Welcome to day 1 of “Rankings Week”, my week long series of posts dedicated to educating webmasters on how to improve their search engine rankings today. The internet has changed in terms of what works for achieving a high ranking in the last year, and it’s changed significantly more than it was 5 or 10 years ago. We’re going to kick things off by talking about something which hasn’t changed too much when it comes to its role in helping you rank better: writing copy for SEO.
Writing Copy For SEO
Writing copy for SEO refers to writing your copy to specifically please the search engines. In other words, writing your copy and content so that you rank well in doing so. This post is going to look at exactly how to go about writing copy for SEO.
FIRST and most obviously, you need to make effective use of your keywords. Doing good keyword research is a big step number one. That link goes to a post on how to use the best keyword tool (which just happens to be free) to find good keywords. Here’s a post on what makes for a good keyword, as well.
Next, you need to use that keyword in your content. Generally you’re best off devoting one post or page to one keyword, using that keyword whenever natural within that post. Some people sweat the “perfect ratio” of using their keyword versus other copy. There is no perfect ratio. Just again use it whenever natural and make sure to use synonyms for your keyword in place of it sometimes, as well.
The search engines have gotten smarter in recent years and absolutely HATE anything which looks unnatural, so sprinkling in some synonyms interchangeably is an effective tactic as they take them into account, as well. Also be sure to use your keyword as any anchor text for hyperlinks pointing towards that page.
This is writing copy for SEO 101 and still helps search engines to identify what your page’s content is about. They see that keyword pointing towards your page and recognize that it’s relevant to that keyword, thus increasing the chances that they’ll rank your page higher for that keyword (depending on the authority and trust of the website which the link exists on).
SECOND, don’t forget that search engines don’t put as much emphasis on keywords as they once did. In other words it’s not as much a technical process as it once was. Sure keywords still help them identify what your content is about, but (today especially) the greater half of writing copy for SEO is to remember that the quality of your content is more important than ever. You’ve got to be writing content which people want to link to.
It sounds a bit cliché but writing great content is literally the best way to go about writing copy for SEO and see your rankings jump.
Ideally what you write about should be unique. Sure it can be difficult to be completely unique at this point on the internet, and if that’s not an option within whatever niche you’re writing within then make sure your content is well written, easy to understand, and again entertaining and or informative. This is the best way to convince people to link to you, and the more links which you receive from high quality websites, the greater the indication that you have content worth ranking highly in the search engines.
In summary, writing copy for SEO is a combination of writing content based around your best keywords and making that content attractive to other webmasters. So yes, in other words (and you’ve probably heard me say this before) you should be writing for your readers first and foremost, and if you do that, the search engines will follow.