Although I am not an SEO expert, I’ve picked up a lot of good information on “Writing for Search Engines.” In this article, I will share some of this information with you. I’ll share with you how copywriting on your website will bring visitors, turn them into customers, and establish you as an internet force to reckon with.
Have you ever wondered if the basics you learned in grade school could be applied to your business life?
Getting your website ranked at the top in internet search results uses all that knowledge. Aw, come on! Yep, it’s true.
Search engine results are based on all those science, math and English course rules you learned so long ago. What do I mean?
Well, the technology behind search engines is just something that allows “spiders” to comb the “web” for data applicable to a search query. Google and its ilk have developed unique mathematical algorithms that determine how relevant your website’s content is to what’s being searched for.
And, believe it or not, those boring English grammar lessons tie it all together to determine your best results. Below are some tips for creating titles, copywriting, using graphics and keywords to place your site higher in the search rankings.
Do Some Research
Do you know where your website ranks in search results? If you don’t, you are just being foolish, an ostrich burying its head in the sand.
Check search engines (google.com, ask.com, msn.com, and yahoo.com) to see how your homepage relates to your ideal client’s search. Then, look at your competition. Check how they rank. Are they appearing higher than you? Check out how they write their content. Are they being found? Search for products or services that you’re interested in and click those who rank high in the search results. Can you tell why?
Your Website’s Title
Your website’s title is what appears on the top bar at the top of a web browser. Even though your home page should be the main focus, does each page have unique titles?
Having a catchy and unique title on each page opens a larger net to catch those searching for what you can offer them. A good title will tell the reader what they can expect from you.
The copy used is critically important. Why? Because it is the text that appears on the hyperlink in the search engine results. If your page title does not read like a compelling headline, the reader won’t be tempted to click. The title needs to peak the reader’s curiosity, make them want to learn more.
Whether intended or not, it is the first impression you give your potential customer. When someone searches, they are unconsciously making a click/no click decision based on the title of that link. Your title is a call-to-action. You can use about 50 characters (including spaces) to convince the consumer to click only your link.
Tip: Use a couple key phrases in your page titles.
Be Descriptive in Your Text
Using specific words or phrases in your text presents more opportunities for search engines to find you.
Use detailed examples instead of generic sentences. When consumers are searching for something it helps to highlight the fact that you can give them exactly what they want. Anywhere you can use specific descriptive phrases, do so. Being descriptive throughout will often help you seal the deal. See below for some examples.
|Our Services||Our web design services|
|Our team||Our wedding caterers|
|Our inventory||Our collection of vintage clothing|
|To contact us call or email…||To contact us about special event catering call or email…|
|This spa offers many packages…||This all inclusive day spa provides massages, facials, manicures…|
|Counseling services are available to help you…||Family counselors, marriage counselors, child counselors are available to help you…|
|Site seeing packages, tourist activities, and dining discounts are available through
|Site-see, plan family or romantic activities, and find discounted fine dining in historic
downtown Charleston, SC through our beautiful Bed and Breakfast.
The Mighty Power of Keywords and Key Phrases
Writing powerful copy is a challenge, no doubt.
There are always issues that must be addressed. They are:
- What key words or phrases to use
- Where to use them
- How to use them
Keywords are what consumers would search for when they use a single word, such as “flowers.” Key phrases are more detailed versions of keywords, and, are more likely to be searched for, such as “flower delivery services.”
Both keywords and key phrases are a necessity in your copy. But, key phrases are what will most likely make your business visible.
There are four areas to concentrate your keywords and phrases in: your headlines, sub-headlines, main body of text, and the call-to-action. Less is more, though. Ideally, you need to keep it to 2-3 key words and 3-4 key phrases within each page. Don’t try packing them in. That is actually detrimental.
One thing to consider when incorporating key words and phrases is to vary the types of use. Don’t forget to “ing” and making it plural.
Consumers search in many different ways. Varying how you incorporate your search keys prevents you from sounding repetitive and dull. One person will search for “printing” while another will search for “printers.” Cater to as many searches as you can think of and fit on your page without sacrificing well-written copy.
Be on the Lookout
How things are presented is as important as how well it is written. Websites are designed in attractive ways. While aesthetics are important, technology is not perfect. “Spiders” can’t scan text embedded in a graphical element. Incorporating key words in graphics is utterly useless. Flash portions of your website and graphical headlines are also useless for SEO purposes. I am not advocating not using them. Just don’t rely on them for search engine placement.
Bonus phrases are an insurance policy. They are not necessarily your chosen key words, just extra ways to pick up some search results, perhaps not directly related to your business.
It is a combination of being creative, descriptive and logical. Scan all of your text for an opportunity to use bonus phrases. These examples are ones I found surfing.
How many millions visit New York City every year? It wouldn’t be surprising that they’d search for The Statue of Liberty. More than likely, they aren’t going to search for “elegant woman, lady liberty.” The first copy is well written. But, it wouldn’t capture an audience who isn’t searching for helicopter tours. The second copy will snag those who search for The Statue of Liberty and find out they can take an aerial tour. See how easy it can be?
Wrapping it all up
After doing all that work, do you know where you stand? Do you have separate page titles that are informative and relevant?
Descriptives in your copy will make all the difference in the world. Moving away from general to specific phrases will result in better positioning in search engine results. It will definitely give potential customers a clearer understanding of what your business has to offer. Being descriptive is never a bad idea.
Use keywords wisely and put a little more emphasis on key phrases. Don’t forget that people search for different variants of words.
Graphics are not searchable. Your website can still look great; just keep your search elements out of the graphics.
This is not an easy thing to do. Don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated if it takes time to make it work.