching for

Go to www.wordtracker.com and subscribe for a day (this will only cost you about AUD$10). Type in the key points, offerings, and benefits you identified for each page, and spend some time analysing what words customers use when theyre searching for these things. These are the words youll want to use to describe your product or service. (Make sure you read WordTrackers explanation of their results.)

3) Use phrases, not single words

Although this advice isnt specific to the web copy, its so important that its worth repeating here. Why? Well firstly, theres too much competition for single keywords. If youre in computer sales, dont choose computers as your primary keyword. Go to Google and search for computers and youll see why Secondly, research shows that customers are becoming more search-savvy theyre searching for more and more specific strings. Theyre learning that by being more specific, they find what theyre looking for much faster.

Ask yourself whats unique about your business? Perhaps you sell cheap second hand computers? Then why not use cheap second hand computers as your primary keyword phrase. This way, youll not only stand a chance in the rankings, youll also display in much more targeted searches. In other words, a higher percentage of your sites visitors will be people after cheap second hand computers. (WordTrackers results will help you choose the most appropriate phrases.)

4) Pick the important keyword phrases

Dont include every keyword phrase on every page. Focus on one or two keyword phrases on each page. For your Macs page, focus on cheap second hand macs. For the PCs page, focus on cheap second hand pcs, etc.

5) Be specific

Dont just say our computers. Wherever you would normally say our computers, ask yourself if you can get away with saying our cheap second hand Macs or our cheap second hand PCs. If this doesnt affect your readability too badly, its worth doing. Its a fine balance though. Remember, your site reflects the quality of your service. If your site is hard to read, people will infer a lot about your service

6) Use keyword phrases in links

Although you shouldnt focus on every keyword phrase on every page, its a good idea to link your pages together with text links. This way, when the search engines look at your site, theyll see that the pages are related. Once again, the more text links the better, especially if the link text is a keyword phrase. So on your Cheap Second Hand Macs page, include a text link at the bottom to Cheap Second Hand PCs. If you can manage it without affecting readability, also include one within the copy of the page. For example, As well as providing cheap second hand Macs, we sell high quality cheap second hand PCs. TIP: If you dont want your links to be underlined and blue, include the following in your CSS file:

<style type="text/css"> <!-- a {text-decoration: none;} --> </style>

Then format the HTML of each link as follows:

As well as providing cheap second hand Macs, we sell high quality cheap second hand pcs.

7) Use keyword phrases in headings

Just as customers rely on headings to scan your site, so to do search engines. This means headings play a big part in how the search engines will categorise your site. Try to include your primary keyword phrases in your headings. In fact, think about inserting extra headings just for this purpose. Generally this will also help the readability of the site because it will help customers scan read.

8) Test keyword phrase density

Once youve made a first pass at the copy, run it through a density checker to get some metrics. Visit http://www.gorank.com/analyze.php and type in the domain and keyword phrase you want to analyse. Itll give you a percentage for all the important parts of your page, including copy, title, meta keywords, meta description, etc. The higher the density the better. Generally speaking, a density measurement of at least 3-5% is what youre looking for. Any less, and youll probably need to take another pass.

Follow these guidelines, and youll be well on your way to effective SEO copy.

Just remember, dont overdo it. Its not easy to find the balance between copy written for search engines and copy written for customers. In many cases, this balance will be too difficult to achieve without professional help. Dont worry, though. If youve already performed your keyword analysis, a professional website copywriter should be able to work your primary keyword phrases into your copy at no extra charge.

About The Author

* Glenn Murray is an SEO copywriter and Article Submission Specialist. He is a director of PublishHub and also of copywriting studio Divine Write. He can be contacted on Sydney +612 4334 6222 or at glenn@divinewrite.com. Visit http://www.divinewrite.com or http://www.publishhub.com for further details, more FREE articles, or to purchase his e-book, SEO Secrets.


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