On a budget and planning on writing your own website copy? There’s a bit more to it than simply stringing a few sentences together. Google decides how it will rank websites based on a number of different factors. By ticking all the right boxes when it comes to optimising your website, you can effectively climb up Google’s ranks to secure that prime search engine results real estate.
Naturally, however, this comes with a bit of SEO know-how. Let us give you a few 101 lessons.
Why does it matter where I rank?
Stats show that less than 10% of users will delve beyond the first page of Google after typing in a search query. Furthermore, around 33% of total clicks from that first page come from the top-ranking website. Thus, the higher your website sits on Google search results, the stronger your likelihood of a) getting seen by your audiences; b) encouraging users to click on your site, and; c) expanding your digital sales funnel.
But how do you improve your rankings, you ask? You need to employ optimisation techniques in your writing.
Keywords are your key
One of the most prominent search engine ranking determinants is the use of keywords. These are those terms and phrases users punch into a search engine to generate a list of results. You can hire an SEO technician to research and generate a list of keywords relevant to your business, or if you’re feeling particularly savvy, try undertaking your own research by creating an account with Google’s Keyword Planner.
From here, you then need to incorporate these keywords into your written copy. However, bear a few important points in mind when doing so:
- Write for humans – not robots. Yes, you are essentially writing content to get your website ranking, but it’s important that it’s readable, too! Consumers place a lot of trust in the way a business represents itself, and if all they’ve got to base their judgment off is the design of your website and the quality of your writing, you want to make sure it’s up to scratch.
- Insert your keywords in a very natural manner. Keyword-stuffing is so 2010. Don’t stress over maintaining a certain density; just make sure your keywords flow naturally through your content.
- Take advantage of long-tail keyword phrases. While standalone keywords are of course important, they are fiercely competitive and require a lot of effort in order to rank. This is where keyword clusters come in handy. Long-tail phrases, such as questions, elicit a smaller search volume yet higher-quality traffic.
- Use related keywords, abbreviations and synonyms. You needn’t stick with the original version of your keyword each and every time – Google is smart enough to figure out variations or relations of a certain word. For instance, “website” and “web” will link together in a search query.
Give your content juicy length
Most business websites will require a minimum of 350 words per webpage. If your content is too thin, Google simply won’t have anything to grab. Don’t skimp out on your content – make sure you create enough written copy to satisfy search engines while keeping your human audience in mind.
Answer your prospect’s questions
Struggling to find enough to say? Try to refrain from waffling on about how fantastic your business is or repeating your unique selling points over and over. Instead, give your audience helpful information that is of value to them. After all, no one knows your business better than you. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and consider what kinds of questions they might be asking if they’re new to your business and/or industry. Answer the Public can be a super-handy tool to make use of here: simply enter a keyword relating to your products or services and the site will generate a comprehensive list of topics and questions users tend to search for.
Make sure you break up your content for readability
No one – especially digital users – wants to pore over big chunks of text to get to the point. When preparing your website copy, keep in mind that subheadings, lists and bullet points are your best friend. Section off your content and create skimmable, bite-sized chunks that convey your information in a reader-friendly way.
Don’t forget about your title tags and meta descriptions
So, you’ve composed some exquisitely-written, keyword-optimised copy and are ready to launch your webpages. Before you hit that ‘publish’ button, pay attention to your title tags and meta descriptions. Your title tag is highly important for two reasons: it’s one of the first things Google looks at when categorising your webpages, and it’s one of the first things users see when they land on a SERP (search engine results page). As such, it should be keyword-rich and highly relevant in order to simultaneously rank your site and motivate prospects to click on your page.
Meta descriptions are also vital to how your webpage performs – these are those short snippets that appear underneath your title to relay the contents of your webpage to your audience. If your meta description summary is engaging enough and features keywords, you increase your chances of getting audiences clicking.
So, there you have it – a few pearls of SEO copywriting wisdom. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to create website content that is sure to shine online.