Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Copy Writing - Page Content for SEO

Optimise Text on the Page - The text on your home page is crucial to maintaining the attention of fresh viewers. In fact, copy is so important that many companies prefer to have a professional copy writer create this content. For many small business website owners however this may not be an option. What you need to do is to keep your text engaging as well as smartly optimised to present an obvious topic to the visiting search engine spiders or visitors. To do this, keep your mind focused on the keyword(s) that you have chosen to target on the search engines while you write the content for the page. (Think of the consumer when choosing these initial level keywords... keywords will refine through the buying process cycle and become more specific as the consumer prepares for purchase.) Implement the keywords within the text without sacrificing the true intent of the information - to engage and retain your viewers.

Now, on the Home Page... specifically;

Often the first 25-30 words of your home page are what the each search engine will use for the description of your web site. Try to utilise your target keyword(s) within this area but be certain the resulting sentence is legible and descriptive. Also repeat your main focus keyword(s) in the last section of wording on your page. The index (or default) page is the first page loaded after the root URL is entered into a browser (e.g. index.htm or default.htm). This is the most important page of any site, as a number of search engines will only start indexing from the home page. (Do you have a textual link navigation that branches out from the home page to touch each and every page on your website?... We'll save this for another article). 

The body text on the opening page must contain keywords, and keyword phrases (don't forget the benefit of the long tail search), that relate to the theme of the site as a whole. The copy on the home page should convey to a user, and thus search engines, what the site is about. It is not enough to rely on images and other visual clues, it must be stated in plain text. Search Engines are essentially blind (remember what I was saying about the need for ALT tags on images in your code?), using the text within the source code of the page, to understand what the page is about, and how to navigate around the site.

Many sites make the mistake of using a redirect to move the users to a new page depending on their browser. Mostly, this is done with JavaScript which cannot be followed by a Search Engine. Other sites use the opening page for a Flash introduction or simply a company logo, both of which are barriers to a search engine indexing your site. JavaScript is a language that Search Engines do not understand fully, so many do not bother to read it, or struggle with it.

Content on a page should be around 500 words. Keep in mind that content is for the broader internet community, and remember that the internet is a unique media. Reinforce the keywords you are targeting within the content by repeating them. A keyword or phrase mentioned several times within the content is likely to be given high relevancy when ranking results within search engines, where as a word used once or twice is less likely to deliver traffic. (This should be done appropriately and not just 'keyword stuffed' or other black-hat SEO techniques that may be detrimental to your site's performance).

To achieve high rankings in search engines for specific key phrases, a site needs a page on which that phrase is prominent. Often, for sites with dynamic content, there is no logical page to attract relevant traffic, e.g. a flights site has a lot of flights, but as these change frequently, there is no logical landing point for many, frequently searched terms such as “cheap flights”. By building a few such pages, a site can effectively capture such traffic.

Duplicate Content Checker Resource:
http://training.seobook.com/duplicate-content-checker

By developing pages that Search Engines can index, that are always live and based around commonly searched phrases, particularly specific, longer phrases for which there is currently no logical landing page, the breadth of search terms for which a site can be found can be increased significantly. In terms of volume of traffic, a couple of dozen of pages built in this way will collectively deliver significant volumes of traffic, and traffic that is currently purchased at premium prices.

From a usability perspective, this provides users with a highly bookmarkable page that they can return to time and again, with information tailored to their specific interests or needs. This is particularly true for sites such as property sites, job sites and any other sites with a user base with an action in common, but little else. Giving users exactly what they are looking for and nothing else, is the best way to ensure return visitors.

There is so much information that can be gleaned from users simply by what they search for or which pages they look at. By utilising this information, and offering people a convenient page offering only the information that is relevant to them, not only will Search Engine traffic increase, but so will repeat traffic, which ultimately is the best traffic of all.

Consistency in Page and Paragraph Headings

In search engine copywriting, headlines are as sacred as in most other communication mediums. As search engines weight the text higher in importance if it appears in the page and paragraph headings, it is important the client utilises the targeted phrase for each page. It is important there is consistency in the navigational menu, the Title/Description/Keyword Meta Tags, Page Headings and Chapter headings on every page throughout the website in this manner.