Writing Good Web Copy for SEO Success
November 24, 2010
It’s no secret that website visitors and search engines speak different languages, making the writing of Web content tricky. You can’t write solely for the search engines, because visitors will leave your site before they get past the first keystuffed sentence. You cannot write solely for visitors either, because it will be likely that no one will be able to find your site to read the content anyway!
It’s a critical balance of communicating with both people and bots at the same time. It’s all about mixing good, persuasive writing with the right SEO keywords. There are a handful of things to keep in mind when writing Web content that will attract both visitors and the search engines:
1. Present a Solution to your Audience’s Problem
Everything on a website needs to engage visitors by offering solutions to their problems, whether it’s installing a new roof to replace their leaking one or offering cleaning services for offices after business hours. You have to know who your target audience is and what problem they have that has prompted them to visit your site in the first place.
2. Consult your SEO Specialist
Keep your SEO specialist close at hand, because he or she has done the research and knows what keywords you are going to need to include to drive traffic, which words should be linked to what page, etc. A good writer is going to be able to implement the target keywords easily, even if it means that they have to be creative to do it.
3. Forget that SEO Exists When You Write
You have to get your main message across first- at all costs. Communicate to human beings first. Many experts suggest that copy be written without worrying about keywords first, then going back and adding them in carefully, only where it is suitable to do so. This makes a more compelling message for visitors. When the copy is all done, it is much easier to add in the keywords and the links, as well.
4. Sacrifice Art for Keywords
Sometimes there are keywords that have to be in the copy or h1 tags, and these must take precedence. They are the big, moneymaking keywords that give rise to the delicate balance by which the SEO specialist and the writer in you must come to terms.
5. Sacrifice Keywords for Art
If keywords are making your copy too clunky, awkward and unnatural sounding, you are going to have to get rid of them. If you don’t, visitors to your site are going to think the website was written by a robot with poor English skills and will visit your competitor’s site instead. If a lack of keywords is causing SEO problems, the website owner is going to have to build more links- plain and simple.
6. Beware of Black Hat SEO
Cloaked content, duplicate content and keyword stuffing are three of the top techniques that are poo-pooed in SEO. In addition to search engines penalizing you for doing it, users hate these tactics too. It makes your site look really bad from a marketing and a PR standpoint, not to mention the devastation it can bring to your website conversion.