While there’s no silver bullet to getting where you need to be on search engines (at least legally or with any sort of longevity) there are a few very simple things you should be incorporating into your copywriting that can make a real and lasting difference.
Forget keywords – think multi-term phrases
Targeting multi-word phrases instead of individual keywords is a great way to boost your rankings and get better quality visitors.
Think about it in a real world scenario… if you were just getting started researching on buying something like a new laptop your search terms would likely be pretty general, perhaps things like “dell laptop”, “vaio laptop” or “macbook” for instance. If you were ready to make a purchase your search terms would likely be far more refined, as you would be aware of specific like model numbers, processor speeds and so on. Targeting these keyterm phrases means that you’re doing two things;
1) Reducing the competition you’re up against
2) Getting a better ‘quality’ of visitor
You’re massively increasing your chances of appearing in search results as you’re operating in a far smaller competitive pool, and you’re ensuring that the people who do click on your link are the kinds of people you want on your website – well-informed people who are ready to act.
Look at the alternative… fighting battles against web behemoths on the off-chance that you’re going to win a couple of clicks from people who read websites for about a second… it’s an SEO no brainer if ever there was one.
Stick to what you know
Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to focus on several subjects. Google ranks websites on their assumed authority on a given topic, with the goal of giving searchers what they’re looking for.
If a website isn’t seen to be relevant or authoritative in a given area then it simply won’t rank highly on related keyterms. If such as website did rank then Google would be sending its users to places they weren’t looking for… and that’s not a viable option for them. So pick a specialist topic and stick to it, and in time your website will be seen as a focused and authoritative resource.
The old “jack of all trades, master of none” label springs to mind here, and is neatly relevant in this case.
Keep your copy natural
It’s so important to write your copy for readers and not search engines. Examples of copy written to attract search engine robots ranges from the most abhorrent keyword stuffed nonsense to some otherwise well-written pieces with an obvious littering of keywords in unnatural places. Neither example is very nice to see, and they both have the same effect of turning off readers.
Any sort of consciousness about fulfilling a defined ‘keyword density’ when writing can be enough to make a pig’s ear of things. I’ve heard supposed web copy gurus at conferences bleat on about the importance of including anything between 1% and 15% keyword density on a page to have any hope of ranking on a search. It’s just completely counter-productive to approach copy this way.
The simple fact here is that if you’re writing to any passable standard then both readers and search engines should be able to determine the topic on which you’re writing, without the need for keyword seeding techniques. Read your copy back to yourself before publishing – if it doesn’t sound like something you’d say aloud in normal conversation because of keyword overuse, then it’s not right.