Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be incredibly useful in driving free website traffic (and potential leads) to your business.
Yet, it’s often incredibly difficult when you’re first starting out, to navigate your way through all the different elements of helping your website to rank well, for the right keywords and phrases, on Google (and other search engines).
One of the main elements to get right is your website content. So, lets take a look at what it takes to get this right (and why it’s worth your effort to do so!).
The Importance of Great Content
An effective SEO strategy requires great content. Google, or any search engine, will always recognise and promote quality, useful, well-optimised content over content that’s been poorly-written and ‘keyword-stuffed’.
Content can be broken into two parts. Firstly, you have your main website content or copy, that remains relatively static over time.
Secondly, you have your ongoing content that gets updated regularly, such as your blog content.
Both are important – but if you need to prioritise one over the other, always ensure your foundations are in place first. That is, make sure your website copy on your main website pages are well written to engage with, nurture and convert your potential customers or clients AND that it’s well optimised for SEO.
SEO Website Copywriting is the place to start if you’re at the beginning of your business or your SEO journey.
In order to get the most out of your SEO-friendly website content, you firstly need to know exactly what keywords or phrases you should be targeting. And not just for your website as a whole, or your home page, but for every page on your website.
That’s where keyword research comes in.
In fact often, your website page names and structure will be determined by your keyword research.
Keyword research can be done by yourself, if you don’t have the budget for an expert. Trouble is, this can be essentially guesswork.
Professional keyword research is a worthwhile investment and isn’t overly expensive. Being the first piece of the puzzle, it really is worth the effort. All your website copy and content marketing can be determined by the keywords your business needs to target in order to attract the right traffic from Google.
And keyword research can make or break your SEO strategy and, without trying to be overly dramatic, your entire business.
Some Copywriters offer keyword research, or there are plenty of SEO consultants who can also perform this task for you (particularly if you don’t want to go through an agency with large monthly fees etc.).
Someone who performs keyword research will basically do some research into your business, your industry and your competitors – then come up with a large list of keywords. They will then determine the best keywords for you to target for each page within your website based on keyword popularity and traffic potential, balanced with the keyword difficulty (and how likely you are to rank for them).
If you’re just starting out, you’re likely to need to target longer-tail, more specific keywords first, before moving on to the more difficult, competitive and broader keywords.
Each page on your website should also have a primary keyword or phrase, and one or two secondary keywords or phrases. This all helps guide your content.
This is where getting keyword research done properly, becomes pretty essential. After all, you won’t want to go to the effort and expense of getting your website copy written well, when you’re targeting the wrong terms – as you simply won’t get the results you’re after.
Website Copywriting for SEO
Many business owners (and even agencies) make the mistake of only writing for Google, resorting to website copy that makes very little sense to the intended audience of the website – with a whole stack of keywords or phrases simply stuffed into it.
Poor-quality website copy can not only damage your brand from a customer perspective but also see you penalised by Google, rather than being promoted. It can therefore harm your rankings, rather than improve them.
Google is so incredibly clever these days. They can tell when your content is written well for the intended audience and is customer-focused and useful – and they can tell when it’s not.
Outsourcing to overseas writers is quite often the problem here. Yes, it may be more affordable. Trouble is, you’ll often end up with broken English and content that makes no sense to the end user (and hello penalties!).
Always write for your customers or clients FIRST, and Google second.
There is zero point in driving traffic to a website if it does not convert that traffic into buyers.
You’ll also need to be aware of these elements:
- Meta Data – Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions are critical in telling Google what your website or page content is all about. There can be an artform in writing these successfully.
- Page Titles & Headings – Your content needs to be titled and structured appropriately, to help Google and your customers. Use your H2 and H3 headings in a useful way and a strategic way – and your titles should include your keywords where appropriate, if possible.
- The first 100 words – Your primary keyword or phrase should be naturally woven into the introductory copy of your page, where possible.
- Keyword Density – Generally, your main keywords or phrases should be included within the body of your content at a density of 1 – 2 %. Too much more, and your content will be seen as spammy in Googles eyes, not enough though and Google will not take any notice of it.
If all of this sounds complicated, it is. Which is where engaging the services of an experienced SEO Website Copywriter can be a wise investment, if you’re serious about improving your SEO.
Content Marketing for SEO
Content Marketing includes your blogging efforts and how you drive traffic to your blog, through social media platforms. It also includes all your other social media content, that should hopefully be designed to nurture your audience and leads into paying customers or clients.
Your content marketing can also improve your SEO over time. Yet your primary purpose again, is still to attract people into your business through social media and other websites and nurture them towards a purchase.
Content marketing therefore serves two purposes – marketing and SEO.
Keeping in mind, that you’re still writing for your customers first, there are some useful tips for writing your blog posts or other content, to get the best traction with your SEO.
If you’re starting out with writing blog posts, 600 – 800 words is fine, as you find your ‘groove’ and develop momentum.
When you’re wanting to get serious about your SEO, it’s recommended that you write a minimum of 2000 words, and provide more detailed articles that offer more value. Long-form content is what Google likes best (and studies have shown that they get more social shares too!).
Targeting your titles
If you want to write about a particular topic, it’s worthwhile doing a quick bit of research to see precisely what people are searching for and use those words or phrases as your title.
Using a tool such as Answer the Public is really helpful to prompt content or article topic and title ideas. To take things one step further, using an SEO tool such as SEMRush or Moz can tell you just how much traffic various words or phrases might be getting – therefore guiding you as to how worthwhile they are to target.
Nothing is instant
Don’t expect your blog posts to instantly start ranking on Google. Often, it takes many months, or even a year or more of you publishing high-quality articles, before Google will start listening.
The more traffic your website and articles receive over time, the more you’ll climb the rankings over time. So, keep persisting with it.
It tends to be the cumulative effect that eventually leads to tangible results.
All your SEO ‘ducks’ must line up
Of course, having good quality SEO-friendly website copy and producing good quality, and regular content is only one part of the story. It’s a very big part, but there are lots of other elements that will help you or hinder you from ranking.
Much of that gets quite technical in the way your website is built, designed and optimised. Ensuring your website loads as quickly as possible is a big one, along with getting all your back-end coding correct.
You’ll also need to start building quality backlinks, from reputable websites.
All of those technicalities generally require some expertise and specialist help. It’s worth seeking out a web developer who is experienced with optimising websites for SEO, for best results.
If you’re struggling with your SEO website copy or content strategy, feel free to get in touch with me for some guidance. A fresh set of eyes can be invaluable.