Writing Content for your Website?
Here’s what you should know about SEO…
Search Engine Optimization helps potential customers find you online, especially if you’re not paying for advertising.
You can write all the fabulous content you like, but if it doesn’t show up on a Google Search, few people will see it.
A web page with strong SEO is easy for Google to access and to understand. When it can access and understand the content of a page, it knows what search traffic to send there.
Your web developer is responsible for easy access – making sure all pages load quickly on any device and can be easily indexed by the Google bots.
The SEO-aware writer ensures Google will know what a page is about by using specific signals (keywords) and placing them in particular places. They also write content that satisfies (and even excites) their readers. Search rankings improve with a better user experience.
If you are writing your own web content, use these three tips to help boost your search rankings.
Choose the best keywords
Keywords are simple phrases that summarize the contents of a webpage. These are the words people would enter in their search bars to find the information they’re looking for.
The words used to represent a page should be the same ones the intended audience would use to find it. Your keyword is the link between you and your customer.
Begin by considering your ideal client. How can you help them? What are they looking for? What do they want to know? How would they ask that question?
Decide on a seed keyword: something broad that represents the most basic content of your page. “Massage”, “Coffee Maker” and “Thai Food” are examples of seed keywords.
Then build it out with modifiers that match the specific intent of your customer and what they’re looking for. “Prenatal Massage in Boulder”, “Best Coffee Maker for Camping”, “Thai Food Near Me”.
So the keyword actually becomes a string of words that should let Google know exactly what’s on your page. We call this a long-tail keyword. The more specific it is, the more likely your page will show up when someone searches and the more likely they find what they’re looking for when they visit your page.
One way to get an idea of how people search for what you offer is to use Google Auto Complete. Type a potential keyword into the search bar and as you begin typing, Google will try to complete the query for you with words other searchers have used.
Google Related Searches is another place to look. Type in your keyword and look for the list of related searches at the bottom of the page.
Make your keywords clear, simple, specific and relevant to your user. You’ll be on your way!
Put that keyword in all the important places.
If you have signed up for SEO services with your web design company, your web designer will take care of putting this information on the site, but you might want to take a stab at the wording yourself.
The Title Tag is a 50-60 character description of what the page is about. It must include the keyword. This is a meta-tag that shows in the search results, but not on the actual page.
The formula is typically Keyword | Brand (or other information).
Here’s an example. The title tag is in blue. It’s the first thing a searcher will notice, and will probably determine whether she clicks through to your page. (include a screenshot of a SERP)
The keyword is Best Camping Coffee Makers of 2020. Very clear. The seed keyword is Coffee Makers and the rest are modifiers that give it that nice long tail. This title tag includes the Brand (company name) as well.
The Page Headline (H1) : This one is really important! Remember, SEO is all about giving the search engine as many clear signals as possible without sacrificing the quality of writing on a page. Including the keyword in the headline tells the Google bots and your readers that they’ve landed in the right place for an answer to their question.
A headline is always crucial to the success of a piece, no matter what you’re writing. Once your readers have landed on the page, these are the words that compel them to continue reading and eventually convert to customers.
The headline can be the same as the title tag, or you might think of something more enticing.
Here is an example from our products page:
Keyword: affordable website design packages
Title tag: Affordable Web Design Package for Small Business + Startups
Headline: Easy affordable website design packages with a monthly price you can handle
Do you see how a version of the keyword is present in each? The title tag is clear and descriptive, and the headline offers a specific solution for our ideal customer once they’ve landed on the page.
Meta Description: though Google will often choose its own words from your page, you do have the opportunity to write your own meta-description. This is another place to include the keyword for consistency and clarity.
The meta-description does not show on your webpage. It appears only on the search results page just below the title tag. It can be as long as 160 characters. While the meta-description does not affect SEO directly, it can entice people to click!
In this example, all the words in the title tag are included in a smooth, descriptive sentence just below.
The URL is the actual webpage address and can include your keyword. Leave this to your web designer!
Page Content: no need to use the keyword in every other sentence, but it (or variations) should appear on the page here and there.
Create Exceptional Content.
Google values clear, accessible content. Sites that provide positive user experience will rank higher in organic search. Google infers the quality of readers’ experience by analyzing how long they stay on a particular page. The more readers stay and engage with your content, the better Google likes it.
As part of your simplified website design, optimize layout, and writing style to enhance your readers’ experience.
Readers will decide within seconds of landing on your page if they want to read what you have to say. Initial visual impression is key! Your content should be laid out in a way that is easy on the eyes and relaxing for the brain.
- Break up text into blocks of no more than a few sentences.
- Use Bold type and/or CAPITAL LETTERS. Highlight main ideas so readers can easily skim the page. Bullets and numbered lists will also make your points clear.
- Images and media should enhance subject matter and be used sparingly. Visual overwhelm and too much complexity can cause your potential customer to leave and look elsewhere.
Once you have your reader’s attention…
- Keep it simple! Short sentences and clear concepts are key. Believe it or not, you should be aiming for a fifth-grade reading level.
- Make it engaging. An informal or familiar tone is ideal. Write as though you are speaking to your ideal customer.
- Cover the topic thoroughly. Remember, your readers have come for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. Provide enough depth and detail to satisfy them.
Google favors websites with clear signals and relevant, accessible content. If writing is something you enjoy… go for it!
If not, hiring an SEO content writer would be money well-spent. We’re happy to help!
Author: Amy Colo
Guest Blogger for Simplified Website Design