Writing optimised copy is the art of producing readable content that also incorporates specific search terms (keyphrases) that rank highly in the search engines – Search Engine Optimisation. Finding the right balance between incorporating keyphrases that are searched for and content that makes sense when read is not an easy task. Once written will need to be regularly tweeked to ensure the mix of the best keywords to drive traffic are included in your copy.
There are 5 basic rules you need to follow when writing optimised copy so that the search engines will like you and direct visitors to your site, which after all, is what we all want:
Spend time researching keywords/keyphrases
This is the most important step when building a website that is search-engine friendly. Don’t rely on the words/phrases that you think your target audience would search for to find a company like yours, remove the guesswork and find out exactly what is being searched for. Be as specific as possible, if you are a greengrocer don’t just think of generic wording such as fruit or vegetables – be more specific such as fresh organic fruit – choose appropriate two-three-four word phrases instead. There are free and low-cost tools available and I use and recommend the Google Adwords
Be careful when using keywords/keyphrases
Don’t try and cram as many related keywords/phrases as you can into one page as this will only complicate the job of the robots that the search engines send out around the web. Try and write a minimum of 250 words per page but remember, it is important to be succinct and to use real sentences that make sense when read rather than throwing in keyphrases that don’t flow with the rest of the copy. Never sacrifice the quality of the copy to fit in more keywords.
Keep your copy plain and simple
Each page of your website should be on one topic – you will confuse the reader (and the search engine robots) if you try and fit in too many different messages. For each topic, therefore each page, concentrate on including no more than 5 keywords/phrases. You can keep repeating them throughout the copy, but again, not to the detriment of how the copy reads. A big no-no is keyword-stuffing – this is when keywords are used indiscriminantly in an attempt to improve your page ranking. Also, don’t try and hide text – behind images or in the same colour as the page’s background – as if the search engines work out what you are doing they will penalise you and it could take a long time to just get back to the level you are currently ranked at.
Place your keywords in prominent positions
Generally, the higher the keywords/phrases appear on the page the better. Include them in the page title and introductory paragraph, page headings, sub-headings and in the metadata that is included in the HTML code for your site.
Track your results
Like any element of your marketing, your SEO needs to be monitored and tweeked if it is not working as you want it to. Regular monitoring will show which aspects are not working and will need to be changed. An analytics tool, such as Google Analytics (another free tool!) will give you statistics on the number of visitors, what pages they visit, what pages they leave your site from (called exit pages, funnily enough!), what percentage of people arrive on your site and then leave without looking at another page (the bounce rate – think of your website as a trampoline and the bounce rate is when they jump up and then off the trampoline), what keywords were used to arrive at your site (and how many visitors each of these generated) and loads more information that you may or may not use.
If you want to talk to us about writing optimised web copy for you then get in touch for a free no-obligation chat on the phone. We’re not web designers or developers, but we are good at writing copy that the search engines will love.
TOP TIP to all WordPress users – the All In One SEO Pack is brilliant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t write the copy for you, but it does help enormously with the back-end, i.e. non-visible SEO, that helps the search engines index your site.