Thanks to Google’s recent algorithm updates, making your copy SEO-friendly is all about compromise. You need to produce strong, engaging content to attract readers whilst at the same time inserting relevant keywords.
Whether it's a news article or product description you’re writing, here are some top tips for crafting foolproof SEO-friendly copy for your website:
There’s no point in attempting to gain great rankings from great SEO if the copy you’ve written isn’t likely to convert. Humans are the priority here, right? So make your copy really interesting, punchy, and relevant. Conversion from visitors who’ve found you on Google is likely to be poor if your copy is spammy, crammed with keywords, and difficult to read.
All of your headings and titles should be catchy, attention-grabbing, and clearly identifiable in order to stand out from your main website copy. At the same time, they should be search engine friendly by including keywords wherever possible. Google places more importance on your heading text than body copy so it's imperative you target specific keywords for effective SEO.
Introduce your web copy with a gripping opening paragraph and try to include the main keyword phrases you want your text to target. Consider the person reading it before you write anything - think about what you’d find interesting to read yourself! Not just what's best for SEO.
People often scan read introductions to decide whether they will invest their time in reading the rest of the article.
Strike a balance
Getting the correct balance between keyword density and readability, really is an art (don't worry, you’ll get the hang of it). Be SEO clever by including keywords in your copy as much as possible but don’t overdo it; not inserting enough could lower your rankings, yet if you’re guilty of keyword stuffing, Google is likely to penalise you.
You need to ensure there’s enough copy on your web pages – it’s difficult for Google to determine what a page is about if it doesn't have sufficient text to index. Lengthier copy reflects greater substance, making the site seem more trustworthy and authoritative.
As an SEO foundation, try and include at least 250 words of unique information on every page of your website. For blog or news articles you should be aiming for a minimum of 400 words.
Whilst it’s essential to include sufficient copy for SEO and your visitors, at the same time, minimalist copy is particularly fashionable at the moment alongside the ‘clean’ look of mobile responsive websites. Consider the very concise text from the likes of Apple and BuzzFeed, with greater focus on images and short, snappy engaging copy. Aim to include enough, but strip your messages down to the core.
A good SEO trick is to have short concise copy but with a 'read more' click to reveal more text. This way you give Google enough text to rank you, yet don't have to compromise your clean, minimalist design just for SEO.
Frequently added, regularly updated copy makes search engines happy!
Expand your content so you can write copy to target keywords that might otherwise rarely be included in the rest of the site, e.g. geographical terminology. For better SEO results, it’s better to add new content gradually to prove to Google your reputation as a regularly updated site and a trustworthy source of information.
Add new pages
Ensure to add enough pages to your website to provide sufficient material - think news pages, product pages, case studies, a blog, a gallery, for example. This is highly beneficial for SEO as here you can target particular keywords that might be difficult elsewhere on your site.
Write for your audience
Always be conscious of who you are writing for. Try to get inside their heads and think what would they want to know. Does your target audience want detailed technical info for example, or more of a basic overview of what you do.
Avoid copying text from other sites at all costs, this is a big SEO no-no, otherwise you’ll be penalised. Since 2011, Google has punished websites containing a high volume of duplicate content. So make sure all your web copy is unique, relevant, and readable to produce great SEO results and higher rankings. Always cite any written material from another source. And ensure you’ve got their permission to use it in the first place!