In the past when I heard about people writing webcopy that was optimised for SEO, I always felt a bit intimidated. Why should webcopy be different to any other kind of copy? How do these algorithms or spiders actually work?
It all sounds a bit like a different language doesn't it?
I am definitely no SEO expert, although I can recommend a few if you want a bigger picture SEO overview. However, the basic premise is that search engines are looking for keywords. They do this so that if someone is putting that term into Google or Bing, they can serve the right content at the right time. However, the algorithm also checks to see how long the reader stays on the page after it has been provided to them, so the content needs to be relevant too. This is where I can come in and support you.
Where should your keywords be placed?
Once you have identified your keyword/s, you need to place them correctly for the search engine to find them. Here is a quick reminder of where you should always be using one or some of your keywords when creating webcopy.
- H1 heading
- At least one H2 heading
- At the beginning of the first paragraph
- In your meta description
- In the Alt Text for your featured image
- Peppered through the copy - but not too much!
If you use a plugin like Yoast, it will keep you on the right track, but you will find that it might tell you to put the keyword at the beginning of the title. For me, this is where I start to fight back - sometimes it doesn't read right, or makes the text seem stilted. If that is the case, it's fine, go with your instinct - to me, it's far more important to be creating something that reads well and is engaging than simply satisfying a tick list.
Writing webcopy without sounding like a robot
My recommendation is to write your first draft without worrying too much about keywords. Once you have written it then you can read back and make tweaks to ensure that the keywords are there, are in the right place and complement the flow of your message.
Read your copy out loud or ask someone else to read it. Yes, you want the keyword to be part of your toolkit to attract new readers to your business. But it is just one element of that toolkit. It's equally important for your audience to stay on your website once they have arrived there, the way you will do that is by providing high quality content that really adds value for them.
Ideally, return to the webcopy after a few hours and re-read it (out loud). Use an SEO plugin if you want to, in order to highlight where you might have gaps and then implement the changes in a considered way. If you don't feel the suggestion works, then don't use it, or consider changing the keyword to fit in with the copy that you have written.
Take voice search into account
Did you know that 15% of UK consumers are now using voice search at least once a week? Using applicable longtail keywords might help future proof your content. E.g. instead of "marketing ideas" you might be better using something that sounds more human like "Who shares the best business marketing ideas"
Even when writing technical webcopy my focus is still on ensuring that a "human" reader can easily grasp the topic and understand the key messages. If you can keep your audience at the heart of your writing, you will find that keywords will naturally slot into your webcopy without feeling forced. Then your audience will be able to easily read your messages and feel that you are responding to their queries.
Would you like a second set of eyes to look over your copy and help optimize it for the web?
I'm always happy to have a look at a piece of content to check that it flows well. If you have a set of target keywords, I can help you ensure that you can make the most of that opportunity to attract new readers to your website. Drop me an email if you have any questions and I would be happy to help provide some pointers or audit existing content. Alternatively, I can write web-optimised copy for you - check out my services pages for more details or get in touch and we can discuss your requirements!
Want some support with your web copy?
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